Author:
MSDE Admin, Bruce Riegel, Amy Tubman, Melinda Wilson, Kathleen Hogan, Gwen Lewis, Marcella Brown, Jessica J. Reinhard, Kathleen Gregory, Heidi Strite, Margaret Lee
Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Lower Primary
Grade:
1
Tags:
MSDE, MSDE GT
License:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States
Language:
English

Education Standards (12)

First Grade: Thinking Big

Lesson Overview

Overview

The purpose of Thinking Big is to immerse students in a series of research-based cognitive behaviors that are foundational to school and life success: creativity, logical reasoning, memory, and spatial reasoning.

Thinking Big was developed by Frederick County Public Schools and is made up of single-day experiences designed to instruct students in the behaviors and elicit them without additional prompting. While arranged in order of difficulty, lessons may also serve as “stand-alone” experiences throughout the year grouped by cognitive focus. Most lessons use mathematical thinking prompts and manipulatives. The focus of the unit is not on math, but on thinking and reasoning

The lessons have also been mapped to the relevant gifted behaviors that are taught and observed through the PTD Program. There are two scoring guides: one that allows the observer to record the names of those students who exhibit a command of the cognitive behavior(s); and a REPI-aligned continuum, which allows the observer to note the affective behavior that undergirds a student’s high-level completion of the cognitive behavior. This module is meant for all students. The classroom teacher should work with a specialist or special educator to find or develop alternate activities or resources for visually-impaired students, where appropriate.

Task 1: Lesson 1: Favorites

Standards:

SL.1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.  SL.1.1.a Follow agreed-upon rules for discussion (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).  SL.1.1.b Build on others' talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.  SL.1.1.c Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion.

Purpose:

  • Assess auditory memory
  • Set the climate of the classroom as one of caring and interest in each other
  • Assess interests of students
  • Introduce metacognitive awareness and the importance of memory

Materials:

  • Lesson 1 Favorites Student Observation Form Perceptive (see resources)
  • The Brain Chant (see resources)
  • Large or small softball
  • Optional support for language barrier: Secret Color Cards, Color Wheel (See “Considerations”)
  • Book: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox (See “Considerations”)

Metacognitive Awareness:  

  1. Refer students to the Perceptive poster.  Tell students that they have exhibited perceptive behaviors in PTD lesson AAT in K. Explain that the ability to examine things closely and see patterns and relationships is being perceptive.  
  2. Think-Pair-Share. Ask students what they consider to be the most important part of their bodies.  After each reply, ask each student to explain his or her reasons for the opinion.  
  3. Ask students to explain why the brain could be considered the “boss” of their bodies. 
  4. Teach, The Brain Chant (See Resources) “I know I am a thinker.” (The student points at themselves.) “I know I’ve got a brain.” (The student points at their head.) “I know I’ve got to use it.” (The student moves their hands in circular motion next to their head.) “Or it’s gone, gone — down the drain!” (The student whispers the last three words while making sweeping arm movements.)
  5. Help students develop the concept that the brain needs to be exercised to work well just as muscles must be exercised to become strong.  Explain that the brain can do all kinds of work and that today’s lesson will focus on memory. Allow time for a brief discussion of memory.

  6. Ask students about some ways they use to remember something important. Remind students to be perceptive (see relationships and patterns) when trying to remember something.

Experience:

  1. Explain that a game called “Favorites” will help students to learn more about each other and will help develop their memory.  

  2. Seat students on the floor in a circle.

  3. Model the game “Favorites,” as follows: Tell the students that the first category will be favorite colors.  The teacher should model first and say their name and favorite color.  a. Roll the ball to a student.  b.  Ask that student to repeat the teacher's name and favorite color.  c. Ask the student to tell his/her own name and favorite color. d. Ask that same student to roll the ball to a different student.

