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The Great Popcorn Race

Subjects

• Mathematics
-- Measurement
• Physical Education
--Games

• Pre K
• K-2
• 3-5
• 6-8
• 9-12

Brief Description

Stage a popcorn race for exercise and measurement fun.

Objectives

Students

• work cooperatively as they participate as members of a team.
• work off some calories as they have some fun.

Keywords

race, relay, field day, popcorn, measurement, team, cooperation, cooperative

Materials Needed

• plenty of popped popcorn
• paper cups
• rubber bands and paper clips (optional)

Lesson Plan

In this relay game, students work cooperatively as members of a team to "transport" as much popcorn as possible to the finish line. The instructions below offer several variations. This fun activity is a great way to get some exercise. It is best done outdoors, since it can get messy.

Arrange students into teams. Teams should have an equal number of members, if possible; however, that is not essential.

Just for Fun

For another fun activity, fill a large jar (or some other clear container) full of popped popcorn. Give students a week to estimate the number of pieces of popcorn in the jar. Have them write their names and guess-timates on slips of paper. At the end of the week, determine whose estimate came closest to the actual number of pieces of popcorn in the jar.

Bonus!
You dont even have to count the popcorn yourself! At the end of the week, instead of telling students how many pieces of popcorn are in the jar, divide the popcorn among the students and have them count it out by grouping it into piles. Depending on your students ages and math skills, they might group the pieces of popcorn into piles of 5, 10, or 25 pieces.

Start each team at one end of a playing area. Set a large container full of popcorn by the spot where each team starts the race. Hand to the first player on each team a small cup or another small container.

Set up another spot at the other end of the playing area where there is an empty container for each team.

At the start of the race, the first student on each team will fill the teams cup with popcorn. He or she will race to the opposite end of the playing area and pour the popcorn into the empty container. Then he or she will run back to their team and pass the cup off to the next player in line; that player will repeat the action by filling, running, pouring, and returning. Set a time limit -- for example, 5 minutes -- and play until time runs out.

At the end of the game, which team has more popcorn in its container? You might let students determine how to measure who won. They might

• pour the popcorn into a large measuring cup.
• weigh the popcorn.
• count out the number of pieces of popcorn.

Variation on the Race

A fun variation for students in grades 3 and up: Give each student a paper cup, a rubber band, and a paper clip. Have them poke a hole in the bottom of the cup and push the end of the rubber band through the hole in the bottom of the cup. Attach the paper clip to the end of the rubber band that is inside the cup; that will prevent the rubber band from slipping through the hole. Students will fill the cup with popcorn, then stretch the rubber band over their shoe. The challenge is not to spill all the popcorn that is balanced in the cup on their shoe as they race to the other end of the playing area.

Assessment

Did students follow instructions and work/play cooperatively as a member of a team?

Lesson Plan Source

EducationWorld.com

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

MATHEMATICS: Measurement
NM-MEA.PK-2.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
NM-MEA.PK-2.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
NM-MEA.3-5.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
NM-MEA.3-5.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
NM-MEA.6-8.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
NM-MEA.6-8.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
NM-MEA.9-12.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
NM-MEA.9-12.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements

PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH: Physical Education
NPH.K-12.3 Physical Activity
NPH.K-12.6 Respect for Others

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