EVERY fall, children love collecting leaves, acorns, squash, and especially pumpkins to decorate hearths, mantels, and dining room tables.
It’s the perfect time of year to add seasonal flair to your writing lessons, too! Once your children have finished collecting bits of nature, encourage them to come inside, warm up rosy cheeks and fingers, and collect words for an apple-themed word bank.
Word lists (such as our popular fall-inspired word bank) can inspire young writers to create seasonal acrostic poems, stories based on outdoor field trips, or other pieces of descriptive writing. This week, help your kids appreciate the richness of autumn harvest time with a word bank of apple theme words. The one we’ve created below should help you get started:
Apple Theme Word Bank
Here’s a list of vocabulary words that focus on apple-picking, hay rides, and fall fun in the orchard! Let this word bank inspire your kids to write poems and stories.
autumn, harvest, farm, orchard, tree, leaves, bag, basket, bushel, crate, wheelbarrow, wagon, hay bale, horse, cart, ladder, barn, farmstand, farmer’s market, cider press, apple peeler
Gala, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Fuji, McIntosh, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Winesap, York, Pink Lady, Cortland, Crispin, Empire, Rome Beauty, Honey Crisp, crab apple
skin, peel, core, seeds, stem, slices, juicy, sweet, tart, sour, red, crimson, pink, blush, yellow, gold, green, firm, fresh, crisp, crunchy, soft, mushy, mealy, plump, ripe, round, shiny, smooth, bruised, polished
pie, turnover, tart, cobbler, strudel, crumble, caramel, cinnamon, muffins, apple cider, apple juice, applesauce, apple butter, apple chips, apple-cider vinegar
gather, pick, collect, climb, reach, grasp, peel, cut, slice, bake, simmer, mix, stir, heap, pile, press, scoop, dip
Make Your Own Word Bank
As a writing warm-up, your kids can build their own apple season word banks. This will not only stretch vocabularies and reinforce spelling skills, but also help overcome writer’s block.
Guide younger children to create a word bank collage:
- Gather glossy photos from fall magazines. (Cooking magazines are an excellent choice.)
- Set up a fun workspace with cardstock, scissors, and glue sticks.
- Choose a theme for each collage, such as “Apple Farm,” “Baking with Apples,” or “Apple Desserts.”
- As you children arrange their collages, help them write several words around each picture—at least one noun, one verb, and one adjective.
- Display these colorful word banks in a prominent place!
Apple-Themed Writing Days
If you feel inspired, why not spice up fall writing days with apple flavors and activities? The ideas are endless, but here are just a few:
Writing Activities Using the Apple Theme Word Bank
- Give each child an apple and ask them to describe its appearance, color, and texture. Next, have them take a bite and describe its aroma, flavor, and the texture of its flesh.
- Describe a real or imagined trip to an apple farm. What will you see and do?
- Explain the process of making an apple dessert from start to finish.
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- Let your kids celebrate the end of a writing project by bobbing for apples. If you’re feeling casual, try the old-fashioned method with apples floating in a tub of cold water. For a larger group, tie apples to strings and hang them from a patio cover. Be sure to take lots of pictures while your kids try to get their first bite—it’s harder than it sounds!
- Play a rousing game of Apples to Apples!
- Make Laurie’s caramel apples! For a quicker snack option, serve apple slices with a bowl of warm caramel sauce, and let the kiddos dip away.
- While the family enjoys tasty apple treats, take turns reading aloud the true story of Johnny Appleseed.
Daniella Dautrich is a WriteShop alumna and a graduate of Hillsdale College. She and her husband fill their home with books on writing, literature, and computer science. Daniella also blogs at www.waterlilywriter.com.