The Apple Dumpling Lesson Plan: Theme of Giving and Sequence of Events

Teaching the Theme of Giving while Learning the Sequence of Events
Stories to Grow by
Part 1

Looking for a great story to reinforce a theme of Giving that aligns with the upcoming winter holidays, while also teaching a vital story analysis skill? For Elementary students we have two wonderful stories that explore the theme of Giving while also teaching plot sequence.

This week’s Giving story is The Apple Dumpling from England:
While seeming to be motivated to trade her basket of plums for some apples so she can bake an apple dumpling for dinner that night, the main character freely offers what she can to a sequence of characters she meets along the way. In the end, her selflessness leads the main character to a grateful owner of an apple tree, an old man who is happy to provide our main character with all the apples she wants. A positive message while teaching an important literary skill: this is what you will find in all the Stories to Grow by Stories and accompanying Reader’s Theater scripts.

The content of this tale prompts skill-building for the Common Core Standards CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3,2.3,3.3:

Objective: Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
Anticipatory Set: Draw a picture of a time when you traded something with someone else. Write two sentences about what you gave for the trade and what you received in return. Pair and Share.
Activities: Students will read the story, The Apple Dumpling 10mins. While reading, discuss each “trade”, what the old woman is giving and what she receives in return. Once finished the story, have the class create a story map of the various events that took place and how they lead the women to her next trade/plot event. What challenges did she face and how did she overcome them? After the class activity, have students use the Sequence of Events and Beginning, Middle, Ending Sheets to reinforce objective.
Closing: Have students create and write their own trade/ending of what they would have wanted from the old woman if they had apples to give her.