1-2-3 Come Make A Haunted House Craftivity With Me
Flick off the lights to set the mood, then all you have to do is quietly & slowly say the words, “Haunted House” , and you will have everyone's attention.
No matter what grade I taught, I loved going for that “Gotcha!” moment, to get people excited about writing.
I truly believe that students will be enthusiastic about “getting down to the business of writing”, if you simply give them something interesting and fun to write about.
It’s that simple. Find their “hot button”. If your students are like mine, then a haunted house, is that catalyst in motivating them to WANT to write. Woo Hoo!
With that in mind, I set to work to design two crafty packets involving a haunted house.
First up, 6 writing prompt craftivities for the “Haunted House” packet.
They are all different enough, so that you can easily do several; one in class, one as a fun homework assignment, one for extra credit, a sub tub, or for early finishers etc.
You could also give students a choice.
You may be surprised that they want to do them all.
Student can choose which they want to write about, or you can make this a two-part assignment.
Kiddos can write the ARE portion on one day, and finish up the HAVE prompt the next day.
You could also do one in class, and do the other as homework.
Completed projects turn out "terror-rific"!
I think it's very important to not overwhelm beginning writers.
For example, asking students to write a "spooky story" can be a bit daunting for even a seasoned writer.
To experience this, put yourself in the assignment. Would you want to write an entire story, or would you be more excited to develop a list of things that a haunted house has?
Because it's a smaller chunk of writing, and children can draw from experience, they know the "answers" and feel empowered; so they can get right down to writing; and often very excited to do so!
With that in mind, all of the activities in both packets are "bite size".
Because it's simple yet thought provoking, I think your students will also enjoy "If a haunted house could talk, what might it say?"
There are 5 diffferent "speech bubbles" to add variety to your display, as well as several posters you can use to introduce the lesson, then sprinkle on your bulletin board.
Besides the different posters to help you introduce the lesson, as well as several more to enhance your various displays, I've also included spiderwebbed letters that spell LOOK!
They are 4 1/2 inches & come in 3 styles. (Oh the possibilities...)
I substituted them for the O letters in LOOK.
To expand the lesson, and practice yet another standard, I’ve also included a whole-group graphing extension in both packets.
Next up is the "Trick or Treating at a Haunted House" packet.
To get more bang for my “time” buck, I like to cover a variety of standards with one activity.
“Trick or Treating at a Haunted House”is not only a super-fun writing prompt craftivity, but it also reinforces the 5 senses, and the importance of using them to enhance writing.
Students are trick or treating and they visit a haunted house.
What do they see, hear, feel, taste & smell?
After writing their rough draft, then editing, they fill out a rubric checklist, then write their final draft on the writing prompt worksheet. (I've included RUBRICS in both packets.)
There are 4 different haunted houses for students to choose from, with a TOP & BOTTOM pattern for each. as the 5 senses writing prompt is glued to the center.
There's also a “5 Senses” poster, plus one that defines “Adjectives”.
Use them to introduce your lesson, then add them to your display.
Toss some “cobwebs” in each corner, and you have a “WOW!” bulletin board, sure to get lots of compliments.
As you can see by my samples, "answers" can be a simple sentence for younger students, as well as a more in-depth use of descriptive word choice for older students.
I've also included a "side-by-side" photo of a sample that's very simple, then another that was worked on.
I always try to make time for students to share their work with their classmates, so we popcorn around the room and everyone shares one of their "5 senses sentences" before displaying them in the hallway.
A child's handprints become the "fire" at the top.
I've included a "We promise" pledge poster for children to sign, which helps make students accountable for not playing with fire.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for dropping in.
Autumn is in it's full splendor here in Michigan, so even though it's rather chilly today, I want to grab some fresh air.
Wishing you a fun-filled day.
“I don't know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids!" -Robert Brault
1-2-3 Come Do Some Spine Tingling Writing With Me!
“Shudders Behind the Shutters!” does both.
Thus, I designed this writing prompt craftivity with a window.
There are two writing prompt “window” options.
