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November 11, 2016

Project Based Learning: The New and Improved Humpty Dumpty

By Andrea Maurer
Grades PreK–K

    The first project based learning activity that I do with my students each year is The New and Improved Humpty Dumpty, where I ask students to create their own indestructible egg. I create a space in the room and provide students many materials to choose from in order to make the best decision on what they should make their Humpty Dumpty out of. But before we get into the nitty gritty of making Humpty, we learn to recite the nursery rhyme.

    First, we work on concepts of print standards such as reading left to right, return sweep, pointing out letters and words, and the space between words. Our phonological awareness focus is on identifying rhyming words. Two of the resources I find so valuable to teach nursery rhymes are the Nursery Rhyme Flip Chart and the Nursery Rhyme Pocket Chart Add-ons. Both resources include many of the traditional nursery rhymes that I use when teaching this unit.

    Next, we discuss the characters in the nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty, the king's horses (the cavalry), and the king's men (the soldiers). The students' new vocabulary is reinforced by role-playing the king's horses galloping and the king's men marching. We also learned about possible theories behind the history of Humpty Dumpty and discussed whether we think the theories are fact or fiction.

    Then, I have my students create their own response to the prompt: "Humpty Dumpty sat on a ___________." They had to make up something funny Humpty Dumpty would sit on. When the students were done, I put the pages together as a class book and placed it in our classroom library. It is now their favorite book to choose when having independent reading time. Feel free to print a copy of the page I use for the WRITING PROMPT and the FRONT COVER.

     

    Now for the fun part! Create an area in your room that you can devote to making the Humpty Dumptys and gather materials for your students to choose from. Many of the items I had already so you can certainly use things you have on hand. Here is what we ended up with in my classroom:

    Materials:

    • Donated rocks

    • Toilet paper tubes

    • Felt

    • Googly eyes

    • Pipe cleaners

    • Paint

    • Scissors

    • Styrofoam balls

    • Yarn

    • Markers

    • Hot glue gun (and a volunteer to handle!)

    Have a volunteer be in charge of items that will need hot glue in order for the materials to stay glued to their project. What I love most about this project is that the students are in charge of what they are going to use to make their Humpty Dumpty and making their own decisions over which items they are going to add to it.

    When finished, have the students test out their new and improved Humpty Dumptys by tossing them off a wall to see if it breaks or stays together. 

    I also have the students present how they made their Humpty Dumptys. I use this sentence frame to help them organize their thoughts: First, I ______, Next, I ____. Then, I ____. Last, I ______.


     

    After, we finish presenting our finished projects we do a couple of engaging and valuable math activities focused on measuring and sorting the new and improved Humpty Dumptys.

    The first math activity involves measurement. The students are introduced to measurement tools: a scale, tape measure, and a 12” ruler. The students are so excited to get to use each measuring tool. They write their responses on the Humpty Dumpty Measurement page. To do the activity, just download this MEASUREMENT PAGE.

    In addition to measuring the Humpty Dumptys, the students work in cooperative groups to sort them. My students sorted the Humpty Dumptys by the material they used, their size, and their weight. We also as a whole group brainstormed others ways to sort the Humpty Dumptys.

    A wonderful addition to this unit is reading the book, Humpty Dumpty by Daniel Kirk to your students. It is one of my favorite storybooks that I read to my students each year. It is one of the most creatively written stories I have ever read. Click on the link above to read more about this hysterical and witty storybook.

    I really hope you decide to give your students this PBL challenge. Let me know how it goes!

    The first project based learning activity that I do with my students each year is The New and Improved Humpty Dumpty, where I ask students to create their own indestructible egg. I create a space in the room and provide students many materials to choose from in order to make the best decision on what they should make their Humpty Dumpty out of. But before we get into the nitty gritty of making Humpty, we learn to recite the nursery rhyme.

    First, we work on concepts of print standards such as reading left to right, return sweep, pointing out letters and words, and the space between words. Our phonological awareness focus is on identifying rhyming words. Two of the resources I find so valuable to teach nursery rhymes are the Nursery Rhyme Flip Chart and the Nursery Rhyme Pocket Chart Add-ons. Both resources include many of the traditional nursery rhymes that I use when teaching this unit.

    Next, we discuss the characters in the nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty, the king's horses (the cavalry), and the king's men (the soldiers). The students' new vocabulary is reinforced by role-playing the king's horses galloping and the king's men marching. We also learned about possible theories behind the history of Humpty Dumpty and discussed whether we think the theories are fact or fiction.

    Then, I have my students create their own response to the prompt: "Humpty Dumpty sat on a ___________." They had to make up something funny Humpty Dumpty would sit on. When the students were done, I put the pages together as a class book and placed it in our classroom library. It is now their favorite book to choose when having independent reading time. Feel free to print a copy of the page I use for the WRITING PROMPT and the FRONT COVER.

     

    Now for the fun part! Create an area in your room that you can devote to making the Humpty Dumptys and gather materials for your students to choose from. Many of the items I had already so you can certainly use things you have on hand. Here is what we ended up with in my classroom:

    Materials:

    • Donated rocks

    • Toilet paper tubes

    • Felt

    • Googly eyes

    • Pipe cleaners

    • Paint

    • Scissors

    • Styrofoam balls

    • Yarn

    • Markers

    • Hot glue gun (and a volunteer to handle!)

    Have a volunteer be in charge of items that will need hot glue in order for the materials to stay glued to their project. What I love most about this project is that the students are in charge of what they are going to use to make their Humpty Dumpty and making their own decisions over which items they are going to add to it.

    When finished, have the students test out their new and improved Humpty Dumptys by tossing them off a wall to see if it breaks or stays together. 

    I also have the students present how they made their Humpty Dumptys. I use this sentence frame to help them organize their thoughts: First, I ______, Next, I ____. Then, I ____. Last, I ______.


     

    After, we finish presenting our finished projects we do a couple of engaging and valuable math activities focused on measuring and sorting the new and improved Humpty Dumptys.

    The first math activity involves measurement. The students are introduced to measurement tools: a scale, tape measure, and a 12” ruler. The students are so excited to get to use each measuring tool. They write their responses on the Humpty Dumpty Measurement page. To do the activity, just download this MEASUREMENT PAGE.

    In addition to measuring the Humpty Dumptys, the students work in cooperative groups to sort them. My students sorted the Humpty Dumptys by the material they used, their size, and their weight. We also as a whole group brainstormed others ways to sort the Humpty Dumptys.

    A wonderful addition to this unit is reading the book, Humpty Dumpty by Daniel Kirk to your students. It is one of my favorite storybooks that I read to my students each year. It is one of the most creatively written stories I have ever read. Click on the link above to read more about this hysterical and witty storybook.

    I really hope you decide to give your students this PBL challenge. Let me know how it goes!

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