We have been working on shapes and colors in our math lessons. Today I plan to engage my students in a conversation about the different carved pumpkins that we are seeing around the neighborhood. After creating a jack-o-lantern out of construction paper,I will have them write about their pumpkin using shapes and colors that we have learned.
I begin my lesson with my students seated on the carpet for our writing block.
"I have seen some interesting shaped pumpkins in the neighborhood. There are fat pumpkins, skinny pumpkins, tall pumpkins and short pumpkins. I wonder how they grow pumpkins? Do you know how they grow pumpkins?"
We discuss how pumpkins grow and decide we don't know a whole lot about them.
"I have a video that shows us how pumpkins grow. It is time lapsed which means the pumpkins will grow very fast. Are you all sitting in your squares?"
I love to show videos to front load information for my students. They are so excited about watching a movie. Little do they know they are learning as they watch.
"I am going to read, "Spookley The Square Pumpkin" by Joe Troiano. We have learned our shapes and colors so I thought it would be fun if we read this story about some very different pumpkins. I always thought all pumpkins were round. But they are not all round. Let's read the story and see what shapes the pumpkins can be."
I stop half way through the book to set up my partners for identifying the shapes of the pumpkins.
"Spookley was very brave to save all the pumpkins from rolling through the fence. As I read the rest of the story I want you to sit facing your partners. I want to see if I can trick you. When we come to a shape I want you to tell your partner the shape you see. Raise your hand if you are a "chip" partner. Chips will tell the shape first. "Dips" raise your hand. Dips will echo the shape. Ready? here we go."
I read and point to the different shaped pumpkins.
"Chips, tell your partner what shape this pumpkin is. Dips echo the Chips. Good."
I read the rest of the book, stopping and pointing at different shapes and colors of pumpkins.
"We are going to think about what kind of pumpkin we are going to have. Think about what shape you want your pumpkin to be. Then think about what color you want your pumpkin to be. Let's do two bubble maps, one bubble map for the shapes we know and one bubble map for the colors we know."
I use my name sticks to call on students to give me the name of shapes and colors for our bubble maps. I like to use bubble maps. They are a great visual organizer of our ideas. It is a reference that I leave up on the board for my students to look at during the writing process. We chorally review all the bubbles on the two bubble maps.
"Now that we have our bubble maps done, we can look at our sentence frames. Both the sentence frames are the same:
My pumpkin is a _____ . (shape)
My pumpkin is _____ . (color)
You will choose a shape for the first sentence frame and a color for the second sentence frame. I will write my sentences on the chart paper. My pumpkin in a triangle. My pumpkin is red. I want you to use the writing paper like this."
I model my writing under the document camera. It is important for me to model the writing process several times so my students understand exactly what they are suppose to do when they get back to their seats.
"Now that you have seen how we are to write about our pumpkin, I want the green row to take baby steps to their tables. Would my class paper passers pass out the writing paper to all the seats. Now, blue row. etc"
I walk around and help my students with shape and color choices. When they have finished with their writing I have them put their papers under their chair.
I have them put their papers under their chairs so they are close by but not in the way.
"Now that we have written our sentences we are going to make our pumpkins. Let's review the characteristics of the shapes. You need to know this so you can draw and cut out your pumpkin. The circle has curves. The square has four sides that are the same. The triangle has three sides. The rectangle has four sides, two are short and two are long. Think really hard about what shape you wrote your pumpkin is. and the color. I will come around and give you a piece of construction paper."
"If your pumpkin is a circle I want you to draw a BIG circle on your paper and cut it out. If your pumpkin is a square you need to draw four sides that are the same size. Draw it big and cut it out. If your pumpkin is a triangle you will need to draw a BIG triangle that has three sides. And cut it our. If your pumpkin is a rectangle you need to draw four sides, two sides are short and two sides are long. And cut it out."
I demonstrate how to draw each shape as I explain it. I walk around helping to draw and cut the shapes.
"Now that your shapes are cut out I want my paper passers to pass out a half sheet of black construction paper to everyone. From this black paper you will using your pencil to draw three triangles, one for the nose and two for the eyes. They don't have to be perfect, just try to make a triangle. Remember a triangle has three sides. When you have your eyes and nose cut out, go ahead and glue them onto your pumpkin."
I walk around to help draw triangles.
"Now that the eyes and noses are cut and glued I want you to cut a mouth. I will draw a few easy mouths on the board. Then you can draw the mouth with your pencil, cut it out and glue it onto your pumpkin."
I walk around to help draw and cut mouths for the pumpkins.
"All pumpkins need a stem and a leaf. I will give you brown paper to cut a rectangle stem to glue on the top of your pumpkin. Here is some small squares of green paper and watch and I will show you how to cut a diamond for the leaf."
I model cutting the leaf. I walk around helping with stems and leaves.
"Your pumpkins are all done!! They look wonderful. Now I want you to get your writing paper out from under your chair. You can glue your pumpkin to your writing paper. When you are done please clean up your area and come sit on the carpet. We will read our sentences to each other and see what shape and color everyone's pumpkin is."
I walk around and help student finish their pumpkin papers.
When everyone is finished we gather on the carpet for sentence reading. Everyone is excited about their pumpkin. I call one row up at a time to read their sentences and show off their pumpkin. I have learned that my students are too shy to orally read standing in front of the class all by themselves. They read more freely and strongly when surrounded by their peers. We applaud and cheer after each reading.
At the end of the day I like to show a video of the book or topic we learned about. I show the video to reinforce vocabulary and comprehension of the story. My students really like to watch the videos after I have read the book. They are able to anticipate story events.