Tis the season for apple picking in Missouri. Apparently Fugi apples aren't ready for picking until as late November. My first graders and I actually learned a lot about apple orchards from the book below. It had some cheesy pictures, but I learned all sorts of new facts! It's also good to switch between fiction and non-fiction with them.
I gave the kids a grey piece of paper (9x12"), pencil, and a large coffee can lid to trace a big circle in the middle of their paper. I'm not usually into the whole tracing thing, but I'm always okay with teaching them how to use tools to get geometric shapes like a circle or a straight line. The large circle made up their apple basket. Around the edges of the basket, they drew rectangles to look like the wooden slats.
Inside the basket, I showed them how to draw anywhere from 6-10 apples. Any more and I suspected their apples would be the size of quarters. overlapping was encouraged, as well. Inside each apple, I drew a "C" with the stem inside. Using letters of the alphabet as references seems to always help them out, because they have just recently gained a lot of confidence in writing their letters.
I showed them how to blend oil pastels to make their apples look realistic. They have been talking about the color wheel a lot, so I told them it was okay to overlap colors next to each other to blend. So, we outlined the apple in red and worked our way in with orange and yellow.
A little girl asked me if she could use blue oil pastel in the spaces between the apples to look water. I thought it looked really good and added a nice pop of color, so after that day, it was encouraged!
For first grade, I was really impressed. I would have been impressed if third grade had done this well! It is hard to get them to stay neat and keep from smudging, but imperfections can make it look even more perfect sometimes.
I also showed them pictures of Cezanne's apples during the project to see how he used colors to shade his apples.