I’ve hit that point in the year where I’m sort of freaking out about state testing coming up in spring. I realize that it’s not even officially winter, we haven’t come back from winter break, and there’s still a whole lot more teaching to do, but I’m still freaking out. (Yes, I realize that’s also incredibly sad, but that’s a topic for an entirely different post.) Even though I wanted to do Christmas-y stuff this week and next, I knew I needed to make sure it was still very educational. On the drive to school last week I had this idea. We could make elves and practice area and perimeter all at the same time! And then I thought about how we could also do some writing to make it an even more educational and relevant activity.
I created this e-book designed to be read aloud, hopefully projected but printed will work, that explores ways elves would use area and perimeter at the North Pole. It also explains how to find area and perimeter and gives students opportunities to practice both.
It gave us a good introduction to area and perimeter. We then used Cheez-Its to practice a hands-on application of measuring the area and perimeter of a rectangle. Of course, I forgot to take pictures. It might have had something to do with my cheesy hands. It might have also had something to do with being hungry and having Cheez-Its in front of me and eating a handful every time the kids were working.
We then made this cute Elf craftivity.
I pre-cut out rectangles in a few different sizes (that could all be measured to the nearest inch) and let students choose the shape and the color they wanted. The only rule was that THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO CUT THE RECTANGLE. I might have said that a couple times. I think they got the message. Then I told them they had free reign with the red and green and cream and brown as long as THEY DID NOT CUT THE RECTANGLE and it still looked like an elf.
Students used items they found in the classroom to help them trace and cut out circles for the heads.
And once their elf was finished (or, for the love of all of my sanity, it’d been almost an hour and a half) they gave their elf a name and a life story.
And then we used that to practice organizing our thoughts into paragraphs. Students used the following organizer to write 3 sentences for each paragraph.
After we finish writing our rough drafts and then revising and editing, we’ll be publishing them on cute lined paper.
And then, I surprised the kids by making them do more math. They love me for that. 🙂
They measured the torso of their elf and recorded its perimeter and area on this cute sheet.
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