Monthly Archives: August 2018

The Enormous Turnip Meets Forces

Our second grade classes are exploring forces, especially the concept of push and pull. Georgia Standards of Excellence: S2P2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to explain the effect of a force (a push or a pull) in the movement of an object (changes in speed and direction).  I started thinking of books featuring a push or pull and thought of the traditional folk tale, The Great Big Enormous Turnip, written by Alexei Tolstoy.  I like the version illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.


After reading the book we talked about how the people pulled on the turnip, creating a great force to get that vegetable out of the ground.  We also made the connection to a similar experience they have every year at field day–the tug of war! I asked them to think of another person, animal or thing that could apply a force to get that turnip out.

Using paper and crayons they drew the turnip and how they imagined another version of the story.  For the most part they came up with different ideas, gorillas, trucks, shovels, even Big Foot (when I told them to thing of something very strong).  Some just illustrated the story (the old man, the old woman, grand-daughter, dog, cat and mouse); I guess I need to encourage them to think outside the box, use their imagination and get crazy!



I even bought a turnip as I figured few if any of the children would have eaten one.  Several had heard of turnip greens (we are in the south after all).


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Stuck-First Grade Thinkers

(I just realized I never posted this blog…it was from May 2018.  End of the school year, what can I say?)

At this time of year with erratic schedules, testing, etc. I don’t plan on doing things that involve a lot of preparation and planning.  I got this idea from a school librarian in Panama (and I don’t mean Panama City, Florida).   She did this activity with Kindergarten, but I needed something to do with first grade.

I read Oliver Jeffers’ book, Stuck  to the classes.  In this book Floyd has to figure out how to get his kite out of the tree.  I told the students they had to be thinkers (one of the IP-PYP Learner Profiles). I asked the students to come up with another solution to get the kite down; and they did!  The problem solvers came up drones, helicopters, rockets, airplanes, jets, trampolines, chainsaws, big butterflies and more!  They wrote out their idea and then illustrated it.  They thought the book was hilarious!



This student showed a lot of imagination—using a big butterfly!


Definitely a keeper!

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