1-2-3 Come Do Some Zoo Craftivities With Me
I’ve taught PK, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 9th, 10th, 12th & college; going on a variety of field trips or “outings” with all of them. Plus, as a mom and grandmother, I’ve done my share of chaperoning too.
Why’s that important? I’ve “been there & done that” many times! You might say I’ve earned a “black belt” in the karate of field tripping.
I’ve used that experience to design this comprehensive zoo packet. Basically, it has everything you need to plan a field trip to the zoo, so that things run smoothly, and you too can enjoy the excitement & fun.
It’s my hope that the packet is also a huge time saver & “stress buster” for you.
I’ve done an elephant's ton of work, so that you can simply “print & go” and know that "I’ve got you covered”; with a nice assortment of things to do before and during the trip, as well as a huge variety of activities for after; with plenty for several days following.
I've divided the packet into these 3 major parts.
There's a "preparation section" which includes initial notes home to parents, with follow-up reminders; as well as chaperone information, permission slips, checklists, and a variety of forms.
There's also a section of helpful tips, several "To Do" lists; and a "We've Gone to the Zoo" doorknob hanger.
This "preparation section" also includes posters; "we're Going to the Zoo Tomorrow" Slap Bracelets, to use as a fun reminder to parents; plus a KWL black & white worksheet for your students, as well as a colorful one you can do as a whole group.
There are various debates over the safety of having a child's name out there for all the world to see.
However, we discuss "stranger danger" as part of our field trip behavior. I've included discussion questions, a poster & contract for students to sign.
I think the many advantages of having a name tag, particularly for chaperones, far out weighs "that might not happen" disadvantage.
I laminate the tags, then write children's names on with a black marker; then use a Mr. Clean sponge to rub the names off later. Takes a bit of elbow grease, but so worth it, so I can use them again.
You can pin the "badge" on, or you can make them into a necklace. I cut up colorful plastic straws and strung those on a length of cord, alternating them with pony beads.
Another pattern in the "before" part of the packet, is a "How Many Days?" craftivity. I've included 4 real photographs of zoo animals for you to choose from. Pick two, and glue them back-to-back, then laminate.
I punch a hole in the top and dangle a paper chain from the bottom. There are X number of links, which equal how many days there are before our field trip. This is how I tell my students the exciting news.
Ripping off a paper link, becomes part of our daily routine, which really stops all the inevitable questions of "How many days before we get to go to the zoo?"
Besides using the chain as a countdown, I review all sorts of math standards with my students. The paper chain is made up of 2 colors in an ABAB pattern, so we practice that, as well as: counting how many links are left, then subtracting one by ripping it off the chain, ("Now how many are left?") "Is this greater or less than the other number?" etc.
Chaperones is another helpful preparation section. Each of my chaperones gets a clipboard to carry.
Since it's nice to be prepared for the "oops" that may happen; I also give them an "Emergency Baggie", which has a small pack of Kleenex, several Band-Aids, plus a little bottle of hand sanitizer. This inexpensive gift has often come in handy & is truly appreciated.
There are several options, plus a thank you note for the bus driver too.
One of the most helpful forms for me, is the lunch bag reminder note, which I attach to a brown paper lunch bag.
This helps the note "stand out" which has eliminated "forgotten" lunches, plus parents are truly appreciative of the convenience. I don't want to haul heavy lunch boxes, but instead have a completely "disposable" lunch sent, so providing the bag, has also eliminated that issue as well.
Blank versions of all my notes, forms & checklists, are also provided.
I've included a variety of activities that can also be done before the trip, as I think students get so much more out of their field trip experience, if they have some in-school information and lessons to refer to.
To help build vocabulary and animal identification skills, I've included 35, animal pocket chart cards featuring real photographs of the animals.
There's also 3 different sets (30 cards in a set) of animal word & picture cards, so that children can play a variety of games, as well as practice sorting, sequencing & making patterns.
Another thing you can do with the cards, is play the "Hip Hippo Ray It's Feeding Time!" game. My students absolutely LOVE "feeding" the hippo. It's such a quick, easy and super-fun way to practice a variety of standards.
Besides the above mentioned cards, I've also included a set of animal cracker cards for upper & lowercase letters, as well as numbers from 0-50. Use the cute, poster-poem to introduce the game.
Likewise, there are many activities that you can do after your field trip to the zoo, so I've included worksheets, word finds, mazes, centers, writing prompts, graphing activities & some Venn diagrams.
It's very important for students to be able to process everything they've seen. One way to do that, is with the "feedback form".
You can do this verbally, as a whole-group activity on the bus, while children are excited to share what things they enjoyed the most, or interesting tidbits that they learned.
Completed projects make a cute bulletin board too. I've included a giraffe poster for the center of your display.
I sincerely hope that my latest "labor of love" gives you peace of mind, and that you enjoy these activities as much as I did creating them.
Here's wishing you a stress-free, relaxing and super-fun time, as you plan for, and go on an ed-venture to the zoo!
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Two of my nine grandchildren are coming over today to go swimming, so it's time to put my nana hat on along with some suntan lotion.