  4. Direct each subsequent student to do the following: a. Repeat the name and favorite color of the person who rolled the ball to him/her.  b.Then, state his/her name and favorite color. c. Roll the ball to a different student. (Sample dialogue might go as follows:  My name is Mrs. Bates, and I like yellow. Roll the ball. She is Mrs. Bates, and she likes yellow.  I am Joe, and I like blue. Roll the ball. That was Joe, and he likes blue.  My name is Kaitlyn, and I like purple. Model the memory technique of visualizing a person and the favorite color he or she named.  Continue taking turns. You are not asking them to name everyone’s favorite color, only the person before them and then their favorite color.  At the end of the lesson, you will take volunteers to name as many favorites as possible.)

  5. Allow more students to have turns.

  6. When every student has had a turn, invite students to share as many of the others' favorites as they can remember. This is the most important part of the lesson, to listen to a student who names as many as they can remember.

  7. Play “Favorites” again, using the visualization technique. Ask students to be perceptive and be aware of any patterns or relationships.

  8. Repeat the game with a different favorite. (e.g., ice cream, sport, etc.)

Reflection:

Lead the students in a discussion of what made it difficult or easy for them to remember the favorites of other students. Did they notice any patterns?  How did being perceptive help them remember the favorites of their classmates?

Teacher Observation:

On the Student Observation Form, record the names of students who exhibit excellent memory during and after the game, “Favorites.”

 

Considerations:

  • Invite students to create a “secret color card” with their favorite color (see attached).  Keeping the color card turned upside down in front of them until it is his/her turn to share their favorite color (show color card and immediately hide it behind them).  This gives a visual representation to students who have a language barrier.

  • Allow ELL students to use a “color wheel” to point to their favorite color if language is a barrier.

  • Play the game “Favorites” in smaller groups with an assistant facilitating one group. Play it frequently, calling on different students to be the first to recall their friends’ “favorites."

  • Create a pictograph or histogram of favorites by having each student share the “favorite” of their neighbor to the right.

  • Read the book Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge to students and then discussing Wilfrid’s concept of memory and how he helped Miss Nancy to remember different things.

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Task 2: Lesson 2: Problem-Solving Rod Puzzlers

Standard(s):  

1.OA.A.1  Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

Mathematical Practices p.5-8

  • 1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • 5. Use appropriate tools strategically.

Essential Skills and Knowledge:

  • Ability to use flexible thinking strategies to develop an understanding of the traditional algorithm and their processes.
  • Learning Behavior-Persistence

Other Essential Skills and Knowledge:

  • Knowledge of and ability to apply possible strategies such as drawing pictures and/or using Cuisenaire Rods as manipulatives to solve problems

 

Purpose:

  • Assess students’ ability to use logical thinking to solve word problems involving Cuisenaire Rods.

Materials:

  • Lesson 2 Rod Puzzlers Student Observation Form-Persistence (see resources)
  • Cuisenaire Rods
  • Centimeter Grid Paper (see resources)
  • Rod Puzzlers Worksheet (see resources)
  • Marker
  • Document camera

Establishing Expectations or Metacognitive Awareness:

  1. Refer to the Persistence Poster. (see resources) Share the objective that today they will use persistent thinking behaviors to solve a puzzle.  Tell students that when you are persistent, you demonstrate diligence and determination.  Today they will demonstrate persistence by trying many different ways to solve a puzzle.  They will have to stick with it and come up with more than just one way to solve the puzzle.

  2.   Ask, “What does it mean when you say something is valuable?” Show an expensive object, like a piece of jewelry or ring, and tell children that this is valuable. Guide students to understanding that the object is worth a lot of money. Note:  Not all families and students value objects.  The teacher may have to ask a question such as "What do you or your family consider valuable?"  Valuable may mean something that has been passed down from generations. More value might be placed on relationships or family, and valuable may refer to a cell phone.  The teacher should be able to monitor the pulse of the classroom and determine what the students find valuable and ask questions that will guide students to a conclusion about what is valuable.

