A favorite book that many teachers read the first few weeks of school is Chicka Boom Boom. I wanted to dream up some new ideas, as many teachers also make a Welcome bulletin board with that theme, and gear several days around letter activities as well.
The first FREEBIE is entitled Trunk Tricks and has a variety of activities based around the trunk of a coconut tree.
I've seen others make painted handprints for fronds, which is cute, but sometimes messy and difficult, as well as time-consuming to do, especially if you're teaching a bunch of little ones all by yourself.
I decided to trace my handprints to see how they would turn out and I really liked the effect.
Have a room volunteer do the tracing and cutting for you, or send the green paper home 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 add that bit of 3-D pop and the student photo on the coconut makes it all the more precious.
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!"
Make A Chicka Boom Name Tag:
- One of the things that I did everyday with my students for table top lessons, was play an I Spy game.
- I made these up by drawing circles on pictures of whatever theme we were studying and filling them with dashed letters and numbers.
- I would spy a number and my students circled it and then raised their hand to show they were done.
- The first one to raise their hand got to spy the next letter/number.
- My students really enjoyed playing "I Spy". It's a wonderful whole-group assessment tool as well. You can see in seconds, who is having difficulty spying letters and numbers, because they aren't able to recognize them.
- I jotted down a few notes and then worked 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!
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 1 letter out; if they roll a 6 they lose their turn.
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 inbetween 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!
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others may find helpful.
"80% of success is showing up!" -Woody Allen