Teacher Netta's Notes

This week an activity I named "Graphing Gourds" has been thrown into the mix! This activity includes a number of gourds which I got at Moulton Farm in Meredith, NH. If you've never been, it's a great place to take families! They have a corn maze, tons of pumpkins and gourds, a shop area with their organic food, and best of all, hot apple cider! This gourd activity encompasses a number of valuable skills such as gathering information through their senses, counting, and comparing. 

To complete this work, the kids first have to carefully take the gourds from the basket--the act of doing this simple task actually strengthens fine and gross motor skills from having to clench the gourds in their hands and hold them the correct way so the necks of the gourds aren't broken. After they have laid the gourds out on the table, the child working on the activity and I talk about the different textures they see and how they feel. We specifically talk about three textures that described the gourds---bumpy, smooth, and ribbed. The kids then use their sense of touch and their comparison skills to find which gourds have the same textures and then put them into separate piles. I found that it was easy for the kids to figure out which were the smooth gourds, but got confused on the bumpy and ribbed gourds since they both have bumps! To help them with this concept, I ask them if the two bumpy textures look the same and have the same kind of bumps. I then showed them how to run their fingers across the ribbed gourds to feel that there were bumps, but that they were specifically called "ribs". Today I heard a child who was helping another child with the work ask "do these look the same?" when comparing the bumpy gourds to the ribbed gourds---music to my ears!

After finding the piles each gourd should go in based on their texture, the kids use their counting skills to count how many are in each pile. They then use that number to correctly graph (with a paint stamper) the number of gourds they have in each category. 

You may see multiple copies of this activity come home-- Practice makes perfect!
Jennifer MacDonaldComment