For more ideas
visit our 2006-2007
class project page
and small groups
Track the monarchs and
Track the cranes via
via WWF Canada
Please support Operation
World Wildlife Fund Canada
Polar Bear Games
World Wildlife Fund International has been tracking the movements of
Polar Bears in Europe for four years. They have a website that
games to teach kids about Polar Bears and the arctic
environment. (NOTE: After you click the above link, you
need to navigate to the "parents and teachers" section of the
Canon Kids' Zone website and select the "easy access"
Grade 2 club member playing "Bear
Grade 2 club member answering an arctic
question that popped-up during an online game
Mrs. Black has designed five math activities, for students in Grades K-2
and Special Education. These games support the acquisition
of basic math skills and teach concepts relating to the seasons and
summaries, instructions, enhancements, alternate activities and tie-ins
to other curriculum areas and downloadable game component pdfs are
SEASONS PATTERNING" (Sorting, Patterning,
Nature, science, math, language, architecture,
music and art, etc. are
full of patterns. Helping young and special education students to
begin discerning the patterns that exist in nature can assist them in
seeing patterns in other contexts, and in understanding how things work.
I developed a special set of sorting/patterning/sequencing cards to help
my special needs students see and imitate the seasonal/migration
patterns that exist in nature. The summer and winter cards are
"elemental" (fire and ice), the spring and fall cards
represent "flora" (tulips and fall leaves) and there are two
other "fauna" cards (cranes and monarchs) that can be added
into a patterning sequence or substituted for the spring and fall cards,
to represent "the migration seasons."
Players: 1 or more
types of patterning cards (download below, nine-to-a-page).
Instructions: Have students create patterns using a variety
of seasonal and fauna cards. Have them identify the "pattern
core" (the segment that repeats) and "name" their
patterns (e.g. winter-summer = A-B; monarch-monarch-crane = A-A-B;
winter-spring-summer-fall = A-B-C-D)
Enhancement for more advanced students: Have students
create, analyze and name more complex patterns, in which the cards
imitate the seasonal/migration rhythms of nature (e.g. winter-monarch
migration-crane migration-summer-monarch migration-crane migration...
where the animals substitute for the usual "spring" and
"fall" seasonal.cards... = A-B-C-D-B-C)
Alternate Activity: Have students pick up a handful of the
patterning cards, at random, and then sort and line them up to form a
pictograph. Students can then use "math language" (most,
more, same, less, least) to describe their patterning card graphs.
Science Tie-in: Discuss the seasons and the weather and
other natural events usually associated with each season. GO
OUTSIDE and make observations in each season that students are at
Two of my Special Needs students struggle with fine motor skills, and
the use of number lines. For them, I developed a special migration
board game with spinners and small game pieces, to assist them with
fine motor development, and number lines that are oriented up, down and
around corners, to help them learn addition. This is a cooperative
game, in which students help the Whooping Crane western flock migrate
from NWT to Texas and the monarchs migrate from Mexico to Ontario,
across actual base maps of North America.
photocopied maps of North America (11" X 17" or larger),
Map labels and spinners (download below), two pencils and two large
paper clips for spinners, two small items to act as number line markers.
Instructions: Each player selects a spinner and a species
to work with throughout the game. The student with the
"species spinner" spins to see whether the cranes or monarchs
will be moving. The other player spins to see
how far that species will move. A "zero" indicates a
no-fly day. After both spinners have come to rest, the person in
charge of moving the species that is flying moves the counter
the appropriate number of places along the number line. Then, both
students spin the spinners again... The game is complete
when both species have arrived at their destinations, safe and sound.
Science/Conservation Tie-in: Ask students what times of year
cranes would migrate south and monarchs would be migrate north.
Discuss why they would do so. When the number "zero" is spun, ask students why the
particular species might not be able to fly on a particular day.
Help students compare Monarch Butterflies with Whooping Cranes, and the conservation efforts being made to protect both species.
Social Studies Tie-in: The game utilizes actual migration
routes. Discuss the geography covered by these species and the
challenges they might encounter en route to their destinations.
"ULTRA-CRANE HIDE AND SEEK"
Three of my Special Needs students struggle with one-to-one
correspondence, using counters, and with the concept of subtraction.
To provide practice with counters and make the concept of subtraction
more concrete, I developed a game in which each student is given and
ultralight aircraft card, and 6-15 cards depicting cranes in flight.
