## Fun Outdoors Math Activities with The Tiny Seed

written by: Margo Dill • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 1/20/2012

First grade outdoor math activities are fun for students on beautiful fall days and especially in the spring when they've been cooped up inside during the winter. You can do some outdoor math activities after reading The Tiny Seed also.

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### Math on the Sidewalk

Use sidewalk chalk to do first grade outdoor math activities with The Tiny Seed. This works great if you have a large blacktop or sidewalk area where students can pair up and space out to work math problems.

Ask students to solve math problems that focus on Eric Carle's book. For example, give a problem such as: When the tiny seed flew through the air, he passed three birds, five clouds, the sun, and even six airplanes. How many objects did the tiny seed pass in all? Students work the problem out with their sidewalk chalk. You can walk around and observe their answers.

Another one is a version of Hopscotch. Children hop through the board one time, answer a math question using themes from The Tiny Seed, and then hop back down the board. This activity works best with smaller classes.

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### Find and Create Patterns

The Tiny Seed is all about the plant cycle and the patterns that occur in nature. Some more first grade outdoor math activities to do with your students focus on patterns. First, take students outside and see if they can notice any patterns in gardens, on the playground, with the trees, in the grass, and so on. Make a record of these patterns to discuss or possibly draw when you get back into the classroom.

Also, take the pinecones, leaves, and so on that students collected for the activities above, and ask student groups to create their own patterns with the parts of the plant cycle.

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### Gather, Count, and Group

SInce The Tiny Seed focuses on the plant cycle, do a gathering and counting activity at the beginning of the year as part of your first grade outdoor math activities. This activity includes giving pairs of students a bag and asking them to collect different seeds or leaves they find outdoors. For example, they could collect pine cones, walnuts that have fallen off a tree, fall leaves, pine needles, or anything else that fits with the plant cycle.

Next students find an area outside where they can spread their items out. First ask students to count their items. If they have several items, you can also ask them to count by 2s and 5s. Put the entire class's items together and count by 10s.

Also, ask students to sort and group their objects according to categories such as seeds, leaves, and so on.

Ask students to find their tiniest seed and display it for the rest of the class.

### References

• Classroom experience.

#### Math and Reading Activities with The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

Young children love "The Tiny Seed" by Eric Carle. Kindergarten and first grade teachers can use this book to teach a variety of lessons in reading and math. These articles will give you ideas to use in your classroom in these subject areas.