Students can make a list of 13 things that make them shudder OR
I've discovered that narrowing down what students have to write about, rather than saying, "write a spooky story", is a lot less overwhelming for them.
This bite-size piece, is not only less daunting, but will have your students actually become excited about creating their list or a brief excerpt!
I’ve included samples of both, so that teachers can quickly & easily make an example to share.
Making an example, not only helps you explain what you want your students to do, it acts as a catalyst for getting them enthusiastic about getting down to the business of writing.
The writing prompt “window” becomes the base, for this 3-part craftivity.
Shutters flip open to reveal this picture window, which then opens to reveal my list of 13 things that make me shudder. You can use any number, but I chose superstitious 13.
Did you know that the “fear of the number 13” is called triskaidekaphobia! (triss-kye-dek-uh-FOH-bee-uh).
You may want to share this bit of interesting trivia with your students.
For some extra 3D pizzazz, I added some wiggle eyes, attaching them with glue dots.
You can use these to introduce the lesson.
Encourage students to use their senses, as well as plenty of description, to evoke a shudder or two.
These are not difficult concepts to understand.
Actually, I’ve found that even younger students grasp them quite well, and are excited to share examples they’ve come across.
Venn diagrams are a quick, easy and fun way to introduce comparison & contrast writing to your students.
Instead of using the usual circles, I drew an apple for one half, while the other side is a pumpkin. An oval "slice" down the center, provides a place for "similarities".
You can do this as an individual worksheet or whole-group activity, that provides an excellent review and culminating activity for your apple-pumpkin studies.
Completed worksheets make an excellent bulletin board or hallway display.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
It's nothing spooky over here that has me shuddering, just a bone-chilling wind that's rattling my window panes.
It's a small price to pay though, for the absolutely gorgeous fall colors that come with cooler weather.
Wishing you a simply splendid day!
"Life is a succession of lessons, which must be lived to be understoond." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Reinforce fire safety practices with this easy craftivity, where students promise to never play with fire. The flames are a child's hand prints. (Look closely and you'll see that they've been crinkled to look more like flames.) Older students attach their "bonfire" to a writing prompt paper, (2 choices) color and complete the prompt. I've included a "We Promise" pledge poster for everyone to sign. This craftivity has been up-dated and is a special FREEBIE in my TpT shop. Click on the link to grab your copy today: Keep Your Hands Off Fire!
1-2-3 Come Do Some Fall Writing With Me
Since the "Apple Sense" craftivity was downloaded quite a bit, I decided this format would also work well for Pumpkin Sense. No matter what grade your students are in, they need to be reminded to use their senses to make their writing "come alive." The use of adjectives is equally important, and such a simple thing to explain using examples. I find that if students can add a bit of art to their creations, writing is more fun and completed projects make wonderful bulletin boards that build self-esteem.
Run off the pumpkin template on orange construction paper. Students add a bit of color to the the stem, with a green crayon. You can make this even cuter, by having students trace their hand (with their fingers spread) onto a sheet of green construction paper, trim and glue their "leaf" next to the stem. Adding a photograph gives things that finishing touch.
Run the "pumpkin guts" off on yellow construction paper. Students trim and fill in their answers. Before hand, discuss the 5 senses, as well as what an adjective is, explaining the importance of using both to write better.
Brainstorm words that can be used to describe a pumpkin using the various senses and write them on the board. Students can draw from this word bank when they write.
So that they are practicing starting a sentence with a capital letter, have students write a complete sentence, rather than filling in their answer. Review proper end punctuation. To make sure that they use adjectives, encourage students to underline them.
You may want children to write a rough draft, checking to make sure that every noun has a descriptive word before it. Can they think of a better word to describe what they are seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, etc? When they are satisfied with their final draft, they can write it on the yellow insert. Click on the link to view/download the Pumpkin Sense craftivity.
Continuing with adjective practice, I designed a Describing Fall packet.
