Johnny Appleseed Day Honors Real Man, Not Myth
All countries have their own legends, many of which are mythical or, at the very least, dramatized. However, there are those that are true. John Chapman, perhaps better known as Johnny Appleseed, is one such legend.
Known as very religious, kind, and generous, Chapman was celebrated wherever he went. His story is still told and celebrated in schools and homes, particularly today, March 11, when he is believed to have died in 1845 at the ripe age of 80.
The story of a man who traveled across the country wearing a pot on his head, planting apple trees as if they grew out of his very footsteps may sound more like a cartoon. But, as it happened, during the late 18th century, John Chapman did want to become an orchardist and learned how to plant and take care of trees. His work demanded a little more than the portrayal of Johnny Appleseed throwing out seeds and the trees magically growing.
Chapman was eventually trained in the planting and up keeping of orchards. He would travel to towns across the country and buy land to plant apple orchards or nurseries. He would then return to his orchards to make sure his trees were well kept and sell the fruit they created to make cider. It is documented that Johnny Appleseed was born in Massachusetts and traveled as far as Illinois. John traveled very light, and did not carry too much with him. It is apparently because of this that he used a tin pot as a hat.
In honor of Johnny Appleseed, we invite kids to play the activity below to learn about the parts of an apple tree and how it grows. And feel free to share other ideas for how to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day by posting a comment.
Peter Spain is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff and a manager at K12. A graduate from George Mason University, Peter has worked for several years in the education and entertainment industry. He strives to make learning fun for children by contributing to the games and activities section of the site, and keeping an eye out for advancements in edutainment.