The Apple Man Lesson Plan

Academic Standards


Reading Objective:

Children will understand the story of Johnny Appleseed.


Social Studies Focus:



ELA Skills:

key details, vocabulary, character traits


Page 4 Skill:

read a bar graph



seedlings, generous, admired



RI.2.1 key details; RI.2.2 identify the main topic; RI.2.4 determine meanings of words; RI.2.5 use text features; RI.2.10 read informational texts; RF.2.3 phonics and word analysis; SL.2.1 collaborative conversations; SL.2.3 ask and answer questions; W.2.8 write to answer questions

Guided Reading Level:



Lexile level: 


Provide students with some background on Johnny Appleseed.


Build background knowledge (10 min.)

Watch our video “The Life of Johnny Appleseed.” After children have finished watching the video, discuss the following question:

  • What is one thing you learned about Johnny Appleseed?


Preview vocabulary (3 min.)

Next, play the online vocabulary slideshow. This issue’s featured terms are seedlings, generous, and admired..

Set a purpose for reading (5 min.)

  • Pass out the issue, and discuss the cover. Have children ever heard of Johnny Appleseed? That was his nickname! His real name was John Chapman.
  • Next, read the As You Read prompt on page 2: “Think about why people still tell stories about John Chapman today.” Encourage children to think about this prompt as they read.

Read together (20 min.)

Pass out the Read and Think printable. Use it to check comprehension as you read the issue together, pausing to ask the questions. 

Assessment: Reading Quiz

Pass out the Reading Quiz to review key concepts from the issue and assess students’ proficiency on key nonfiction reading skills.

The “Apple Word Families” game is a fun way to reinforce phonics skills.

You can use our printable worksheets to focus on important SEL and ELA skills. Here's how.

ELA Focus: Vocabulary (15 min.)

  • Use the Word Work printable to deepen students’ understanding of the words seedlings, generous, and admired..

Editor’s Pick: Social Awareness/Responsible Decision Making (15 min.)

  • The Take Care skill sheet asks children to write about how Johnny Appleseed cared for Earth and the community. Children then write about how they can care for Earth and the community as well.

ELA Focus: Character Traits (15 min.)

You can find a higher-Lexile-level and a lower-Lexile-level version of the article online here:

  • Higher Lexile level: 580L
  • Lower Lexile level: 430L