Reading The Apple Pie Tree and Learning the Letter “A”


Last week, I introduced Dora to a slightly structured study of the alphabet. We worked on the letter “A”. This study definitely taught me a lot about Dora’s learning style and temperament. Essentially, she made it quite clear that we will be doing things her way and that way did not include many of the things that I had made the mistake of thinking were good ideas.

One item that I had been looking forward to using was the alphabet box. I first learned about this from Counting Coconuts. My alphabet box essentially is a hardware storage drawer unit, with one little drawer for each letter. Each drawer is then filled with miniature items whose names start with the letter. In the case of vowels, I am trying to emphasize short vowel sounds, but am also mentioning the long vowel sound.


I filled a basket with all of the items from the “A” drawer, a sandpaper letter “A”, and a Leap Frog Magnetic Alphabet letter “A”. I purchased our sandpaper letters from Polliwog Learning Products, LLC, which is an Etsy store that I learned about from Counting Coconuts’ list of recommended Montessori resources.


At first, Dora threw the basket across the room, because she thought that I was just getting out toys for her “school time”. Once we moved on and did some other things, she was able to understand how the “toys” fit into everything and was no longer insulted by the basket. The products that really clicked with her were the Handwriting Without Tears Wood Letters and Roll-A-Dough Letters. She immediately grasped the concept of using these items and was able to make the letters when the cards were in front of her.

For literature, we read The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe  Hall. We were studying apples this week, – it was just a coincidence that were also working on the letter “A”. The Apple Pie Tree was an excellent choice for Dora as it discussed what happens to an apple tree through the seasons. Dora is very interested in seasons right now and trying to understand what order they come in and what type of weather we have with each season.

I’m linking this post to Footprints in the Butter Read Aloud Challenge and:

Tot School

Labels: Language Arts, Preschool
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff