Friday, August 14, 2015

Feeding the Grasshopper and the Ant

This was a math tool we got from Mother Goose Time when we studied the fable of the Grasshopper and the Ants
I failed to get pictures of them working on this one but you can see the finished tray.  First he had to cut apart all of the cards.  Numbers 1 through 12 and the Ant and the Grasshopper cards.  This was great cutting practice.

Then they put the cards face down in a pile, chose the top card and decided which critter they wanted to feed.  Lachlan chose to feed the grasshopper first and he had drawn the 11 card.  Next he fed the ant 12 pieces of corn.

Lachlan is 6 years old so he is past the one on one correspondence lessons and needs to move onto more advanced math skills.  I decided to ask him how many pieces of corn he would need to give the grasshopper to make it so each critter had the same amount.  This math problem ended up being pretty easy because the grasshopper had 11 and the ant 12 so he only needed to add one.  But I would really like to do this again and see if we can come up with some more challenging numbers.

Another simple way to advance this lesson would be to have them draw two numbers, add them together and give the critter that many pieces of corn.

The last math tactic could be to have them draw a number, feed the grasshopper that many and then have them figure out how many more they would need to feed the grasshopper 10 pieces of corn total.  I would even have them keep the two piles separate.  For instance, if they draw the number 6 they feed the grasshopper 6 by putting the corn to the left of the grasshopper.  Once they figure out that they need 4 more to make 10 they put those 4 pieces to the right.  Then they can see that 6 plus 4 equals 10.

This could be duplicated very easily at home if you are looking for some fun with your kiddos.  Just find any two critters, a stuffed lion and a purple dragon, and then find something to feed them like cheerios.  Grab some number flash cards or write out numbers on some cut up scratch pieces of paper.

The best part about this lesson is that it shows how endless the possibilities are when it comes to math.  It certainly doesn't have to be just practicing equations on paper.  I remember one time working on counting skills with a little guy who would do nothing but play with trucks.  So I made paper rocks and had him deliver 5 rocks to the 5 card and 2 to the 2.  It was math and he didn't even know it!

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