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McNeese State University

Department of Education Professions

Lesson Plan Template
Name Rebecca Tibbitts Email Phone (337)476-8920
Primary Subject Area Science Grade Level First Grade
Title of Lesson Life Cycle of an Apple Tree Approximate duration 45 minutes

Overview of Lesson
Students will learn to identify the different stages in the life cycle of an apple tree. This lesson will also contribute to the students understanding of
sequential cycles that exist in other areas of life.
Essential Question(s)
What is the order of the stages of an apple trees cycle?
What is a cycle?
What begins the cycle of an apple tree?
What is the sequence of the seasons?
Prior Knowledge Expected of Students
Prior to this exercise, students should be able to identify an apple, know that apples come from trees, be able to identify the sequence of single-digit
numbers, have a general knowledge of the sequence of the four major seasons, and have the ability to use colors, glue, and scissors.
Common Core Learning Standards

Educational Technology Standards

Additional Standards

Interdisciplinary Connections
Students will learn to make a connection between the four seasons and the cycle of an apple tree. They will also be able to make a connection
between the cycle of an apple tree and the cycle of other trees that produce fruit.
Student Outcomes

Lesson Procedures
Pre-Planned Seed
Time Step-by-Step Lesson Procedures with Embedded Coding
5-10 Set Up:
minutes 1. Draw a tree trunk on four different pieces of paper using a black marker. Label one of them
Winter, one Spring, one Summer, and one Fall.
2. Make a plan of how to divide students into four groups, one for each season.
30-40 1. Ask students what they already know about the human life cycle and write their answers down
minutes for the class to see. Have images prepared representing stages from infancy to old age.
2. Explain to students that trees have life cycles just like humans do. Ask students What do you
think the first stage of an apple trees life cycle is?
3. Let students look at an apple seed and explain to them that apple trees grow from apple seeds.
4. Show students how to squat low and then grow tall like an apple tree and then ask them to join
you. Explain that once a tree is big and tall (mature), it begins to grow fruit.
5. Ask students, What changes do you think happen to an apple tree in each season? Go over the
changes that happen during each season.
6. Show children the tree trunks that you prepared beforehand and explain to them that they will be
decorating the trunks for each season.
7. Divide the students into four season groups and give each group a trunk.
8. Have each group color the trunk and decorate the tree to represent the season they have been
Winter: Students can use black markers and brown crayons to show the bare branches of the
trunk. They can paint the branches with a watered-down mixture of white glue and water to create a
frosty, wintry look.
Spring: Students can dip their finger into green paint and make tiny leaf buds on the
branches. Once the paint dries, they can glue pieces of pink tissue paper to the tree to make blossoms.
Summer: Students can dip their hands in green paint and make handprints on the tree to
represent broad summer leaves.
Fall: Students can dip their hands in yellow or orange paint and make handprints on the tree
to represent changing autumn leaves. Once the paint dries, students can cut apples from red
construction paper and glue them onto the tree.
9. Let the students work together within their groups to write informative captions that go with each
10. Hang the trees and captions that the students made in or outside your classroom

Teacher Materials Student Materials Technology Resources References

Four pieces of craft paper Markers (optional) computer and
Black marker Apple seeds projector to display the
Chart paper Colorful Markers or images of the human life
Images of the human life crayons cycle
cycle Water
Green, yellow and orange
tempera paint
Pink tissue paper
Green and red construction
If students can understand that an apple tree has a life cycle, they can relate that to a life cycle of a different plant or animal. They can also identify
different changes that occur during the different seasons that we experience.
If students can understand that different processes happen in certain sequences, this can encourage them to explore other scenarios they encounter
that have cycles.
Exploration, Extensions, and Supplemental
Let the students see the first stages of an apple trees cycle first-hand by sprouting apple seeds in the classroom. Ask students to save apple seeds
from apples they eat and bring them to class. Give each student a few apple seeds, a re-sealable plastic bag (labeled with their name), and a paper
towel. Then walk students through the steps below.
1. Moisten the paper towel with water.
2. Fold the paper towel in half and put it inside the plastic bag.
3. Place the apple seeds inside the bag on top of the moistened paper towel.
4. Close the bag partially, leaving an opening for air to circulate inside.
5. Lay the bags on a tray.
Once students have completed their portion of the activity, take the tray of bags and place them in a refrigerator for six weeks. Explain that the
refrigerator is cold just like the cold winter that an apple tree uses to grow apples. Regularly allow students to view the bags within the six weeks to
see their progress. Periodically spray the paper towels so that they stay moist but not soggy.
As the seeds start to germinate, small roots and shoots will appear. Plant these sprouts one inch deep in paper cups filled with potting soil (each
labeled with a students name) and put them in a sunny spot.
Have students periodically keep the soil in their own cups moist. Cover the cups loosely with plastic wrap to keep in the moisture and help the
seedlings to survive on weekends.
Encourage the children to continue to observe the seeds growth and maintain an excitement as the seeds reach new stages of growth.
Assessment Criteria for Success
Student understanding will be displayed by students ability to answer questions about the life cycle and by observing each students input while
decorating their groups tree trunk. Students will have successfully understood the lesson if they can explain the sequence of an apple trees life cycle
as well as identify the season a tree is in by looking at a picture.
Accommodations and Access for All

Post-Lesson Reflection

Lesson Plan from