You will need:
- pipe cleaners, cut in thirds (approximately 60)
- hole punches
- 2"x3" rectangular tags (construction paper, card stock or tag board) in five colors, one of each per necklace*
- 3" diameter circles (same) in two colors, one of each per necklace*
- 4" x 1/2" rectangular tags (same), one per necklace*
- Write the days of the weeks on the tags, using a color for each day and the circles for the weekend days.
- Write "Days of the Week" on the long, thin tag.
- If you do not have multiple hole punches, punch holes in each tag: one on each end. Otherwise have the kids do this - it's good eye training and motor development. And they looooooooove it.
- You may find that pre-bagging a set of materials for each child is worthwhile - or at least pre-bagging the tags.
- Decide in advance if the week starts with Monday or Sunday. Sunday is traditional. If you can't decide skip the "days of the week" long tag.
Objectives: Students will order the days of the week, recognize that the week is a regular unit of time that repeats and is comprised of seven days and identify the weekend days (vs. weekdays). Students will practice using the time concepts before and after to organize days of the week. Students will use fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination to manipulate supplies.
Potential Sentence Frames:
------day comes before ------day.
------day comes after -------day.
------day is a weekday/weekend day.
------day and -----day are weekdays.
Saturday and Sunday are the weekend.
What with all that, the project is pretty self-explanatory: the kids end up with necklaces that show the days of the week in order and demonstrate that the week happens over and over again. While making the necklaces, you can practice word recognition and chunking words.
You will want to make sure that the pipe cleaners (I'm just too old to switch over to "chenille stems", I'm afraid) are not twisted to close, since this leaves poky ends. Rather, after the kids form a loop they should wrap the ends over it.
You can also have the kids join each day with two links (rather than looping two on one pipe cleaner link); this makes for a longer necklace that I suspect is also longer-lasting; however, we were on the dregs of the pipe cleaners.
This can be done with any ordered, cyclic event. Necklaces or bracelets are good for cycles since their shape is cyclic. We've also done water cycle bracelets this year, using colored pony beads for each step (an excellent retelling device and it reinforces how you can start anywhere in a cycle).
We are moving toward a more Balanced Literacy/Teachers College writing program, and at Kindergarten we felt like doing that would require that students really, really get time and time concepts. So we've been getting pretty detailed on that: identifying and ordering the days of the week and also understanding that weeks make up months make up years are made of days are made of hours, etc.
In other crafty news, I have decided against doing strawberry basket + ribbon woven baskets with telephone wire handles full of paper flowers for Mothers' Day. This is because we get out of school so early and we have the massive Paper People Autobiography project AND the maracas and tambourines to get done for the Promotion. I think I will have the kids do the card with the pop-up hand holding flowers.
*Really, you could use whatever you wanted providing you can write on it. A retiring teacher gave me a bag of precut heavyweight astrobrights matching these measurements, and I wanted to use it up. Fancy people might want to go in rainbow order - use indigo and perhaps white for the long tag.