Is the Gingerbread Boy a person?

I hosted the younger circle this week.  All 5 kids attended, despite the holiday weekend.

The Activities

  1. Topic: Counting by 5s: Book: Leaping Lizards, by Murphy
  2. Topic: Counting by 5s: The 5s and 10s game (suggested by Murphy at the end of the book): Combine two decks of cards, removing all face cards and aces. The players take turns flipping over cards. If the card is a 5 or a 10, you keep the card. At the end you add each player’s 5s and 10s and the player with the highest sum wins.
  3. Topic: Venn diagrams: Venn diagrams with fairytale cards.
    1. Put People in one circle, and Animals in the other
    2. Put Monsters in one circle and Girls in the other.
    3. Put Animals in one circle and Flying things in the other.

      Monsters in the left circle, Girls in the right circle.  The Wicked Witch is a girl monster.

      Monsters in the left circle, Girls in the right circle. The Wicked Witch is a girl monster.

  4. Topic: Logic: Some people are crossing a river.  The boat can hold two things.
    1. How can 4 people get across the river?
    2. What about 2 parents and 2 kids? The kids can’t drive the boat.
    3. What about 2 people, a cow, and a carrot?  The cow will eat the carrot if there is no person to stop her.
    4. IMG_1204

      The blue person is taking the carrot across the paper towel river in the boat. The green person and the cow are waiting on the other side.

  5. Topic: Sorting: Book: Sorting by Size by Marks
  6. Topic: Sorting: Give each kid cards with the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.  Put them in sorted order.  Then give them 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90,100.  Then 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50.


    The sorted number cards.

How did it go?

The 5s and 10s Game

The kids enjoyed flipping over the cards, and seeing if they got a 5 or a 10.  Everyone was rooting for the two kids who hadn’t found any 5s or 10s yet, which was nice. No one got upset about the number of cards they got.  At the end, we added up everyone’s numbers. The kids were pretty good at adding 5 + 5 = 10, and 10 + 10 = 20, but bigger than that was tough. One kid was able to add all the totals.

Venn Diagrams with Fairy Tale Cards

Everyone was excited to see the fairy tale cards again.  They jumped right in when I asked the first problem: people in one circle, animals in the other.  There was an interesting debate about whether the Gingerbread Boy is a person or not.  The kids voted 3 to 2 that he is not a person, he is a food.  One kid noticed that the Cinderella carriage had a person (the coachman) and an animal (the horse). Another kid immediately suggested overlapping the circles and putting the carriage there. After the cards were all sorted, I asked questions like: How many people did we find? How many animals?

Next we did monsters and girls. The only girl monster was the Wicked Witch.

Finally we did Animals and Flying things. This is the first one where they put some things in the wrong section. We found several flying animals in the ‘Animals’ section, and some flying animals in the ‘Flying’ section.

Crossing the River

We had a boat with 2 seatbelts that can carry two people at a time. How do we get 3 people across the river?  Immediately one of the kids started moving the boat. She took two people across first, and then started the send the boat back across, empty.  I said the boat would float down the river if there was no one to drive it.  She quickly suggested sending one of the people back with the boat, to pick up the third person. Another kid was able to replicate this solution.

Next I changed the problem so we had to get 2 parents and 2 kids across the river. The same girl started working on this problem. She understood right away that babies can’t drive the boat. She and another kid were able to both solve this problem.

Finally, we had 2 parents, a cow and a carrot. The cow will eat the carrot if they are left alone.  Again, the kids easily solved this, first taking a cow across, then a person, then the carrot.  When the second kid tried to replicate this answer, I suggested taking the cow, then the carrot, but they saw that the cow would eat the carrot, and fixed the answer.

Number Sorting

First we read a book about sorting, then I spread the kids out, and gave each kid a set of cards with the numbers 1 – 10 on them.  I asked the kids to sort them. Several kids finished immediately, but a couple kids were initially confused about what it means to sort from ‘1 to 10’. They just found the 1 and the 10 card and thought they were done.  They quickly caught on.

Next I handed out cards with 10,20,30,40,50,60,70,80,90,100.  This was much harder for the kids since they are not as familiar with counting by tens. 3 of the kids were able to make progress on their own. The other 2 waited until friends had finished, who came over to give help.

At this point, one kid was begging for an even harder set, and another kid also wanted to try, so I handed out cards with 5,10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50. My son was able to sort these but the other kids were sure of the order when counting by 5s.

That was the end of circle, so the kids excited ran around the house screaming, especially when the big kids also had finished their circle. Maybe we can figure out some way to keep the after-circle wildness under control next time.


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