This is a lovely excerpt from the book In the Child's World by Emilie Poulsson.



Though this talk is more upon the apple than upon fruits in general, it is better, for the sake of comparison, that the teacher should have, besides apples, a pear, peach, plum and grapes and other fruits, as convenient. The best illustrative object would be a small branch bearing both fruit and leaves. A colored picture of the apple blossom will also be needed.

Let the children first name the fruits as you hold them up one by one. Question regarding the colors. Let some of the children distinguish the fruits by touch alone, following this test with questions upon the shapes. Contrast the velvety skin of the peach with the smooth skin of the apple and pear.

Let other children name the fruits by the sense of smell, and others by the sense of taste, either now or later, during the games, or at lunch time. Take care that each of these exercises is profitable, requiring the child to discriminate by the one sense alone.


Where did the fruits come from? (If the children get beyond "the fruit stand" and give the general answer "from the trees," lead them to notice that each kind of fruit comes from its own kind of tree.)

Do you think it takes the apple tree a long time to get the apples ready? Indeed it does, a long, long time. Some of the older children who were in kindergarten last year may remember the apple blossoms we saw in the springtime. (Show picture of apple blossom.)

When the pretty pink and white petals dropped off the stem, there was a tiny, hard, green knob at the end of it, and all the spring and all the summer this little green knob grew and grew and grew. Finally, late in the summer or in autumn, the apple was full-grown and ripe. (A series of quick drawings, showing the gradual enlargement of the growing apple, will interest and impress the children, if done in a spirited manner. The first figures of the series could be drawn with green crayon and the later ones with green and yellow, or whatever would best represent the ripe apple which you have shown them.)

What helped the tree to make its apples? The earth and the air, the sunshine and the rain,—nothing can grow without them.

Of what use are fruits? They are very good to eat and very wholesome when ripe and fresh, or when nicely cooked. Insects, worms and birds make many a delicious feast upon them, and even the larger animals enjoy them, too, sometimes.

I was crossing a field the other day, with a lady, when two cows walked straight to her. "Oh, yes!" said the lady, "you want some apples, don't you?" Then she explained to me that she had once given these two cows some apples and that they had since come to her every time she crossed the field, evidently expecting to be treated to fruit.

What do you find inside the apple when you eat it? What in the pear? peach? plum? grape? (Let a child cut an apple in halves vertically, and another child cut a second apple horizontally, and do the same with two pears.) How many seeds in the apple? in the pear? Are the seeds of any use? Look at the apple seeds. What a shiny brown color they are and how small! Yet each seed, if planted and cared for rightly, would grow to be a tree some day—a tree with roots and trunk and branches and leaves, and with spring blossoms and autumn fruits.

Are they not useful and wonderful, then, these little brown seeds? Would you like to have a baby apple tree growing in the kindergarten? What shall we do, then? (It will be well to plant several, to ensure the desired result.)



The Sleeping Apple (From the German)
by Lizzie Willis, Kindergarten Magazine

High up in a tree, among the green leaves, hung a little apple with such rosy cheeks it looked as though it might be sleeping. A little child came near, and standing under its branches, she looked up and called to the apple : " O apple! Come to me; do come down to me! You do not need to sleep so long."

She called so long and begged so hard, but the apple did not waken; it did not move in its bed, but looked as though it was laughing at her in its sleep.

Then came the bright sun; high in the heavens he shone. "O Sun! lovely Sun!" said the child, "please waken the apple for me." The sun said: "O, yes; with pleasure I will." So he sent his bright beams straight in the face of the apple and kissed it kindly, but the apple did not move a bit.

Then there came a bird, and perched upon a bough of the tree and sang a beautiful song, but even that did not waken the sleeping apple. And what comes now! "I know," said the child, " he will not kiss the apple—and he cannot sing to it, he will try another way." Sure enough, the wind puffed out his cheeks and blew and blew, and shook the tree, and the little apple was so frightened that it awoke and jumped down from the tree and fell right in the apron of the little child. She was much surprised, and so glad that she said to him, "I thank you very much, Mr. Wind."

Wait and See
by Josephine Jarvis

A baby beech tree was growing by the side of its mother. It said to her one day,
"Mother, I wish I knew of what use I can be in the world. There is Neighbor Oak who throws down acorns for our master's pig to eat. Neighbor Birch gives him some smooth bark to make into a boat. Neighbor Spruce gives him gum to pour over the joinings of the boat to keep it from leaking, and all the others can help in some way; but what can I do?" "Wait and see," said the mother tree. So the little tree waited.

By and by some pretty flowers shaped like this (showing flower or a picture of some flowers resembling the blossoms of the beech) came upon the baby tree. Then the little tree was happy. "Oh!" it said, "now I see what good I can do. I can please our master by looking pretty."

