As the school year comes to a close, we know we need to keep teaching and keep our kids engaged. This is especially true in a special education setting. While many other classes are having parties and cookouts, we struggle to maintain some sense of normalcy because we know, without it, our kids truly struggle. And with the end of this year looking and feeling so different with distance learning, it can be even more challenging to keep your students plugged in and still wanting to learn.
But, that does not mean we have to be boring, or can’t have fun!! Doing a unit on watermelon is a great way to keep your normal teaching routine in place without the pressure of really difficult content. Learning about watermelon can be meaningful, and it is easy to help our kids make person connections to the material.
1. English Language Arts
There are some really cute books out there that talk about watermelons. I found a great list with good descriptions you can read HERE. If you check out my digital unit on Watermelons, I have included a link to a read aloud of The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli. There is also a related activity that goes with it. You can see my complete digital unit HERE.
Here are some good read alouds to look for. I linked to a YouTube video if there was one available:
- The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
- One Watermelon Seed by Celia Lottridge
- Watermelon Day by Kathi Appelt
- Watermelon Wishes by Lisa Moser
- Peter Spit a Seed at Sue by Jackie French Koller
- Chasing Watermelons by Kevin White
- Icy Watermelon | Sandia fria by Mary Sue Galindo
- Watermelon for Everyone by Martha Rose Woodward
- Chestnut Cove by Tim Egan
- The Enormous Watermelon
There are some great math activities you can do with watermelon seeds. Of course, today it is harder to find watermelon with seeds, but if you can, then pass a slice out to each student and have them count the number of seeds they find. I have a counting activity in both my digital and printable version of my watermelon unit. That way, you can still practice counting seeds even if you cannot find a variety that is NOT seedless.
There are also great measurement activities you can do. Measure the circumference or measure the length. If you have a big enough scale, you can even weigh your watermelon.
This is my favorite way to teach about watermelon. You can teach students how they grow from a seed to a fruit. You can also teach about how some fruits grow on a tree and some grow on a vine.
In science, we can also talk about the flavors of different fruits. Some are sweet and some are sour. This compliments any lesson on the senses, and of course, a taste test is the best way to address the sweetness of watermelon compared to the sourness of a lemon.
4. Life Skills
Finally, we can weave watermelon into our life skills lessons. How do you safely prepare a watermelon? What parts do you normally eat vs discard? Why do some people put salt on their watermelon?
Then, there are so many different ways you can prepare watermelon. In fact, I have the perfect picture recipe for Watermelon Smoothies, you can download below for FREE.
Get your FREE picture recipe for watermelon smoothies here.
If you are looking for more resources on watermelons, click below to check out these 2 units in my store.