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Beginning of School Theme



I am teaching my first year of 1st grade starting in August. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas about beginning of the school year themes. Let me know.


Junior Member
1st grade idea

We're "Ant"icipating a Great Year! Have a picnic theme with ants that the kids make out of egg cartons. Kids will paint the 3 cartons black and put small little antennas made of pipe cleaners through the holes that were precut with a hold punch. Then have each ant carrying away from the "picnic" tablecloth an apple with each students name on them. My bb turned out SO adorable this last Sept!! If you want or need more detail to this, let me know!



Senior Member
Petunia in Kansas

Read Kissing Hand and do activities to go along with it the first week. I have Chester the Raccoon sack puppet pattern, if you want it send me an e mail address that I can attach to and I will share. Tell me Kissing Hand and Apples..... Here are some apple ideas. These are not my ideas but my collection gathered here and there. At the end of the unit have all the students who want bring something to eat with apples and an apple recipe. We make recipe books for Christmas gifts. Our high school computer class types the recipes as a class assignment. Take a digital class picture and put it in your book.
A is for Apple....Tear pieces of red paper and glue on apple shape ---trace and cut out hand print for the leaf.......Small sack apple. Fill a small paper sack with wadded up newspaper, tie shut paint top green (the stem), paint the bottom red (the apple) add a green leap---add poem This little apple that you see here was made just for you. You’ll never find another like it in all this great land, because For the leaf I used my own little hand…...Apple Maze at www.abcteach.com/Mazes/applemaze.htm .....Five Red Apples! Felt Board story. At www.preschoolprintables.com/felt/apples/feltapplebw.shtml ...Read story "Johnny Appleseed" Story at www.virginiaapples.org/kids/appleseed.html also find word search, dot to dot and apple activities, On an United States map plot the travels of Johnny Appleseed .....Make Apple Snow, 12 oz (1 1/2 cups) apple juice, 1 Tablespoon honey, 3 cups crushed ice. Blend all together in a blender to the consistency of snow. Serve immediately. Serves 2.....How many words can you make from Apples ---A, Apple, Al, Ape, Pa, Lap, Leap, Sea, Sap.....Have an apple tasting party and make a graph showing how many students like each kind of apple.....Make an Apple Glyph….Show students that apples have 2 seed patterns inside according to how you cut it. Cut an apple from top to bottom, to reveal the oval pattern in the center. Cut another apple from side to side to reveal the star shaped pattern…… have students bring their favorite apple recipe and make apple class cookbooks --- Christmas gifts for parents. Add a few extra to make it extra special…. Cute apple with accordion arms and legs, pattern at www.dltk-teach.com/t/alphabuddies/bawsomeapple.htm. Crock Pot Applesauce. 8-10 med size apples, peel, core and dice. ½ cup water, 1 cup sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Combine apples and water in the slow-cooking pot. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours until apples are very soft. Add sugar and cook on low for another 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Note: Apples will be slightly chunky. APPLE DIP, Mix some peanut butter and vanilla yogurt together. With the yogurt mixed with the peanut butter, the peanut butter is not as sticky. Another apple maze: www.bry-backmanor.orgg/act pag157.html Apple math ideas: Mrs. Bee’s Classroom. She has several apple glyph ideas, fraction ideas at www.http://dcrafts.com/appmath.htm Make a tree and make red thumb print apples on it. Field trip. Visit an apple orchard….Match lower case letter worms to capital letter apples….Match colored apples to color words….Read Apple Man’s Secret by Jean Warren at www.htt://tech.dcboces.org/~oneill/applemanstory.html Apple Man’s Secret by Jean Warren Sarah loved having Grandma come to visit. They always had fun making things together. Today Sarah helped Grandma pick apples from the old apple tree. Then together they made two large apple pies and ten small jars of applesauce. When they were done, they had one large apple left. “I know,” said Grandma. “Let’s make an Apple Man.” Grandma took some whole cloves and some toothpicks from her cupboard. She showed Sarah how to stick the cloves into the apple to make two eyes, a nose and a mouth. Then she showed Sarah how to stick toothpicks into the apple to make arms for the Apple Man. Sarah was delighted with her new apple friend. They played together for the rest of the day. Sarah even took Apple Man upstairs with her when she went to bed. And before she fell asleep she shared a secret with her apple friend. “I have a new baby brother.” Sarah whispered to Apple Man. “His name is Andrew, and my parents are bringing him home from the hospital tomorrow.” In the morning Sarah told Grandma about sharing the secret with Apple Man. “You know what?” said Grandma. “Apple Man has a secret, too. He has a secret inside of him that he would like to share with you.” Sarah loved secrets What could it be, she wondered. Grandma cut Apple Man in half, right across the middle. And there inside was Apple Man’s secret - a beautiful little star! “Oh, “cried Sarah, what a wonderful surprise! Thank you, Apple Man, for sharing your secret with me. I wish I could share it with Baby Andrew.” “I know, “said Grandma. “Let’s make a star picture for Andrew’s room>” Grandma found a large sheet of paper and some paints. Next, she put a sponge on a small plate and put some paint on the sponge. Then she showed Sarah how to dip half the apple on the paper to create a beautiful star print. Sarah printed stars all over the paper. Her picture was finished by the time her parents arrived home with Baby Andrew. Sarah loved her new brother. “Someday,” she thought, “I’m going to make an Apple Man for Andrew. And someday, just like Grandma told me, I’m going to tell him about Apple Man’s secret.” …….Apples are awesome, healthy, tasty, juicy, crunchy and munchy.
A Realistic Apple Tree Bulletin Board
Make the tree trunk by cutting up brown paper bags and wrinkling them up and shape it by stapling it to the bulletin board. Then cut out paper apples and staple them on tree branches. Write your children's names on the apples.
Little Red House Fable
Once there was a little boy who came to visit his grandparents in a Norway. Well, the small child gets bored as their is not a lot of excitement in Norway. The boy asks his grandma what he can do. She said to go out in the town and find a round, red house that has no doors, no windows and has a star inside

