Meeting a Baby's Needs

Integrating Math, Culture, Economics and Language Arts
Posted on 04/19/2017
Sewing Technology

(Wethersfield, CT) First-grade students at CREC Discovery Academy are learning everything from math to writing through the school’s Baby Doll Project, a multidisciplinary program that is incorporated throughout the school day.
The students start by making dolls that are the same length and weight as they were when they were born. This step introduces math by teaching them to measure the length of the muslin fabric used to make the dolls and weigh the gravel to the pounds and ounces that they were at birth. The students get to use a sewing machine, hand sew the seams after stuffing and learn about attaching buttons for the eyes. In Social Studies, they use the baby’s wants and needs to study economics.
Students are given $100 of pretend money to buy items for their babies. They have to decide if an item is a need or want and must be prepared to pay for a doctor visit if the baby gets sick. All the information they learn from making and taking care of the dolls will be compiled in baby books, which coincides with a nonfiction writing unit. Additionally, the Baby Doll Project will be incorporated into an engineering and science unit by having the students design, create and build a cradle or stroller for their dolls.

“This is truly an integrated project that crosses many disciplines. Students learn about the start of life, math, reading, writing, science and social studies,” said first-grade teacher Melissa Hickey.

“I learned that babies like to be swaddled and how to swaddle them. I learned how to sew on a machine and by hand and I think that will help me when I grow up,” said student K.R.

“I liked writing my ‘All About’ book about when I was a baby and hearing my mom tell me stories about when I was a baby,” said student K.P.