Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Grandfather Tang: Tangram activity

This week we are giving our nine weeks test. The students and I took a much needed break from test prep yesterday to read Grandfather Tang's Story written by Ann Tompert and illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker.
http://www.amazon.com/Grandfather-Tangs-Story-Dragonfly-Books/dp/0517885581
After reading the story to my fifth and sixth graders, I passed out the tangram manipulatives for them to explore with. We reviewed transformations and attributes of polygons while they were "playing with their puzzle." They tried to make a square using all seven pieces, but only one was successful. I found some wonderful activities on CREATE for Mississippi (link here) to work with my students this week. I downloaded some free apps for our iPads to let the students play. Yesterday the fifth grade each picked a character from the book, created the tangram animal with their manipulatives, traced and colored the pieces, and wrote which character changed into that animal. When they finished, we used their art work to create a quilt that would tell the story in order. The students arranged the pictures in the order they happened in the story and taped them to bulletin board paper. We hung the quilt in the hall to display for the other classes.

My sixth grade class also created the characters from the story using their tangram pieces. After testing this week, they will continue working on their project. I am going to have them create a book using the pictures and summarizing the story. They will type their summary for the character they chose and I will publish each student a copy using our binding system. My colleague and I have been discussing how much trouble the students have with summarizing. Hopefully I can help with this skill as well as their writing skills with this lesson.