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15 Fun Ways To Celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day


Many of us know the famous tale of how Johnny Appleseed spent his life sharing his love of apples throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions of North America. Contrary to popular belief, he really was an actual person! John Chapman, better known by his nickname Johnny Appleseed, was born on September 26, 1774, in Leominster, Massachusetts. He was a friend to all animals, a true nature lover, and a tree-hugging pioneer. Share these books, activities, and videos with your students to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day this September.

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

Books To Read for Johnny Appleseed Day

1. Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg

Amazon

Start your unit by reading aloud Steven Kellogg’s enchanted take on Johnny Appleseed’s storied life. The illustrations alone are mesmerizing.

Buy it: Johnny Appleseed at Amazon

2. Johnny Appleseed by Jodie Shepherd

Amazon

This simple story will captivate young readers while providing a nice introduction to the apple man. The illustrations are just as sweet.

Buy it: Johnny Appleseed at Amazon

3. Who Was Johnny Appleseed? by Joan Holub

Cover of Johnny Appleseed book by Holub with an illustration of Johnny wearing a cooking pot on his head and surrounded by apple trees.

Amazon

Second graders and upper elementary students will love this deeper dive into Johnny’s life from the beloved Who HQ Series.

​​Buy it: Who Was Johnny Appleseed? at Amazon

4. Johnny Appleseed by Reeve Lindbergh

Cover of Johnny Appleseed book by Lindbergh featuring an illustration of Johnny walking through a small town with trees.

Amazon

This ode to Johnny captures the time period of his life through poetry and folk art.

Buy it: Johnny Appleseed at Amazon

5. Apples by Gail Gibbons

Cover of Apples by Gail Gibbons picture book with two red apples, one yellow apple, and one green apple, in front of a wooden fence.

Amazon

Celebrate by learning more about Johnny Appleseed’s favorite fruit. This nonfiction book explains how to grow and pick apples, their history, the farm-to-table process, holiday traditions, and more.

Buy it: Apples at Amazon

6. How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro

Cover of the book How Apples Grow by Maestro featuring four red apples, one green apple, and one yellow apple in a wooden bowl.

Amazon

Take a closer peek at the apple as it transforms from a seed to flower to the fruit that we love to eat!

Buy it: How Do Apples Grow? at Amazon

Activities and Lessons for Johnny Appleseed Day

7. Incorporate fun literacy activities during your ELA block

ELA activities about Johnny Appleseed including various worksheets and an illustration of Johnny.

This Reading Mama/Literacy Activities via thisreadingmama.com

After reading some of the aforementioned books, celebrate with this awesome freebie of literacy activities.

Learn more: This Reading Mama

8. Use higher-level ELA activities with grades 3-5

Johnny Appleseed themed literacy activities for grades 3-5 with timelines and writing project samples.

Teaching Tidbits/ELA Activities 3-5 via teachingtidbitsandmorewithjamie.com

Check out this bundle for a timeline activity, writing activity, and more for big kids.

Learn more: Teaching Tidbits With Jamie

9. Conduct apple science experiments

Apple erupting like volcanos as an example of science experiments for Johnny Appleseed Day

Frogs, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails/Apple volcanoes via frogsandsnailsandpuppydogtail.com

Incorporate apples into your science lessons. These experiments will take you through the whole season while encouraging your second graders to think like scientists.

Learn more: The Best Apple Science Activities for Grades PreK-2

10. Do a taste-testing experiment

Apple taste test experiment sheets, including a form to record and rate each apple tasted.

Garden Pea Designs/Apple Taste Test via teacherspayteachers.com

Your students will use their five senses while discovering which variety of apples they like best. Doing a taste test may even instill some new healthy eating habits!

Learn more: Garden Pea Designs at TpT

11. Practice informational writing skills

Johnny Appleseed ELA writing activity with a knapsack shaped cutout for writing about Johnny and what is in his knapsack.

Around the Kampfire/Knapsack activity via aroundthekampfire.com

This unit has graphic organizers to help students brainstorm facts they have learned, while also focusing on descriptive writing. Guessing what was in Johnny’s knapsack is just one of the fun highlights.

Learn more: Around the Kampfire

12. Make a lapbook

Johnny Appleseed lapbook with an apple tree, sun, sack of apples, and Johnny cut out on a file folder.

Keeping Up With Mrs. Harris/ Lapbook via teacherspayteachers.com

Lapbooks are another creative outlet for kids to show off their knowledge. This one is perfect for grades 1-3. It’s also a cute keepsake for end-of-year student portfolios.

Learn more: Keeping Up With Mrs. Harris at TpT

13. Explore the National Apple Museum in person or virtually

National Apple Museum building situated in an old farmhouse style building.

National Apple Museum

The National Apple Museum in Biglerville, Pennsylvania, would make Johnny proud. Take a field trip if you and your students can; otherwise, check out their website for blogs, podcasts, and more!

Learn more: The National Apple Museum

14. Design a 3D paper apple tree

Apple tree craft made out of green construction paper rings, red pom poms, and brown paper for the trunk with a blue sky background and green grass.

I Heart Crafty Things/3D Paper Apple Tree via iheartcraftythings.com

This adorable craft requires little prep work but has lots of room for creativity. This is also a great outlet for kids to practice using fine motor skills.

Learn more: iHeartCraftyThings

15. Create a pom-pom apple core

Apple core pom pom plate craft with red pompoms in a circle and white pom poms in the middle of it, black paper for seeds, and a green pom pom stem.

Non-Toy Gifts/Paper Plate Pom-Pom Core Apple Craft via nontoygifts.com

Johnny Appleseed Day is a perfect time for this fun and fuzzy little craft. Plus, everyone loves pom-poms!

Learn more: Non-Toy Gifts

16. Make a festive hat

Paper version of a cooking pot with an apple on the side.

Simply Kinder/ Johnny Appleseed Hat via simplykinder.com

Rumor has it that Johnny wore a cooking pot on top of his head as a cap. Make your own paper version of his famous headgear.

Learn more: Simply Kinder

Watch Videos To Celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day

17. Shelley Duvall’s Tall Tales & Legends: Johnny Appleseed

Martin Short starring as Johnny Appleseed in a feature film.

Amazon

This is a must-see for kids of all ages. It is hilarious and features an all-star cast. Martin Short, Molly Ringwald, and Rob Reiner help make this film memorable while providing a lighthearted view of how Johnny found his true calling.

Buy it: Shelley Duvall’s Tall Tales & Legends: Johnny Appleseed at Amazon

18. The Legend of Johnny Appleseed by Disney Films

Johnny is one of the famous folk heroes featured in Disney’s American Legends film, along with others. Buy the whole thing on Amazon, or stream the Appleseed segment on YouTube for free.

19. Who Was Johnny Appleseed? Educational Facts for Kids

Kids will enjoy this short video from the folks at Hey! Guess What? The team of two elementary students and their puppet friend provide fun facts.

20. Brainpop Jr. Presents: Johnny Appleseed

Two of our favorites, Annie and Moby, present interesting tidbits that will grab kids’ attention.

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