Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Gallon!

We're working on measurement in math right now, and to be honest, I'm at that point in the year where I'm not entirely loving EveryDay Math.  My  kiddos come to me with very limited background knowledge of anything beyond inches and centimeters.  The current unit is set up to hit length, volume, capacity, weight, coordinate grids and some extras all in Unit 10!  So, I try to supplement this measurement unit more than others, because I know that my students require more time and more support than the teacher's manual gives.  Supplementing the unit has been extremely difficult after our eight snow days, because our state test is literally right around the corner!  I am trying to make every minute count...

Today, we worked on capacity.  I decided to have my kiddos make a version of Gallon Man!  I've seen so many versions out there, but I decided to invent mine as we went along to help my students connect to the equivalencies.  We started with one sheet of construction paper and labeled it "Gallon".  (It helps that we worked on fractions two chapters ago, because the students understood this as one whole too.)  Then, each student was given another whole gallon, and we folded it in half twice to make four equal parts that we labeled "quart".  This was glued to the gallon body to form arms and legs.  After that, the kids took another whole piece of paper (or gallon) and folded it into eighths.  They cut it apart and labeled each part with "pint" to form a hand (which we likened to a robot hand because it looked nothing like a human hand).  Lastly, we took a whole sheet of paper and folded it into sixteenths to make fingers.  We labeled each finger with the word "cup" and glued them onto our gallon people.  I sketched out a jug head and labeled it Mr. Gallon.  Each student had a copy, and glued this to the body.   The kiddos decorated their jug heads and colored them!  Some of the girls followed my lead and turned their artwork into Mrs. Gallon with eye-lashes and lipstick.  Sure, it's not the cutest most anatomically correct (gallon) person you've ever seen, but the parts are equivalent to the real thing!   They kind of remind me of crustaceans! Maybe it's because we're working with brine shrimp in science!  Ha-ha!  Despite the unique anatomy of this odd couple, it helped to have the students fold and cut pieces by starting with the "gallon" every time to see how each smaller unit compared to the gallon!  I just need to play around with the design a little bit for next year so that the feet don't overlap, and I'll be happy!

What are some of your favorite measurement activities?

Brine Shrimp (Enlarged)

                I couldn't resist!  Uncanny, isn't it?!


  1. One of the teachers at my school did this today! it is too cute!

  2. Ok, I'm just jealous that you've made it to Chapter 10! How do you do that???? We barely get into Chapter 9!;-)

  3. I read a cute book called Lemonade when doing this concept.


  4. I like telling the Gallon Land story and drawing a picture as I tell it. It really helps the kids remember!

    I tell this story with some embellishments:
    "There is a kingdom called Gallon Land. Gallon Land is ruled by four queens (quarts). Each queen has 2 princes (pints). Each prince has two cats (cups). Everyday each cat eats 8 Oreos (ounces)."