Activity Plan 5-6: Moving-Math Hopscotch
Children jump their way through simple addition and subtraction.
- Grades: PreK–K
- cardboard or poster board (10 12"x12" pieces)
- small rocks, shells, or counting disks
Objective: Children will participate in a group game that encourages problem solving, math skills, and gross-motor development.
In Advance: Cut five pieces of cardboard or poster board into five squares, each about the size of a record album. Cut the other five pieces of board into triangles. Number the shapes one through 10, keeping the even numbers on the triangles and the odd numbers on the squares. (Consider making two sets of hopscotch shapes so two groups of children can play at the same time.)
1 Show the children the squares and triangles and explain that they will be playing hopscotch with them. The games can be played indoors or outside.
2 Begin the game by placing the shapes in a traditional hopscotch pattern (one square, two squares, one square, and so on). Ask the children to look at the pattern and describe what they see.
3 Give each child a small stone, shell, or counting disk to use as his hopscotch marker. Ask the children to form a line. Remind them that they hop on one leg on single shapes and jump to place one foot on each shape when there are two shapes side by side. The first child will throw his marker onto one of the shapes. He will hopscotch on the squares, jumping over (or skipping) the shape where his marker has landed. On his way back he will pick up his marker-- so he can place his foot onto that shape.
4 After all the children have had a turn, invite them to add a math game. The children can begin by subtracting the number they have landed on from the 10 shapes. For instance, if a child's marker lands on the number three square, she will take away three shapes and then begin her jumps. (Children can also play this game using "mental math" instead of actually removing the number of squares.) Using extra shapes, children can turn this into an addition game: If their marker falls on two, they would add two shapes, and so on, before beginning their jumps.
Art/Writing: Moving-Body Tracing Explain to the children that they will be doing body tracing on the playground, creating poses that show movement. You may need to invite a few children to demonstrate. Provide the children with colored chalk. Ask them to work in pairs, taking turns tracing each other's bodies. Then ask them to use the chalk to decorate their body shapes. Photograph their creations to document the activity. Mount each child's photograph on a sheet of construction paper and encourage the children to write or dictate a story about their picture. Bind their individual stories to create a class book.