Students write things that they are thankful for in each letter. Challenge older students to think of at least 1 or 2 things that begin with that letter. i.e. inside the letter F you might write: food, family, friends, freedom etc.
1-2-3 Come Do Some Awesome Autumn Craftivities With Me!
To help motivate my Y5's to get down to business, stay focused and complete their morning table top lessons, I'd often offer a simple & quick craftivity that they could transition to, when they were done, or if I spied them quietly working. The textured acorn is perfect for this.
Use the acorns as a border on your bulletin board that displays student work. Your caption can be: “We’re simply nuts about...” and then fill in whatever you’re studying. Click on the link to view/download the scent-sational acorn craftivities.
Another sweet-smelling craftivity I call the pumpkin pie pomander. Simply cut a paper plate into 1/8ths.
For a quick and interesting review of fractions, do this in front of your kiddo's to demonstrate how fractions are formed, by first cutting the plate in 1/2 then in 1/4ths and finally into 1/8ths. I've included a set of fraction pies for even more reinforcement.
Punch a hole in the corner and tie a yarn or ribbon loop. Call quiet students up to the painting center. They paint their slice of pie with light brown paint. While the paint is still wet, help them sprinkle on ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Shake off excess. When it dries students can glue the little poem to the back. I've also done this as a whole group activity.
You can skip painting and simply have children color the edge of their "crust" with a light brown or tan marker or crayon. Instead of using paint, students brush Elmer's glue onto the bottom portion of the pie using a Q tip.
Remind students that they just want to make their pie sticky and not sloppy with glue puddles. Have a mixture of cinnamon-clove powder sprinkled on 8" paper plates (1 per table). Students carefully place the wet side down onto the powder and press. Click on the link to view/download the Pumpkin Pie Pomander craftivity.
I've included a variety of leaf templates + an acorn. Prior to the activity, brainstorm with children about the things they are thankful for. Write them on the board so students have help with spelling.
There are several ways to make the wreath: Children flip over a paper plate and glue the poem in the middle.
They select 8 leaves that you have run off on a variety of fall-colored construction paper. Older students can cut their own leaves, but I'd pre-cut for pre-K's to expedite things. If you want them to have some cutting practice, have them trim the elm leaf.
Children write something they are thankful for on each leaf. Before they glue, have them arrange the leaves in a circle around the poem. When they are satisfied with the appearance, they glue the leaves to the wreath. In the picture I used two oak leaves to make a "bow" and put an acorn in the middle with a child's photo glued to it.
The other way you can make the wreath is to skip the poem and cut the center of the plate out. As I was making samples, I liked a thinner circle so that the white didn't show through, but you still had enough "base" to glue things on, so I cut quite a bit of the ribbing off as well.
After students have written on the leaves, they rub glue all over the wreath and then press their leaves on.
My Y5's absolutely loved anything with glitter, so I thought that some "sparkles" would help add the "wow" factor they so enjoyed.
Completed projects make a lovely bulletin board, or hang them back-to-back from the ceiling in the hallway. Click on the link to view/download the Thankful Wreath patterns.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. I blog and design daily, so I hope you can stop by tomorrow for the newest FREEBIES.
"Without Thy sunshine and Thy rain, we could not have the golden grain. Without Thy love we'd not be fed. We thank Thee for our daily bread." -Unknown.
1-2-3 Come Do Some "I'm Thankful" Writing With Me!
If you're looking for an alternative to the "I'm Thankful" writing prompt activity, where students write what they are thankful for, on turkey feathers, (I did that for years) you may want to try the Thankful Tree.
This craftivity offers a twist, as students write the things that they are thankful for in each season. The tree-top writing prompt pages are larger, so students can write a bit more than on the typical feather.
It's an interesting and fun way to review the 4 seasons, and a chance to showcase students descriptive writing, by encouraging the use of adjectives.
Here's what to do:
Print off the tops of the trees on appropriate colors of construction paper. i.e. a green cover page, an orange one for fall, white or powder blue for the winter page, pink for the spring page, yellow for the summer page, and finally, ending with another shade of green, for the last "I'm most thankful for..." page, where students can include things like family, friends, etc.
Via a discussion, review the various seasons and what kinds of things children see and like to do in them.
To help students with spelling and recall, write a list on the board.
Look at the list and ask students to think of descriptive words that would make those things and activities "come alive".
List those as well. This will help jump-start your students' brains, and ensure that they incorporate lots of adjectives in their writing.
