Promotes speech and language development, fine motor skills, writing, collaboration, and critical thinking skills during play.
Countless articles have been written about the benefit to toddlers playing with Mr. Potato Head.
Additionally, college students have been using Mr. Potato Head in their medical school studies.
The resources I offer you combine the best of both scenarios and can be used in PreK-2 classrooms. Even a third grade science class I taught enjoyed it.
I wrote a story that was a little less graphic than the stories told to the med students about a horrible bus, train, or plane crash. I printed it, bound it, and had a read aloud before I modeled the activity. The story is included and can be printed out or displayed with a computer and projector.
In preparation for the activity, I assembled a number of potato heads and took a picture of each one. I included a name on the picture and placed them all in a ring binder that served as a family album. There are lots of great deals for Potato Heads on eBay.
After the story, I showed the students a picture of a potato head from the album. Then I modeled how to put the potato head back together using the picture and scanning for the right pieces. I also paused for discussion and input from the students.
Loose pieces can be kept in a bin for the students to pick and scan through. Initially, though, I placed necessary and some unnecessary parts in a large baggie with a potato head’s name on it to keep things organized. Student work cooperatively to reassemble the injured potato heads. Afterwards, they can draw diagrams on included templates, write about their potato head on included worksheets, and fill out a patient record.
This activity also meets the following Next Generation Science Standards: K-2-ETS1 Engineering Design K-2-ETS1.1, K-2-ETS1.2, K-2-ETS1.3
Included are: a PDF of the story, The Potato Head Family Reunion, worksheets to create diagrams, story templates, a patient record worksheet, and vocabulary cards with definitions.