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#139. Wonderful Watermelon Unit

other, level: Elementary
Posted by Addie Gaines (againes@netins.net).
Seneca Elementary School, Seneca, MO 64865 USA
Materials Required: see individual activities
Activity Time: three days to one week
Concepts Taught: Integrated unit

I have found that this Wonderful Watermelon Unit is a fun and refreshing way to begin the school year for kindergarten students.

Welcome bulletin board or wall display:

Cut a watermelon shape for each student and write his/her name on it. Put up a brown background and randomly attach watermelons. Cut curly watermelon vines by starting with a green circle and cutting toward the center using a spiral pattern. Weave in and out of the watermelons you have hung up. Put up the following caption: "Look who's "growing" to Kindergarten (or other grade).

To familiarize students will important places and people in the school go on a watermelon hunt. Post clues throughout the school that lead from one important location to another. As the students read and follow the clues they are practicing proper hallway behavior and learning to find their way around the school. Hide the watermelon in the last location (I always hide it in the principal's office). Don't eat it yet!!! Keep reading :-)

To teach the concept of sink and float, have students predict whether or not the watermelon will float in a tub of water. Record predictions and check it out.

To encourage children to take risks, practice estimating and practice counting, do the following estimation activities:

Have each student lift the watermelon and estimate how much it weighs. Write down estimates and check with a scale. (We borrow the scale from the nurse's office).

Have each student estimate the number of seeds in the watermelon. Write down predictions. After the watermelon is cut and eaten, be sure to save all the seeds. Have the children work cooperatively to count them into groups of ten (I use portion cups). Then put the "tens" into "hundreds" and figure out a final total. Don't throw the seeds away!!! We're not finished :-)

To provide practice in color recognition, following directions and vocabulary development have students sponge paint watermelons on a half paper plate. Have students paint the green rind on the outside, the red fruit on the inside and let dry. Then instruct students to glue a given number of seeds to the fruit (I use five).

In order to watch the development of a plant and learn related vocabulary, have each student plant several watermelon seeds in milk cartons. Observe the growth over several weeks.

I use the following poems, songs and chant to incorporate language arts and music into the unit:

A-B-CDE
Watermelon is good for me.
F-G-HIJ
I can eat it everyday.
P-Q-RST
Ripe and very juicy
U-V-WXY
You will like it if you give it a try.
Z-Z-ZZZ
Watermelon is good for me.

(to the rhythm of the "watermelon cheer")
Watermelon, watermelon,
Watermelon, rind!
Look in the kindergarten,
See who you find...
ME! ME! ME! ME!

(to the tune of "Are You Sleeping")
Watermelon, watermelon,
On the vine, on the vine,
Green and ripe and juicy,
Green and ripe and juicy,
Please be mine,
Please be mine.

Watermelon Chant:
Bite - Bite - bite into the watermelon
Bite - bite - bite into the fruit,
(repeat several times)

Juicy is the watermelon
Juicy is the watermelon
Juicy, juicy, juicy, juicy
Juicy is the fruit.
(repeat several times)

For a real challenge have half of the class say the top part of the chant and half of the class say the bottom part of the chant at the same time.

I still haven't found a big book that is specifically about watermelon. If you know of one please e-mail me.

Oh, yeah, now you can eat it! (the best part!)

Have fun :-)