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Dinosaur Drawings Grades: K-6th
Summary: Use sidewalk chalk and dinosaur measurements in this artful activity to make drawings that can help with perspective and understanding.
Ant Rulers Grades 3-6
Summary: A fun and creative way for students to learn how to use and read a ruler.
One of the best ideas I used recently was to teach the students how to read a ruler. It's amazing how few kids really understand the division of the ruler into 1/4's, 1/8's, 16th's, etc.
MATERIALS: strips of narrow paper, cut into any length
1. I gave everyone a narrow strip of paper. I told them that the length of the paper was a new unit called "ant-units." It represents the distance an ant can walk in 1 minute.
2. I made up some silly story about a picnic that they needed to get to, etc, just to get their attention. Then after a minute or two I had the fold the paper in half.
3. We talked about the fact that the ant-unit was now in 2 parts, and if an ant walked to the fold and stopped he had only walked 1 of the 2 parts (1/2) of the distance.
4. I had them write the fraction 1/2 on the fold, near the edge of the paper.
5. Then we folded in back in 1/2, and folded it again.
6. This time when they opened it we talked about the fact that it was now divided into 4 sections, & wrote the fractions 1/4, 2/4, 3/4 on the appropriate folds. Of course, 2/4 had to go right below the 1/2 we had already written.
7. We did the same thing twice more, dividing the piece of paper into 1/8's & 1/16's.
8. Whenever we came to a fold that already had a fraction written there, I asked the students to write the new fraction below the previous one.
9. For a quick fraction review I asked some questions like, "if Timmy ant walked 3/4 of the distance and Jimmy ant walked 7/8 of the distance in one minute, who walked the farthest?" "If the ants had a timed race, and at the end of 20 seconds there were ants on the 3/8, 3/16, & 3/4 marks, who won the race?" etc. We also reviewed equivalent fractions this way.
10. I been writing the fractions on the whiteboard the whole time the students were folding their "ant-units." Without saying anything I started drawing lines down from the edge of my "ant trail" to the bottom of each fraction or set of fractions. Of course, the line for the 1/2 mark was longest, because it had 1/2, 2/4, 4/8, & 8/16 lined up one beneath the other. The 1/4 mark was the second longest, etc.
11. By the time I finished drawing the lines, some of the kids caught on that it looked just like a ruler! (I call this the "light-bulb" feeling because you can see the light going on inside when kids can say, "OOOHHH - I get it now!")
Submitted by: C. DAMIGO (This lesson was printed in The Teacher's Corner http://teacherscorner.bc.ca/index.html weekly newsletter.)
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