Students should compose their rough draft on scratch paper.
You may want to have them underline the adjectives, so that they can see at a glance, if they have included at least two per sentence.
If they haven’t, they need to go back and add some.
Children can work on a page a day, as part of their writing block, or for the writing portion of your Daily 5 activities.
Remind students to use proper spacing and end punctuation, as well as trace the beginning words of each sentence, underlining the adjectives as they go.
Once they have written their sentences, students cut out their tree trunk and tops for the tree. They need to make sure the pages are in order.
Children start with the last page and glue it to the top of the tree, and then staple the rest of the tree-top pages together onto that last page, so that the staple acts as a hinge and the tree-top pages flip up.
To add that finishing touch, students glue their school photo to the hollow of the tree. Children can also draw seasonally appropriate things to each of the tree tops, like leaves, apples, snowflakes, flowers etc. They could also use stickers, clip art or paper punch-cut shapes.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gibbons, as well as Sutherland's, Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks are great read-aloud books, to go along with this craftivity.
Click on the link to view/download The Thankful Tree.
Thanks for visiting today. I design daily and try to blog about the newest items, so I hope you can stop by again tomorrow. It's time for me to do a little grocery shopping,or my sweetie won't be very thankful for a loving wife, because of a non-existant dinner.
"I read; I travel; I become." -Derek Walcott
1-2-3 Come Learn About Pilgrim Children With Me!
Happy TBT (Throw Back Thursday!) Here are a few "Oldies" but "Goodies" that I think you'll enjoy.
Having taught about the first Thanksgiving and Pilgrims for years, I thought I was pretty knowledgeable. My husband and I also visited the outstanding Plimoth Plantation, in Plymouth Massachusettes, which made me appreciate the hardships these people endured even more. If you've never been to this historical place, I highly recommend it!
I thought it would be fun to delve into the life of a child during 1620. I felt students would find it very interesting to compare themselves with a Pilgrim child's life.
After over 30 hours doing research, visiting countless websites and perusing 20+ books, I learned so many interesting facts, and truly enjoyed this journey of discovery. I hope you will too. Click on the link to view/download the Pilgrim Children Packet.
Start with the KWL to see where your kiddo's are at. I've included one in color to do as a whole group, and another in black line for students to fill in on their own.
Afterwards, introduce your study, by reading several non-fiction as well as fictional books. I've included a bibliography of 25 of my all-time favorite Pilgrim books. Later, ask your students if they think that the Pilgrim children who lived during that time period, were really different than the children of today.
I feel there is no better way to launch children into comparison and contrast, that's easy and understandable, than to use Venn diagrams. I've included 12 different Venn diagrams in the packet, so that children can compare & contrast clothing, chores, homes, and education, as well as games and toys.
Students can work independently, with a partner, or you can do the Venn diagrams as a whole group activity.
Personally, I'd start as a whole group and use the partially filled-in Venn diagrams, so that students can learn more interesting facts about the Pilgrim children.
Each Venn diagram has a blank template, as well as a partially filled in one. The circle for present day children can be filled in via a discussion. Choose a different Venn diagram each day, so interest remains high and the amount of content is not overwhelming.
After you have completed all of the Venn diagrams as a whole group, have children pick a partner, and choose a blank Venn diagram to fill in together. This not only reinforces facts, but becomes a tool for you to assess comprehension as well.
Now that students have quite a bit of knowledge about Pilgrim children compared to the children of today, have a discussion where students process this information and come to some conclusions. There's a writing extension for this.
I've also included 4 graphic organizers for even more writing practice + several interesting writing prompts that I think your students will enjoy.
I made a list of the 31 children who were aboard the Mayflower and included their ages. Your kiddo's will find some of the names rather odd, like Truelove, Humility, and Wrestling.
Have students choose a Pilgrim child and write a letter to them. Based on their new knowledge, they could also write a letter back written from the Pilgrim child's point of view!
Besided writing, I wanted to toss in a bit of math. Finding interesting measurement activities is not always easy, but the Mayflower as well as the Pilgrims' homes, provide great segways. I've given the dimensions and converted square feet for you, so that you can chalk off the hold of the ship, where the Pilgrims were crammed for 65 long days, as well as the measurements of the Pilgrims' 1-room homes.
When your students stand inside the chalk lines they will truly understand size and the cramped conditions these children experienced!
Finally, I know your kiddo's will enjoy learning about the games Pilgrim children played, as well as what toys they had. You can start out by asking students if they think that the games they played were different than what some children of today play.
