Sizzle and Fizzle… Pop Rocks!Upping the engagement and increasing the fun is a must for the dreary months of January and February (and March, April, and most of May here in Oregon). Candy that pops and shocks is sure to be a winner and bring smiles to my kiddo’s faces!
I think I’ve only had Pop Rocks a couple of times in my life, not sure I’m a fan, but there’s something about the tingle and tickle on your tongue that makes Pop Rocks a hit with kids of all ages! Eating this candy is an experience I’m excited to share with my students and, since I AM a teacher, turning it into a descriptive writing lesson was a no brainer!
I found the Pop Rocks at my local Dollar Tree. Much less expensive than ordering from Amazon, although I would have almost paid the extra $20 to not have to leave my house. I was only able to find one flavor, but I'm okay with that. All in all, I spent $10 for 30 packages of candy.
I'm writing this post BEFORE I actually teach the lesson because I wanted to share it in case others are looking for an engaging activity for January. I'll come back and revise this post after I've taught the lesson to share updates, photos, and revisions I'd make. Stay tuned for that!
Thinking through this lesson, I wanted to peak student interest and give them a mystery to solve. For my hook, I'm going to play the sounds of Pop Rocks and have students try to guess what the sound is. This is sure to get students asking questions and get their brains thinking.
I also want to make sure students understood what descriptive writing is and why it is important to learn how to do it well. The lesson starts with an anchor chart to focus students on that objective.
(Insert anchor chart photo here.)
The first part of the lesson is focused on word choices, choosing million dollar words to replace those $10 words we use all the time. In order to facilitate this, I'm having students work in their groups to brainstorm synonyms for words they might use when writing about Pop Rocks.
I'm also planning on doing a "chalk talk" type activity. I'm going to place a large piece of butcher paper up on one of our classroom walls and students will be able to add their ideas, thus creating a large word bank for their writing.
(Insert photo here.)
Now comes the exciting part! Students will get a packet of Pop Rocks and their notes page. Students will spend time focusing on sensory details while tasting their candy.
During the second day, students will use their notes, the anchor charts, and the word bank to construct a descriptive paragraph about their experience. The notes page is perfect is a perfect tool to help students create a well written paragraph.
Crossing fingers that our school will remain in-person, but if we don't I am prepared!! I've also created a digital version of the student sheets and scoring rubric that can easily be assigned through Google Classroom. All I'll need to do is get the Pop Rocks to the kids and create a Jamboard for the word bank.