“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.

Starfall Tutorial

Starfall is a fun phonics and reading website that is great to use with kindergarteners. They can practice sounding out certain letters and sounds, as well as work on reading skills. There are a variety of things for students to read, such as short stories, tongue-twisters, and poetry. This tutorial is for parents to learn how to navigate Starfall so that their child can get more practice, or just read for fun at home.

Marine Biologists

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My lesson would involve having students use previously learned vocabulary terms about the ocean to determine what all of these photos have in common. Students could then do a report on one of the above sea creatures.

Guiding Questions:

What similarities do you see in these pictures?

What new vocabulary words could you use to describe these images?

What is the main theme of all of these images?



Shark- Allan Lee

Fish- gorfor

Whale Watching- Indi Samarajiva

Tech Savvy Teachers Need To…

Throughout my experiences in classrooms, I have noticed that it can be difficult to create a learning environment that is affective for all students’ learning styles. To do this in my own future classroom, I will integrate technology into different lessons. Using technology, such as iPads, allows students to have a visual right in front of them, and also provides for a hands-on learning experience. Including technology in the classroom would also help to assist special education students and make it easier to include them in a general education setting. For these reasons, it is necessary that myself and other teachers be  tech savvy.