How many ways can you divide a square "garden" (4 x 4 array) into equal quarters?
Believe it or not, the answer is "thousands."
"Peter Rabbit's Garden" is a stimulating activity that encourages children to explore the concept of "area" in a creative, engaging, and challenging way. The objective is simple enough: to divide a square "garden" (4 x 4 array) into quarters: four square units for tomatoes, four square units for lettuce, four square units for carrots, and four square units for corn.
As the children strive for different solutions, however, they discover unique and novel motifs that were never at first imaginable. One design inspires another, and so on, and so on. Every year, without fail, I have students who, having completed the initial assignment, ask for more (and more and more) worksheets so they can continue on in their "quest" to create and collect as many different designs as they can possibly conceive. Several children have also kept binders of them (as, I must admit, I also do.)
Essentially, this activity is divided into two parts. First, the children are required to divide their gardens approximately 20 different ways. Having done so, they then recreate their best and "coolest" designs on larger templates which are then displayed all together in the hallway. (Depending upon the class, I usually have my students create between 3 and 5 larger pieces. I also tell my children to make sure their designs are unique, that is, nobody else can have the same design. This seems impossible at first, however, in actuality this hurdle is easily leapt. Thus, when all is said and done, we have about 100+ designs displayed in the hallway. The effect is both eye-catching and mind-boggling. The display is very colorful, and the variety of designs is astonishing.)
Included in this packet are:
"Peter Rabbit's Garden" Main Worksheet (4 pages) Blank
Extra "Challenge" Worksheet (1 page) Blank
Large Template (1 page) Blank
Sample Garden Designs (1 page) Color and B&W
Large Sample Design #1 (1 page) Color, B&W, and Blank
Large Sample Design #2 (1 page) Color, B&W, and Blank
Large Sample Design #3 (1 page) Color, B&W, and Blank
Large Sample Design #4 (1 page) Color, B&W, and Blank
Large Sample Design #5 (1 page) Color, B&W, and Blank
"Error" Design #1 (1 page) Color and B&W
"Error" Design #2 (1 page) Color and B&W
Essential Question (1 page) Color
As noted above, many of the pages are rendered in color, black and white, and/or "blank." The color pages are great for displaying on SmartBoards or ActivBoards, whether as flipcharts or PowerPoint presentations. If you wish to make copies for your children, the same color pages have also been rendered in black and white, thereby producing crisp, clear reproducible copies every time. In addition, several of the pages have been left "blank," that is, without color or black and white, so you can color them in yourself if you wish to do so, either on an electronic board or an overhead projector. (The children's worksheets are, of course, blank, so the children can color them in themselves.)
Lastly, there is no answer key. Why? Because there are literally thousands of ways to divide the gardens (and although I keep a notebook of solutions, I have only drawn a few hundred. Perhaps - in maybe 10 years or so? - I will arrive at the last possible solution and might consider including an answer key.) In all seriousness, though, they are not that difficult to grade - especially if you limit your grading to only the larger finished products.
As always, I appreciate you taking the time to preview this product - or any of my products - and hope it will prove to be of benefit to you and your children for many years to come.
For more things weird, wild, wonderful and slightly "out of the box," please visit my store, "The Teacher's Twilight Zone."
Once again, thank you!
5th Grade Teacher
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