Grade level: 5th grade
Time length: 90 minutes
Teacher introduction: Imagine talking or writing a letter to someone without using words but using pictures. This way of communicating through picture writing is a form of writing that has been used for thousands of years. A pictograph is writing that uses a symbol to represent a word or concept.
- Go to this web link: http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/native/sign/correspondence.htm to see an American Indian pictograph correspondence and its translation.
- Map pictographs may be more familiar to your students. This link shows some common pictographs used by the park services for signs and markers. http://www.nps.gov/hfc/carto/symbols/map_symbols.pdf
- Brainstorm with the students about making symbols to represent words or ideas, for example, what would “a sunny day” pictograph look like?
- In the following lesson, we’ll use some pictographs to describe things about you in a “biography by the yard”.
- Using cash register tape, or some other long paper, measure out a yard of paper for each student for their biography. Follow the below directions:
- Measure 6 ½ inches and write your name in a fancy yet legible style.
- Measure 4 ½ inches and write your birth date. Decorate the box with birthday items.
- Measure 7 inches and draw your family. Label each member.
- Measure 4 inches and write the name of your favorite book. Draw a picture of the title.
- Measure 3 inches and draw and label your pets. If you have no pets, draw pet(s) you would like to have.
- Measure 2 inches and write the location of your favorite vacation spot. Draw a picture of what it looks like.
- Measure 3 ½ inches and draw pictures of your hobby or favorite sport.
- Measure 5 ½ inches and write five adjectives that describe you.
National Standards for Mathematics
- Measurement standard: Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement
- Measurement standard: Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.
- Problem Solving: Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving.
National Visual Arts Standards
This lesson was written by Elena Thorne, 5th grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Houston, Texas
The mission of Project GRAD is to ensure a quality public education for all students in economically disadvantaged communities so that high school and college graduation rates increase.