Drawing Castles and Trees (Age 6)

The Activities

  1. Topic: Addition: A Fair Bear Share by S. Murphy.
  2. Topics: Numbers, Addition, Base Ten Blocks:  We did several addition problems using Base Ten Blocks.  We practiced making numbers, combining the piles, and interpreting the sum.
  3. Topic: Logic: I drew some pictures of paths leading to a castle with labeled river crossings.  Each picture corresponds to a particular logical formula.  For example, for a path crossing two rivers before reaching the castle, you need a bridge at A AND B in order to reach the castle.  If there is a path that forks and crosses the same river in two places, then you need A OR B.  We interpreted a number of pictures, and then I gave them a new formula and asked them to draw a picture of it.  You can download my pictures here.
  4. Topic: Decision Trees, Attributes, Attribute Blocks:  I drew some decision trees using color and shape as attributes to split on.  First we practiced sorting shapes according to the decision tree.  Next, I sorted the shapes onto A and B in a simple way (e.g., triangles on A and circles on B) and asked the kids to draw a tree that would give you that sorting.

How Did It Go?

We had all five kids this week.

A Fair Bear Share

This book went well, the kids were interested in the baby bear not doing her fair share.

Base Ten Addition

The kids are getting better at making numbers using blue blocks, and I think most of them understand how to use blue blocks to add two digit numbers.

Castle Logic

The kids did a pretty good job understanding the pictures.  They were very good at telling whether a particular configuration of bridges allowed you to get to the castle (I had little squares of paper that you could place on the drawing to show whether there was a bridge).  I used ^ and V for AND and OR, but I didn’t ask them to use these symbols later so I don’t know if they understood.

Drawing a picture was much harder.  By far the hardest part is parentheses, which is important for any mildly complicated situation.  I gave them a problem with parentheses to start, involving A, B, C, and D; one of the kids made a picture of Y ^ Z.  Then I gave them a much simpler problem and some of them got a correct picture.

Decision Trees

Again, the kids were pretty good at tracing a tree.  I think all of them understood this pretty well by the end.  However, drawing a tree was extremely hard for them.  Only one kid got even close (see 3rd picture above).  A big difficulty for them was that the original depth-1 tree I gave them split on colors, so when I gave them that as an example of how to draw a tree, they just copied it, including the colors, even though they needed to split on shapes.


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