Students think of words that describe the various fall themes: school, apples, leaves, pumpkins, spiders, bats, scarecrows, sunflowers, turkeys and Pilgrims, and then fill in the appropriate boxes with adjectives. Once they have done that, students incorporate several words into 1 or 2 sentences that they write on the back of their worksheet.
Children can add a bit of color with crayons or markers. When everyone is done, have them share their work. I've also included a definition of an adjective anchor chart. Click on the link to view/download the Describing Fall Adjective Writing packet.
If you're looking for more activities involving the 5 Senses you may like Sam's Senses craftivity. Children cut and glue the labels to Sam the pumpkin man. What makes Sam special is that his hands are the traced hands of the student. Click on the link to view/download Sam.
My Fall Senses, is a quick and easy candy corn graphic organizer that again helps students practice their writing skills. Click on the link to view download this fall writing activity.
Thanks for visiting today. I design and write daily, so I hope you can stop by tomorrow for the newest FREEBIES. Feel free to PIN away. To ensure that "pinners" return to THIS blog article, click on the green title at the top; it will turn black, now click on the "Pin it" button on the burgundy menu bar. If you'd like to take a look at all of the wonderful-educational items that I PIN, click on the heart button to the right of the blog.
"Strength: A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence." -Unknown
Fall Into Some Fun Common Core Writing For Fall!
I LOVE combining art with creative writing. I call these activities “Craftivities” and when you can mix in a little science at the same time, that's a real win-win.
Craftivities also make simple and easy bulletin boards or hallway displays that are pretty outstanding.
These fall writing prompts will help you teach several Common Core State Standards. They are listed and explained below.
Draw an oak tree on brown bulletin board paper with bare branches so that you can hang the leaves and acorn writing prompts on it, and scatter the squirrels underneath.
The leaves say: I see... I hear... I smell... The acorns say: I taste... and the squirrels say: I feel... (Older students write the entire sentence; younger students trace the first few words.)
Display the tree on a wall in the hallway. You can use the caption: Our 5-Senses Creative Writing Oak Tree OR Using Our 5-Sense In The Fall.
If you want this to appear a bit more 3-D, twist brown lunch bags into strands, and use duct tape to attach them to the branches and down the trunk.
Run the oak leaves off on a variety of colored construction paper, as this will look better than brown leaves, even though oak leaves turn brown when they lose their chlorophyll. Mention this fact to your students.
Gather students in front of the whiteboard. Review what the 5 senses are. Brainstorm with them about using their 5 senses to see, hear, smell, taste and feel different things typical of the fall season.
Review beginning capitalization of words, Common Core State Standard: L.K.2a, as well as ending punctuation. Common Core State Standard: L. K. 2b, and RF.1.1 as well as L.1.2b for 1st grade.
Have students spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships, or write a list of words from your brainstorming session on the white board having students help you spell them as you write them. Common Core State Standard: L.K.2d for kindergarten and L.1.2d for 1st grade where they use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.
Review what a noun, verb and adjective are, with older students. Keep things simple for PK students and have them TRACE the beginning words and complete the sentence with 1 noun and a period. K’s can add nouns and verbs; older students can add adjectives as well.
Make sure that you do an example yourself, explaining the parts of speech, grammar and punctuation as you go. RF.K.1a (Point out to students that they are reading words from left to right, top to bottom and page by page.) RF.K.1c (Point out that the words are separated by spaces and remind them to make sure they have a finger-space between their words too.)
Students can add color to their cut out pieces. Remind them to include their names. For a bit more pizzazz, you can also add glitter. Use this as an incentive for students if they give their best effort and do their work correctly.
To give variety to your “wall board,” I have designed two squirrels. You can run off both kinds and give children a choice. Sprinkle the squirrels around the bottom of your oak tree.
If you don’t want to make a bulletin board, or hallway tree mural out of these writing prompts, you can collate the pages together to make a class book. I’ve provided a cover for you if you want to do that.
You can also suspend the various similar pieces back-to-back from fish line and hang from the ceiling. Click on the link to view/download 5-Senses Oak Tree Creative Writing packet. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others may find helpful.
"It takes time to save time." -Joe Taylor