Wishing you a carefree day filled with giggles galore.
"The city is not a concrete jungle, it's a human zoo." -Desmond Morris
1-2-3 Come Do Some Writing Prompt Crafts With Me
Whether you're looking for a little something to save your sanity, and fill up a bit of time during the last week or school, or you need a writing prompt for back to school, you'll “TOE-tally” love the versatility of my 2 newest packets.
I call these “double duty” writing prompt crafts because I’ve included patterns for the end of the year, as well as ones for back to school.
First up is the super-cute "TOE-tally" writing prompt packet, which includes 3 different writing prompt crafts. Plus each of those has several options too!
All of the writing prompts use the “TOE-tally” play-on-words.
The graphics vary, but all feature cute little toes somewhere in the picture.
For the 1st option, the “shorts” of the child flip up to reveal the writing prompt.
There are 4 black & white boy options for students to choose from, as well as 4 girl patterns.
Since completed projects make an adorable bulletin board, I've included a set of matching posters for your display.
All of the craftivities have a colorful option as well, so that teachers can quickly & easily make an example to share.
To give you some ideas, I’ve also included my completed writing prompt samples.
The 2nd option is a card. The sweet graphics feature 10 toes peeking out of a pair of flip flops.
Attach to an end or beginning of the year treat for your students.
I buy the bags of mini candy bars or Skittles at The Dollar Store.
They usually have 10-12 in a bag, so it's an inexpensive little surprise, that's so appreciated by my kiddos.
I have matching bulletin board posters for this craft as well.
Finally, the 3rd option sports a child chilling out under a beach umbrella, which flips up to reveal the prompt.
The other writing prompt craftivity packet is entitled, "Steppin' Into ..." These craftivities also serve double duty.
End of the Year Option:
Students trace and cut out one of their feet & then glue it to the base of their flip flop.
To add extra pizzazz and 3D pop, the “straps” for the top of the flip flop, are strips of paper that stick up.
Adding a heart with a school photo creates even more interest, making this a sweet keepsake as well.
They might also like to add glitter for “nail polish” & a flat-backed “rhinestone” for a toe ring.
Students glue their completed foot to one of the corners of their “Steppin’ Into Summer…” writing prompt paper.
There are 4 black & white options for students to choose from; as well as 2 colorful ones, so that teachers can quickly & easily make an example to share.
Completed projects make a terrific bulletin board.
I’ve also included a poster for the center of your summer display, plus a different one for your back to school bulletin board.
Back To School Option:
Summer flies and school has a way of “sneaking” up on you, so this “flip up” sneaker craft, features a pair of tennis shoes.
The black & white “cover” pattern, can be colored with markers or crayons, or you can expedite things & run the template off on a variety of colors of construction paper.
At the top of the sneakers is a glue tab, which is glued to the top of the matching blank base. This “hinge” is flipped up to reveal the completed writing prompt underneath the cover.
There are two prompt options:
Option 1. “Here’s how I feel about stepping into a new school year!”
I’ve also included patterns for “Here’s how I feel about stepping into 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th grade…” with a blank option, so you can write in a different grade.
Option 2. “As you step into a new school year, here’s some advice:” For this end of the year writing prompt, your students write some advice, to your new students coming in the fall.
Tuck these away, then on the first day of school, lay them on your students’ desk, or attach to a locker door in the hallway.
If you’re a Pete the Cat fan, this “sneaker craft” is a fun activity that you can transition to, after reading one of Pete’s shoe stories.
A child's blue hand print topped with sneakers makes this a cute keepsake.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
I think we've skipped spring here in Michigan, as we seem to have jumped from winter (which lasted into April), right into summer, with record-breaking 90 degree temps for May!
Have to dash and water my flowers before it gets too hot.
Wishing you lots of "fun in the sun" as well.
"When the weather is hot, keep a cool mind. When the weather is cold, keep a warm heart.." - Ajahn Brahm
1-2-3 Come Make a SPLASH With Me!
It's a fun icebreaker & interesting way to get to know your students too.
Simply choose the appropriate writing prompt “cover” for the flip-up booklet:
* “Diving Into Summer and Looking Forward to…”
* “Diving Into a New School Year and Looking Forward to…”
Use the “Diving Into ____________ and Looking Forward to…” option, so that students can fill in their new grade, or something else that they are looking forward to. (Diving into sports & looking forward to playing soccer & baseball.)
As you can see by the photo on your right, the writing prompt is the "title" on the "cover" of a mini booklet that flips up to reveal what students have written.
The writing prompts are also easily diversified for various ability levels & grades; as you can keep things simple for younger students, who can write one or two sentences, or a list; while having preschool children dictate a few one-word answers.
Older students will be expected to write one or two pages of more in-depth explanations.
There’s a blank page pattern for this.
There’s also several “brainstorming” worksheets for the various prompts, which can be used for prewriting.
As with all of my products, I’ve included completed samples to give you some ideas, as well as enable you to quickly & easily zip off an example to share with your students.
Adding a sprinkle of glitter and a school photo, along with a few 3D options, gives extra pizzazz to the project.
