1-2-3- Come Make A Thanksgiving Wreath With Me
Here's a little fall-themed, leaf craftivity, with a variety of writing prompt options.
For more room, have them complete the writing prompt in the center circle.
I've included a pattern for that, which you can run off on fall-colored paper.
I've also included Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Thanksgiving" poem, as another option for the center, so you can fit the poetry genre into your reading block.
"Fall is . . ." is another writing prompt option. Students can write various adjectives that describe fall on the leaves, and/or write what fall is to them, inside the circle.
Younger students can simply cut and glue leaves to make an autumn welcome wreath. I've included a "Welcome Fall" center circle as well.
There are also plain and patterned leaves to choose from, as well as a bow option.
I’ve included my completed samples to help you make a choice.
Adding a school photo as well as some glitter, adds extra pizzazz and that finishing touch. Completed projects make a lovely November, or fall bulletin board too.
For more writing practice, I've included two, leafy, bookmark-size writing prompts as well, plus my 2 completed samples, so you can quickly make an example to share.
Besides the Ralph Waldo Emerson Poem, I’ve also included a page of his interesting quotes.
Give older students an additional writing assignment; have them choose a quote and explain it, then tell if they agree or disagree.
Click on the link to zip on over to my TpT shop to have a look. Autumn Leaf Wreath.
Today's featured FREEBIE is some sweet turkey-themed one-to-one correspondence cards.
I've included a full color set, a blank set to program with higher numbers, as well as a black & white set, so that students can draw, glue items, or press on X amount of stickers, as a worksheet activity.
I use a tub of buttons and a dish of flat-backed rhinestones. My little girls especially enjoy playing with the "jewels".
Well that's it for today. Time to get ready for my grandchildren. They will certainly bring sunshine to this rainy, cold & dreary November day.
Wishing you a day filled with lots of love and memorable moments.
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead, where there is no path, and leave a trail." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
1-2-3 Come Make a Venn Friend With Me
Venn diagrams are a quick, easy & fun way to introduce the concept of comparison-contrast writing.
Years ago, I came up with the concept of students choosing a partner to make a "Venn Friend" with, as an interesting way for students to get to know each other.
I designed the fall "Venn Friends" packet, which feature apples, pumpkins, leaves, turkeys, Pilgrims & Native Americans.
Introduce the lesson with the "What's a Venn diagram?" poster.
To help them do a thorough job completing their Venn diagram and jump start the writing process, I've included a list of 40 questions that they can choose from to discuss with their partner.
Each student does their own "different" portion of the "circle", and then, once they glue their "circles" together, they take turns recording the similarities that they have with their Venn Friend, using the middle "same" section.
I used a "pumpkin seed" for the middle of the Pumpkin Venn Friends, and an acorn for the leaf ones.
You can see little boy & girl "toppers" in the pumpkin photo.
These are black & white so kiddos can color them. Use them on the pumpkins, leaves or apples.
I encourage students to do a boy/girl Venn friend, not only so they have an extra "difference" but so they can see how much they truly have in common with eachother.
Doing a Name Venn with a classmate, is another option, and practices upper & lowercase letters, along with name recognition & counting.
I also incorporate the concept of “greater & less than” with this activity, as students decide who has the most or least number of letters in their name.
I’ve made a sample using an apple, as I do this in September, for a “Getting to Know You” activity for “Back to School”. There are 3 sets of letter tiles for your kiddos to choose from.
My Y5s enjoy this activity so much, I repeat it in October with pumpkins, and see quite a bit of improvement.
As you can see by the photograph, colorful paper plates (smaller 8” size) provide a nice 3D effect.
I pre-cut these to expedite the activity. Besides yellow & red, I also buy lime green plates, giving my students an option.
Besides using paper plates, I've also included a wormy apple pattern.
There’s also more than one option for November. Students have 3 choices for their Venn friend topper: a turkey, a Pilgrim boy or girl, or a Native American boy or girl.
You can have a turkey find a turkey partner, a boy Pilgrim find a girl Pilgrim, or a boy Native American find a boy Pilgrim, mixing and matching however you or your students wish.
I designed the Venn friends, specifically so students could get to know a classmate better, but you could certainly have students pretend to be "real" Pilgrims and Native American children, and then compare and contrast historical information as well.
Each seasonal Venn, comes with a graphing extension, so you can get some math practice in as well.
