How wonderful is Mom? Help your second grade mathematician "measure" the ways with this creative gift of appreciation, great for Mother's Day, or any day. Taking the structure of a recipe, ask your child to come up with a set of "ingredients" that make Mom special, and then put it into a whimsical card. Whether it’s 3 cups of love or a tablespoon of laughter, this fun activity will bring a smile to any mom’s face ... and it will also provide valuable practice with measurement terms that are a classic part of second grade mathematics.
Start with one 5x8" index card, held vertically. Have your child draw a picture of Mom, and use as many colors and details as possible.
Now take the second card. Again, hold it vertically. On top, have your child write: "Recipe for Mom."
Help your child make a list: what are at least seven things that make Mom special? Maybe it's "sense of humor," or "great cookies..." whatever comes to mind, support your second grader in getting it written down, and provide help with spelling if you're asked, too! As your child writes, have her leave a 1/2" space on the left margin -- you'll fill in measurements when you're done. At the bottom of the card, there should be at least 2" left as well. That's for "cooking instructions."
Gather a bunch of measuring tools from the kitchen. These can be cups, teaspoons and tablespoons.
Now comes the fun part! Have your child go through all the measuring tools to put a quantity amount to each trait. So, for example, if she picked “understanding” as one of her mom’s qualities, she can decide how much understanding to put in her recipe (probably about 5 cups!)
Invite your child to decorate the margins of the card with whimsical designs that Mom will like. Then fold one 9x12" piece of construction paper in half horizontally (the "hamburger" way). Work together to glue the drawing of Mom on the front of the card, and glue the recipe inside. You'll have an heirloom thank you for Mom...and a whimsical piece of math practice while you're at it!
Vanessa Genova DeSantis has been teaching for fourteen years in public and private school settings in grades 4-8. She's also an educational freelance writer as well as a private tutor for elementary, middle and high school students.