Wild Days in Second Grade!
Last week I had the chance to spend a couple of days with a group of amazing group of second graders. Their teacher, Mrs. Q's, had to be away for some training so I stepped in as their guest teacher. It was the perfect opportunity to give one of my newest products, Wild Animal Park, a try.
The first day we learned about different habitats by looking at web sites and reading informational books from the school library. The kids took notes in their Habitat Field Guides. The field guide had 5 pages, one for each habitat. There is room to write notes about the plants, animals and adaptations.
Then the kids were ready to order the animals, plants and other things they wanted to put into their habitat area. The group had to make some difficult decisions. They only had $500 to spend so they couldn't order everything in the catalog. I encouraged them to order some of the optional items (gift shop, snack shack and jeep ride) because they would bring in extra income once the park opened. It was fun listening to their reasoning and negotiating with their group members. "We can order the elephant, but we may not have enough money for the jeep ride."
The kids put their adding and subtracting skills to good use. They had to add up their totals and then subtract it from 500 to see if they could afford everything they wanted.
Once I had checked all of their calculations we were ready to begin designing the wild animal park. I took a large piece of white butcher paper and divided it into 6 equal pieces. Before I cut the pieces apart I drew a path that would lead through each section of the park. I also wrote the word "top" at the top of each piece so the pictures would be upright when we put it back together.
Now the "caretakers" had to make plans and draw the animals, plants, buildings and other landscape features for their park. I found it easier for some students to draw the animals and buildings on a separate piece of paper, color them and then cut them out to glue onto the map. Meanwhile, some students worked on the plants and landscape for the background.
They did an amazing job! I taped all the pieces back together when they were finished and mounted it on a piece of green butcher paper. The park map was ready for display! I added a few signs so visitors would know the name of the park, etc.
This took most of the two days I was guest teaching in their class. I'm going to be in their class again on Monday so the park will open and we'll start using the Daily Cards that tell about the income and expenses for the park. Students will be keeping the financial records each day the park is open. More math skill practice! Yea!