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Apples, Pumpkins, and Spiders, Oh My!

A few weeks ago we went to the local apple orchard and got ourselves some apples and a pumpkin.  We were studying apples as part of social studies (way more than you might just think).  I knew I wanted to spend a bit of time doing the standard math and science that they experienced in the younger grades with them when we swung back around to science.  The way things worked out, we hit it this week, and the timing was perfect.

I made a quick recording booklet for students to record their estimations and the actual measurements.  I found a lot of awesome resources for free on blogs and TpT, but none seemed to match the simplicity I was going for since we were only spending a day on each.

 Students recorded their hypothesis for each section.  After we did the first sink/float experiment, students made a hypothesis on the second sink/float experiment.  We used two different sized containers and discussed why it changed each time.

 Students also needed to restate their learning.  It’s sort of my way of checking “what are you going to remember about this tomorrow”.

 We graphed our hypotheses.

And then we used our graphs to practice some of our math skills.

The kids were so engaged- I thought maybe they wouldn’t be since this is normally done in K and 1.  The best part of all?  When students were explaining their hypothesis on whether the pumpkin would sink or float and were talking about the size and weight of the bowl, water, and the pumpkin.  Considering we haven’t talked much about density, it was great hearing them work their way through it as a group.  The pages are pretty simple, but if you’d like to download them to use with your students, just click the image below.

Now, we don’t exactly celebrate Halloween at my school.  Most of our families celebrate, but some don’t.  Kids aren’t allowed to wear costumes at school at all.  Most classes still did a thing or two Thursday and/or Friday.  For me, I knew I wanted to keep the kids’ fingers moving and their brains as engaged as possible.  I also knew this was going to be a big task.

Enter the spider arrays from my Spider Math unit.  It was the perfect thing to keep their hands moving while still tied to what we were doing.  It also allowed them to talk a bit and get excited, while not making me crazy 🙂

I gave the students choices in how they did the leg and the amount of legs that they used.  I gave them complete control as to how they made the faces.  I wanted them to have more freedom with this than I normally give them.  All in all, it was a success!

If you’d like to see more of my Spider Math unit, just click the image below to head to my blog post about it.

I’d love to hear other ideas on how you celebrated Halloween without going into a full-blown costume fiesta!

2 Comments

  • I loved reading about your activities…the graphing sheet is awesome!! I did some math activities with my 5th graders too…wanted to celebrate the holiday a bit but not too much 🙂

    Happy November!

    Reply
  • One other way to bring science into the holidays (and eating) is to think about all the parts of plants we eat/don't eat. I got this idea from monthbymonth.scholastic.com on their TEACH link, thanksgiving.pdf. My kids really enjoyed it and talked about everything in the lunchroom for at least a week.

    Reply

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