Monday, October 10, 2016

Apple Opinions: Teaching Children to Support Their Choices

It’s fall – that time of year when treats abound. Our classrooms and homes are awash in pumpkins, scarecrows, and all kinds of yummy apple products. Apples are perfect for many learning objectives.

One important goal for children is to give an opinion and be able to support this opinion with reasons. Using apples to accomplish this objective is an age-appropriate way to engage children in this type of discourse.

Bring apples as a healthy treat for children. Be sure to share different varieties and cut them into slices. Let children sample the apples. 
Then give children a paper that looks like this:
The boxes allow children to draw pictures or make attempts at writing words.
After sampling the apples, children can complete the paper by drawing pictures or writing a few words. Remember, inventive spelling can be a window into a child’s emerging literacy abilities. Click here for more information on the Continuum of Writing.

You may want to engage in a conversation emphasizing that children need to think for themselves. A reason such as “my friend says she likes this apple best” is not a good reason.

Have children share their finished work. Praise children who supported their reason for preferring a certain apple. These might include:
  • I like the taste best.
  • It is crunchy.
  • It is easy to chew.
  • It tastes sweet and I like sweet.
  • It tastes sour. I like that. 
As you can see, the support for an opinion will vary. The important component is that children are learning to support their opinions with connected details. 

By providing a hands-on activity such as sampling different apples along with a choice of drawing or writing, speakers of other languages can easily participate.  

Standards Alignment:
NAEYC – 2.B.03 & 2.D.06.
Head Start – II.A. & IV.A.

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