  3. Show students a Cuisenaire Rod and explain that the rod has a value too.  It is worth something.

  4. Explain that students will use logical thinking and persistence to find the value of the rods to solve problems.

Exploration or Modeling with Manipulatives:

  1. Model how to use Centimeter Grid Paper and Cuisenaire Rods:

    • Determine the value of each Cuisenaire Rod by placing the rod on the paper and counting how many squares it fills. Find the values of several different rods.

    • Place two rods next to each other on the grid paper and count how many squares they fill.  Find the value of the two rods.

  2. Distribute Cuisenaire Rods and Centimeter Grid Paper and give students time to explore. Explain that all rods must lay flat on the Grid Paper and must touch the Grid Paper.

  3. Model how to line up rods in ascending order on grid paper, then ask students what they notice.  Guide students to see that each colored rod has a value that is one more than the rod below it.   

  4. Explain that students will use their logical thinking and persistence to solve puzzles.

Guided Practice:

  1. Distribute Rod Puzzlers Worksheet.

  2. Model how to solve the   rod puzzler.  Emphasize the difference between the vocabularies of numbers (quantity of rods) versus value (what the rods are worth).   Model counting seven squares in a row on the Centimeter Grid Paper and outline the rod drawn on the worksheet with a black marker to make it stand out.  Model how to find two rods that have a value of seven, with one rod being longer than the other. Model finding a different solution.

  3. Do the    puzzle together.  Encourage students to find multiple solutions.

Independent Application:

  1. Read each puzzle to the students one at a time.  Encourage students who find a solution quickly to see if there is another solution.  (Persistence) Have students share their solutions by showing on the document camera.

Reflection:

  1. Ask students to explain how they used their brain to solve the puzzle.  What was difficult about it? What made it easier?

Teacher Observation:

  1. As students are independently solving the puzzles, use the Lesson 2 Rod Puzzlers Student Observation Form-Persistenceto record information about the students’ accuracy and ability to find multiple solutions.  

Considerations:

  1. Students who can be encouraged to solve the Puzzlers without the grid paper for an extra challenge.

  2. Students can write equations to represent the rods used to find the total value in each puzzle.

  3. Use Cuisenaire Rods in other lessons to model algebraic thinking.  

  4. Please ensure that you do not specify that a specific color represents a specific unit; for example, “The white rod equals one.” You can, however, challenge students’ thinking by posing a challenge such as, “If the dark green rod were to equal one whole, which rod would equal one-third of that whole?”
  5. Other ways to use Cuisenaire Rods: https://nrich.maths.org/public/search.php?search=cuisenaire+rods

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Task 3: Lesson 3: Creature Clubs

Standards:

Additional Standard: 1.G.A.1 p.20 Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.

Essential Skills and Knowledge  p.24 Ability to sort shapes (e.g., attribute blocks, polygon figures) by shape, number of sides, size or number of angles  Ability to use geoboards, toothpicks, straws, paper and pencil, computer games to build shapes that possess the defining attributes  Ability to explain how two shapes are alike or how they are different from each other.

Mathematical Practices p.5-8

  • 1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • 2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively

Purpose:

  • Assess logical thinking
  • Assess thinking strategies for determining attributes
  • Assess inductive and deductive reasoning abilities

Materials:

  • Lesson 3 Creature Clubs Student Observation Form-Perceptive (see resources)
  • Document Camera
  • Copies of Creature Clubs Cards and Answers - use the following link to access these materials: (Student Work Sheet Gligs for Creative Clubs Cards and Answers) Begin on page 3.
  • Groups of objects with the same and different attributes, such as toy vehicles, fruits (plastic or real), writing and drawing materials, etc.
  • Hula hoops or long pieces of yarn for sorting activities

Modeling with Manipulatives:

1.    Explain to students that they are going to use a different kind of thinking today called “logic.” Tell them they will use their logical thinking to figure out what is the same about each group of objects. Refer students to the Perceptive poster.  Tell students that they have exhibited perceptive behaviors in Favorites.  Explain that the ability to examine things closely and see patterns and relationships is being perceptive. Students will need to be perceptive to figure out what is the same.

