1-2-3 Come Do Some Christmas Writing With Me
Whenever I toss a bit of craftiness into a writing prompt, my students can’t wait to get down to business.
With that in mind, I designed 6 cat-themed picturesinside a semi-circle.
As always, patterns come in black & white for students, as well as full-color, so that teachers can quickly & easily make an example to share.
Children of course can color their cats however they want.
The semi-circle shape makes it easy-peasy to cut, then glue to the top of their writing prompt once they color it.
A semi-circle may be a new concept for some students, so be sure & grab that teachable moment to explain this interesting 2D shape.
I’ve included 2 sizes of paper, with lined & unlined options.
Both are trimmed with a snowflake border.
There are 3 writing prompts to choose from.
Pick your favorite or give students a choice.
I've also included a blank template, so that students can write about something else.
"A List of Things for a 'Purr-fect' Christmas" is especially simple and provides practice for the "make a list" writing standard.
I've included my sample in the packet.
For that finishing touch, they can color, cut & glue a "dangler" to the bottom.
To add even more variety, there are 5 different “danglers” for students to choose from.
These are glued to the bottom of their writing prompt paper.
These too, come in black & white, plus color.
I've featured 3 different creative font options as well.
Besides the “humped” toppers, I’ve also included a “chimney cat”.
He’s peeking out from the rooftop.
The writing prompt papers for this craft are blank, allowing students to write whatever they want.
Students could also pick one of the writing prompts that are part of the other craftivity.
In my sample, I kept things simple and made it a sweet Christmas card.
For that finishing touch, students can add a single set of bricks (left photo) or a double stack (right photo) to the base of their writing paper.
Because they are so different, you could stretch the lesson and have students do a semi-circle writing prompt craftivity, then for another day, have them make the chimney cat Christmas card.
I’ve included a poster to add some extra pizzazz.
Today's featured FREEBIE is also a Christmas card activity.
Since Christmas Around the World is a super-fun way to get some geography into your December lessons, I thought making a "Christmas Around the World" greeting card would be fun. Click the LINK to grab your copy.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
December is flying & I still don't have all my decorating or shopping done! Do you?
My feet have certainly hit the floor running this morning. Wishing you a fun-filled & stress free week.
"Heal the past; live the present; dream the future." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Gingerbread Activities With Me
DJ Inkers is one of my favorite clip artists. Her gingerbread house is so cute, that I went on a designing frenzy, creating all sorts of gingerbread-themed activities.
First up is a gingerbread house "flip open" writing prompt card. When you flip the house open, it reveals a completed writing prompt, where students write what it’s like to be a gingerbread cookie, or what it’s like to live in a gingerbread house.
Another option is to send the worksheet note home, for the entire family to take part in.
They glue a family photo to the square and everyone signs their name. The caption reads: “Merry Christmas from our house to yours.”
For that finishing touch, have them write the number portion of their address on the gingerbread house. Completed projects make an adorable winter bulletin board.
Next up is a gingerbread place value game packet, which is a quick, easy and fun way to practice, as well as whole-group assess.
Print off a class set of the colorful place value mats, laminate & trim.
Call out a number and have children break it down using a dry erase marker.
I've included manipulatives, in 3 different sizes, so that you can "show" the number in a more visual way too.
Another fun way to practice and whole group assess, is with the gingerbread house "sliders".
You can see at a glance who is having difficulty.
Staying with math, students can also practice fact families with the Gingerbread House Fact Family Fun packet, which includes games, centers and worksheets.
Finally, to cover reading, I designed the Gingerbread House Emergent Reader packet,Gingerbread House Emergent Reader packet, which practices spatial directions, a Common Core Standard.
Students read the simple sentences, add end punctuation, trace and write the spatial direction words (above, under, beside, left, right, between) and then color, cut and glue the gingerbread cookie to the appropriate place.
The cookies are in 2D shapes.
When everyone is done, read as a whole group to cover concepts of print.
I've also included a "Where's the Gingerbread Man?" game to further reinforce spatial directions.
The featured FREEBIE today, also features a gingerbread house.
It's an upper and lowercase letter slider craft, which is a quick, easy and fun way to whole-group assess.
For that finishing touch, we sprinkled colorful confetti on the rooftop, which looked like little bits of candy. I bought a bag at a party store for just $1.50.
To review and practice patterning, I had my kiddos trace the letters on the "slider strips" in an ABAB (red & green) color pattern.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by. It's time for me to switch gears and do some painting.
I'm making 3 animal pictures for a zoo-themed nursery, for grandchild #7. Wishing you a marvelous day, filled with memorable moments.
"And I had but one penny in the world. Thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread." –-William Shakespeare, Love’s Labours Lost
1-2-3 Come Do Some Gingerbread-Themed Writing With Me
Writing is a lot more fun for your students if you incorporate it with a theme that you're doing. Since gingerbread seems to be really popular, I decided to design a few writing activities involving this sweet December treat.
My students really enjoyed making class books. They are a quick, easy and fun writing prompt for them. Completed projects, were favorite books during free reading time.
