Sunday, September 11, 2011

Scheduling with Scaredy Squirrel

I am so sorry it's been so long since I have posted. I have been long-term subbing in a third grade classroom and coming home dog tired every evening. Then this weekend my brother, who just returned from an air force deployment in United Arab Emirates, came to visit so I was spending as much time as possible with him. I promise more emergency sub plans are coming, but until then I thought I'd share one of my favorite literature-based math activities.

The activity is based on Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt. I absolutely this book (and all the subsequent Scaredy Squirrel stories). It can be used to spark interest in a number of topics from patterning to telling time to health and safety. What I most like to teach out of this book is scheduling. Every time unit I have seen has schedules incorporated, and this activity is perfect for the students to demonstrate learning. I have used this activity in first, second, and third grades. It is easy to modify by adding or taking away events and the level of detail expected.

I start off by reading the book (dramatically... the story lends itself well to that). And I just ordered a Scaredy Squirrel puppet off of Amazon. I can't wait to incorporate the puppet into the reading of the story. In the book is Scaredy Squirrel's daily routine and (a little later in the story) his new and improved daily routine.

After reading the book, I explain about schedules, making sure to touch on the time-ordered sequence and a.m./p.m. notation meaning. Then I have the students create their own schedule display. Each student gets 3-5 index cards (depending on how many events you'd like them to include). I ask the students to write a sentence explaining what they do in each part of their day. The sentence must include the time with a.m./p.m. notation and the event. And they may illustrate each event as well. Each event goes on a separate card.

Once the cards are done, I give each student a length of yarn, and the events are taped in sequence order vertically on the piece of yarn. The schedules can then be hung as a great classroom work display.


  1. Love this idea! I am sharing this the teachers on my team tomorrow. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I read Scaredy Squirrel for the first time this summer and was wondering how to use it with my students!!! Thanks for the idea!

  3. Wonderful lesson! I will definitely have to remember this one. Thank you for sharing.


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