2.    Display one of the groups of objects you have chosen from the list above. Put some objects that have an obvious common attribute inside the yarn circle or hula-hoop and place some that do not have that attribute outside the circle.

3.    Have students discuss what is alike or the same about the items inside the circle?

4.    Repeat steps two and three several times, progressing with objects having less common attributes, followed by items with multiple common attributes.

Modeling with Graphic Representations:

1.    Explain to students that they will be able to use this same kind of thinking called logic to compare some strange creatures. Refer students to the Perceptive poster.  Explain that the ability to examine things closely and see patterns and relationships is being perceptive. Students will need to be perceptive to figure out what is the same and different about these strange creatures.

2.    Display the top row of creatures on the Student Worksheet of the Creature Clubs Cards and Answers called Gligs, on the document camera and asks students to look for a characteristic that is the same for all the Giigs in that row.

3.    Display the second row of creatures, which are not Gligs, and ask students to determine which Gligs attribute is missing from these creatures.

4.    Display the last row of creatures. Ask students to point out which creatures in the row they think are the Gligs, which creatures are not Gligs and why.

5.    Circle the Gligs in the bottom row on the paper to ensure that students can visually discriminate the Gligs from non-Gligs.

6.    Repeat steps 2-5 with the Globs and Dwarks copies.

7.    Give students the first eight Creature Cards from Creature Clubs Cards and Answers resource. Ask students to follow the same procedures to determine which creatures in the bottom row are Glorbs. Instruct students to circle the Glorbs.

8.    Have students raise their hands as they finish each Creature Card and then give them subsequent cards to finish until all eight Creature Cards are completed. (Note: Give only one card at a time to allow each student to move at his/her pace without feeling overwhelmed.)

Reflection:

Ask students to reflect on what made the task difficult or easy for them. Discuss with students when it might be important to be able to figure out how things are the same or different. 

Teacher Observation:

Record on Lesson 3 Creature Clubs Student Observation Form-Perceptive the names of students who were able to quickly and correctly identify the strategies used during instruction and then use those strategies to answer the Creature Card. Include comments as appropriate.

Considerations:

Have students design their Gligs, Globs, or Dwarks activities to be used at a Center by other students.

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Task 4: Lesson 4: Block Building

Standard(s):

1.G.A.2

Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.

 Purpose:  

  • Assess visual memory

  • Assess spatial skills

  • Reinforce metacognitive awareness

  • Introduce the concept of using multiple senses in learning and thinking

Materials:

  • Student Observation Form RS1

  • Eight small wooden cubes (in a container) per student (colored cubes might distract students.)

  • Document Camera

  • Copies of Block Designs for First Grade RS2

  • Small cubes to use on Document Camera

Metacognitive Awareness:

  1. Complete Identification, Lesson 1.

  2. To provide a link to previous learning about the brain, initiate a discussion about what students remember about the brain and memory. Repeat The Brain chant from Identification, Lesson 1.

  3. Explain that the five senses provide information to the brain.

  4. Ask which of the five senses students used in the “Favorites” game. Invite discussion of visualizing (introduced in the first lesson) as a way of “keeping a picture in your mind.”

Exploration with Manipulatives:  

  1. Seat students at desks or tables directly facing the screen.

  2. Distribute a container with eight wooden cubes and a piece of unlined paper to each student.

  3. Invite students to arrange the cubes in any way they would like, except that all cubes/blocks must touch the paper. Allow students this exploratory time to become familiar with the materials.  

  4. Circulate among students, asking them to tell you about their designs. Help students understand that each block can exist by itself or as part of a design.


Independent Applications:

  1. Tell students you are going to show a block design on the Document Camera, but that they are not to touch the blocks until the picture is removed.

  2. Show students the simplest pattern on the Block Designs for First Grade picture for about 5-6 seconds.  Tell students to look at the design carefully so that they can create the same design with their blocks.  

