I first ran into “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World” back in high school taking a “pretend you’re a teacher” class. At least I think that’s where I did. Otherwise, it was my first year teaching and we used it for a nutrition unit and geography lesson. Either way, this How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World lesson was part of our apple unit with My Father’s World.
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How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World lesson supplies
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World lesson
So, we read How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World several times. I mean a lot, and then we related it to Me on the Map, and talked about maps some. Then we had to get out the map and read it again and find the places on the map (it’s kind of like When You Give a Mouse a Cookie, you keep needing to do more).
You can’t tell super well I’ve added pushpin graphics so you can see better some of the places we traveled to the book as we flew all around the world, but that’s our map of all the places needed to go to make an apple pie. Actually, we only had to go to Whole Foods and pick one of every kind of apple to try. That, and our pantry, which has all the rest.
Now, to make that pie.
Now that The How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World geography lesson is done, now it’s time for some math and cooking!
Part 2 of the How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World lesson
Apple Pie Ingredients:
2 C flour
1 C butter
1 t salt
1/2 C ice water (in reality it’s about 4 tablespoons)
1 egg yolk (which I didn’t actually use)
5 granny smith apples
3/4 C sugar
1/4 t salt
2 T butter (ummm….. I forgot that part)
So first let your kids have fun with the apple peeler corer slicer (isn’t that a horrendously long name?). Settle the argument with, no you only get to do one, and Mommy does the rest.
Let them break the apples into slices, remind them frequently that we aren’t trying to make apple confetti. Listen to them happily tell you that you don’t want peels in your apple pie because it makes bad pies, just like it makes bad applesauce. Think to yourself, they do listen to me.
Let the kids help you mix the different ingredients together. Then finally get frustrated when a cup of flour gets on the floor, and they just don’t have the upper body strength to really mix the silly thing, and so make them go watch TV while you mix it.
Now, divide the dough into two different balls, and for some strange reason let the kids help you roll the dough out. In case you’re wondering, this is a bad idea. It’s sure to get you losing your temper as they ruin the nice crust you had rolled out. Seriously think about how bad the jail time would be if you beat your children senseless (okay, not really, but I did come close to losing my temper when they tore a huge hole in the dough for the tenth time).
Again send them off to watch TV while you finish rolling out the dough. Then let them come back to make the filling. Here’s my method:
Put all the apples in a gallon Ziploc bag, throw in the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Shake like crazy. Now it’s all mixed together, dump it into the pie. Arrange so it looks “pretty.” Slap the top crust on and voila! You’ve got a pie all ready to bake.
The final step, eat the apple pie
Now, I don’t like apple pie. Actually, the only pie I like is pumpkin and various cream-type things. But, Jeff says that was a great pie even if I left out the butter.
I’ve also learned, that while I can make cookies, cake, and various other things like that with the kids, a pie is no fun. Really, it’s only frustrating. Very very frustrating. But, they had lots of fun with the whole thing.
As a parallel activity if you want to study US geography
There is a sequel book of sorts called How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the USA. About two years later we repeated much of this activity with that book, BUT I changed a few things.
How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the USA lesson
Much like “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World,” this book is a LOT of traveling. Which makes it a great geography lesson for homeschool preschool and kindergarten (and probably early elementary, it’s rather amazing how that age can overlap so much).
While last time I followed all the traveling on our map and took pictures, this time we used the map in the back of the book, so no pictures of that part of our activity, but like last time we did make the pie. Only this time I used their pie crust recipe, but I was lazy and used the canned filling this time.
I had some eager and willing helpers to mix everything up.
Do you know how hard it is to make sure everyone gets a chance to pour at least two things in when you’re dealing with a 4 ingredient recipe? It takes some creative scrambling and a lot of careful warnings about how to stir calmly.
Not like a crazy mad woman who is going to get flour all over herself and the dog.
Yes, I’m looking at you, Princess.
Where the How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the USA lesson went wrong
They were all set to help me roll out the dough but after one too many arguments of who stood on what chair I relegated them to watching some “Martha Speaks,” and rolled it out myself in relative calm.
In actuality, I rolled it out, and if I were someone prone to cussing or large amounts of yelling, I would have. This was the most crumbly pie crust recipe ever. It rolled out just fine, but when I was trying to put it in the pan it would crumble while I was trying to fold it and put it in.
Ugh, and then the kids weren’t even all that great of fans of it in the end. Oh well, they enjoyed the book immensely and we all had fun mixing it. That’s what’s important right?
Oh, and as soon as I saw the post over at Almost Unschoolers I figured out we should have talked about George Washington and the cherry tree as well. There’s always next time.
So, that’s a couple of different ways to use these books
- Follow along on a giant wall map where each ingredient is found.
- Follow along on the map at the back of the book (which I think is harder because you’re constantly flipping back and forth, but it can also be fun because it might be more tactile)
- Make the recipe at the back of the book
- Or make your family favorite version of the pie
Side point, now I want someone to make How to Make Pumpkin Pie and [see something, find something] book.