For the Gingerbread On The Run class book, students complete the writing prompt and illustrate their page. Collect, collate and add the cover to make a sweet class book. There are 2 options for the student writing page.
This class book, is also an interesting and fun way to review action verbs as well as nouns. I've included a completed sample that you can use to help explain the lesson to your kiddos. Click on the link to view/download the Gingerbread on the Run class-made book.
While I was working on this activity, I thought it would be helpful to make some gingerbread-themed parts of speech anchor charts.
The posters include one for nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns and adverbs.
For more writing practice, I made up several simple descriptive writing worksheets, which basically help review the use of adjectives in a fun way.
I've included completed samples to share with your students, such as the one pictured, which asks them to use their 5 senses to write sentences about a gingerbread man.
Click on the link to view/download the Gingerbread Descriptive Writing Worksheets.
Finally, you can use the adorable gingerbread house craftivity, as a writing prompt (If I were a gingerbread cookie...) , or send it home, as a home-school connection for the entire family to take part in.
A note home is included in the packet, along with a "Merry Christmas From Our House To Yours" template. Children glue a family photo inside and have all of their family members sign it.
Completed projects make a sweet December bulletin board. Little ones, especially enjoy seeing a family photograph while they're at school.
Click on the link to view/download the Gingerbread House Writing Prompt Craftivity.
Thanks for visiting. The sun is shining and it's not too cold out, so it's time to take my poodle pup, Chloe, for a brisk walk. Wishing you a fun-filled day.
"Enthusiasm is contagious, so start an epidemic." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Go On An Elf Ed-venture With Me!
Woo hoo! It seems that The Elf On A "Classroom" Shelf activities, have been the kinds of things visitors have been looking for. (Scroll down to the last two blog articles to check things out.) I hope you enjoy these latest FREEBIES just as much.
Since teachers have commented on how the "sliders" are a nice way to "sneak" in a little art, with all of those standards, I decided to design "Jingle" the elf slider.
There are sliders (strips of paper that students slide up and down) for upper and lowercase letters, numbers to 30, counting backwards from 10 to 0 as well as 20 to 0 + skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's. They are a quick, easy and fun way to whole group assess.
If you don't want to make a slider, have students make a "Belly Booklet." They can practice writing letters, numbers, words, their name, or whatever else you're working on, and record things on just-the-right-size pages. Click on the link to view/download Jingle, the Elf Slider Packet.
Venn diagrams are a wonderful way to help your little elves compare and contrast. Click on the link to view/download the 13 Venn diagrams with an interesting elf theme. Pick one for your kiddos, or give them a choice.
Since Diary of a Wimpy Kid is really popular with children, I decided to make a Diary of a Wimpy Elf. I had a fun time designing this packet, and think your students will enjoy decorating their "top secret" file-folder diary and making entries as an elf, who is recording his/her activities and adventures.
I've included "spy stickers" to decorate their diaries with, or use them as incentives for great writing, excellent effort, wonderful improvement etc. There are also 2 diary-page templates that you can also use. Click on the link to view/download Diary of a Wimpy Elf.
Here's the scenario to help jumpstart your students' writing: Imagine being the smallest and weakest elf at the North Pole. You so want to help Santa, but everyone thinks you are too little, too dumb and too weak to do anything but be a candy cane tester, licking a sample from each batch to make sure they taste just right.
To make matters worse, the only thing "big" about you are your feet and ears. They are ginormous! This little elf constantly daydreams about all of the adventures he’d go on as a super-spy for Santa.
After all, being little has its advantages. He could hide almost anywhere; and his huge ears help him hear just about anything. His humongous feet allow him to ski down slippery slopes, without having to put real skis on!
Give your students this background information (included in the packet) and have them become that tiny elf, with the giant feet, huge ears and big heart. Have them write about what they do and how they feel. I've also included 30 crazy writing prompts to jump-start their creative minds, hopefully causing a few giggles.
Encourage them to name their elf and draw cartoon-like pictures in their diary, like Jeff Kinney does in his book. When your elf activities are winding down, have students write a few pages where they "save the day" and become a highly respected, and depended-upon elf, who is a very special spy for Santa. Click on the link to view/download The Diary of a Wimpy Elf.
That's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I hope your kiddos get excited about doing a bit of creative writing. I still remember Mr. Voseteig reading a Harriet the Spy book to us in 5th grade.
We all got to have our special "spy notebook" to write in. My creative writing juices went wild, and it was my first A+ ... I was hooked. The excitement of that spy book, gave way to Nancy Drew books, which became my favorite. I've been a life-long lover of reading and writing ever since.
“I'll be famous one day, but for now I'm stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons." - Greg Heffley,” (-Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid.)
Now You See Them; Now You Don’t! 1 2 3 Come Do Some Elf On A Shelf Activities With Me
The Elf on A Shelf is a children’s picture book written by an American mother and daughter Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, and illustrated by Coë Steinwart.
The book was self-published in 2005 and comes with a small elf. It's written in rhyme with watercolor illustrations.
The gist of the story is that Santa knows who is naughty and nice by what his elves report back to him as they fly back and forth each night.
