What's Going on Here...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We're Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo...Part II

If anyone knows anything about me they know that I must INTEGRATE all subjects as much as possible. It's in my blood. I like a challenge and it is one of those things I love about teaching - making it all "fit". I hear your "amens"! Thank goodness there's SOMEONE out there that understands!
Here is one of those units that took a LOT of time, headache, sweat and eventually EXCITEMENT to create. About 15 years ago, a friend and I spent several days thinking, researching, planning to come up with our first 
Fact Book. 
The following is photographic journey through the end product!
 The giraffe is one of my favorite animals! Giraffe's tongues are blue and 18 inches long! I see math and science in there right off. NOW, let's get that book started!
This is 1 of 4 stations. While one group is  measuring their elephant trunks with foot rulers,  and others are playing addition games, this group is measuring with inch blocks.
The children use inch blocks and rulers to measure and cut their own giraffe's tongue. Some are fat, some are very thin, but it is THEIR work.
A giraffe's tongue is about as long as a child's arm!

These guys are using a ruler AND inch blocks! This is a great assessment of "counting on"/conservation of number. Can they start at 12 and count 6 more or do they go back to 1 each time? This is an important 1st grade skill if you are wondering if a child needs another year of K....
I love that the kiddos have to trace the giraffe stencil! What GREAT fine motor practice.

To integrate literacy the kiddos helped to choose a fact that BEST represents our illustration. Then, we record that fun fact by counting our words, double checking, stretching each word and writing together. We also identify our "star words" as we use them. I definitely believe in authentic reasons to use our skills!
HERE is a great video segment to introduce this lesson. Scroll through the clips to find the one about giraffes.

This fact page also includes measurement. This time we use our "foot ruler" to measure our 6 ft. trunks!
What a sight - kiddos spread out all over the room working together to measure 6 ft. accurately. I LOVE the different trunks - they are hilarious!! Music? "The Baby Elephant Walk" by Henry Mancini, of course! We march around to the music like baby elephants. I first heard this music while watching a segment of Wild Kingdom when I was little - some of you went right back just then! Oh, to be young again! Find a video clip of baby elephants and play this music - too cute!
HERE is a great video segment!
We paint the elephant's face, then add eyes and ears cut from construction paper. We add the trunks each day as the groups work on them during math stations.

You might ask, "why red?" Well...I like to use bulletin board paper so that the kiddos have plenty of room to measure and cut out their trunks. This way the kiddos get lots of cutting practice! Whatever color we have is what color we use! It doesn't hurt that I am an Alabama fan!!! :-)
Measuring the trunks is 1 of 4 math stations. Taking turns through stations helps to keep the chaos down!
I roll the trunks up and paper clip them to keep them out of the way.  As we make an animal,  I clip them onto the one before. When we are finished all I have to do is take down that child's group of pages and staple. 

What are the other kiddos doing???
This group is playing Match My Number. I don't remember where this game originated - it isn't mine, but I have "revamped" it many times to fit my theme. The kiddos roll the number die, then either add or subtract that many animals from the group to make the group match the number rolled. 
 Here is a recording sheet for you! 
This is a cover-up game. The kiddos match the sum to the number sentence rolled.

1 comment:

  1. Found your blog thru the list of Top50!!

    Congrats. I'm an author/illustrator with a picture book called "Tall Giraffe" and so I loved seeing your art project -- complete w measurements for the tongue!!

    I'm working this summer to get my blog out to a wider group of educators.... so I came to the best to see what it's all about.

    I look forward to getting better acquainted over the months ahead.