We Had a Watermelon Day! {An End of Year Theme}

Today was a special day in my class. It was Watermelon Day!!


Theme days are my favorite way to finish out the school year.  Each day is new, exciting, and different than the norm, yet still rooted in learning.  This is just what the kids need this time of year.  Some years, I host one theme day per week during the last month of school.  And, other years, I host a different theme on a daily basis during the last week of school.   

When I do my theme days, I like to tell the students that I have something fun planned, but I like to keep it a surprise until the day of.  So, when the kids entered the room today, they found this at their desk.  


How cute are those place mats, right?   I found them on clearance at Walmart last summer and quickly snatched up the last few sets they had.  I hope they sell them again!  But, it would be fun to let your students make their own watermelon place mat too!

We didn't waste any time.  We dived right into our watermelon theme.  The students colored the watermelon template on their desk, and we turned it into a hat (headband hat, that is).

     
As the students finished up their hats, they worked on this making words activity. They made new words from the letters in the words "watermelon seeds."  I always love how the students work with the letters to make some really great new words.  A few that I can recall from today include "needle," "Elsa," and "lemons."


After Art, it was time to eat some watermelon!



But, I didn't stop there.  We actually had a fruit tasting!  Each student got a slice of watermelon, a strawberry, some banana (not shown on the plate below), and two apple slices.



In years past, I have had the students sample a variety of watermelon flavored foods, but this year, I opted for a healthy alternative. 


Like any sneaky teacher, I had an ulterior motive in mind this whole time.  After tasting the fruit, the students polled their classmates to find out their favorite fruit and then used that data to create a bar graph.  That's right, the tasting was really just math in disguise.  Hehe. 




The watermelon was definitely the class favorite!



 It was seriously super yummmmmmy!



Then, the students completed this organizer with the help of their teaching buddy. Since they had just tasted the watermelon, they were able to come up with some really great ideas.


Later in the day, we brainstormed adjectives to describe watermelon.  My hope was that the students might use some of the words in the writing activity that followed our brainstorming.  I projected this organizer onto our whiteboard and we worked together to fill in the adjectives.   



Grab the adjective freebie HERE.

Then, it was time to write.


On to the BEST part of the day.....our seed spitting contest!  I dangled this "super secret" activity over their heads all day long and they were dying to know what I had up my sleeve.  When I finally told them, they thought it was pretty crazy cool that their teacher was going to let them spit stuff. Ha!

So, we headed outside to see how far we could spit our watermelon seeds.  Now, a quick word about that. I don't know about where you live, but where I live, it is darn near impossible to find watermelons with actual seeds in them.  So, instead of using seeds, we used black beans.  I rinsed them off first, of course.


I used a yardstick and some sidewalk chalk to make measuring a bit easier.  Or, so I thought.  In years past, I have never had a student spit more than 10 feet, so I measured up to 10 feet and stopped.  The first student to spit, spit his seed 18 feet!  Yikes!  While my markings didn't go quite high enough in some cases, they still proved to be helpful when trying to measure quickly.  Here is a (crummy) picture of my chalk numbers.


Before we began, I reminded the students that the beans were to be used for spitting only.  They got their bean once they were in position and were ready to take their turn.  We used the painted four square courts on our playground as our spitting line. The students stood behind the painted line, I handed them a bean, and they spit their hearts out. 

When it was all said and done, the farthest that any student was able to spit his/her seed, was 21 feet!  Whoa!  This student was awarded this super spiffy award. 


And, all of the students got this fun brag tag I made for them to remember the day that their teacher let them spit stuff at school.  Ha!






You can grab this brag tag freebie HERE. I typically use brag tags to recognize student effort, behavior, and attitude, but on occasion, I give my students special tags, like this one, to remember holidays and special events.  You can read more about brag tags HERE.


Now, you didn't think I stopped at the contest, did you?  Of course not!  After our contest, we used all that measurement data to create a line plot.  As I mentioned, I've never had any students spit more than 10 feet, so we had to modify the line plot on our activity page to meet our needs (and then, I went home and immediately added more line plot options to my Watermelon Day unit so that I could avoid this from happening again next year).


I usually have time for a few more activities, like this watermelon life cycle project, and I had it all prepped and ready to go, but we ran out of time!  Such is life in the classroom, right? 


Our Watermelon Day was a huge success.  The students were on task and engaged in meaningful learning all day long, but also had lots of fun at the same time.  This is why I love hosting theme days like this at the end of the year.  We still have structure in our school day, even though the end is in sight, and the kids are having fun while participating in meaningful activities. 


These activities can be found in my Let's Have a Watermelon Day unit on TPT. 

Do you have a favorite end of year theme?

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5 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness... I'm so doing this next week!! I LOVE IT!!!!

    Jessica
    Mrs. Heeren's Happenings

    ReplyDelete
  2. EKKK! Love everything about this!

    Blessings,

    Jessica Stanford
    Mrs. Stanford's Class Blog
    My TpT Store

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why am I not a student in your class??

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  4. Thanks Ladies!! It really was a fun day and was pleased with the success of it. I cannot wait for next Friday's "Fun Day!"

    Aimee

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  5. This sounds like SO much fun!! And I love watermelon! :)

    Do you do a Fun Friday every week?

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete

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