For that finishing touch, add a school photograph. Students could also make a green hand print "leaf" for their pumpkin.
Completed projects make awesome fall bulletin boards. Click on the link to zip on over to my TpT shop to check out the super-fun, 51 page, Fall Venn Friend packet.
Since Halloween is just a week away, I thought a "Halloween Boo Boos" worksheet would be a fun FREEBIE. Students make corrections to the sentences that have mistakes in them.
Click on the link to grab a copy. It's certainly a little something fun, yet educational for party day.
That's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
The winds have knocked a lot of leaves off the trees, so this afternoon the hubby, pup & I are going for a relaxing drive to see what's left of the gorgeous fall colors, before they become a distant memory, as barren trees dot the landscape.
I am so not ready for winter. Wishing you a pretty and peaceful day.
"How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days." - John Burroughs
1-2-3 Come Make An Autumn Dangler With Me
There's nothing quite like adding a bit of craftiness to a writing assignment, to get your kiddos excited and down to business.
With that in mind, I created this "Welcome Fall" dangler.
I call it that because the leaves are "falling" as they dangle from the ceiling.
They look amazing as they swirl & twirl just like real leaves.
PK kiddos can simply color and cut their leaves.
Run the templates off on a variety of colors of construction paper, so that older students can complete the writing prompt: "Leaves CAN-HAVE-ARE..." on the back of the leaves, then cut them out.
I've included a worksheet for this that you can do as a whole group, or individually, for pre-writing practice.
A completed template makes it easy for you to incorporate.
The back also sports a "Red, orange, yellow and brown. Autumn leaves flutter down." poem. The front simply says: Welcome Fall. I chose open-faced letters so that students could add a bit of color.
You can also dream up another writing prompt as well, such as "Why I Like Autumn" or describe fall with some nice descriptive adjectives.
I tossed these into Diane's Dollar Deals, to make adding that excitement inexpensive, quick, easy & of course super-fun.
For that finishing touch, my students ran their leaves through a crimping roller.
They came out looking like corrugated cardboard, which makes for an awesome 3D effect that will have passersby saying: "Cool!" "How'd you do that?" If you look closely, you can see these "wavy lines" in the photo.
You can pick up one of these cool tools at most craft and scrapbooking stores. Mine was $18 and well worth the money, as my kiddos LOVE using Mr. Cruncher Muncher each month. It's a fun way for them to strengthen their finger muscles too.
Click on the link to grab this delightful Dollar Deal from Diane: Welcome Fall Writing Prompt Craftivity. Here's hoping you get a chance to make time for a little crafty-creative writing this fall. And . . .
If you're one of those blessed teachers who have time to do a craft "just for fun" (like the good old days), your kiddos will absolutely LOVE "Autumn Splendor".
It's another one on my Dollar Deals, and my personal favorite fall craft.
I tossed in some upper and lowercase letter practice for the "Alpha Trees" that are also part of this packet, so take heart if you're dying to do something crafty, and need a reason why.
Today's featured FREEBIE is also a leaf craft. It's super-simple and a quick, easy & fun way to reinforce the science vocabulary word chlorophyll, which your kiddos will be learning with any study of leaves.
All little ones do is glue half of a folded yellow, red, or orange leaf to a green "cholorophyll" leaf.
Explain that the colored leaves are that color because they lost their ...(lift up the flap) to reveal the word chlorophyll and the green leaf.
This FREEBIE is in the equally free "Leaf Man" packet. It's one of the first fall things I posted years ago, before classes, software, clip art & fonts were purchased, so it's not up to my quality of standards today...
But hey, it's free and still fun. As you can see, our leaf men turned out rather awesome! Afterwards, we read Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.
Well that's it for today. The leaves have not started turning as yet, a little unusual for October here in Michigan.
However the nights have been pretty cool, so Mother Nature will soon be turning heads. Wishing you a colorful day.
"If you can't be in awe of Mother Nature, there's something wrong with you." -Alex Trebek
1-2-3 Come Do Some Leaf Activities With Me
There are so many themes that I incorporated into my October lessons, that it was sometimes difficult to get to them all. I think one of my favorites though, was leaves.
A leaf theme is an easy way to toss in a little bit of science, and build vocabulary with words like chlorophyll and photosynthesis. Leaves also work well with math and language arts too.
Here are a few of my favorite leaf-themed activities:
To help practice all sorts of math skills, (addition, subtraction, odd & even, greater than and less than) click on the link for the Leaf Counting Games.
