Our learning this week revolved around the many versions of the story of the Gingerbread Man that can be found today. As we read a story, the students learned to compare and contrast (recognize the similarities and differences) between the stories. Here is the board that shows the different stories' titles, the characters, the refrain (song) sung by the ginger character, and how the story ended. More about this later!
One day this week, we made glyphs. Think of a glyph as a pictograph. Information is found through the way that the picture is put together.
Here's the information sheet that the students followed to create a Gingerbread Glyph of themselves.
Thanks to Denise Boehm for sharing this idea!
Here is how you read a glyph....I know this is a girl because she has pink eyes, and she is 8 years old because she has a yellow nose, and is born in March because her tie is green....each part corresponds to the main glyph sheet.
We put 'ourselves' out in the hallway to see if the others could figure out which gingerbread represented each child in our classroom.
Is this your son,
How about this one?
The lessons are still very much directed by me, but the students are being given more and more choice in how the work is completed. Here is an example. After reading 5 different gingerbread story versions, we talked about what information could be found in the beginning, middle and end of the story. Each child had a copy of the sheet seen above to refer to.
Each student could then choose which story they wanted to create their beginning, middle and end sentences about. They know that there is a 'no excuse' criteria that all work must be in complete sentences and are rising to that challenge.
Sentences were written and pasted onto the three gingerbread people,
and then displayed.
Here's some examples:
"Beginning: The little old man and woman baked a gingerbread man."
"Middle: The gingerbread man ran from a horse, a cow and some children."
"End: The fox ate the gingerbread man in one gulp."
Think back to September, and look at this improvement. Are you impressed because I am??!!
They are holding themselves to a high standard and are so proud of their accomplishments!
Today, little gingerbread man visited every child.
They used some fine motor skills to add some little candies to the little guy using icing and toothpicks.
We used these cookies to explore (really a review from Grade One) the five senses, but each flap on this booklet allowed the students to choose words from a list.
I didn't take photos but the students recorded the parts of the gingerbread cooky that they ate first, second, third and fourth and we then created a graph to show which part (arm, leg or head) was eaten first in the class. The students then had to write a sentence of an observation they noticed using the data found on the graph. Again, their sentences were quite good!
Another review activity was related to patterns. The students named the patterns using alphabet letters, circled the core and then used colours to distinguish the pattern in another way.
I told the students that this gingerbread man didn't want to wait for the fox to take him across the river. Instead he planned to swim. The students then made a hypothesis (a prediction in science) about what would happen to the gingerbread man and why. The students are really starting to use better vocabulary so we heard words such as sink, pieces, soggy and heavy in their answers.
Here's the the gingerbread man after he tried to swim across the river!
This led to an investigation. How could the gingerbread man get across the river without the fox and without turning into a soggy mess?
The students decided that they could build a raft (using straws and masking tape),
or a boat (using plasticine)
or a bridge (using marshmallows and toothpicks)
to help him over. They planned on their own and then had to work with a partner or two, learning to talk about their ideas but also hear what others' thoughts might be.
We tested out the different projects. Not all were successful but I took a few pictures of some that seemed to be working. Again, such happiness because of their hard work breeding success.
A successful raft with a flag no less!
One very sturdy bridge design, and
another raft that kept the gingerbread man dry.
Not all the boat designs worked. Some sank before the gingerbread stepped foot on the structure, but it allowed the question to be asked "What would you do differently if you could make your boat again?"
This bridge was great because it was long enough to go right over to the other sides but the spaces caused concern that the gingerbread man could fall into the river because they were so large.
Here's an amazing design, just not long enough to span the river so the gingerbread man never set foot on it. He's one smart cooky!
We'll have a few more activities revolving around this successful learning unit next week. Stay tuned!