Johnny Appleseed, whose real name was John Chapman, was born on September 26, 1774, and became one of America’s most beloved folk heroes. He is remembered for spending 40 years of his life walking throughout the Ohio river region, wearing a tin cooking pot on his head and old clothes, as he planted apple seeds and tended apple orchards. He is also remembered for being kind to all creatures, including animals and insects.
Give each child a large craft stick and a 1/2" x 2" strip of aluminum foil.
Show your children how to wrap the foil strip around the top of their craft stick, then twist the two ends together to make a "handle". Hopefully, this will resemble a cooking pot on the head of their stick puppet.
Set out markers for your children to use to make a face below the hat.
Next, set out old scraps of fabric to glue onto the sticks for clothing.
Let children use their stick puppets to tell stories about how Johnny planted apple orchards and cared for living creatures.
HOW MANY APPLE SEEDS (Predicting, Counting)

Do all apples have the same number of seeds inside? To find out, try this with your group. Set out several apples of different varieties. Choose one of the apples and ask your children to guess how many seeds they think might be inside. Then cut the apple in half and count the seeds together. Did anyone guess correctly? If not, which guess was closest? Follow the same steps with the other apples. Lead the children to understand that all apples do not have the same number of seeds. (When you have finished, save the apple halves and seeds to use for other activities in this unit.)

Make a bright red “paint” by stirring red food coloring into condensed milk (not evaporated milk). Give your children thin, uncoated white paper plates. Invite them to brush the back of their plates with the red paint to create apple halves. Let the paint dry for a few hours or overnight. Then have the children glue a few apple seeds in the center of the opposite side of their plates. If desired, help the children glue or tape construction paper leaves and stems to the top of their apple halves.

Talk with your children about how trees grow from seeds. Give each child a piece of construction paper with an apple seed glued or attached with transparent tape near the center. Show the child how to use a crayon or marker to draw a line across the paper just above the seed to represent the top of the soil the seed is planted in Then invite the child to draw roots growing down from the seed and an apple tree growing up from it. Display the finished pictures on a wall or bulletin board.

Tune: “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

Here comes Johnny Appleseed,
Appleseed, Appleseed,
Here comes Johnny Appleseed,
Walking all around.
See him plant his apple seeds,
Apple seeds, apple seeds,
See him plant his apple seeds
Deep down in the ground.

When his seeds grow into trees,
Into trees, into trees,
When his seeds grow into trees,
Standing oh, so high,
Watch him pick some apples red,
Apples red, apples red,
Watch him pick some apples red
As he goes walking by.
            Liz Ryerson
Let one child at a time pretend to be Johnny Appleseed and act out the song as you sing.


To honor Johnny Appleseed, use a favorite recipe to make an apple pie with your children. (Or purchase a pie from a bakery.) Before serving, add a few candles to blow out together and sing “Happy Birthday” to Johnny.