  3. Remove the picture and ask students to use their blocks to copy the design they just saw. (Remind students that all blocks must touch the paper.)

  4. After all, students have attempted to duplicate the design, show the picture again, and ask students to self-correct.

  5. Ask students how they remembered the design.  If necessary, prompt students with examples, such as, "It reminds me of ______;" using their hands to make a map of the design; directionality (top/bottom/right/left); long/short; stair steps; etc.  

  6. Model the use of one of the techniques discussed, using the same design.

  7. Repeat this process with each of the designs on the Block Designs-1 picture, from simplest to hardest.

  8. Repeat Steps two through seven with each picture.  

  9. Create additional designs using the Document Camera for students to copy, using up to ten cubes/blocks.

  10. During the lesson, it is important to observe which students were able to quickly and correctly reproduce most or all of the designs.  Record the names of these students on the Student Observation Form.

Reflection:

  • Lead students in a discussion of what made it easy or difficult for them to make the designs.

  • Ask students which of the strategies they found useful.

Teacher Observation:

On the Student Observation Form, record the names of students who were able to quickly and correctly reproduce most or all of the designs. Include comments as appropriate.

Considerations:

  • Teaching this lesson to small groups to facilitate teacher observations

  • Placing cubes/blocks at a learning center with a Document Camera for pairs of students to create and copy each other’s designs

 

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Task 5: Lesson 5: Puzzling Toothpicks

Standard:   

1.G.2

Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.

Students do not need to learn formal names such as “right rectangular prism.

Purpose:   

  • Assess spatial relationship skills

  • Assess logic skills

  • Observe student perseverance

Materials:

  • Student Observation Form RS1 Lesson 4

  • Document Camera

  • 12 of one of the following for teacher and each student: flat-sided toothpicks, Q-tips, Popsicle sticks, craft sticks

  • One large piece of paper for each student to use as a workspace

  • One paper napkin for each student to use as a coversheet

  • Answer Key-Squares and Answer Key-Triangles provided RS2

Modeling with Manipulatives:

  1. Arrange 12 toothpicks on the Document Camera to form a large square with four squares inside of it, as shown.   

  2. Ask students to arrange their toothpicks the same way.  

                         

  1. Demonstrate moving a toothpick and removing a toothpick.  

  2. Ask students about the difference between moving a toothpick and removing a toothpick.

  3. Ask students to

    1. Move a toothpick.                       

    2. Remove a toothpick.

Metacognitive Awareness:

Ask students to tell what they remember about the different kinds of thinking.  Ask students what kind of thinking (brainstorming or problem solving) was needed for the activity completed above.  Discuss and have students explain their responses.

Independent Application:

  1. Share the following directions with students:

    1. They will need to move and remove toothpicks to make new shapes.

    2. After making each design, they will cover it with a napkin so that others cannot see their solution.

    3. They will reconstruct the original large square with four squares inside it before making each new design.

    4. As each design is completed, a student will be invited to demonstrate the method used to create his/her specific design on the overhead projector for other students to observe the process.

  2. Direct students to create each of the following designs, being sure to reconstruct the original design, as shown, before moving on to the next design.

(Note:  Answer key is provided):

    1. Remove four toothpicks to make one square.                   

    2. Remove four toothpicks to make two squares the same size.

    3. Remove two toothpicks to make two rectangles.

    4. Remove two toothpicks to make two squares that are not the same size.

    5. Move four toothpicks to create three squares the same size.

 

  1. Arrange nine toothpicks on the overhead projector to form a large triangle with four triangles inside of it, as shown.   





 

  1. Direct students to arrange their toothpicks the same way.  

  2. Direct students to create each of the following designs, being sure to reconstruct the original design before moving on to the next design: (Note:  Answer key is provided):

    1. Remove three toothpicks to make one triangle.

    2. Remove three toothpicks to make two triangles.               

    3. Move three toothpicks to form two triangles that are not the same size.

Teacher Observation:

Record on the Student Observation Form the names of students who were able to quickly and correctly reproduce most or all of the designs.  Include comments as appropriate (e.g., perseverance).

