Celebrate Food Day at your School!

  • Read apple facts over the intercom during morning announcements.  (Click Here for Apple Facts)

  • Invite a local farmer to your school to participate in the event! Have them read a story, answer questions or talk to older students about how their food is grown.

  • Hold an food/apple themed art contest.

  • Encourage teachers to use the food-based lesson plans below to connect Food Day to the classroom.

  • Set up an Apple Crunch photo booth—all you will need is a blank wall, phone or digital camera, and some apples (real or plastic). Appoint a parent, teacher, student or community member to capture all the action, both in and out of the booth!

Lesson Plans

Below are lesson plans gathered from the National Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Center.

A Is For Apples, Grade Level: K-2

Students will use the five senses to investigate apples, identify and model the parts of an apple, make applesauce, and learn how apples are grown.

Book Recommendations

Apples, by Gail Gibbons: This book teaches all about apples. Students will learn how and when apples were brought to America, about Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), where apples grow, names of basic varieties of apples, the parts of an apple, about pollination of apple blossoms, the lifecycle of the apple tree, and the many culinary uses for apples.

Up, Up, Up! It’s Apple-Picking Time, by Jody Fickes Shapiro: Read the story of Myles and Amber as they wake up early to visit Grandma and Grandpa’s California apple orchard. They pick apples all day long, make apple cider, and snack on fresh apple pie. Before they know it, apple-picking time is over and apple-selling time has begun. This warmhearted story brings three generations of a family together to celebrate and share in the working of a fall harvest.

How Do Apples Grow?, by Betsy Maestro: This book is a part of the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series, and it clearly illustrates how fruit comes from flowers. Colorful illustrations show the male and female parts of the apple flowers up close, and the role that bees play in pollinating apple flowers is explained in simple language. The book follows apple trees through all four seasons, from the closed buds of winter to the ripe apples of fall.

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Freshest Fruits, Grade Level: K-2

Students will learn about where fruits grow and their nutritional value by completing an activity to observe the size, shape, texture, and seeds of various fruits.

Apples for Everyone, by Jill Esbaum: This picture book comes from National Geographic’s Picture the Seasons series. Beautiful photographs illustrate apple trees in bloom, bees visiting apple flowers, a variety of apples, and apple trees heavy with fruit in the fall.

The Fruits We Eat, by Gail Gibbons: This book teaches accurate science about fruits and the production of fruits. It is a book of facts, examples, and illustrations. Facts taught include: How fruits are included in a healthy diet, different ways fruits are eaten, types of plants that grow fruit (tree, bush, vine, etc.), parts of a fruit, colors of fruit, and sweet fruits vs. tart fruits. The illustrations are very detailed and include many diagrams.

Plants Feed Me, by Lizzy Rockwell: Plants Feed Me is an early elementary, non-fiction picture book about the plant foods we eat. This book describes which parts of plants are edible in simple accessible language using botanically realistic illustrations. Basic botanical science concepts of seed, sprout, flower, fruit, and plant structure are introduced with words and pictures.

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Apple Science, Grade Level: 3-5

Students will explore heredity concepts by comparing observable traits of apples and onions, collecting data on the traits of different apple varieties, and learning about apple production. Additional activities include hands-on methods for testing apple ripeness.

Book Recommendations

An Apple Tree Through the Year, by Claudia Schnieper: While tracing the development of an apple tree from bud to fruit, Schnieper highlights the progress of an apple tree through the four seasons. The book provides an overview of life in an orchard. Beautiful full-color photos and black-and-white line drawings highlight and elucidate the text. An excellent explanation of grafting is also included.

In the Garden with Dr. Carver, by Susan Grigsby: Sally is a young girl living in rural Alabama in the early 1900s, a time when people were struggling to grow food in soil that had been depleted by years of cotton production. One day, Dr. George Washington Carver shows up to help. He teaches them how to restore the soil nutrients. He even prepares a delicious lunch made of plants, including “chicken” made from peanuts. Susan Grigsby’s warm story shines new light on an African American scientist who was ahead of his time.

Johnny Appleseed, by Steven Kellogg: John Chapman—better known as Johnny Appleseed—had wilderness adventures that became larger-than-life legends. Pioneering west from Massachusetts after the American Revolution, John cleared land and planted orchards for the settlers who followed, leaving apple trees and tall tales in his wake. In this glorious picture book retelling, Steven Kellogg brings one of America’s favorite heroes—and the stories that surrounded him—to life.

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Where Does It Come From?, Grade Level: 3-5

Students will explore the connection between geography, climate, and the type of agriculture in an area by reading background information and census data about the agricultural commodities beef, potatoes, apples, wheat, corn, and milk.

Book Recommendations

First Apple, by Ching Yeung Russell: In this autobiographical novel set in the 1940s, the author tells of her youth in China and her dream to buy a special gift for her grandmother’s birthday–an apple, a fruit that is precious and rare in her part of mainland China. The child’s voice and the intensity of her desire to do something for her grandmother, who has raised her from early childhood, are very real. This first novel by a Chinese immigrant is poignant, memorable, and presented in a format that is accessible to readers at the chapter book level and beyond.

Lunchbox: The Story of Your Food, by Chris Butterworth, Lucia Gaggiotti (Illustrator): Lunchbox: The Story of Your Food is a fun and informative look at a variety of foods that young children will be familiar with, following their journey from the source through to the final stages before appearing on the supermarket shelves. The book focuses on seven common items: bread, cheese, tomatoes, apple, carrot, chocolate chips (in choc chip biscuits) and clementines (a type of mandarin).

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Apple Genetics, Grade Level: 6-8

Students learn about apple genetics related to production through a hands-on activity exploring the characteristics of apple varieties. Students will apply their knowledge of heredity and genetics to discover how new varieties of apples are developed through cross-breeding techniques.

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FoodMASTER Middle: Fruits, Grade Level: 6-8

Students will learn the concept of enzymatic browning and methods for decreasing enzymatic oxidation by observing three types of fruit. Students will also understand the relationship between oxidation and antioxidants and the role fruits play in health and nutrition.

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Apples 4 Ed Program

Implement a healthy snacking program that will support your students in a creative and relevant way. The U.S. Apple Association, in partnership with the School Nutrition Association and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, will fund five healthy snacking initiatives on school campuses across the United States.

Learn More