Upon returning, they pick a new place to hide. By choosing a new hiding spot, the members of the family play an on-going game of Hide and Seek. Children are encouraged to name their elf.
Once the elf is named, the "scout" elf receives its special Christmas magic. Now they can fly! However, the magic might go if touched, so the rule for The Elf on the Shelf states: "There's only one rule that you have to follow, so I will come back and be here tomorrow: Please do not touch me. My magic might go, and Santa won't hear all I've seen or I know."
In the hope that students will settle down, stay on task, and be better behaved during the hectic month of December, teachers have now gotten on board and purchased an elf for their classrooms.
To launch Elf on a Shelf read the story and let the good behavior modification begin! After all, Santa now has a spy in the room, and the teacher has a helper that is watching.
If you're looking for a costume to wear on the day you introduce your elf activities, or perhaps dress up in for story time, I found one at Oriental Trading. It's just $16. They also have an apron, or simply don the hat for $3. Children's sizes are also available, and would be a real hit in your dress up box,
I spent over an hour sourcing pictures of elf antics, 'til my head was actually spinning! There are virtually 100's of ideas Online, so I decided to start a PIN board with my favorites. Click on the link to catch the Elf Excitement.
I bought my bags at Hobby Lobby. Click on the link to view/download Twinkle, the Elf on a Classroom Shelf "craftivity."
This is also a very easy thing for your kiddo's to make, and can act as a great behavior modification technique, as I've included "Tally Tags."
Children choose one and glue it to the front of their own elf. Whenever you catch a child being good, or when they have completed a task, they may add a tally mark to their card.
Have them use a red marker for tally marks 1-4 and then cross the 5th tally with a green marker.
To ensure honesty, remind students that the elves and Santa are watching, so no cheating. You could also let them know that you have a student tally total that you keep track of, so if you find a discrepancy they will lose their card. You really don't have to keep up with this, just show the paper and it will hopefully do the trick.
Feel free to walk over and add tally marks to children’s bags without saying a word. Believe me, they will be aware of what you are doing and get right down to business. After school, add tally marks to whom ever had a good day. This tally mark can be from the Elf on a Shelf. So children can readily see a difference, make the elf’s tally mark in another color like blue or purple.
Because of the book’s popularity, elf activities were being requested, so I decided to design some. I also had a few "oldies but goodies" which you can find below.
Click on the link to view/download The Christmas Elf, which is a spatial direction booklet, that also has several “craftivities” included, like the stocking with a photo of a real elf tucked inside.
Simply take a picture of each of your students wearing an elf/Santa hat. Students trim and glue to the back of their stocking. A graphing extension is also included.
The booklet Little Elf What Do You See? is a rhyming booklet that incorporates the 5 senses.
Lots of Common Core is covered, as students read, circle capital letters; add end punctuation; underline adjectives; trace and write the "senses" words and then color, cut and glue the matching pictures.
If you're looking for an elf-related writing prompt have students respond to Santa's wanted poster.
He's looking for seasonal elf help. Children write why they feel they'd make a good elf.
After students share their page, collect and collate into a class book. A "You're Hired!" certificate and "Official Santa's Helper Button" are also included. Click on the link to view/download the Wanted: Elf Help packet.
Thanks for visiting today. I design and try to blog daily, so I hope you can pop by tomorrow for the newest FREEBIES hot off this elf's computer. Feel free to PIN away.
"I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel." -Buddy, from the movie Elf
Even your most reluctant writers will enjoy contributing a page to a class made book. I try to make one each week, sometimes more depending on the themes I’m doing.
Students TRACE the sentence and fill in the blank. So that they don’t have a problem with spelling and I can manage this activity with an entire class without a lot of repetitive questions, I gather everyone in front of the white board.
Read the prompt and then ask your students to give you as many examples as they can think of.
I tell my Y5’s to put on their thinking caps and we make motions and sounds to do that.
As they raise their hands and give me suggestions, I write them on the board.
They choose an idea from the list and then take their seats and get down to business.
I always do a sample, complete with an illustration, so that they have a model to refer to, that is posted on the board.
When everyone is done with their page, we do the graphing extension(s). I laminate their contributions + the graph(s) and put them into a book, and then read it to the class.
Afterwards, it goes into our “Class Made Books” basket. This is one of my students’ favorite items to read during quiet time.
Some of the books we make I develop as a nice follow up for a popular story that we’ve just read.
These stories usually follow a theme such as Jan Brett’s The Mitten or the classic winter fairy tale The Gingerbread Man.
For the gingerbread story, I pass out Keebler gingerbread cookies and tell my students to take just one bite. I ask for a show of hands to see who bit off what and then they write and illustrate their page. I also graph the results.
Click on the link to view/print Our Mitten class book.
Click on the link to view/print Our Gingerbread Man class book.
For more winter fun writing Class Books click on the link.
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As always, if you have an idea you’d like to share, I’d enjoy hearing from you. I’m currently looking for topics and books that teachers want me to make class books and writing prompts for. email@example.com
Happy Winter Writing!