Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Project Learning
- different kinds of pasta shapes
- large pot
- wooden spoon and ladle
- chart paper
- writing paper
Objective: Through an investigation of pasta, children will develop math concepts and problem-- solving and language skills.
In Advance: Invite parents to join your class on a field trip to the grocery store to purchase different types of pastas or to a restaurant or store where fresh pasta is made. Prepare sheets of paper that show a variety of pasta shapes.
1 During meeting time, ask children to share what they already know about pasta. What shapes can they think of? Record the children's responses on chart paper. Now ask them what they would like to learn about pasta. Write down what they say on another sheet of chart paper.
2 Plan a trip to a neighborhood market with the children to buy different types of pasta. (If a trip is not possible, ask parents to contribute various kinds of pasta.) Give children a pencil and the pasta charts you have prepared. Ask the children to circle all the pasta shapes they have found at the store. Encourage children to draw additional shapes that were not included on their paper.
3 Gather the children for another conversation to decide what they would like to do with each of their pasta shapes. Ask: Do you think each pasta will take the same amount of time to cook? How do you think people eat each type of pasta? Have you eaten any of these? What kinds of sauces or ingredients may be good on each type? Record the children's ideas.
4 Invite the children to make a graph showing each type of pasta on the left side vertical column. The top horizontal column can list the chosen areas of investigation, such as how long the pasta took to cook, favorite type of sauce, how many children liked it, how many adults like this type of pasta, and so on. Fill in the graph as the investigation progresses.
Math: Divide children into small groups. Give each group a few pieces of each type of pasta. Ask the children to sort the pasta into different categories. Encourage them to work together to discuss why they think certain pastas should go together. Invite the groups to share their decisions with the class.