Students can play the math games and do the center activities independently or with a partner.
There are also leaf cards with number words on them, to help reinforce reading skills. I've included a 3-page tip-list of ideas.
The 10 frames leaf packet is also a fun way to practice a variety of math skills.
Are you working on ordinal numbers?
The Ordinal number packet not only has a leaf worksheet (2 on a page for easy printing), but other fall themes as well.
Likewise, the Fall Graphing packet has similar themes, including one for leaves.
Besides graphing, you can also reinforce the various 2D shapes.
I always tried to include some sort of hands-on "craftivity" with any theme that I taught.
Older students can complete the "Leaves are, can, have" writing prompt on the back of their leaves.
I've included a worksheet for this as well. Do it as a whole group, or have children fill in their own. There's a completed sample to share as well.
Do some of your kiddos still need practice identifying the letters of the alphabet?
These leaf-themed alphabet cards will help. I've included separate upper and lowercase letter cards as well, which are perfect for all sorts of ABC games. A tip-list of what to do with the cards is also included.
Finally, since the weather is so beautiful during the fall here in Michigan, I liked to take my Y5's for a mini nature walk.
This was just a walk around the block of our school to look for things on a nature list that we brainstormed before departure.
I gave each child a paper bag to collect "nature stuff" in, then we'd go back, wash up and design a paper plate "leaf pal".
As you can see by the photographs, they turned out absolutely awesome.
Also in this packet is a quick and easy chlorophyll leaf craft. Simply run off the leaf template on a variety of colors of fall construction paper.
Students trim, fold in half and glue only one side to their matching green leaf, so that the other side flips up to reveal the green leaf underneath.
This was an easy way to show that leaves were green when they were filled with chlorophyll, but changed to their natural color once it was gone.
By the end of the activity my little ones could tell you about chlorophyll, as well as photosynthesis. (Their parents were duly impressed.)
Well that's it for today. I hope you found something you could use to help your students fall into some learning fun. :-)
Time to go get dinner started. We're having stuffed red peppers. Yum!
"Everyone must row with the oars he has." -English Proverb
1-2-3 Come Do Some Crimping With Me
Crimping? What's crimping? It's a wonderful way to add that finishing touch to your students' crafts. Alicia, over at Jam Paper, contacted me and asked if I would be willing to design some sort of craft activity using their paper. Of course! (They have "every color and every size!" including brown which is rather unusual and perfect for fall.)
I checked out their site and found that they also carried an awesome tool called a "corru-gator" which crimps paper! Well the creative juices kicked in and my brain went into over drive, with all of the fun things I could do with one. The more I pondered, the more excited I got. I hope you will too.
I chose the "wave" pattern for it's versatility. (One with straight lines, that crimps like corrugated cardboard, is also available.) I'm sure scrapbookers are well aware of these fun gadgets, but I wanted to figure out ways a teacher could use one in the classroom.
One of the reasons that this is great for school, is that it has a width of 8 1/2 inches, so it will fit a regular sheet of paper, (smaller sizes too) as well as card stock thickness, so you can add texture to just about any project.
The corru-gator is a safe and easy-to-use-tool even for little ones. Inserting a sheet of paper and cranking the roller, is wonderful fine motor practice that is a super-fun way to strengthen finger muscles, which is so important for pre-writing skills and scissor cutting capability.
A child's excitement at seeing their finished project being cranked out, with a cool texured look, is priceless. "Wow! Look what I made."
Because students will want to add that "finishing touch" to whatever you deem appropriate, use the tool as an incentive to keep students focussed, by allowing them to use the crimper after they have completed their project.
What kinds of projects? Oh the possibilities... Here are just a few that I thought of:
Students can crimp a file folder (portfolio) or pocket folder to keep their work in. The "Flip For Facts" file folder activities that I've posted also look more interesting after they're crimped too. Make sure you use plenty of glue on projects to be crimped and that they are completely dry.
Crimp shapes, letters and numbers to add a bit of pizzazz. Use Elison die cut letters and have students glue them together to make a name plate then crimp it, or simply have them write and color their names and then add the texture.
When students make a special card for Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or Father's Day, allow them to crimp it to add that "wow" factor or have them crimp the envelope for something different.
Crimp your plain colored bulletin board borders to add some 3D pop. Have students design a bookmark and then crimp it.