Players: up to 4 (I made 4 ultralight cards and 60
Needed: Ultralight cards and
crane cards (download below, four-to-a-page for ultralights,
nine-to-a-page for cranes), a die or number cube, pencils and paper if
students are to record number sentences.
Instructions: Each student arranges his/her crane cards in
a V-formation or ten-frame pattern behind his/her plane. Each round of the game,
one of the students rolls a die, to indicate how many cranes have broken
away from the group and gone AWOL. Each student then removes the
appropriate number of cranes from his/her flight formation. The
students then formulate a number sentence that describes what happened.
(e.g. 12 - 4 = 8). If they are working independently, you might
choose to have them write their number sentences on paper. If working with an
they might provide their answers orally or on paper.
Enhancement for more advanced students: This game could be
enhanced by alternating between adding and subtracting, and keeping a
running tally of the number of cranes tracking behind the plane,
throughout the game. For example: 12 - 4 = 8...
8 + 3 = 11... 11 - 6 = 5, etc... just like some of those
crazy days when total chaos ensues on the real ultralight-led migration!
Language Tie-in: To aid in oral language development, have the
teacher and students in the group take turns making up stories to
explain where the cranes are hiding, each time some break out of
formation during the math game.
Science Tie-in: Discuss how difficult it often is for
Operation Migration pilots to keep all of their juvenile cranes on the
Character Education Tie-in: Discuss how people can be equally
rebellious with authority figures and how, (even though the cranes
don't understand it), their "parents" have only their best
interest in mind when they ask them to conform. Ask students if
they think this is true of their parents and the other authority figures
in their lives.
"TIME TO ROOST" (Time)
My special needs students are all learning about analogue and
digital time, to the hour and half hour. This cooperative game
utilizes commercially-produced time flash cards, a commercially-produced
clock with moveable hands, a custom made "monarch
roosting tree" and "Monarch Butterfly tokens."
Players: An adult-helper plus 2-3 students is ideal
Needed: Tree graphic and tokens
(download below, tokens twelve-to-a-page), clock with hands students can
position, digital time flash cards.
Instructions: I show my students a flash card with a
digital time printed on it. The students then work together to
position the hands on a clock to indicate that particular time. If
they are right, one of them gets to put a monarch to bed, in the tree.
If they are wrong, the monarchs end up sleep-deprived! ;-)
Alternate activities with the "Journey North Time To Roost Score
-- Show students an analogue clock and have them translate the time
indicated by the hands into digital format.
-- Use the monarch tree to acknowledge correct answers in patterning and
other math activities... or in quizzes about any topic (especially
-- Use the monarch tree to acknowledge appropriate behaviour, etc. ("The Monarch Tree Score Board" can be
multi-use motivational tool!)
-- If you affix self-adhesive velcro dots to the tree and game tokens,
the tree can be displayed vertically (e.g. on a bulletin board)
Science Tie-in: Share the phenomenon of monarch roosting
behaviour with students!
"MIGRATION MONEY MATH"
(Coin names and values)
Three of my special needs students are learning the names and values
of coins. This cooperative activity provides them with a real-life
opportunity to learn about money.
Players: 2 or 3 is ideal
Needed: Coin labels
(download below), coins (real or play), containers for donated
boxes can be ordered online from Operation
Instructions: Each day, the students work together to sort a handful of coins into piles, by denomination, placing name
and value cards with the appropriate piles. Then, they divide each pile of coins
into two equal parts and place the coins in donation containers
for Operation Migration and the
Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary
Foundation. (NOTE: As of early-October, I am
supplying coins for students to donate to these charities. If I
receive approval for students to donate coins from home, I will have my
Special Education students sort all the coins donated by members of my
migration club and enrichment group members.)
Enhancement for more advanced students: Students could be
asked to place the coins on a graphing grid and describe the number of
coins, on a particular day, using math language (i.e. most, more,
same, less and least common). Students could also add up the value
of the coins being donated to each charity, on a particular day.
To practice skip-counting, they could group the pennies in pairs, and
count them by twos, count the cents represented by the nickels by fives,
and count the cents represented by the dimes, by tens.
Character Education Tie-in: This activity provides an
opportunity to learn about the need to help others
Science/Conservation Tie-in: Discuss how the money we
are donating will benefit the cranes and monarchs.