“Apples to Oregon” by Deborah Hopkinson (Interactive Story Map)

By Dylan Hite, Hanna Knouf, and Laura Barros 


 Title of Book: Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains

Author: Deborah Hopkinson

Illustrator: Nancy Carpenter

Year written: 2004

This story is about a family of farmers who travel  across the country from Iowa to Oregon in search of a new home and more land.  They take all of their crops in their wagon in order to start a new life out West, and the book tells some of the experiences that they have, and ones which many pioneers experienced on the Oregon Trail.

Excerpt from book: “So Daddy built two of the biggest boxes you could ever hope to see. He set them into a sturdy wagon and shoveled in good, wormy dirt. Then he filled every inch with little plants and trees. Hundreds of them! Daddy was ready for the most daring adventure in the history of fruit.”

This book could be used for a lesson on the Oregon Trail because it shows another perspective from the pioneers that is relate-able and easy to read. Students can use Google My Maps to create their own journey that the characters go on, where they write the descriptions, pick the pictures, and turn it into their own post. I think Google My Maps allows for a lot of creativity in the classroom and for students to get more engaged in what they are reading and studying! Teachers could also make this a collaborative effort like it was for us, so that ideas can be shared among many students.

How To Make Nachos!!

Hanna and Laura’s lesson teaches students how to make nachos! Students can go through each slide to see different steps in the nacho making process. At the end, we ask students to order the pictures correctly in the comments section, allowing them to try using technology themselves. They also have an activity where they draw their own nachos, which we did since we are both in kindergarten classrooms.


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The activity above will use the colors, lines, and shapes to help students see the similarities between images. They will discuss the similarities they found and further explain more. They will then go deeper and discuss how the colors change the mood after looking at each one.

Guided Questions:

  • Look at the three images.
  • Find the similarities in the pictures.
  • Find the differences.
  • How do lines direct your eye?
  • Does the shape of the main object effect how you feel about the picture?


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Tech Savvy Teachers Can Make Deeper Connections With Students Through Technology

Being in the midst of a booming digital era, it is only fitting that teachers learn the same skills that their students have been picking up over the few years of their lives. The classrooms that students are learning in today are entirely different from the classrooms these teachers once saw growing up. Technology has completely taken over, and to have any commonalities with their students in the future, teachers must adapt to this new era. Learning skills, from browsing the internet for educational videos to be used in a classroom lesson to relating to students’ interests on the tablets and phones they now possess, will only benefit the teacher further in keeping control of that classroom. Becoming a tech savvy teacher ensures that a deeper student-teacher relationship can be formed, and because of that, students will have a better learning experience.