Down by the Bay



* Group students in pairs (by passing out tongue depressor and having them locate their partner) and read story and have students share their thoughts on questions asked (click here) before, during and after reading the story, plus narrative questions (click for pdf)

* Things to share after reading book, singing and chanting song.

a) Listen to the words I say and tell me if they rhyme…bear – dog / bear – care.  Select words (bay, grow, home, mother, down) from the song and a rhyming and non-rhyming word) 

b) Tell me a word that rhymes with _____________(repeat this exercise with different words from the song) 

c) I am going to say a word from the song and you tell me what letter it begins with (select word from song)

d) Listen to the word I say and lets count the syllables (clap, snap, pat or stomp syllables with the class)

e) I am going to say a sentence from the story / song and you fill in the word that is missing

Example: Did you ever see a bear combing his ________.  Did you ever see a pig wearing a  ________.  Did you ever see a goose kissing a  ________ .  Did you ever see a fly wearing a ________.

 f) I am going to say part of a sentence and you finish the sentence.

Example: (teacher) Did you ever see a bear

                     (students) combing his hair.

                     (teacher) Did you ever see a pig

                     (students) wearing a wig.

                     (continue with the other phrases)

g) Once they are able to accomplish the task by phrases you can now do it by word. (T = Teacher  and S = Students)

Example: (T) Down  (S) by  (T) the  (S) bay  (T) where  (S) the  (T) watermelons (S) grow  (continue with song)

* Complete Venn diagram: Compare a watermelon to another fruit (have students select the fruit) with similar characteristics in the middle (click for pdf)

* Complete a story map: title, setting, characters, problem, and solution.

* Sing, chant, and recite song through echo reading, choral reading, buddy reading, and work on phonological awareness activities (click for example)

* Create different verses to the song.  Have student find rhyming words from the pictures in the pdf and have them make up the action associated with the pictures, ex. dancing with a ….; singing with a…; (click for pdf)

* Discuss synonyms:  bay: cove, harbor, gulf / grow = sprout, germinate, bud

* Word play: Change the word mother to father, brother, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc.

* As a class, create silly alliterative sentences. Example:  Willy Wonka winks at watermelons.


* Introduce parts of the plant (roots, stem, leaves, and flower) and parts of the plant that we eat (root-carrot; stem-celery; leaves-lettuce; and flower-watermelon.  The watermelon was a flower before it turned into a watermelon. (click for pdf)

* Bring carrots, celery, lettuce, and broccolli and have students compare the vegetables by color, size, texture, weight and taste.

* Make a watermelon water- place a piece of watermelon inside a zip-lock and allow them to squash the watermelon until its all water…then drink the water.

* Discuss the concept of a bay and all the animals that live in the bay area—fish, birds, crabs, whales, seals, dolphins, etc. (click for pdf)

* Pass around a baby watermelon and discuss the 5 senses (color, shape, and texture.  Does it make a sound? How does it taste?)

* Discuss what plants need to grow: air, water, sun, soil.  Plant / watermelon grows in sequential order from seed to fruit and have children cut and sequence plant cycle growth.(click for pdf)

* Chant the following poems to reinforce the importance of the sun and water for plant growth.

    – A seed is planted, First a sprout, then stem, and leaves, and buds come out.  

    – Dig a little hole. Plant a little seed. Pour a little water. Pull a little weed.

    – A little seed for me to sow, a little wish that it will grow.  A little sun, a little shower, a little while, then a flower.


* Introduce subtraction with watermelon slices.  Have students color and cut the pdf wateremelons and during whole group go over word problems as students hold their 5 slices of melons.  Ask a student how many watermelon slices he can eat.  Once he provides a number you provide the word problem for the class as each student holds their 5 slices. David has 5 watermelon slices and he eats two slices, how many does he have left?  Students hold the 5 slices in one hand and pretend to eat 2 and place them next to them and then they count how many they have left in their hands. (click for pdf)

* Have student work on number knowledge and recognition by cutting, coloring melons and the correct number of seeds noted in the melon slice.  Once they are complete they then glue them on a paper plate in order (click for pdf)

* Serve each child a slice of watermelon. Have them count the seeds that come out of their slice.  Have them group them in 2’s and 5’s and begin to skip count with class.

* Bring a watermelon to class and study shapes as you cut a watermelon with cookie cutters (sphere, circle, semi-circle, triangle).

 Social / Emotional

* Act out the song using stick puppets, masks or by assigning roles. (click for pdf)

* Create watermelons out of paper plates.  Cut the plate in half.  Glue one rhyming image to the top and the rhyming image in the bottom. (click for example)

* Discuss where watermelons come from.  Explain farm-market-table concept.

*  Cut and eat a watermelon and have students share stories of eating watermelons at family gatherings.  The fact that they are big makes them easy to share.  Ask kids to tell personal stories about eating watermelons.

Physical / Outdoor

* Go outside and look for weeds and pull out various weeds to look at the roots, stem, and leaves,

* Sing or chant “Down by the Bay” while incorporating movement / signing to the song (click for video)

* Spit seeds for distance (non-standard units of measurement – use rulers, pencils, pop-sickle sticks, etc.

* Play some music and move your body parts / plant parts.  You can make reference to your body parts as parts of the plants.  Move you roots, etc.

Legs: are roots,

Body: is stem,

Arms: are leaves,

Head: is flower.

* Watermelon roll.   Have a relay race to see which team can roll the watermelon the fastest.

* Grease a watermelon with baby oil and see who can carry it the farthest.  It may require teamwork!  It also works with water play to get it out of a baby pool.

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