Activities & Lesson Plans - 1st & 2nd Grade Newsletter 3/12/10 - New Look At Old Hatter

Grade: 1st-2nd

March 12, 2010 | Grades 1&2

In This Issue: A First for the Academy, Google Girl Scout Cookies, New Look at Old Hatter

A Bigelow Moment

Kathryn Bigelow celebrated Women's History Month by winning an Oscar for Best Director. She is the first woman to win the award. "It's the moment of a lifetime," Bigelow said as she accepted the honor. Her film, The Hurt Locker, earned the award for Best Picture. 


Activity Ideas - Language Arts

Tell your child that before the Women's History Project, many important women and their accomplishments had been left out of tales from American history. The Project was created in part to give girls and women inspiring examples.

  • Talk with your child about what it means to be a role model. ASK: Who is a woman you admire or look up to? Encourage him or her to include a family member, teacher, coach, etc.
  • Help your child focus with a Main Idea chart. Summarize the idea that your child would like to convey, i.e., Mothers are incredibly loving, helpful, and hardworking! I admire my mommy. Then have your child think of three details/anecdotes to support this idea, i.e., My mother makes me special breakfasts every morning. My mother cuts the crust off my bread.
  • Suggest that your child write a few paragraphs about the woman he or she admires. 
  • Review the essay together with your child. Help him or her put ideas in logical order if needed.
Bonus: Suggest that your child write a friendly letter telling the woman what he or she admires about her.
Learning Tips: Maintain Organization and Focus in Writing, Write a Friendly Letter, Beginner Writing
Game: Story Starters
ResourcesNational Women's History Project, Library of Congress

Girl Scouts Go High-Tech
Will door-to-door sales go out the window? For the first time ever,
Girl Scouts are marketing cookies online. Simply enter your zip code to find a local troop selling Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs and other favorites.

Cookie sales add up to a $700 million business for Girl Scouts. Which kinds keep people coming back for more? See how the cookie crumbles, below.
Best-Selling Girl Scout Cookies:
Thin Mints  25%
Samoas/Caramel deLites  19%
Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs 
Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos  11%
Shortbread/Trefoils  9%
Other varieties (combined)  23%

Activity Ideas - Math
  • Help your child round the percentages to the nearest ten, using this rule: increase the number by one if the next digit is five or more (round up); leave the number as is if the next digit is less than five (round down). Thin Mints: 30. Samoas: 20. Peanut Butter Patties: 10. Peanut Butter Sandwich: 10. Shortbread: 10. Other: 20.
  • Tell your child the problem involves estimation. Explain that estimates are not as accurate as the exact number. 
  • Discuss the numbers you rounded; how large is the difference between the estimate and the original number?
  • Draw a pie (in this case, cookie) chart. Divide it into four pieces. Ask your child to identify the two different shapes of your cookie chart. Circle, triangle (roughly).
  • Ask: What other shapes can we make with this cookie. Half circle, diamond.

Bonus: Fill a small glass jar with marbles or candy. Have your child estimate how many the glass is holding. Then count!
Learning TipsMake Estimates When MeasuringCompare Using Estimations  

Mad Hatter from Movie Trailer KideosAlice and the Madman

Is the Mad Hatter really the Mad Adder? Since Alice in Wonderland came out in 1865, people have puzzled over the character's state of mind. Author Lewis Carroll stayed mum. Now a new generation of movie-goers can join the debate. Visit Kideos for the movie trailer featuring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter.

Activity Ideas - Language Arts 
Share with your child the New York Times article about the Mad Hatter. No one can agree on the origin of "mad as a hatter." For his part, Lewis Carroll said "I didn't mean anything but nonsense!"
  • Talk with your child about everyday phrases or sayings: If someone unfamiliar with the phrase looked up the words in the dictionary, the definitions would likely make the saying seem like nonsense. 
  • Together with your child, come up with a list of common phrases. 
  • Choose a few to define. For exampleIn a pickle would translate as In a "solution or bath for preserving or cleaning." Jump on the bandwagon would become Jump on the "usually ornate and high wagon for a band of musicians especially in a circus parade." (Based on first definition given.)
  • Discuss some of the literal meanings. Ask: Can you see how some might lead to the meaning of the phrase? 
Learning TipsReference Materials

Game of the Week
Mr. Nussbaum Game

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