Reflection:

Lead students in a discussion of what made it easy or difficult for them to make the designs.

Considerations:

  • Teaching lesson in small groups

  • Using magnetized Popsicle sticks to demonstrate on the chalkboard

 

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Task 6: Lesson 6: Flexible Thinking

Standards:   

SL5:

Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations

K: SL1.b

Participate in conversations with adults and peers. Demonstrate active listening strategies.

SL5

Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.

Grade 1:  SL5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas,

thoughts, and feelings.

Purpose:

  • Assess creative and original thinking

  • Assess flexible thinking

Materials:

  • Student Observation Form RS1, Lesson 5

  • Paper clip for each student

  • Document Camera

  • Copy of Picture Magic and Magazine Magic Examples

  • Paper, scissors, glue stick, crayons

  • Magazines

 

Metacognitive Awareness:

1.   Ask students what they think the word “flexible” means and to give examples.           

     If they do not know, model the use of a dictionary for children and read the definition.

  • Ask students to apply what they have discussed about the word “flexible” and give ideas about what “flexible thinking” could be.

  • Explain that flexible thinking involves brainstorming many, varied, and unusual ideas.     

  

Brainstorming Warm-up Activities:

  1. Distribute paper clips and ask students to use “flexible thinking” while silently brainstorming the possible uses of the paper clip.  Use the Think-Pair-Share strategy to elicit responses.

  2. Show Picture Magic and ask students to brainstorm the many, varied, and unusual things into which this object could be made. Turn the picture in different ways, so students get a different perspective. With each turn of the paper, ask students what picture they could make.

  3. Show a copy of  Magazine Magic Examples, and have students brainstorm other pictures they could make using a bottle, a table, and a bowl of shrimp.


Independent Application:

  1. Distribute magazines, paper, glue stick, scissors, and crayons to students

  2. Explain that students will select a picture of an object from a magazine and use their flexible thinking to brainstorm the many, varied, and unusual ways to determine what the object could become.

  3. Direct students to select a picture, cut it out, and glue it on the paper.

  4. Encourage students to use their flexible thinking and crayons to transform the object into something different.

  5. Have students share their finished product with the class and/or display students’ work on a bulletin board.

Reflection:

  • Discuss situations when flexible thinking was useful to the teacher or students.

  • Identify famous inventors and explain how they used flexible thinking.  

Teacher Observation:

Record on the Student Observation Form the names of students who contributed ideas during Picture Magic Activity and/or who demonstrated flexible thinking during the independent activity. Add comments as appropriate.

 

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Task 7: Lesson 8: Galimoto

Spatial Skills and Creativity

“Galimoto”

 

Common Core Standards:

 

RL1:Cluster: Key Ideas and Detail

READ CLOSELY TO DETERMINE WHAT THE TEXT SAYS EXPLICITLY AND TO MAKE LOGICAL

INFERENCES FROM IT; CITE SPECIFIC TEXTUAL EVIDENCE WHEN WRITING OR SPEAKING

TO SUPPORT CONCLUSIONS DRAWN FROM THE TEXT

Grade K:  RL1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

Essential skills and knowledge:

  • Engage in conversation to understand the text
  • Retell and discuss the text
  • Participate actively and appropriately in discussions about literary text

Grade 1:  RL1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text

Essential skills and knowledge:

Respond to questions about text by speaking, dramatizing, or writing, including the use of technology.

Purpose:

  • Assess spatial skills

  • Assess creative and original thinking

Materials:

  • Student Observation Form (See Resources)

  • Galimoto by Karen Lynn Williams

  • Various colors of electrical/telephone wire or pipe cleaners (See Resources for parent letter)

  • Writing Prompts for next day/week (See Resources)

Metacognitive Awareness:

     1. Ask students what they think a creative thinker is and to give examples.

     2. Introduce the term “characteristics” and help students to understand that characteristics are distinct qualities that are peculiar to a person or thing.

