Sizing Up a Beehive
Students will be able to size sort rectangles from longest to shortest.
Introduction (10 minutes)
- Ask students what they already know about bees and beehives. After a quick brainstorm, explain that a beehive is a house for bees, and it is where the bees make honey.
- Read a story about bees. If using a fiction book, support the story with a non-fiction book that shows pictures of real beehives.
- After reading the book, ask students what they learned about beehives, and record their responses on chart paper.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (5 minutes)
- Tell students that when they see the outside of a beehive, it is longest at the middle or the bottom of the hive, and it gets smaller as it goes up, similar to the shape of a triangle.
- Model the triangular beehive shape with your own hands, and have the students copy the motion, assisting as necessary.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Lay out 6-7 rectangles of graduated lengths on the floor.
- Ask students to find the longest rectangle. Lay the longest rectangle on the bottom of a piece of black paper.
- Ask students to find the next longest rectangle. Place this rectangle above the longest one. Continue this process until all of the rectangles have been placed, changing your wording from "longest" to "shortest" as you reach the end.
- Place the door cutout in the middle of the base of the longest rectangle. Tell students that this is what their hives will look like.
Independent Working Time (15 minutes)
- Note: This activity may be set up as an independent activity, a small group activity, or as a one-on-one activity.
- Give each student a piece of black paper, a set of precut graduated rectangles, a white crayon, and a precut door shape.
- Tell the students that they will make a beehive on their own, just as they did with the class.
- Remind students that their rectangles need to go from longest at the bottom to shortest at the top, and to check with you or a classroom assistant before gluing them down onto the black paper.
- After the rectangles are glued down, the student will glue the door on the hive.
- Have students write their name on the paper with the white crayon.
- Enrichment: Additional rectangles may be added for advanced students to sort.
- Support: Fewer rectangles may be given to struggling students to sort. You may also sit directly with students and talk through each rectangle if the student struggles in differentiating sizes independently.
Related Books and/or Media
- BOOK: Are You a Bee by Judy Allen
- BOOK: The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons
- BOOK: The Honeybee and the Robber by Eric Carle
Assessment (5 minutes)
- Note if the student successfully size orders the rectangles form longest to shortest. If the student is unsuccessful, make note on your assessment record for additional practice.
Review and Closing (10 minutes)
- Once the student has completed their beehive, ask the student to point to the longest rectangle, then to the shortest rectangle.
- You can continue to ask the student to identify the second longest rectangle, second shortest rectangle, and so on if needed.
- You could also ask the student to describe how the rectangles are arranged on the paper. The student may answer biggest to smallest, which would indicate that they have an understanding of sizing.