They may be surprised to find out, that some of the games that the Pilgrims played are still around today, and that many common games, were derived from days of old.
All of these activities can be found in the Pilgrim Children Packet click on the link to view/download it. Now that your students are familiar with the life of a Pilgrim child, scroll down to the next article, and have your kiddos write letters to their classmates, as if they were really a youngster living during this tiime period.
Thanks for visiting. Now that some of my computer work is done for the day, it's time to make a big pot of vegetable beef barley soup. The frost is indeed on the pumpkins, so it's the perfect day for a nice hot bowl of mmm mmm good!
"Be thankful for what you have and you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." -Ophra Winfrey
1-2-3 Come Do Some Thanksgiving Turkey Activities With Me
Come November, it can become a bit boring for kiddo's to review letters, numbers, and various other basic standards. Yet it's imparative to keep kids practicing these skills, so they retain them, as well as for slower learners to finally be able to "get it" and catch up.
With that in mind, I designed some "Stuff Me!" turkey worksheets that make reinforcing upper & lowercase letters, counting, adjective use, and sight word recognition more fun.
There are 6 "Stuff Me" skill sheets, that ask students to stuff their turkey with something. I've also included a "you-fill-in-the- blank" one, to program with whatever.
Some other ideas you could do would be: verbs, nouns, sight words, student names, names that begin with T, colors, rhyming words, words that contain the U vowel, spelling words, ways to show a given number etc.
To add to the fun, set a timer for 1 to 2 minutes. Challenge students to write in as many as they can, before the timer rings. For addition practice, have students count up their total and write it down on their recording sheet.
When you have completed as many Stuff Me worksheets as you want, have students add things up to arrive at a grand total.
Be sure and do these activities along with your students. You might also want to revisit a worksheet to see if any of your kiddos can beat your totals. Use the word worksheets, for something different, for your Daily 5 activities. Click on the link to view/download the "Stuff Me" activity packet.
Another "turkey-rific" writing activity, I designed several years ago, and just revamped today. My Thanksgiving Dinner, continues to be a favorite among visitors so I wanted to mention it today.
There are several options for the cover of the booklet. In the first photo I used a large paper plate, glued just the cover to the center then stapled the other pages together and glued them on a second paper plate.
Punch a hole in the side and connect the front and back cover plates with a piece of yarn. The Dollar Store sells plastic "silverware" that is silver and looks so realistic! I used glue dots to add that finishing touch.
If you want things to be a bit more colorful, use decorative fall paper plates. The Dollar Store also sells these. In the bottom photo I used a small 8 inch plate, put the entire booklet on that and then glued it to a construction paper "placemat" gluing the "silverware" on either side.
Completed projects make a cool bulletin board. Use a "real" plastic or fabric tablecloth for your background and scatter on the plates.
Students read the simple sentence, trace and then write the food word and add end punctuation.
You may want students to include an adjective when they are writing their sentences. i.e. I am going to eat warm homemade bread.
Students have the option to put in the word NOT if they won't be eating that food, or create their own picture page of what they will be eating. I've included a blank page template for this.
I've also included a different cover that says: My Favorite Dinner and a blank page template, for students you may have in class that don't celebrate this holiday. They can make a booklet with their favorite foods, or a special meal that their family makes for one of their celebrations.
When everyone is done, read the booklet aloud, to review concepts of print, stopping to share pages that are different. The packet also includes 10 traceable word cards. These are the words that were used in the booklet.
You can use them for a Daily 5 word work activity to help reinforce word recognition. Click on the link to view/download the My Thanksgiving Dinner "craftivity".
After you have read a few books about the first Thanksgiving, a nice follow up to the above activity, would be to have students complete a Venn diagram comparing their Thanksgiving celebration with the Pilgrim's.
There's also a Venn diagram comparing Thanksgiving then and now. Click on the link to view/download the Thanksgiving Venn Diagram.
My personal favorite book about Thanksgiving is an awesome rhyming story, by Diane Z. Shore. It's entitled: This Is The Feast.
For more books, click on the link to view/print a list of 70 of my favorite Turkey & Thanksgiving Books.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you can strut on over tomorrow for another FREEBIE hot off my computer.
Feel free to PIN away. If you'd like to see all of the wonderful-educational FREEBIES, that I can fritter an entire morning away looking for and pinning, click on the heart button to the right of the article. I've done lots of fun work, so that you don't have to!
"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -Tyrion Lannister