     3. Ask students to tell characteristics of creative thinkers.

Establish the Problem:

  1. Ask students to be creative thinkers and to tell what they might do if they did not have any toys.

  2. Praise the students’ characteristics as creative thinkers.

  3. Show the cover of the book, Galimoto; read the title, and ask for predictions about the story.  

  4. Ask students to listen for examples of creative thinking in the story.

  5. Read the story to the students.

Independent Application:

  1. Ask the students to describe the creative thinking in the story.

  2. Discuss how African children in the story used wires to make imaginative creations.

  3. Invite students to be creative thinkers and use wires or pipe cleaners to create their own “Galimoto-like” toys and props.

  4. Have students write or dictate a title or description of their creations.

Reflection:

  1. Ask students how they were creative thinkers in this activity.

  2. Ask students to share other instances when they have been creative thinkers.

 

Teacher Observation:

Record on the Student Observation Form the names of students who demonstrated creative thinking during the independent activity.  Include comments as appropriate.

 

Considerations:

  • Making a display of the students’ creations to generate further discussion

  • Creating a center for students to listen to the story on tape and/or create additional “Galimoto-like” toys and props.

Writing Extensions, after the lesson is taught, are located in Resources.  This lesson is to identify creativity and spatial skills.  The writing extensions should only be used after teaching the lesson and using the Observation Form included in Resources. Typically, these are best used within the following week.

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Task 8: Lesson 9: Challenging Roddles

Domain: Geometry

 

Standard:

K.G.B.6

Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes (e.g., “Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a rectangle?”)

Purpose:

  • Assess logical thinking

  • Assess spatial skills

Materials (*Located in Resources):

  • Student Observation Form for Identification Lesson 5

  • Three of each of the following colors of Cuisenaire rods for the teacher and each student: white, red, light green, purple

  • Document Camera

  • Copy of Cuisenaire Rod Diagram for each student

  • Copy of Roddle Path Puzzle for teacher

  • Copy of Roddle Path Puzzle for each student

  • Roddle Path Puzzle- Answer Key

Metacognitive Awareness:

Introduce the word challenge and use it in a sentence.  Ask students what they think the word challenge means. Read the definition of a challenge from a dictionary.  Use the think-pair-share method for students to discuss examples of challenges they have had.  As each student shares an example with the class, have him/her explain what made it a challenge.  Tell students that they will do an activity that might challenge them.

Independent Application:

  1. Show students the Cuisenaire rods they will be using.

  2. Distribute Cuisenaire Rod Diagram and Cuisenaire rods (four of each color) to each student.  Allow time for students to explore with the Cuisenaire Rod Diagram and Cuisenaire rods so that they understand the size relationships of the rods. (white is one unit, red is two units, green is three units, purple is four units)

  3. Have students arrange four different Cuisenaire rods (one of each color) from smallest to largest.

  4. Tell students that the name of today’s activity is Challenging Roddles and ask them what they think the made-up word Roddles might mean.  (Answer: Roddles is a combined form of rods and puzzles.)

  5. Show a copy of the Roddle Path Puzzle on Document Camera.

  6. Explain to students that they will be arranging their Cuisenaire rods end to end so that they fit exactly on the path.  They must follow these two rules:

    1. Two rods of the same color may not touch.

    2. Two rods that are only one unit difference in size may not touch.

  7. Ask, “To follow these two rules, which rods can white touch? Not touch?  Which rods can red touch? Not touch?” etc.

  8. Ask students to repeat the two rules to you before they begin.

  9. Distribute Roddle Path Puzzle to students.

  10. Ask students to discuss what strategies they might use as they try to complete the Roddle Path Puzzle.

  11. Provide time for students to use Cuisenaire rods to solve the Roddle Path Puzzle. Record on the Student  Observation Form the names of students who exhibited a well-planned strategy and/or perseverance to complete the Roddle Path Puzzle.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Teacher Observation:

Record on the Student Observation Form the names of students who exhibited a well-planned strategy and/or perseverance to complete the Roddle Path Puzzle.                                                                                                                                                                                             

Reflection:

  • Have several students tell the strategy they used to solve the Roddle Path Puzzle.
  • Ask students to recall the discussion about the word challenge at the beginning of the lesson.   
  • Ask students if this was a challenging activity for them and, if so, how?                                

