Activity Plan 2-3: Outdoor Picture Math
"We have a swing just like that one!"
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Math/Art
- instant camera (optional)
- catalogs and magazines with pictures of playground equipment
- oaktag or lightweight cardboard
- nontoxic white glue and glue brushes
- tongue depressors
- plastic lids, pie tins, or other shallow containers
Objective: Children will use matching and other beginning number skills as they match pictures of common objects to real items.
In Advance: Choose an outdoor area with which children are familiar, such as the playground. Select magazine pictures or take large, clear photographs of various objects found in that area, such as the slide, a swing, and a seesaw.
Cut five to seven five- by eight-inch pieces of oaktag or lightweight cardboard. Pour glue into the shallow containers and put out brushes or craft sticks for children to use to apply the glue.
1 Ask each child to choose a picture to glue to a piece of cardboard. To form a handle, give each child a tongue depressor to glue to the bottom of each card. As the children are working, ask: "What do you see in this picture? Have you seen a swing like this before?" Give children plenty of time to share comments or experiences that the pictures mad bring to mind.
2 Gather children in the area where the pictured objects are located. Place the pictures children helped you prepare on the ground or on a table. (Do not offer more than five to seven pictures at a time, or children will be overwhelmed.) Then invite children to help you solve a problem.
3 Explain that you are sure you have seen each of these playground objects before, but you just can't remember where. As children respond by pointing toward the playground equipment, hand each child a picture card and ask him to match it to the actual object. Provide plenty of verbal praise.
Remember: If you use magazine photographs, be sure they adequately match your objects and aren't cluttered with extraneous visuals that will confuse children. Large, simple, clear photos work best.
Language and Literacy: Invite small groups of children to create individual playground collages using additional magazine or catalog pictures that depict outdoor activities. Provide children with construction paper and glue. Attach a dictation to children's collages that describes favorite elements of their collage or special activities they like to do outdoors.