Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Art/Math
- large bag of birdseed and donated seeds
- several tin pans
- small clear plastic cups
- clear contact paper
- nontoxic craft glue and small brushes
Objective: Children will study the attributes of different types of seeds and create seed mosaics.
In Advance: Send a note home to families to share information about children's seed study and to request donations of seeds.
1 Gather together the birdseed and the donated seeds. During group time, share all the seeds with children. Explain that they will work in small groups to sort and study the seeds.
2 Place mixtures of all the seeds in a tin pan for each group. Provide children with several clear plastic cups. Divide children into groups. Have each group work together to sort the seeds. When finished, ask children to describe the attributes they used to sort their seeds. Provide each group with a sheet of paper and glue. Help each group divide the sheet into the same number of seed groups that they sorted. Ask the children to glue several sorted seeds into each division of the paper. Record each group's sorting criteria beneath each grouping. Invite children to share their sorted seed charts during group time.
3 Explain to children that they will use the seeds to create a seed mosaic or seed picture. Provide each child with a small sheet of clear contact paper. Do not remove the backing. Using markers, invite children to make a drawing on the clear side of the contact paper. When they have completed their drawings, assist them in removing the backing to reveal the sticky side. Place the sticky side up and tape the corners of each child's contact paper onto the table. Place the sorted seeds on the table for the children to stick onto their drawings.
4 When children have finished, give them nontoxic craft glue in small plastic cups. Provide them with small brushes that they can use to paint a thin coat of glue over their mosaics, creating a shiny surface. Exhibit children's work for all to enjoy.
Math: Measuring Birdseed --> Place birdseed in a tin pan. Take it outdoors and explain to children that they will measure how much birdseed the birds eat each day. Attach a ruler or craft stick to the side of the tin pan. Record the amount of birdseed in the pan. Ask the children to predict, in inches, how much birdseed will be eaten the following day. Pass a ruler around to all the children so that they will have an opportunity to study what the amount in inches will look like. Make a daily chart to record their information. At the end of the week, gather children together to form and record conclusions.
Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert (Harcourt Brace, 1990; $16; paper: Voyager, 1996; $7)
Seeds by Gail Saunders-Smith (Pebble Books, 1998; $13.25)
The Things Birds Eat by Betsey Chessen (Scholastic Inc.; $3.25)