Apple, Peaches, Pears and Plums, Tell Me When Your Birthday Comes!
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
- Unit Plan:
- Listen to the selected story for information
- Discuss the difference between a fiction and non-fiction book
- Record information to contribute to the class graph
- Use math vocabulary to ask and answer questions about the class graph
- Use math vocabulary to compare and contrast information presented in the class graph
- Introduce the months of the year and the abbreviations for the months
- Book: Happy Birthday by Gail Gibbons
- bulletin board paper to create graph
- student colored birthday cakes cut out and ready too be glued onto the graph
- pencils, glue, tape, crayons, markers, colored pencils
- chart paper
- index cards
Set Up and Prepare
Select book, and have butcher paper, glue and markers, ready to use.
- Teach students the traditional jump rope chant "Apple, peaches, pears and plums. Tell me when your birthday comes!" Then sing the chant and ask a student to name their birthday by referencing your classroom birthday chart. You will be surprised at how many students do not know their actual birth date, so you will have to help many students answer the question. Be sure that all students have an opportunity to say their birthday.
- Have the students come to the community area, sitting in a large circle around a long piece of butcher paper.
- Tell students that we are going to create a class graph using the information that we learned about our birthdays yesterday.
- Share each student's colored birthday cake with the class.
- Remind students of the graph that we created about our names and ask them what is the first thing we need to write on our graph so people know what it is about.
- Write the title "Happy Birthday To Us!" across the top of the butcher paper, having students help you sound out each word.
- Ask students what information should be added next, to our graph. Tell students that the months of the year are very long words and that you would like to teach them a shorter way to write these words called an "abbreviation". Explain that the abbreviation for each month shows only the first three letters of each month with a period on the end.
- Have students decide what each months abbreviation would be and choose one student to write each abbreviation across the bottom of the butcher paper.
- Hold up one cake at a time and ask the student to repeat their birthday and ask them to glue it above the correct month.
- Once the graph is complete ask questions to compare information shown on the graph.
- How many students have birthdays in August?
- Which month has the least/most student birthdays?
- Which month has no birthdays?
- Which months have the same amount of birthdays?
- How many more student birthdays are in May compared to June?
- January has how many more birthdays than February?
- How many more birthdays would we need in March so it had the same as April?
- How many birthdays does July and ow and November have all together?
- What if I took two cakes away from December, how many birthdays would we have then?
- How could this graph change or not change over time?
- What are you looking at on the graph to help you figure that out?
- What does this graph tell us about the class?
- Finish reading the end of the book Happy Birthday by Gail Gibbons and discuss each months, color, flower, birthstone etc.
- Finally, display the birthday graph in the hallway along with the name graph.
Supporting All Learners
All students are able to participate in creating the birthday graph. I also encourage students to think of their own questions to ask about the graph to support my gifted learners. I use lots of repetition and song to support my ESL learners.
Be sure to continue to use the chant "Apple, peaches, pears and plums. Tell me when your birthday comes!" to practice student birthdays. You can do this during community time or when there is a break in the action throughout the school day. The students love singing this chant, and asking just a few students their birth date at different times will help all your students learn their birthdays in a flash! If you recall, the student colored two cakes in the previous lesson, I use the second cake to create a class birthday book. Title the book Happy Birthday To Us! And glue the appropriate cakes on each month and use simple language to write the text, such as; "There are no birthday's in January." "There are two birthdays in February." This is a meaningful way for students to pattern read the months of the year and number words. Adding a little photo of each student next to the cake they colored gives the book a special touch.
Send home the class made birthday book with a different student each night so they can read it to their family.
You could also choose to send home along with the class made birthday book, a student birthday cake graph page for students to complete with the help of their parents.
This home connection gives students the opportunity to discuss classmates' birthdays with their family members and reinforce learning about the months of their birthdays.
Introduction: There are many wonderful birthday stories to help enrich this lesson. You can read them during your read aloud time and add them to your classroom library.
Classroom Tips: On the first day of school, make sure you have student's names and birthdays displayed prominently for reference of their birthday and the months of the year. From the first day of school, students should be singing different months of the year song, so they are on their way to becoming more familiar with the names, sequence and spelling of each month. When creating class books with your students, keep a template for each book on your computer so you can just type in the new or changed information, print, cut, glue and laminate for a beautifully made book that will stand the test of time.
Take note of which students choose to think of their own questions about the graph and which students are still struggling to answer simple counting questions.