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Fall provides so many hands-on activities! This fall we used acorns to practice addition and learn about sharing and teamwork (a perfect segue into the Thanksgiving story!).
First, we collected acorns along with the many squirrels at our local park. We investigated the acorn and talked about how it helps both the squirrel and the oak tree. It’s amazing how the two work together as a team. The tree drops the acorns hoping that some will be able to sprout and grow into other trees. The tree, though, provides plenty of extra acorns for squirrels to feast on through the winter. The squirrel helps the tree by hiding and burying the acorns all over (because of course 10 new oak trees wouldn’t be able to live right next to the one that made the acorn!). When the squirrel forgets some of the acorns, it gives those seeds a chance to sprout and grow into an oak tree. The squirrel and the oak tree really need each other!
From there we continued our lesson inside. Using the story of two squirrels, Nibbles and Nutty, who wanted to work together to gather acorns we practiced adding their baskets of acorns together.
Each child had two coffee filters to act as the squirrels’ baskets. We then used the Acorn Addition Free Printable to find out how many acorns to put into each basket. Once the baskets were filled with the right amount, they wrote the number on the worksheet to create the addition problem.
Then they combined the baskets and counted how many acorns there were altogether.
There are tons of great picture books about fall. Check out these books we used to kick off our acorn study!
This busy squirrel learns what happens when he tries to “gather” acorns that are already claimed by other creatures.
The Busy Little Squirrel
The busy little squirrel scurries to get ready for winter and has to pass up a few fun times with friends to make sure he’s prepared.
Earl the squirrel has hidden a big acorn somewhere in Washington D.C. He scurries all over town looking for the acorn to feed his family. This book was started by Don Freeman (the author of Corduroy) but never finished. His son finished it years later (a beautiful example of teamwork!).