The warm fall weather that we have been having is magical. Each day the kids beg to go on an outdoor adventure, which is not hard to provide in the beautiful place we live. Yesterday we went walking in the park and my 2 boys noticed there were acorns on the ground everywhere! They started picking them up as fast as they could, shoving them in their pockets and into my bag. When they were done my 5 year old looked at their stash and shouted “We probably have about a billion!” Although his estimation skills were a little off, he was right. We had a TON of acorns. So we came up with this Connect the Dots Acorn Silhouette Estimation Activity and Craft.
When we got home, we dumped all the acorns out on some paper on the floor. My boys immediately started counting them. While they were occupied for the moment, I ran down to the computer and printed off a few silhouette pictures from google images. I chose a leaf, a squirrel and a tree, but any images would work for this Activity.
The first part of this Acorn Silhouette Estimation Activity was to cut the silhouette pictures out and laid them on top of plain white paper (with a dollar store foam board underneath). I then gave my kids a pushpin to carefully poke dots, every inch or so, around the picture. We numbered the dots and then connected them using a black marker.
This was great practice for my Kindergartner to work on sequencing. First he had to label the dots with the written number and then he had to connect the dots saying each number aloud. It also required his best fine motor skills to connect the dots together.
Next we talked a bit about the word estimation. This was new to my Kindergartner, but my 3rd grader knew all about it, seeing as it is a big part of the 2nd and 3rd grade core. We defined estimate as “our best guess”. We made estimations on each silhouette, placed the acorns on the picture and then counted to see how close we were. Their estimations got better each time as they compared the size of the pictures to each other and reasoned about how many acorns they thought would fit compared to the pictures they’d already done. My Kindergartner was super excited when he estimated 77 acorns would fit on the tree and the true number was 70.
My intention was to then glue the acorns on the pictures to create an acorn craft, but my boys were having way to much fun exploring with the different silhouettes we never quite made it to that part. I think I’ll just keep the acorns in a plastic bag and save that part for another day. My boys are now on the lookout for other seasonal themed objects we can estimate with and create different silhouettes for different times of the year!
I love the idea of using this in the classroom. I think the estimation part is really valuable. I would create the silhouettes beforehand and then allow my students to estimate and place the objects as a math task or activity. You could have them compare different silhouettes, or you could have them use the same silhouette but change the object to see how the numbers change. Either way this is a great way to introduce estimation to your students!