Considerations:

  • Positioning students to ensure independent application

  • Using cooperative learning strategies

  • Allowing students to offer other students clues for a solution when time is running out

  • Having students make their Roddle Path Puzzles for others to solve

  • Have students further discuss the strategies they used to solve the puzzle.

  • Ask students how this experience might help when they have to face another challenging activity.

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Task 9: Transfer Task: Golliwomps

Mathematical Practices:  

MP 1 Making Sense of Problems and Persevere in Solving Them.

MP 2  Reason Abstractly and Quantitatively.

MP 3  Attend to Precision.

Standards:

K-2-ETS1-1 Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

K-2-ETS1-2 Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

K-2-ETS1-3 Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs

Purpose:

  • Assess spatial skills

  • Assess logical reasoning

  • Observe the ability to problem-solve

  • Observe originality

Materials:

  • Student Observation Form for Identification Lesson 6 (See Resources)

  • One puppet of any type (optional)

  • Document Camera

  • Copy of Golliwomps cut up (See Resources)

  • Each student will need:

    • Copy of Golliwomps (See Resources)

    • 20 flat-sided toothpicks in a Ziploc bag

    • Construction paper to use as a workplace and for gluing final building plan

    • Glue stick

    • Scissors

  • Additional toothpicks, sheets of Graph Paper, and crayons (see Considerations)  

Establishing the Problem:

Use the puppet, as a zookeeper, to tell the following story problem:


“The zookeeper would like to have some new Golliwomps, but needs to have enough cages for them.  Each Golliwomp must have its own four-sided, square ‘cage,’ and all cages are to be the same size.  The zookeeper only has 20 new walls and wants you to figure out how many four-sided, square ‘cages’ he can build with the 20 walls.  To solve this problem you will need to think about as many different building plans as you can, using the 20 walls.”  (Only one Golliwomp per cage, so students should cut out only the Golliwomps they need.)

Emphasize that a problem-solver needs to try several ideas before choosing a solution.  The objective is not to create as many cages as possible, but multiple plans with the 20 toothpicks, before deciding on the one they want to use.

Modeling with Manipulatives:

  1. Model the construction of a square “cage” with four toothpicks.  

  2. Distribute 20 flat-sided toothpicks to each student.

  3. Allow time for students to explore ways to arrange ten toothpicks to create three square cages that touch each other.  

 

Independent Application:

  1. Distribute a copy of Golliwomps, a sheet of construction paper, and a glue stick to each child.  

  2. Instruct students to explore building square cages using all 20 toothpicks.

  3. Check to ensure that students are following directions and considering multiple solutions.  Redirect and paraphrase as needed.

  4. Have each student re-create his/her best design by gluing the 20 toothpicks to the construction paper.  

  5. Have each student cut out the Golliwomps and glue one in each cage.

  6. Ask each student to explain why the design he/she chose is the best one.  (A written response is optional.)

Teacher Observation:

Record on the Student Observation Form the names of students who demonstrated spatial skills and logical reasoning/problem-solving.

*Identify students who were able to:

  • Get started right away and demonstrated a method or plan while creating their cages.

  • Create multiple cage designs before deciding on the one to use.

Reflection:

Discuss with the class the strategies they used to solve the problem and what they learned from this activity.

Considerations:

  • Have students create additional plans using 20 toothpicks.

  • Providing Graph Paper and crayons for students to transfer their design.

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