Apple Brace Maps
Fall is here! It’s arrival brings a world of new activities that will engage our little ones! One of my favorite projects, although I must admit that I have several favorites, is the introduction of Brace Maps!
A brace map illustrates visually to our young learners the concept of part to whole and whole to part. This concept is important for all future learning and fun to teach too!
Apples provide the perfect introduction to a brace map because the components of an apple are easy to observe. For young children, concrete examples work best and “REAL” apples are easy to bring into the classroom.
You may want to begin your discussion by HIDING the apple, giving clues, and then revealing the apple for the kids to view. This tends to generate excitement for the lesson.
Discuss the parts of the apple that are observable before cutting: skin, stem, leaf. Record the answers, and then cut the apple to reveal the parts inside: flesh, seeds, and core.
You may want to draw a huge apple on red paper and label the parts of an apple with your class. There are also lots of books for young children that show the parts of an apple.
For the follow-up activity the next day, we review the concepts that were introduced and make individual brace maps … but in whole group! We begin by cutting out an apple shape, stem, and leaf. I use “directed drawing” in lieu of patterns or dittos. My kids draw the parts using a black crayon and then color and cut. Next, I illustrate how to make the skin, flesh, and core. We will glue the seeds on later.
Depending on the time allotted for this activity, the children either put all their parts in their crayon boxes until tomorrow, or glue them on the 12” by 18” black paper. We would cut out the words and glue them next to our parts. Lastly, we glue the “real” apple seeds on the core. As this is our first brace map, I draw the bracket with a white crayon.
As our study of apples continues through the month, we will refer to our apple brace map often. Finally, as a closing activity and an informal assessment, each child will create their own apple brace map to take home and share with the family.
Example of individual brace map.
This is the beginning of many more brace maps to come! It’s easy to guess that next month will be a pumpkin brace map!