Information provided for
classroom use only; not for publication.
... a sweet, drippy, juicy way to learn! ;) So let's start
out with some watermelon facts:
are more than 90% water. That's how it got its name!
that reason, in ancient times travelers used them as a source of transportable
probably originated in Africa, but are now grown around the world.
are part of the gourd family.
grow on a vine and must be replanted yearly.
people consider them to be a fruit, but horticulturists consider them a
vary in size and shape. The Japanese recently even developed a SQUARE
outside of the watermelon is the rind.
the watermelon you'll find the flesh (the stuff you eat), and seeds.
can be different colors inside and out, as well as the amount of seeds
that they contain.
watermelons weigh from 5 - 40 pounds, but some get as large as 100 pounds.
1996 Guiness Book of Records lists the largest watermelon as being 262
seeds (like the pumpkin's seeds) can also be roasted and eaten.
people use the watermelon rind for making preserves, pickles, or relish.
makes the whole watermelon edible!
Enormous Watermelon ~ Brenda Parkes & Judith Smith
Day ~ Kathi Appelt
Berenstain Bears & the Missing Watermelon Money (Step Into Reading
Book - Step 2) ~ Stan & Jan Berenstain
Berenstain Bears & the Double Dare ~ Stan & Jan Berenstain
by the Bay (Wright Group publications)
Watermelon Seed ~ Celia B. Lottridge
Cove ~ Tim Egan
Vocabulary Words: 2nd Grade Vocabulary Words for Watermelon Day by
*vocabulary word "knelt" is
Harcourt Trophies Vocabulary Words
These vocabulary words
created and shared by Sara Tomon
Board: "Take a Bite Out of _______" (Kindergarten, First Grade,
The New School Year, Summer) Use a red & white checked tablecloth
as your background, with red/white/green/black border or any of those colors
layered. If you want the bulletin board up for the beginning of the
year, create either of the art projects below, program each slice with
a student's name and add them to the bulletin board. Then add some
black, construction paper or plastic ants and you're ready to go.
Once the children arrive, they can tell/write something they enjoyed during
the summer and it could either be written on the slice itself (flesh or
rind), or written on a paper napkin and attached. Or, if using the
bulletin board during the school year, have your students create the watermelon
Art Project: Cut one of those cheapy paper plates in half. Paint
the rim of the plate green to resemble the rind. If desired, smear
a strip of white obove the green (and it's OK if the two mix). Let
that dry, then paint the rest of the plate red. Glue watermelon seeds
inside the red area. Sprinkle the red paint with salt before drying.
you need a visual, look at the picture on down this page)
Watermelon Art Project: Cut a large watermelon slice shape out
of dark green construction paper, then cut one slightly smaller out of
light green (or white), and a still smaller red one. Glue these to
resemble a slice of watermelon. Stamp black fingerprints to represent
seeds, or glue on real watermelon seeds.
Ant Art Project: Because watermelons are all that they are (sweet,
juicy, and drippy with LOTS of seeds), they are most often eaten outdoors.
And because of that, ants ALWAYS want to be invited to dine as well.
So this would be a great unit to include the TLC
Ant Project: Because many of my SPED students have visual perception/spacial
problems, we do activities similar to the TLC projects, but I provide them
the pattern pieces to cut out and assemble. Even using this simple
method, we have some strange looking finished projects sometimes! :) (pattern)
the students with the pattern pieces, and they cut them out and assemble
them. But, before I hand them any materials, I take a copy
of the pattern(s) myself and proceed to cut them out. As I
cut, I talk about the process of cutting and I hold the pieces where they
can see what I'm doing as I cut. I tell/show them ahead of time what
line(s) they're supposed to cut on and how many pieces they should have
when they get finished cutting them all out. Then once everything
is cut out, I start laying out the pieces on the paper as we discuss how
they should be assembled and why they should be assembled in a certain
order. Once I get them layed out, then we discuss how I'm going to
go back and glue everything down. Then the finished product is placed
on the board for them to use as a model when completing their own project.
process would probably be over-simplified for many students, but as I said
before, even with this kind of modeling and the model to use as a guide,
many of my students still have difficulties with these kinds of projects.
They have difficulty visualizing the finished project in the defined area
of their workspace, as well the assembly of the actual finished product.
That's why we lay everything out ahead of time so that they can tell where
they need to start working so that half their project isn't hanging off
the edges of the paper. I'm sure I would get better results if I
had them complete their project as I completed mine, but I'd like for them
to be able to follow directions AND be able to problem-solve on their own.