When the blossoms fell off, the poor little tree felt badly. "O mother! "it said, "all my pretty flowers are gone, and now I cannot even look pretty any longer. What shall I do?" "Wait and see," said the mother tree. The little tree thought that waiting was a hard thing to do, but it said to itself, "Mother knows best, so I'll do what she says."

After a while some small green prickly things came where the flowers had been. These pleased the little tree as much as the flowers had done, and it was content to wait, and see if they were of any use except to look pretty.

Then the little green prickly things all turned brown and the baby beech tree thought they were not pretty any longer. "Oh, dear! mother," it said, "my little green prickly things have all turned brown, and now I cannot even look pretty any longer. What shall I do?" "Wait and see," said the mother tree. So the little tree waited.

The autumn had come, and the weather was beginning to be cold in the part of the country where the baby beech tree lived. One morning after a heavy frost, the baby beech tree found that its little brown prickly things had all fallen. "O mother!" it said, "there are my little prickly things on the ground, and now I am sure I shall never be of any use to anybody." "Do not be discouraged yet; wait and see," said the mother tree.

Just then the master's children came along. They had baskets in their hands, for they were going to pick up nuts in the woods. As they came under the baby beech, the eldest boy stopped. " O children ! See!" he cried, " here are the beech nuts on the ground. Mother likes them better than any other kind of nuts. Let us pick them all up and take them home to her."

As the children went away with the nuts, the mother tree said, "Now, my dear, you see what good you can do." " Yes mother," said the little tree. And ever after it was content, eren when it grew to be a big tree—as big as its mother.

Apple-Seed John
by Lydia Marie Child, St. Nicholas, June 1880

Poor Johnny was bended well-nigh double
With years of toil, and care, and trouble;
But his large old heart still felt the need
Of doing for others some kindly deed.

"But what can I do?" old Johnny said;
"I who work so hard for daily bread?
It takes heaps of money to do much good;
I am far too poor to do as I would."

The old man sat thinking deeply a while,
Then over his features gleamed a smile,
Then he clapped his hands with a boyish glee,
And said to himself, " There's a way for me!"

He worked, and he worked with might and main,
But no one knew the plan in his brain.
He took ripe apples in pay for chores,
And carefully cut from them all the cores.

He filled a bag full, then wandered away,
And no man saw him for many a day.
With knapsack over his shoulder slung,
He marched along, and whistled or sung.

He seemed to roam with no object in view,
Like one who had nothing on earth to do;
But, journeying thus o'er the prairies wide,
He paused now and then, and his bag untied.

With pointed cane deep holes he would bore,
And in ev'ry hole he placed a core;
Then covered them well, and left them there
In keeping of sunshine, rain and air.

Sometimes for days he waded through grass,
And saw not a living creature pass,
But often, when sinking to sleep in the dark,
He heard the owls hoot and the prairie dogs bark.

Sometimes an Indian of sturdy limb
Came striding along and walked with him;
And he who had food shared with the other,
As if he had met a hungry brother.

When the Indian saw how the bag was filled,
And looked at the holes the white man drilled,
He thought to himself 'twas a silly plan
To be planting seed for some future man.

Sometimes a log cabin came in view,
Where Johnny was sure to find jobs to do,
By which he gained stores of bread and meat,
And welcome rest for his weary feet.

He had full many a story to tell,
And goodly hymns that he sung rignt well;
He tossed up the babes, and joined the boys
In many a game full of fun and noise.

And he seemed so hearty, in work or play,
Men, women, and boys all urged him to stay;
But he always said, " I have something to do,
And I must go on to carry it through."

The boys, who were sure to follow him round,
Soon found what it was he put in the ground;
And so, as time passed and he traveled on,
Ev'ry one called him " Old Apple-seed John."

Whenever he'd used the whole of his store,
He went into cities and worked for more;
Then he marched back to the wilds again,
And planted seed on hill-side and plain.

In cities, some said the old man was crazy;
While others said he was only lazy;
But he took no notice of gibes and jeers,
He knew he was working for future years.

He knew that trees would soon abound
Where once a tree could not have been found:
That a flick'ring play of light and shade
Would dance and glimmer along the glade;

That blossoming sprays would form fair bowers,
And sprinkle the grass with rosy showers;
And the little seeds his hands had spread
Would become ripe apples when he was dead.

So he kept on traveling far and wide,
Till his old limbs failed him, and he died.
He said at the last, " 'Tis a comfort to feel
I've done good in the world, though not a great deal."

Weary travelers, journeying west,
In the shade of his trees find pleasant rest;
And they often start, with glad surprise,
At the rosy fruit that round them lies.

And if they inquire whence came such trees,
Where not a bough once swayed in the breeze,
The answer still conies, as they travel on,
"These trees were planted by Apple-seed John."


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