Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bone Soup- Classroom Lesson on Cooperation

Bone Soup is a Halloween twist on the classic book Stone Soup.  I LOVE books that are unique and clever.  The author, Cambria Evans is quite interesting.  She and her husband celebrate Halloween every day of the year.  Seriously, how FUN is that??  I usually do this lesson in my 3rd-6th grade classes.  I've found older students have usually read the book Stone Soup and they grasp the meaning of this book a little better than younger students.

A quick summary of the book is... Finnigin, "The Eater," finds himself in a new town on Halloween.  He is hungry, penniless and has no food to his name.  He uses his smarts and a special ingredient...a MAGIC BONE to entice the townscreatures into helping make a Halloween feast for everyone to enjoy! This book teaches an important lesson of being able to accomplish great things when you work together. 

After reading the book, I play The Bone Soup Game with my classes.  This book includes several unusual ingredients only Halloween creatures would love.  Ingredients like bat wings, stewed eyeballs, toe nail clippings etc.  So, I collected as many silly, disgusting items I could find to include in my Bone Soup Game.  The Dollar Store during October is a great time to find many items that would be PERFECT ingredients for the soup.  Here's how the game works...
The Bone Soup Game
  1. Put bone stickers on 6 ingredients.  Put a number sticker on all remaining ingredients. I only use numbers 1 through 4 to make scoring easier. (See last pic for example)
  2. Put ingredients in cauldron with a cover on top so students can't look inside.
  3. Divide the class into 2 teams.
  4. Have one student from EACH team come up at at time.
  5. Have students wear a glove so when they reach into the cauldron, they can't feel what the item is.  Also....gloves are great for dramatic effect!
  6. Each student pulls out one item from the cauldron.
  7. Record score from number sticker on each item pulled.
  8. If a student pulls an item with a bone sticker on it,  they get to answer a question.  If they answer the question correctly, they receive 5 points for their team.
  9. After each student has a turn, the team with the most points wins the game.
Here are some examples of the ingredients I found for my Bone Soup. Make sure to have enough ingredients for everyone in the class to pick one.  

Here is what the ingredients look like in the cauldron with the number and bone stickers on them.

My students have LOVED this game.  I HAM it up when students pull items out saying things like...."Oh look it's Grandpa Fred's false teeth!"  Or, "WOW! Menthol cough drops adds the best flavor!" 

What fun things do you like to do for Halloween at your school? 

Click here for a FREE downloadable Bone Soup Cauldron Label and game questions.  

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