Plus, normally I don't have the time it would take for the whole group
to complete a project like this together. Some of my students are
very, very, very, very slow! And my slowest student would cry if
we attempted to move on before she'd finished.
so yummy, tastes so yummy,
on the outside,
on the inside,
black seeds, with black seeds.
Are You Sleeping?)
how it drips, see how it drips.
down my elbow, up and down my elbow,
out the seeds, (phooey!)
out the seeds. (phooey!)
the liberty of changing "pits" to "seeds")
by the Inches: Measuring sheet (Worksheet Magazine, Grade 1, April/May/June
Worksheet Magazine is now Teacher's Helper. I add these older resources
for those schools like ours that archive all those teacher resource books.
We have them back to the '80s I believe.)
Slices: Open sheet (Worksheet Magazine, Grade 1, April/May/June 1991)
Punctuation: Ending punctuation (Teacher's Helper, Grade 1, Sept/Oct
Counting: Make this fun counting activity to reinforce counting
1 - 20 (or whatever's appropriate for your students). You will be
using those cheapy, white paper plates again. :) Follow the
directions given in the first Watermelon Art Project at the top of the
page. When they're completely dry, use a Sharpie marker to program
each watermelon slice with a number. Use scalloping scissors to cut
out a "bite." Students count out watermelon seeds to match the number
and place them on the slice. (I always clean and save watermelon
seeds each summer to be used in activities like this. After you've
washed the seeds, spread them on a newspaper or paper towel and let them
dry for a few days. You want to make absolutely sure that all the
moisture has been removed from the seeds before storing them or they will
you can't do a Watermelon Unit without actually eating watermelon!
But before you cut it, you have some great opportunities to introduce/explore/reinforce
those math skills. So before you cut it ......
Use a T-Graph and have your students indicate whether or not they like
watermelon, or if they don't know, if they THINK they'll like watermelon.
A T-Graph can be set up in many ways. You can simply use a piece
of chart paper and make a huge capital T on it. The question, "Do
you like watermelon?" would be written on the top of the T. "Yes"
would be written underneath the top of the T on one side, and "No" would
be written under the top of the T on the other side. Then students
could simply use a marker or crayon to write their name under "Yes" or
"No", depending on their answer.
attaching the graph to a magnetic surface, the students' names could be
written on a card or something with a magnet attached to the back.
Then they could just place their name in the appropriate column starting
at the top.
way would be to cut a large T shape out of posterboard. Write the
question at the top, "Yes" or "No" underneath, and the students' names
on wooden clothes pins. Then they just clip their pin to the appropriate
side of the graph.
graphing activity would be to have the sudents graph whether or not they'd
like red or yellow, seeded, or seedless watermelon best. For the
color graph, have them tape a red or yellow watermelon slice in the appropriate
column. For the seeds/seedless graph, you could have LARGE pre-cut
watermelon seeds and then those same seeds glued on to a card with a red
circle around them and a slash through the circle (like the no smoking
icon, but with a watermelon seed instead of a cigarette .. :)
) Graph the same as the colors.
to graphing on chart paper is graphing in a pocketchart. I LOVE to
use pocketcharts, so I come up with lots of ways to use them. You
can use them the same way as the T-Graph, but write the question on a sentence
strip and place it on the top row. Then write "yes" and "no" on 3x5
index cards and place them appropriately underneath the question.
The students could write their own names on additional 3x5 cards and place
them in the pocketchart underneath the correct response.
the color/seeds, set the graph up from bottom to top (however, you could
do top to bottom if you preferred). Glue one of each colored watermelon
slice/seed picture to a card, or write the color word/seed/seedless on
a card (this differentiates your watermelon slices/seeds from the students'
so as not to confuse them). Then place number cards (3x5 cards cut
in half) going UP the left hand side of the rows. Students indicate
their preferences by placing their name card in the correct column starting
at the bottom.
there will be only 9 rows left for the students to indicate their preferences,
if you have a large class or a majority of answers all the same, you may
have to double up the name cards in each row. If your students are
ready, this would be a perfect time to introduce/reinforce times when graphs
use pictures to stand for 2 or more instead of just one thing. You
can also use this teachable moment to introduce/reinfore counting by 2s
or putting those basic multiplication facts to real life use.
graphing activity would be to have them graph whether or not they think
a watermelon will float or sink? I bet you'll get me surprised oohs
and aaahs out of this one once you actually conduct "the experiment"! :)
But not just yet! .....
your students estimate how many seeds they think is inside the watermelon
and write their estimation on a slip of paper along with their name.