The little boy ponders the idea but can not figure out what he is supposed to find. She decides to go ask farmer John from next door, as he seems fairly smart. She ask farmer Scott but he can't figure it out but he has an ideal.

He says, See that apple tree in my front yard, go sit under it and think lots of great ideas have come under an apple tree. So the little boy goes, sits under the tree and is about to fall asleep when out of no where a huge puff of wind comes. The tree began to sway and an apple fell out of the tree landing right next to the boy.
The boy picks up the apple looks at it, and suddenly it hits him; An apple is round, red, has not windows, no doors, but wait is there a star inside. He runs to his Grandpa and asks him to cut the apple in half and sure enough, there is a star insider the apple (at this point cut an apple in half and show the star)
September is considered an apple themed month, how about a lesson with apples?
Have the children predict what liquid keeps sliced apples from turning brown. lemon juice
grape juice
plain water
slice apples and then brush the different liquids on them, have the children predict then observe what happens over the course of the morning.

georgia peach

New Member

I always start my year off with a Names unit. Students recognize their names and there is so much to do with them. Read "Chrysanthemum", graph number of letters, and SOOO much more. Search for Names Units and you'll find there is a lot to do. It is also a great way to introduce beginning sounds and learn everyone's names. Let me know if you want more ideas!


Junior Member

Starting the year simply with ABC activities makes it simple and familiar - Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom is always an old favorite of first graders and there are a million different lessons and activities for ways to integrate it across the curriculum...

Brown Bear Brown Bear is also a nice early book to integrate thematically. I have tied this book into the Name idea above... and the I make a class book with kids names and photos... and the kids make a self portrait page for themselves to add to a class book or bulletin board.

I also have a 3 ring binder book with photos of the staff that kids need to get to know... it is called Children Children Who Do You See?

Each page is setup with "I see Mr./Mrs. Blank looking at me" at the top, the photo of that staff member in the middle and then "Mr/Mrs. Blank, Mr./Mrs. Blank Who Do you see?" at the bottom."

That way, I can remove or add staff without the text interfering with the following page. Each person's name is only on that one page. If that is too confusing to understand, I can email someone an example.

good luck!


raccoon sack puppet

I would love to get a copy of your racoon sack puppet pattern.



I would love a copy of your racoon sock puppet.
mibatson@aol.com I have many other beginning of year activities I would be happy to share. email me!