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HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

September 26

John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, was born in 1775.

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John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, was born in 1775.

Grades 3 – 8
Calendar Activity Type Historical Figure & Event





Did you know that Johnny Appleseed was a nickname given to John Chapman? There are many nice folktales written about him, but we have no proof that these things really happened. One thing that is true about John Chapman is that he planted apple trees!




As you share the details of John Chapman's life and his travels, use the Timeline Tool to organize the details that you find in the books and websites that you check. As you work through the details, ask students to look for details that are fact and those that are exaggeration. If desired, use the Venn Diagram tool or Mobile App to organize the information (especially if you are using the stories of Johnny Appleseed as part of a tall tales unit). As extensions, you might track Chapman's journeys on your classroom map or have students use the Theme Poems Interactive to create poems about apples or about Johnny Appleseed. For additional help, see the more tips about Theme Poems and the more tips on the Timeline Tool.



  • Johnny Appleseed Was Born

    From the Library of Congress America's Story from America's Library, this site provides a short biography of John Chapman in the context of other historical events.

  • Apples and More

    This University of Illinois Extension site includes links to apple facts, recipes, history and legend, and educational material.

  • The Story of Johnny Appleseed

    Second graders from Austin, Texas contributed the writings and drawings about Johnny Appleseed found on this webpage.


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Grade   K  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Writing Reports in Kindergarten? Yes!

This lesson encourages young students to see themselves as writers with a message to convey. Three types of reports are provided to show what kindergartners and emergent writers can do.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Thundering Tall Tales: Using Read-Aloud as a Springboard to Writing

Imagination and application are key to this tall tale lesson in which students take what they know about tall tales to spin a yarn of their own.


Grades   3 – 6  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

American Folklore: A Jigsaw Character Study

Groups of students read and discuss American folklore stories, each group reading a different story. Using a jigsaw strategy, the groups compare character traits and main plot points of the stories. A diverse selection of American folk tales is used for this lesson, which is adaptable to any text set.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Theme Poems: Writing Extraordinary Poems About Ordinary Objects

Students select a familiar object online, build a bank of words related to the object, and write theme poems that are printed and displayed in class.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Sequencing: A Strategy to Succeed at Reading Comprehension

Did Paul Bunyan gouge out the Grand Canyon before or after he dug the Great Lakes? Students create a life-sized timeline showing the sequence of events in this tall tale.