Place these in a container and hold on to them for a while.
have your students estimate how big around they think it is by cutting
a length of yarn to show their estimation. Have them hold on to their
yarn for a bit. :)
have them estimate how heavy they think the watermelon is and write down
their estimate on another slip of paper. Put this in a seperate container.
they've graphed and estimated everything we could think of dealing with
a watermelon, it's time to let them experience each process.
Fill a large tub or sink with water. Discuss the results of the sink/float
graph. Then put the watermelon into the water. Discuss why
they think it floats. Could it be that the watermelon itself is more
than 90% water!?! :) Now go back and look at your graph again.
Reward all those right with a watermelon flavored Jolly Rancher or another
watermelon flavored treat! Then ask them why they chose their answer.
graph the results of the weight estimation and discuss the results.
Then weigh the watermelon. Review the estimations by the students
on the graph. Discuss who estimated correctly (if anyone), who was
the closest, who was the furthest off, etc. Then give those who estimated
correctly, (or if no one) then those who were close, a Jolly Rancher as
a tape measure to measure the size of the watermelon. Discuss why
you used a tape measure instead of a ruler or yardstick. Discuss
as well how you could have used any length of something flexible (belt,
ribbon, yarn, string, twine, rope, etc.) to measure it. Then tape
the tape measure on the board or a chart, making sure to indicate in a
big way the size of the watermelon (ex. a piece of red tape at 23" if that's
how big it is). Then have the students either come up individually
and measure their yarn against the length of the tape, or measure their
yarn with a tape measure, and then record their answers on a graph.
Once everyone's yarn had been measured and the results graphed, discuss
the results of the graph. Of course, reward the person who estimated
correctly, or close, with a Jolly Rancher.
you might want to give the students an opportunity to practice measuring
the watermelon using other non-standard units of measurement (paper clips,
linking chain, etc). They may also want to explore measuring the
height or length using Unifix cubes, blocks, and even rulers or yardsticks.
time has finally come to ... CUT THE WATERMELON! :)
you did all the graphs mentioned, then you'll need to have a "watermelon
tasting." You'll need to provide each student with a paper plate
divided into 4 sections, or fourths. On the rim of each section of
the plate, write one descriptive word per section: red, yellow, seeds,
seedless. You'll also need to decide a head of time which watermelon
you're going to use to count the seeds. Then provide each student
a tasting of each kind of watermelon in each of their sections. Make
sure to tell them to save their seeds in the appropriate section.
First, have them taste both the red and then the yellow watermelon.
Record on a chart their preference. Then have them taste the seeded
and seedless watermelon. Record their preference here as well.
Last, gather up the seeds from the chosen section and place them in a container.
Then how you proceed in letting them partake of the rest of the watermelon
is totally up to you ... just remember to save the seeds from the chosen
the watermelon eating is finished, it's time to count those seeds!
Have the children work together to remove all the seeds from the watermelon
that you chose to use for counting and don't forget to add the ones in
the container. The children can count the seeds into tiny cups, 10
seeds to a cup. You can either leave them divided this way, or when
10 cups are full, combine them into a 100 cup. When they've finished
removing and counting the seeds, help them to use counting by 10s or 100s,
addition, or multiplication to figure up how many seeds the watermelon
contained. Record the answer.
time to go back and look at the answers that were last recorded and compare
them to the graphs that were done in the beginning. Of course, reward
those who's answers were the closest on estimating the number of seeds
in the watermelon. After all that watermelon, they'll probably want
to save their watermelon Jolly Rancher for later! :)
ways to use those watermelon seeds ...
Seed-Spitting Contest: Have a seed-spitting contest and then
let the students practice measuring how far their seeds went.
W: Use the watermelon seeds to create a tactile W. Provide each
student with a W (capital/lowercase/or both). Put a stream of glue
on top of the W. Students add the watermelon seeds to form the W
and let dry.
W Reinforcement: Plant watermelon seeds in wheelbarrows and add
worms. Collect enough laundry scoops so that each child will have
one. Have them fill the scoop 3/4 full with potting soil, then plant
the watermelon seed(s). Water lightly. Hot-glue macaroni wheels,
large buttons, or milk tops to each side for wheels. A candy or plastic
worm can be added coming out of the soil. Once the watermelon plants
start to grow, send them home to be transplanted.
click on image to enlarge
Grow Your Own
Sequencing: Use the
pictures from the page above to create sequencing picture cards, print on
cardstock, color and laminate. Have the students sequence the pictures
or match to the correct sentence strip and sequence in a pocketchart.
sites and links:
Watermelons @ The
Wonderful Watermelon Unit
Printables: File Folder Watermelon Numbers
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