The New and Improved Humpty Dumpty
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
- Unit Plan:
Using the nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty," the students will become problem solvers and create a new and improved Humpty Dumpty that will not break when it falls off the wall. The students will present their Humpty Dumptys to the King of the Land.
- Engage in problem solving by justifying their reasoning with a concrete object
- Recite familiar rhymes
- Answer questions about the topic
- Raw eggs (one for each student)
- Plates or trays
- Humpty Dumpty interactive pocket chart
- A variety of breakable materials such as glass, ice, ceramic, and dried spaghetti
- Different types of shatterproof materials such as foam, rocks, fabric, oranges, foil, and paper
- A Written Proclamation (PDF). (This is their homework assignment for the week. Print out one for each student.)
- A word-web graphic organizer for your unbreakable materials
- Not necessary, but a nice touch: props such as two horse sticks, two soldiers shirts, a king's crown, a cap, and a stand on which to mount the paper "brick" wall
- Read the Humpty Dumpty interactive pocket chart to the students. Let the students come up and put the pictures next to the correct line of the nursery rhyme.
- Divide the students into small groups, and invite them to break their eggs onto the plates or trays. (This is a fun, messy highlight of the day!) Give the students a couple of minutes to try to put the egg together again. (Be sure to check beforehand that none of your students suffer from serious egg allergies.)
- Discuss with the whole class the reasoning behind why the egg could not be put together again. On the board, write down the students' responses next to their names.
- Brainstorm with the students ways to make a Humpty Dumpty that would not break if it fell off the wall. Use the word-web to write down the different unbreakable materials or objects that the students suggest.
- Pass out and discuss the Written Proclamation (PDF) to the students. The actual Humpty Dumpty will be created at home.
- Review the Humpty Dumpty pocket chart. Remember to give everyone a chance to become acquainted with the pocket chart. (For class management purposes, I use a cross-off sheet and once a student has done the activity, I cross his/her name off of it so we both know that they already had a turn.)
- Show the students various materials and objects that are breakable and unbreakable. I can get most of the material/objects that the students suggested from the first day's activity. As you show each material, use the thumbs-up and thumbs-down method. Since our focus is on unbreakable materials/objects, have the students give a thumbs-up if the material/object is unbreakable and a thumbs-down if the material/object is breakable. I hot glue the items to the word-web labeled "unbreakable" and display it in the room for the students to see.
- In a whole-group fashion, direct the students step by step in drawing and coloring a Humpty Dumpty. I use the drawings to extend the lesson by discussing the relevance of pronouns when we talk about how we're drawing ourselves in the picture.
- In small groups, let the students choose which material they would like to use in making their Humpty Dumpty. Have the students fill in the blank: I could make my Humpty Dumpty out of _____.
- Glue the words to their drawings and display their work on a bulletin board.
- Review the proclamation homework assignment with the students.
- Review the unbreakable word-web.
- Recite the Humpty Dumpty interactive pocket chart.
- In preparation for the culminating activity where the students will act out several nursery rhymes, role-play Humpty Dumpty:
–Demonstrate the motions for how each character would move.
–Show a picture of what a real horse looks like. Demonstrate how a horse gallops or prances. Let the students gallop around the room.
–Show a picture of a real soldier. Discuss what a soldier does. Demonstrate how a soldier marches. Have each student march around the room like a soldier.
–Show a picture of a real king. Discuss what a king might say. Role-play how a king might act. Have the students walk around the room as if they were King of the Land.
–Ask the students if there are any other characters in the nursery rhyme. Brainstorm ideas about how Humpty Dumpty would act. (The responses are hysterical.) The students take turns falling off the stand with the paper brick wall taped to it.
–Review the written proclamation and improved Humpty Dumpty assignments.
- Props are a nice touch but not necessary. I have two horse props, two easy to put on soldier costumes, a cap for Humpty Dumpty, and a crown for the king. For class management purposes, each student has his/her name written on a tongue depressor. As each name is picked, that student gets to choose which character he or she would like to portray.
- Repeat Day 3, making sure students pick a new character to act out.
Day 5: Presentation Day
The students take turns coming up to the paper brick wall and standing with their new and improved Humpty Dumpty. Each student addresses the class and the King of the Land (which has been played by the principal, custodian, or a teacher's assistant). Each student states the material he or she used to make the new Humpty Dumpty. Each student is given one question to answer.
Since it is the beginning of the year and the students are just learning how to ask a question, I ask the questions. The questions range in difficulty from questions that require one or two words to questions requiring full explanations. Use your knowledge of your students' abilities and comfort levels in front of an audience to decide which questions to ask.
- How long did it take you to make your Humpty Dumpty?
- What did you do first to make your Humpty Dumpty?
- What was your favorite part about making Humpty Dumpty?
- Describe how you made your Humpty Dumpty.
Then the students get to push their Humpty Dumptys off the wall. A roaring round of applause erupts!
|The King of the Land inspects a student's Humpty Dumpty.|
Supporting All Learners
English-Language Learners: The use of pictures, role-play, and graphic organizers are especially important when teaching an English-language learner.
Have the students recite the "Humpty Dumpty" nursery rhyme into a tape recorder.
- Cooking: Write down and draw the steps to make deviled eggs. Let the students follow the directions.
- Science: Eggsperiments: Make rubber eggs. Boil eggs and put in a covered jar with vinegar for three days. Take out the eggs and see what you have!
- PE: Play the fun game "hold an egg on a spoon." Get into teams. Have the students race back and forth to their teammates while making sure the egg does not fall off the spoon.
- Social Studies/Technology: Google Humpty Dumpty. Find out where the nursery rhyme came from.
- Language Arts: Integrate the interactive pocket chart as a center. As the students learn the rest of the nursery rhymes, continue to add each one to the interactive pocket chart center.
The written proclamation is a homework assignment that is actually a family project. Parents and siblings may assist the student in creating a Humpty Dumpty. What a terrific way to begin the year by having the family involved in what is going on in the classroom!
- Recite the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.
- Direct drawing of Humpty Dumpty.
- Role-play the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.
- Were the students frustrated or successful?
- Were the students on task?
- Were the students excited about the lesson?
- Were the students able to recite the nursery rhyme?
- Were the students able to distinguish between non-breakable and breakable materials?
- Did the students create a Humpty Dumpty that did not break when it fell off the wall?
- Did the students respond to the questions asked?