Thursday, March 6, 2014

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

Our latest FIAR read was How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman.  It is a story of a girl who sets out to make an apple pie but finds her local market closed.  She decides that if the market is closed, the world must become your grocery store!  This deliciously silly recipe for apple pie takes readers around the globe to gather ingredients. It's a great introduction to world geography and Maggie enjoyed it a lot!
After we read the book, we got right on our story disk (we love these) ...
 ... which we stuck right in the center of our world map (on the Atlantic Ocean since our narrator crossed it twice on her adventures to different countries).
Then, we talked about the seven continents, labeling this great worksheet we found at
After our worksheet was complete, we made a map of the narrator's adventures, like the one I first saw at  For the same, we used our large Discovery Kids fabric map, small toys, and little country flags we printed from online, secured with toothpicks.  Here, Maggie is adding some Play-Doh to the base of the US flag so it will stand up straight on our map.
First stop in the book?  Italy, to gather semolina wheat to mill into flour.
 Second stop?  France, to pick up a chicken for the pie's fresh egg.
 Our third stop was Sri Lanka, to gather some cinnamon from the kurundu tree.
 Then, it was off to England, to collect a cow for fresh milk for churning into butter!
 From there, we gathered salt from the sea, on our way to Jamaica.
 Once in Jamaica, we cut a few stalks of sugar cane to boil into sugar.
And, finally, our last stop was Vermont, to collect apples for our pie!
 Maggie loved this mapping activity!
 We love FIAR!
Once our mapping was done, we did some research on the places we visited with these resources: Fiesta! Sri Lanka by Leena Ng ...
... Sri Lanka in Pictures by Sara E. Hoffman ...
... (This photo is from Sri Lanka in Pictures, featuring a Sri Lankan man, collecting the inner bark of the kurundu tree, which will be dried and ground to make cinnamon.  Sri Lanka produces more than 80% of the world's cinnamon consumption.) ...
... A Visit to France by Kirsten Hall ...
 ... and Vermont by Christine Taylor-Butler.
Once we were done learning about the geography of this book, we discussed Psalm 113:4, and how God is the God over all nations and every person. 
For art, we talked about street scenes (like the ones in the book) and how buildings can be cut off on a picture and still have the same effect, of a continuing scene.  Here, Maggie is making one of her own.
 Her city building ...
... cut off, like the ones in the book.
Another cute idea I had picked up from was the one to use real apple stems in red Play-Doh to shape little apples.  Every kid loves Play-Doh so I knew this would be a hit!
Yep, a hit!
 Maggie's apples!
We had lots of opportunities for mathematics with this book with the measurements involved with baking an apple pie.  We started our study by reading Me and the Measure of Things by Joan Sweeney (love her books!) ...  
 ... and the "For Good Measure!" article out of our November/December 2013 issue of Click magazine (pages 24-27).
Then, it was time for some cooking!  We decided to make the apple pie recipe right out of the book, using:
For the crust: 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup ice water, 1 egg yolk
For the filling: 5-7 apples, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons butter
(As you can see, this provided many opportunities for measuring!) 
For your pie's crust, sift the flour and salt together in a bowl.  Quickly rub small pieces of the cold butter into the flower mixture with your fingers until you have pea-sized bits of butter throughout.  Add your ice water, starting with a few tablespoons and adding more as needed to moisten all the dough.  Stir until your mixture forms a loose ball.
 Divide your dough in half and make two equal patties.  Place one patty between two pieces of wax paper.  With a rolling pin, roll into a 12-inch circle.  Peel off the top layer of wax paper and turn into a pie pan.  Remove the last layer of wax paper and press your dough evenly into the pan.  Roll out your second piece of dough the same way, but this time, leave it flattened between the two sheets of waxed paper.  Place in the fridge until ready to use.  (Place your pie plate in the fridge as well.)
Now, it's time for the filling!  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together your sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Peel, core, and cut your apples into 1/2-inch slices.  (Here is Maggie, using the awesome peeler/corer that we were surprised with this week from my sweet aunt and cousin!  We were so tickled!  Thank you, Aunt Linda and Lia!) 
 Once cut, toss your apples into the sugar mixture, coating them well.  (After they were tossed, Maggie was more than happy to lick the cinnamon sugar off of the spoon!)
 Remove the pie pan from the fridge.  Arrange the coated apple slices in the pie pan, piling them higher in the center.
 Dot your slices with the remaining two tablespoons of butter and moisten the edge of your bottom crust with a dab of water.  Remove the flattened dough from the fridge and take off the wax paper from both sides.  Cover your pie with this piece, pinching the edges with the bottom crust in the pan.  Cut some vents in the top crust.
 To glaze the crust, beat an egg yolk with one tablespoon of water, then brush the mixture over the surface of the top crust.
Ready to go in!  Bake for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown.
 Once baked, remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool before serving.
 Maggie was so proud of our end result!
And, boy, was it good!  It may have been the best apple pie I have ever tasted!
Finally, we completed this great "Apple Pie Math" booklet we found at
 Once the mathematics for this book was complete, we got into Science.  First, we noticed throughout the book that the narrator was concerned with freshness (hence the reason she took the chicken and the cow versus the egg and milk), so we talked about it, too.  We even read this book, Food Safety by Joan Kalbacken.
Here is Maggie, checking the sell-by date on her milk container.
Then, we talked a bit about chickens and eggs.  (We will do this at length later when we delve into birds, but for now, some light reading was good.)  We read The Chicken or the Egg? by Allan Fowler ...
... Eggs! Life on a Chicken Farm by Ruth Owen ...
 ... and Egg: A Photographic Story of Hatching by Robert Burton.
After that?  We talked cows.  We read Thanks to Cows by Allan Fowler ...
... and Out and About at the Dairy Farm by Andy Murphy.
 We also read The Story of Salt by Mark Kurlansky. 
We finished up by touching on apples again (we had done a lot of apple study as recently as this past Fall) with the reading of One Red Apple by Harriet Ziefert ...
... and Starting Life: Tree by Claire Llewellyn.
We also enjoyed these two YouTube videos of the life cycle of the apple tree!
 Another fun FIAR book!  Next is Wee Gillis!  Stay tuned!


  1. Do you own all of the books mentioned or you check them out from the library?