Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bunny Graphing

We are working on the concept of more/less and talking about bigger/smaller numbers, so we decided to make a little pictograph using our favorite Spring treat- colored marshmallow bunnies!

Materials Needed: cardstock, colored markers, handful of colored marshmallow bunnies (we got ours at Target), scissors, tape

1. Sort the marshmallows by color into little piles. For littler kids it is great to have color coded bowls so that they have a visual cue/reminder as they sort. My little guy is fine at his age just moving the objects into groups without the visual cue... but little ones can get distracted or have a hard time keeping the objects separate.

2. Count how many bunnies there are in each pile. Talk about which piles have more and which piles have less bunnies, which piles are bigger and which piles are smaller, and which piles are the same.

3. Draw bunnies on a piece of cardstock. Make one bunny for each marshmallow bunny you have in that color. My little guy would count a pile and then say, "draw 3 purple bunnies"... and I would do it. You could also use colored bunny stickers or bunny stamps so the kids could do this part independently. We had fun working together.

4. Color the bunnies in... my little guy wanted to match the marshmallow bunnies with the drawn bunnies, so we skipped the coloring part. He wasn't that interested in coloring yesterday.

5. Make a mistake ;) I drew too many yellow bunnies, so I took the opportunity to have my son check my drawings and find my mistake. We both laughed about it, talked about how everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and then crossed out the extra bunny. He thought it was sooo funny that I made a mistake. I love it when I make a mistake and we can use it as a learning experience! I think it is really important as a teacher and parent that we make mistakes and help our kids see that everyone can make mistakes and that it is part of learning!

6. Draw a bunny graph outline. Add a title and the four color categories. Next time I would skip the numbers up the side for little kids... and just use them for older ones. Since my son wasn't meticulous when he put the bunnies on his graph, they didn't line up and just made things confusing. For older kids who can be more precise in their placement of pictures, adding the numbers would be great.

7. Cut out the colored bunnies and tape them onto the graph. We called them bunny towers. :)

Once you're done taking all of your data, don't hesitate to eat some of your marshmallows!! You can even play fluffy bunny like we did and see how many you can stuff in your mouth while still saying fluffy bunny :) Pretty hysterical.

8. Have a discussion about your graph. Have your child use the graph as a resource to answer some questions about the data.

- Which color has the most marshmallow bunnies?
- Which one has the least (smallest amount) marshmallow bunnies?
- Which towers have the same amount of marshmallow bunnies?
- Which tower is bigger? smaller? the same?
- How many pink bunnies are there? (4) Is 4 bigger or smaller than 2? etc.

I loved this activity because it involved a treat :) and taught some new language skills. I also loved that it helped us work on asking/answering Wh questions and started us thinking about some number concepts.

Our favorite bunny book right now to go along with this activity is Natasha Wing's, The Night Before Easter (an Easter version of "Twas the Night before Christmas"). It is adorable!

In addition to bunny graphing, we've been getting ready to Light it Up Blue on Friday. We bought some materials that we'll be using to make some freezer paper styled Light it Up Blue shirts later this week. EJ and I will share what we come up with for the shirt designs... she's the genius behind the idea and I am only hoping that my attempt will be somewhat decent.

We also checked out Home Depot where they are selling blue light bulbs and lanterns (to benefit autism) that you can stick outside your house this weekend. You can also use blue cellophane and create your own blue outdoor lights (according to our friend at A Little Learning for Two who commented yesterday).

Are you planning to doing anything?

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