Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wednesday CoOp: Thankgiving & The Leaf Man

We hosted CoOp this week & I was torn between two ideas...so we did them both!

Last week, while we were at the Dallas Zoo, we found some awesome leaves on the ground. I had a ziplock baggie in my backpack, so we started picking them up off the ground & before we knew it, I had a full bag of leaves that we don't usually see around our house. I instantly thought of the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert & knew we had to do our own Leaf People at CoOp. The more I looked, the more the leaves took on images like skirts, eye lashes, hair...

But then, I realized that I was in charge of the last CoOp before Thanksgiving, & I just couldn't skip talking about Thanksgiving. That would just be wrong! So I came up with a dual-topic CoOp plan, which actually worked really well (although I wasn't sure about it going into it!).

After everyone arrived & the kiddlets played a little bit with the toys (and the Moms caught up on chit chat!), we gathered on the couch to read Thanksgiving Day by Gail Gibbons. I liked how it was a very simple book, with the basic concept of Thanksgiving origins laid out. I also liked how it compared the Pilgrim's activities to our Thanksgiving traditions of today. After all, our group is made up of 4 & 5 year olds, so the chances of them remembering much about their past Thanksgivings was slim.



After we read the book, we talked about the different, traditional foods we eat at Thanksgiving. I wrote their ideas down on a chart. Some ideas were so funny....like chocolate bars...that's awesome!
I had printed a picture of each child & Mommy for our next activity...a bar graph showing the favorite Thanksgiving foods. The children came up & found their picture and then they came back to find Mommy's picture. I went over what foods were listed on the graph (and was reminded by some that I was missing some foods....hey....I only had 4 spaces!) and I put my picture on Green Beans as the first example of how to build our graph.
Reese came up next to choose Turkey as his favorite. Then one at a time, each child came up & taped their picture on the graph. After all the children put their pictures on the paper, the Mommies came up to mark their favorites.
I tried to think of the foods that everyone would be familiar with. Foods, such as stuffing or cranberries, have probably not been eaten since last year & I doubted the kiddos would remember what they tasted like. I thought turkey, mashed potatoes, pie, & green beans were a safe bet.
After everyone put their pictures on the graph, we gathered around and counted each column. I wrote the corresponding numbers above each column, & we talked about which foods had the "greatest" and "least" numbers. We also had a "tie" between the two least liked foods, so we talked a bit about what a tie is.
We also talked about how we could count the pictures to find which had the greatest number, but we could also just look at our bar graph to see which had the most. The tallest stack was the food with the most votes!
I love doing simple bar graphs with our group. It's a great, hands-on Math tool for counting & recording results. Come to think of it, I tend to do some sort of bar graph on most visits here...we've graphed gummy bears, Valentine's candy hearts, cracker shapes, & now pictures of ourselves.

And...yes, I know there are only three pictures on the Turkey category that says "4". Someone took their picture off before I could snap a picture of the completed project. But hey, they needed it for their next project!
After our Thanksgiving story & graph, we switched gears & headed outside. I gave everyone a ziplock baggie & told them we were going to a special project but we needed some materials first. We went out back to collect leaves, acorns, & tiny sticks....
After our collection adventure, we headed back inside to read Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.
This is a fascinating book because of the leaf collage pictures! There are so many interesting things made from leaves....of course, Leaf Man, but also ducks, fish, butterflies, and so much more.
We read Leaf Man together & then headed to the table for our Leaf People. Reese named his "Fiona".
There's always a need for a snack break when you work so hard!

Check out the creative minds we have working in our group!

1 comment:

HRH said...

What a fun project!