Friday is Johnny Appleseed Day. Teaching about him when I taught second graders was always fun. And, when I lived in Green Bay, WI, going to apple orchards with friends and family was always a highlight of the Fall.

What if we used all 8 smarts to learn about Johnny Appleseed and apples over the next few weeks? It might look something like this. I hope these ideas stimulate some of your own.

Familiarize your children with the folk hero, Johnny Appleseed, by reading about him, having them read about him, watching a video, or going to a few websites. (word and logic smart)

Have your children act out different parts of his story. They can do it several times and take different roles. They could write an actual script (word smart) or just be spontaneous, demonstrating what they learned when reading the story, etc. (word, body, and people smart) They could take the time to create some props and drawings for the backdrop and think about what they could wear. (picture smart)

Your children could paint with half- and quarter-apples as if they’re stamps. They can dip the apples into paint or use stamp pads. (picture and body smart)

Depending on the age of your children, they could independently research applesauce or do it with your help. They could find out how it’s made at big factories. They could also find a good recipe and make some at home. Especially if you and your children enjoy apple cider, you could research it, too. (word, logic, body, people smart)

Add raisins to applesauce for a snack and have your kids write a story about the animals swimming in the pond or stuck in the swamp. (word and picture smart)

You could make and enjoy one of my favorite appetizer recipes. Some people have even used it as a dessert. Just mix 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1 cup plain yogurt, and ½ cup thawed frozen orange juice concentrate. Beat in a small mixing bowl or just stir well until it’s all smooth and fluffy. Cover and chill. Serve with apple slices (and celery and bananas, too, if you want to). Yum! (word, logic, body, people)

Slice up several different apples for family members or students to taste. Tally results for their favorite and least favorite and crate bar graphs and pie charts of the results. You could also ask whether the color of the apple (red, green, or yellow) influences people’s opinions. (I wonder if my favorite, Honey Crisp, will come in first.) (logic smart)

Are there any songs about apples the children could learn? What kind of music might Johnny Appleseed have enjoyed? (music smart)

Research why apples are grown in certain places. How much of it is due to climate? How relevant is the soil type? (nature and logic smart)

Some children may want to find out why apples turn brown after you cut them open and ways to prevent this. (picture and logic smart)

Children could go off by themselves with an apple and write a poem, reflective piece, or song about their experience with the apple. Encourage them to include their thoughts and feelings. Ask them to write with rich adjectives to describe the sound, taste, and juice of the first bite. How did they feel when they got to the last bite? (self, music, and word smart)

You could research how the crab apple got its name. How long have crabby people been told, “You’re such a crab apple!” Is this saying dying out? Children could survey people of different ages to ask questions like, “Have you heard the phrase?” “Have you used the phrase?” “What do you think it means?” (word and logic smart)

You could discuss what David might have meant when talking about God, as recorded in Psalm 17:8a. “Keep me as the apple of your eye.” (people, self, and word smart)

Oh, my! I hope this list is helpful. Once I got going, the ideas kept coming. I don’t know about you, but I’m now in the mood to eat an apple. Are you?