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
1-2-3 Come Do Another "Room On The Broom" Activity With Me
Do you read “Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson?
It’s one of my students’ favorite Halloween stories.
With that in mind, I thought I’d design an activity to go along with this cute tale.
“There’s Room On My Broom” is a quick, easy & super-fun booklet craftivity.
As always, there are black & white patterns for students, as well as colorful templates so that teachers can quickly and easily make a sample to share.
Students can simply color the broom, or teachers can opt to make this a bit of a keepsake.
If you have some classroom help, then painting a child’s hand brown, and pressing it on the broom handle, turns out adorable. As a mom I love these types of craftivities that my children brought home.
Another option is to have students pick a partner, then take turns tracing each others hand, on a piece of tan construction paper. Cut it out then glue it on the end of the broom handle.
You decide what’s best for your students & the time you have available, then run off a class-set of the patterns. Easy "Print & Go!"
There are 20 animals for children to choose from.
Children color, cut & glue, whatever animals they want to ride on their broom.
Whenever I’m doing an activity, I always try to think of what else I might be able to include in the lesson, that will easily practice additional standards.
With a show of hands, teachers write the names on the graph of which animal from the story "Room on the Broom" they'd also like to have ride their broom.
There's also a graph with 5 animals (lion, gorilla, unicorn, skunk & elephant), which asks "Which animal would you definitely NOT want on your broom?" Have a fun discussion of why not.
For language arts, there’s also an ABC order worksheet.
The second part of our 2D shapes standard, involves “spatial directions”; so I designed a "Where's Your Animal?" activity.
Students then place their animal above, below, beside, on etc. You can quickly & easily see who's having difficulty as you whole group assess this standard.
I've also included a witch manipulative you can use to give a quick spatial direction review, before you begin the assessment. If your students are like mine, they will really enjoy this extension.
Another thing children can do before they glue their animals to their broom, is to sort & sequence them according to size (smallest to largest or the reverse), which allows you to practice this standard as well.
Students could also use ordinal numbers to label their animal riders, and as you can see by my sample, I also practice patterning by having my students choose 2 crayon/marker colors to write their name with, and then fill in the letters of the title, showing an AB-AB color pattern.
It's an easy-peasy "print & go" activity that you can use for a variety of center activities.
I’ve included a tip list of ideas including the “Kaboom” game.
Digital, as well as analog time to the hour and half hour are practiced.
I've also included two assessment templates, plus a blank set to program with other times, as well as a black & white set of cards, plus a cover, so that your kiddos can make an “Itty Bitty” Telling Time booklet.
Thanks for stopping by.
It's in the high 40s today, with a wicked wind; giving us a taste of winter that will be here all too soon.
Despite the chill, I will be going on my morning walk with my faithful pup Chloe.
There's a sprinkling of vibrant, fall colors splashed here and there, making a brisk nature hike especially interesting.
Wishing you a fun-filled fall. Hope you enjoy "making room" on your classroom brooms.
“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” - Dr. Seuss
1-2-3 Come Do Some "Room on the Broom" Measurement Activities With Me
Do you read “Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson? It’s one of my students’ favorite Halloween stories.
It occurred to me, while thinking about the many animals that are being added to the broom, that I could really make this lesson come alive, by having students figure out how many of THEM could fit on a broom.
I had an absolute blast creating these quick, easy & fun activities, all of which have to do with measurement, and are easy-peasy “print & go”.
I know that your students will truly enjoy these hands-on “experiments” using a real broom.
Decide what format is best for your class, and pick the various "Room on a Broom" “challenges” accordingly.
If you’re looking for an educational & engaging activity for your Halloween party day, I think you’ll find this to be an absolute winner.
There’s plenty of options, so you can easily diversify your lessons.
Students can also compare & contrast whether using a pool noodle, provides more room on a broom than a regular broomstick.
Not too surprising, almost all of my students thought you could fit more kiddos on a pool noodle.
I think this is because they see it as "fatter," thus there should be more room.
This is much like the fact that my Y5s have a hard time remembering that a nickel is worth 5 cents, while a dime is worth 10. They think that the nickel should be worth 10 cents because it is bigger. Makes perfect sense to me!
There’s also a bonus challenge (“The teacher wants to ‘drive’ the broom...") to extend the math lesson if time permits, or simply add this activity to another day.
“Something to Think About….” is another extension activity: here a new student has just arrived along with the dragon! You must fit them on your already full broom! How can you do that?
A “Save the Day!” activity, gives students yet another option to try out for “making room on their classroom broom.” In the end, will they have enough room to save the principal from the dragon as well?
"Delving Deeper!" and "Let's Make Convertions" ( inches to feet, feet to yards...) provide for more measurement activities.
Taking pictures as your children do the various activities, combined with the “challenge worksheets”, makes for a great bulletin board or hallway display.
If you'd like your students to listen to the story again, YouTube has a nice 8-minute read aloud.
After your measurement activities, you could watch the Netflix “Room on the Broom” video, which takes just 24 minutes.
Woo Hoo; some quiet time at the end of a fun-filled day.
It goes to the tune of "10 Little Indians" . My kiddos really enjoy this activity.
It's also an easy & quick way to practice +1 addition, as well as counting backwards from 10-1.
I hope you find it useful.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
The rain has finally stopped and Mr. Sunshine has made an appearance.
I'm excited to buy some pumpkins and cornstalks to go with my mums. Love decorating for fall.
Wishing you and the little "punkins" in your life, a frolicking & fun-filled day.
"Skill to do, comes of doing." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
1-2-3 Come Do Some 2D Halloween Shape Activities With Me!
Halloween 2D Shape Games, is perfect for your October math centers, table top, early finishers, or a sub tub.
There are over
Do them as a whole group, with partners or as an independent center.
If your students are like mine, they will absolutely LOVE games like “Flip It!”, “Clip It” and “Slap It!”, which makes them perfect for your Halloween party day too.
Likewise, "Slap it!" is another whole realm of fun, where children use a flyswatter. Again, because they love the game so much, besides the shape cards, I also use letters, numbers, & word cards throughout the year.
Attributes of the shapes are practiced in “Dump It”, “What Shape is Hiding?”, “Let’s Sort!” and more.
Use the “Shape Up!” extension activity, to assess how well your students listen & follow directions, as they create & color their own witch hat, which they later use to play the game.
It’s a whole group-circle game, which reviews a variety of standards.
The witch’s shoe is an easy-peasy craftivity, teachers can whip together in just a few minutes.
“Grinning Pumpkins” is another quick, easy & fun whole-group activity, which is a simple way to assess students ability to not only “shape up!” and identify the shapes, but reinforce their listening skills in an interesting way.
I know your students will have a great time with these activities, as they are "kid-tested".
Teachers will enjoy the low prep, selection, diversification & the fact that you can use them each year in a variety of ways.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hooray it's a sunny day, so time for a much-needed break to go on a nature walk.
The leaves have just started to change color too, one of the many reasons that autumn is my favorite season.
"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen ad thining what nobody has thought." -Albert von Szent-Gyorgrji