Since some schools head back to school as early as the 2nd week of August, I wanted to post some art projects and activities that would go with that theme.
A favorite book that many teachers read the first week of school is Chicka Boom Boom, so I wanted to dream up some new ideas for that, as many teachers also make a Welcome bulletin board with that theme, and gear several days around letter activities as well.
I'm trying to design more things around favorite books and did two huge projects for Chicka Boom because of its popularity.
The first is entitled Trunk Tricks and has a variety of activities based around the trunk of the coconut tree.
I've seen others make painted handprints for fronds, which is cute, but sometimes messy and difficult and time-consuming to do if you're teaching a bunch of little ones by yourself.
I decided to trace my handprints to see how they would turn out and I really liked the affect.
You can have a room volunteer do the tracing and cutting for you, or send the green paper home during open house and have parents do this step
With the handprint portion out of the way, this adorable keepsake artwork can be whipped together in about 10 minutes.
For extra pizzazz, I used brown textured wallpaper for the trunk of my tree.
Brightly-colored foam letters also added that bit of 3-D pop and the picture on the coconut makes it all the more precious.
Click on the link to view/print the masters for the Chicka Boom handprint tree.
In Trunk Tricks you can also make a Name Tree, a Vowel Tree, a Color Tree and a count by 10's to 100 Tree.
Any of these would make quick and easy bulletin boards: "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Look What The K's Did In Mrs. Henderson's Room!"Click on the link to see the rest of this fun-filled activity book. Trunk Tricks
- One of the things that I do everyday with my students for table top lessons is to play an I Spy game.
- I make these up by drawing circles on pictures of whatever theme we are studying and filling them with dashed letters and numbers.
- I spy a number and my students circle it and then raise their hand.
- The first one to raise their hand gets to spy the next letter/number.
- My students really enjoy playing "I Spy". It's a wonderful whole-group assessment tool for me as well. I can see in just 2 minutes who is having difficulty spying letters and numbers because they aren't able to recognize them.
- I jot down notes and then can work with these students later on a one-on-one basis.
- Since we study apples for one of our big back to school science themes, I thought it would be fun for students to compare apples and coconuts.
- This comparison not only involves various math extensions, but you can toss in some science exploration as well, by having a discussion with your students about what they think is inside the coconut etc.
- Once you break the coconut open, give everyone a taste of the liquid as well as the meat. Graph whether students like apples or coconuts better.
- Make a Venn diagram to compare the two. It's surprising how many things you can find that they have in common. Picka Chicka lists several pages of very interesting facts + a 1/2 page of terrific links and You Tube videos, including how to open a coconut and climb a coconut tree!
- Click on the link to view/print the Chicka Boom graph and Venn diagram
Chicka Boom Envelope Letter Game:
There's nothing like a game to help students learn lessons. Children can play with a partner or in a group of 3.
You can make a class set of Chicka Boom trees, or allow each student to make their own "Chicka Boom Name Tree". Play the game several times in class and then let children take them home to enjoy with family.
Children glue construction paper to a sealed envelope making a trunk so that they can insert letters into the back of their tree's "pocket". Students roll a dice to determine how many letters they put in their envelope.
If they roll a 1 they take a letter out, if they roll a 6 they lose their turn.
Click on the link to view/print the Chicka Boom Envelope Letter Game patterns.
Chicka Boom Popsicle Stick Puzzle:
I love making Popsicle stick puzzles. They are easy and inexpensive and fun for students to put together.
- Simply find the clip art you want to match whatever theme you're doing and enlarge it to 5 1/2 x 4 1/2. Print it off and cut it out.
- Number 6 large wooden Popsicle sticks from 1-6 on the back and then arrange them side by side.
- Smooth white glue over the top and then press your picture over the sticks.
- Flip the sticks over onto another sheet of paper so that you can make a tiny space inbetwen the sticks so that you can cut them apart with an Exacto knife when they dry.
- Making a Popsicle stick puzzle out of your students' first day of school photo makes a nice keepsake as well.
- You can keep these puzzles for your classroom, or send them home with your students as a sweet back-to-school surprise!
I've also made a Welcome To School apple puzzle for you as well. They'd make a cute gift for each of your students.
You could print their names with a black marker across the center of the apple. A great "learn-to-recognize-your-name" activity for little ones.
Click on the link to view/print that pattern. Back-to-school Apple Puzzle.
A is for Apple and A is a VOWEL.
As mentioned above, apples are a big theme for back-to-school, so I wanted to toss in an apple project.
One of the things that I taught my first graders was a Vowel Song to the tune of Bingo that I made up. (There was a class who knew their vowels and this it what they sang oh: AEIOU-AEIOU-AEIOU They were a very smart class!)
When I designed this project for my first graders years ago, I thought it was funny how they would break out in song while they worked on this vowel apple! They really enjoyed both! I hope your kiddo's do too!
Run off my master on red construction paper, have your students cut and assemble the parts and glue either the vowel song or a words on the back.
Punch a hole in the stem and hang from the ceiling with fish line.
This makes a great decoration as well as a reminer of what all of the vowels are.
Click on the link to view/print the vowel apple pattern.