Crimp a writing prompt topper, or even the written page. I crimped the entire haunted house 5 senses craftivity to add an extra touch of creepy. As I've discussed before, tossing in a bit of hands-on art to go along with a writing prompt, simply gets students more motivated.
Completed projects make awesome displays, which help build self-esteem.
Crimping only takes a minute and the unusual results will surely get all sorts of comments. Everyone wanted to know how we made these cool tri-colored apples.
A myriad of themed craft activities are also perfect for crimping. Here are just a few:
For Fall: crimp apples, pumpkins, scarecrows, bats, spiders, candy corn, skeletons, & monsters.
Studying fire safety? As you can see by the photograph, flames look awesome crinkled and definitely add that finishing touch!
Are you studying leaves? Paper leaves look wonderful crimped.
I designed this fall dangler then added the texture for an interesting 3D effect.
Trees are also the perfect craft to crinkle.
The pumpkin sliders gained extra pizzazz by being "munched and crunched". (My Y5's have named this cool tool "The Muncher Cruncher".)
Our pumpkin Venn Friends turned out especially cool with a little crimping.
I LOVE that the size of this tool accommodates an entire project.
The scarecrow's face and hat, look extra special when crimped, which gave it more of a burlap look. I also ran yellow paper through a shredder to make the hair.
Thinking ahead to WINTER: Crimp Christmas trees, ornaments, snowmen, snow scenes, and mittens.
Do you celebrate 100 Day? Have students draw a self portrait of how they think they'll look if they get to be 100-years-old, then crimp for instant wrinkles, or simply crimp a real photo of them.
For Groundhog Day, crimp children's groundhog craftivities to give those animals some "fur". Are you studying shadows? Using a light source, trace your students' profile, trim and crimp.
For Valentine's Day add texture to paper hearts. If you study Abraham Lincoln, crimp a log cabin.
Moving on to Spring: Crimp rain, the water cycle, a Seuss hat, butterflies, caterpillars, shamrocks, flowers, grass, eggs, baskets, bunnies, lions, and lambs.
As you can see I'm pretty excited about the educational potential of this fun gadget, and at $24.50 it's certainly an affordable tool to add to your teaching bag of tricks.
If you're going to do the Frankenstein envelope activity with your kiddos that I posted a few days ago, they also sell the green envelopes. Your kiddos could also crimp their completed envelope monsters too.
Well that's it for today. I'm going to play around a bit more with this fun gadget to see what else I can come up with.
If you've thought of another way to use the tool, or an activity you plan to do with your kiddos, I'd enjoy hearing from you: firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to leave a comment below.
"There is a great distance between said and done." - Puerto Rican proverb
1-2-3 Come Practice Letter Recognition With Me!
The more you emmerse your kiddo's with letter activities, the more likely the light bulb of understanding will easily come on. Although important, trace and write worksheets, can become tedious and boring after awhile. (skill-drill & kill) It's important to give little learners a variety of hands-on activities.
I try to think up ideas that involve some sort of crafty aspect. Children LOVE these; they provide fine motor skill practice, and completed projects make great bulletin boards and wall displays, that help build a child's self-esteem. I call today's quick and easy letter "craftivity" Search & Find. I strived to do at least one activity a month that recycled something, so using old newspapers to trace on, fit the bill and the results look terrific. These are wonderful for a seasonal Daily 5 activity too!
Here's what to do:
Students find and circle the upper and lowercase letters that the shape starts with. i.e. If a child chooses an apple, they will search for Aa’s. I tried to think up themed-shapes for fall, and added a football, to help excite the boys in your class. To make this a bit more difficult for older students, have them search and circle all of the letters that are in the WORD and then tally or total, how many of each letter they found.
When they are done, students color their newsprint craftivity, with a watercolor marker or highlighter, so that the newsprint still shows through.
Students glue their work to the matching worksheet and fill in the data. Older students can use the greater, less than, or equals symbol, to show THEIR answer, to the correct answer.
When everyone is done, you can graph how many of each beginning letter, that your class found, counting by 10’s. Write each child’s amount on the board and show the addition, one step at a time, to get to a grand total.
Before graphing, have students predict which letter they think they will find the most of, and why. Click on the link to view/download the Search & Find Alphabet Craftivity packet. For more Alphabet FREEBIES, click on the link, to pop on over to that section of my site. Enjoy!
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"Those with a lively sense of curiosity, learn something new every day of their lives." -Unknown