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Row, Row

How do boats move?

  • Directions

    1. Prior to opening this lesson, ask parents to donate a large cardboard box, such as one that a appliance was shipped in.
    2. Select a picture book on boats to share with students. Point out vocabulary specific to boats. Write these terms on a classroom white board using Crayola® Dry Erase Markers. Keep the list available during the boat study.
    3. Expose students to the rhyme "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and provide time in the school day to sing the song. Ask students if they know any other rhymes that focus on boats. If so, share these with the entire class.
    4. Have students put on their Crayola Art Smocks and cover the floor with recycled newspaper. Working as a cooperative group, have students paint the donated, cardboard box which will be used as their boat. Allow time for the paint to dry. If so desired, students may begin their art work with a crayon resist activity, then paint.
    5. Students should also select a name for their boat and paint the name on the boat.
    6. Where is the port where this boat is housed? Have students look at a map and find towns or cities that are located along waterways. What will they select as their boat's home?
    7. What else does their boat need prior to setting off to sea? Encourage students to make lights for their boat using Crayola Glitter Glue. A blanket can be used as a sail. Will anyone be fishing? Do not forget the fishing poles. What about oars or a pilot's wheel?
    8. Have students select their first destination!
  • Standards

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding.

    LA: With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

    LA: Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

    SS: Identify and describe examples in which science and technology have changed the lives of people, such as in homemaking, childcare, work, transportation, and communication.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen; The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen; Scuffy the Tugboat and His Adventures Down the River by Gertrude Crampton; The Boat Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta

    Invite a fisherman to visit with students to share his professional experiences with the children. Prior to the visit, have students compose questions for their guest. Afterwards, organize students into small groups to talk about what they have learned.

    Encourage students to investigate other types of transportation, such as cars, buses, helicopters, airplanes, etc. How are these similar to, or different from, boats?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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