Saturday, July 11, 2009

Watermelon Unit


One of the sites I love, ABC and 123 (a great place to share ideas and gain inspiration for early learning), asked for watermelon activity ideas. It reminded me of the Watermelon Unit Tornado and I did years ago so I thought I would share. We culminated the unit with a Watermelon Party. I sent invitees (Daddy, Tornado, and Dash) an invitation on watermelon paper. They were instructed to wear red or green.

I made a Delicious Choices cheesecake. This was a company that used to sell vegan cheesecakes online. We occasionally ordered them. Tornado and I would both be so giddy, receiving a cheesecake on our doorstep. We'd immediately start digging in (no plates, just our own forks). Sadly, they stopped selling them, but for awhile, they sold the recipes online, which Ryan bought for me one Christmas. It seems the website is no longer valid, but here is a link to the recipes. I covered half of it in strawberry sauce and added chocolate chip "seeds."
We also ate - what else - watermelon, both red and yellow, at the party.
Decorations included green streamer vines hanging from the ceiling and red watermelon balloons with seeds drawn on them. Aren't my big boys so little?
At our next watermelon party, I would make these Watermelon Sherbert Smoothies. I had saved this recipe from Family Fun magazine. Here is the online version.
I had bought the book Wild About Watermelons (which is recommended for K-2, but we focused on the younger activities at the time) at a used curriculum sell, which is what originally inspired our studies.

Here, Tornado wrote out all of the words he could read at the time onto watermelon paper. I also remember making a watermelon clock. He painted a paper plate red. I drew little seed shapes around the plate, and he wrote in the numbers. I put clock hands in the center with a brad, and he could practice telling time.

Another math activity we did was basic fractions (1/2, 1/3, and 1/4). We cut out oval watermelon shapes and cut them into the appropriate fractions, then tried it with real watermelon.

An idea taken from the book. I cut the picnic basket out of a large painting Tornado had done, and he decorated it with fruit stickers we had. The names of different foods are written on the strips with velcro dots on the back to stick on the basket. He could also match the strips with pictures of the food and put the words in ABC order. There is also a watermelon dot-to-dot, from the book, hanging on the door. The book contains a reproducible booklet for the story, "Wild About Watermelons," and literature-based activities for these books:

Chestnut Cove by Tim Egan
Watermelon Day by Kathy Appelt.

He helped me twist the bulletin board paper to make the watermelon rind. He cut paper plates in half, then painted them into watermelons. Here is a link to more watermelon activities (sure my kids would love to have a watermelon seed spitting contest):

There is a watermelon story by Michelle A. Pate I had tore out of Highlights magazine and happened to have in my "watermelon" file. Here is an online version:

Mmm. I think I'm going to go eat some watermelon.


Cary said...

Cute, you guys are just like Rachel and Chandler with the cheesecake. I think you also were like that with...donuts? Well, probably any vegan treat.
I love all of your ideas.

penguinsandladybugs said...

Soooo cute!!!

The Davidson Den said...

Would you.

(By the way, I have some of those very same ideas in a Watermelon file, which I had pulled two months ago with lofty plans to do a unit study with my own grumbly homeschoolers. Of course, I've done not a thing with it! And summer's end is fast approaching.)