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One Green Apple

One Green Apple: Summary

Farah feels alone, even when surrounded by her classmates. She listens and nods but doesn’t speak. It’s hard being the new kid in school, especially when you’re from another country and don’t know the language. Then, on a field trip to an apple orchard, Farah discovers there are lots of things that sound the same as they did at home, from dogs crunching their food to the ripple of friendly laughter. As she helps the class make apple cider, Farah connects with the other students and begins to feel that she belongs. Source

 

Reading Skills: 

Inference, interpretation, author's purpose 

Vocabulary: 

cruel, dupatta, fondly, isolated, orchard, Shepherd, apple cider, belch 

Themes:

immigration, identity, differences, making friends

Possible Discussion Questions 

Before Reading

  • Authors and Illustrators often design their covers to give the readers clues to what the story may be about. In thinking about the title and images on the front and back of the book, what do you imagine the author will try to teach us in this text?
  • Farah, the character on the cover, looks a little different from the other boys and girls in class. Have you ever felt different than others based on how you look, the language you speak, or for any other reasons?

During Reading

  • In the beginning of the book, Farah notices so many differences between her old life and her new life. What are some of these differences? How do you think Farah is feeling at the farm?
  • Farah says, "I hear my home country mentioned, not fondly." What do you think she says this? How do you think this makes her feel? How do you think Farah is feeling when her teacher tries to tell her to only take one apple? What does she say or do to make think this?
  • Farah chooses a small green apple. Why do you think she chooses this apple? Farah takes a chance and joins the other student at the apple cider press. What does this teach us about Farah?
  • As the day goes on Farah begins to notice some things that are the same about her old life and her new life. What are some of this things? How do you think they make Farah feel? At the end of the story Farah says " apple" is her first "outside myself word." What do you think this means?

After Reading

  • Farah chooses a green apple because she says it is just like her. In the end the her green apple blends into the cider. Why do you think the author chose these details in the story?
  • What do you think the author was really trying to say about Farah and other students like her?
  • How was Farah's life different in her home country? How was it the same? Did you notice differences between the county or place where you were born and your home now?
  • Differences can make some people feel isolated. Farah felt different because of her customs. What are some other differences that can make people feel isolated?

Possible Response Activities

  • In the story, Farah seems to be in elementary school. Imagine what her life will be like 5 years in the future. Does she make friends? Does she learn to love her new country? Have things between her new and old country gotten any better?
  • Write a letter from Farah's perspective to and old friend in her home country telling her all about her life.
  • Tableau: Have students break up into groups of three or four and choose a scene from the book. Together the students will create a "still scene" or tableu from the text. The teacher or other student, will tap each student and ask them to explain what their character is thinking or feeling.

Writing Activities

  • This text can work well with others that talk about differences or acceptance, i.e. Crystanthinum, The Brand New Kid, My Name is Maria Isabel, Creativity, Amazing Grace, Horray for Wodney Wat. Students could craft an essay about the way that students overcome differences in their life using details from several text or their own experiences.
  • Students could write a personal narrative about a time where they felt different or isolated in a similar style to One Green Apple.

Additional Resources

Printable Version