In a previous article I discussed the importance of motivating students and getting them excited about learning. One way that I suggested to spice up lessons is with food.
Children of all ages love manipulatives. However, when food is involved they simply cannot resist paying attention and getting involved.
In addition to food, holidays make for great learning fun. Including both in your lessons can be a wonderful experience!
Monday is St. Patrick’s Day and what better fun to kick off the week than with a box of Lucky Charms cereal? The cereal adds to the holiday spirit with rainbows, pots of gold, and clovers. It also opens the door to many mathematical wonders.
Below I have offered a few activities to carry out with your class or with your children at home. Either way they will simply love them! Be certain to save some cereal for eating. Remember as stated in my first article, the lesson food should never be for eating.
Simple Sorting (preschool)
Sorting and being able to group objects is a simple skill that young children should develop. Pour out a bowl of the cereal and have your child sort in various ways. First the child can sort the cereal from the marshmallows. Then have your children sort the marshmallows into groups.
Sort and Graph (primary)
Graphing is a skill that children begin to work toward in kindergarten. Create a graph on paper or print one from several sites that offer educational tools. Be careful with the ones specifically made for the cereal activity. In some boxes, the marshmallow designs have changed since the graph was created. Have your child sort the marshmallows and then complete the graph. Ask questions about most, fewest, more, less, and equal.
Have your child guess how many marshmallow pieces will be in one cup of cereal. Then let your child count and see how close he or she was to the actual number. This activity can be done several times. See if your child’s guess gets closer each time.