Lynn Handshy
AppleThis is Lynn Handshy. Lynn teaches first grade at Tularcitos Elementary School in Carmel Valley, California. She has written about the major activities and projects of her classroom. We feature those projects here on Leslie's website.

Apple Critters and Fritters

By Lynn Handshy

Apple Critters

Apple lore pervades American culture. We teachers perpetuate the tradition each year in our classrooms as certainly as apples ripen on trees. In my 1st grade classroom the late summer crop coincides with the beginning of school and the formation of new relationships and the inevitable exploration of feelings. What better way for children to identify feelings than to have them create an apple critter with attitude. Here's how we do it:

What you need:

* One apple for each child and one for you to use for demonstration.
* Potato peelers (or paring knives for adult helpers to use)
* 1 plastic knife for each child
* 2 pipe cleaners for each child
* 2 2X4" pieces of white construction paper each
* 4 toothpicks each
* Glue
* 1 bottle lemon juice

What you do:
1. Begin peeling about 1 inch from the top of the apple. Peel the apple leaving the stem and top portion of skin.
Apple and Peeler
2. (Adult) Slice the bottom "1" off the apple to make a flat base (cut the slice into half and save to use for fritters). Apple sliced
3. Have children carve faces into apple with plastic knives jack-o-lantern style (spoons work too). The face must express a feeling; happy, mad, scared, etc. Apple Scared
4. Have each child brush lemon juice on the apple. I use a paintbrush dipped into a 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts water solution.

5. Fold the two pieces of paper in half and cut two pairs of mittens. Glue a pair (front and back) to the end of each pipe cleaner.

Apple Happy
6. Stick a pipe cleaner on each side of the apple critter's face and bend arms expressively. Insert the four toothpicks into the base for legs.

7. Have children write a label for their critter describing its feeling.

Apple Mad
Place the critters on a windowsill and watch the expression change as they dry.

Apple Fritters

(Sure to make your students smile)


1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg

Combine all ingredients in order and have children stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon. If 10 children each stir as they slowly count to 25 the batter will be perfectly blended and ready for the apple chunks to be dipped for frying.
Cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on fritters after frying.
*Adult supervision is required during the cooking steps ( next ):

1. Heat oil in an electric frying pan or electric fryer to 375 degrees.
2. Dip apple slices left from Critter making into batter and carefully drop into hot oil with a spoon. Fry approximately 5 pieces at a time until lightly brown.
3. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towel to cool.
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
5. Munch! Yummy! Now watch your "classroom critters" wear smiles.

Who said you can't teach an old apple new tricks! Have fun creating critters and munching fritters.

Until next month,

Happy Apple gif

Click the following links in turn to download the:

Apple Critters PDF page            Apple Fritters PDF page

More Apple Theme topics