Completed projects make a terrific bulletin board, or wall display in the hall.
Because students trace & trim their own foot, each project looks a bit different.
I’ve included several "Big Splash!" posters you can use for that as well.
For additional writing options, there’s also an “I’m Ready to Make a Big Splash!” writing prompt cover, which works for both summer & back to school, allowing you a chance to touch on idioms if you want.
To help you grab that extra teachable moment, I’ve included some background information, samples & links about idioms, as well as a definition poster.
Introducing this terminology is not just for “big kids”, as my 1st graders easily understood the concept & excitedly shared all sorts of examples!
Since the end of the year is fast-approaching for many of us, you may be thinking about an end-of-the year slideshow, or perhaps you're getting ready for preschool or <strong>kindergarten graduation</strong>.
I hope you find it a helpful stress-buster, and one less thing you have to look for.
Well that's it for today. I marathon-shopped for flowers and plants all day yesterday, so I'm super-excited to play in the mud this afternoon.
Wishing you a sunshine & love-filled day.
"A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfull good intentions. They thrive because someone expended loving effort on them." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do More Aesop's Fables Activities With Me
Last week I blogged about Aesop's "The Tortoise & the Hare" fable. This week I just finished a storytelling slider and wheel craftivities for "The Wind & the Sun".
My students really enjoy this simple and short genre, which makes the fables perfect for practicing a variety of standards, particularly sequencing and retelling a story.
“The Wind and the Sun” is the 2nd in my Aesop's Fables series, so if you have a favorite that you’d like me to design a story wheel or slider for, you can drop me an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
My kiddos enjoy both, and like making them so much, that they often ask "Do we get to make a storytelling craft with this book?"
Because Aesop’s fables are very short, the wheels have just 4 “pie sections”, making this a simple enough craftivity for preschool children as well; while teachers of kindergarten and 1st grade students, can prqctice and review fractions, particularly quarters.
There are full color patterns to use for an independent center, as well as a sample to share, plus black & white patterns, so students can make their own. I like giving both options, so that teachers have a choice, as they know what's best for their students' abilities.
When everyone is done, practice telling “The Wind and the Sun” using the manipulative.
Simply turn the wheel or pull the slider strip, then call on a child to explain what’s happening in that graphic.
Afterwards, have students pick a partner and take turns retelling the fable to each other. Sometimes we do this with our older, reading buddies.
This is a quick, easy & fun way to check comprehension as a whole group.
For writing practice, and a different way to check comprehension, have students complete the “Here’s What Happened” writing prompt worksheet, then color it.
There’s also a “What’s the Moral of the Story” worksheet as well. These comprehension checks come in both packets. I switch things up, by using different clip art.
As a real time saver for teachers, I’ve included colorful answer keys for both worksheets, which can also be used as a whole group discussion with younger kiddos.
To further check comprehension, and reinforce the “sequencing a story” standard, I’ve also included a “color, cut & glue” sequencing worksheet.
This too, comes in color as well as black & white, so that you can do the activity independently with older students, as well as a whole group lesson with little ones.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Last week here in Michigan, we had an ice storm mixed with snow (What?!), while this week we seemed to have skipped spring and bounced into summer, with temperatures in the high 70's and even a few days in the 80's!
So it's off to go play in my garden to get it ready for planting next week, that if Mother Nature cooperates.
Wishing you a zippidy-doo-dah day, with plenty of sunshine.
"Your mind is like a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Aesop's Fables Craftivities With Me
Do you read fables as part of your genre studies? I do.
They are a simple & quick way to cover a variety of standards and my students really enjoy them.
Since my fairy tale “flip ups”, “sliders” and “wheel” craftivities have been such fun for students & easy for teachers to implement, I decided to use the same format for a collection of Aesop’s Fables.
“The Tortoise & the Hare” story, is the first in a series, so if there's a favorite fable you'd like an activity for, you can e-mail me. (email@example.com)
First up, as a super-fun way to retell "The Tortoise & the Hare" is a "Flip-the-Face" craftivity.
Children have two options: They can choose to make a turtle or a rabbit.
The "flip-up booklet" is only 4-pages long, which keeps things simple even for young children.
All four pages are on a one-page pattern, making printing a breeze.
Students color, cut & collate the pages, then staple them to the base and glue on the cover.
I purposely did not number the pages, so that you can easily check & assess comprehension.
For writing practice, older students can use the back of the page to jot down what’s taking place.
I’ve also included a blank page pattern, should you want your students to illustrate their own booklets.
As a writing prompt, there’s an optional page that asks: “What is the moral of the story?” The "slider" & wheel craftivities have this on a worksheet, which students complete & color.
So teachers can quickly and easily make an example to share, I’ve included full color versions, as well as black & white patterns for students.
This flip up, as well as the "slider" & storytelling wheel, all come with a different “Here’s What Happened” worksheet, which provides further writing practice, and another means to check comprehension.
When everyone is done with whatever craftivity you've made, sequence the story as a whole group, by calling on children to explain what’s happening for that graphic.
Afterwards, have students pick a partner and take turns retelling the fable to each other, then encourage them to share their booklet with their families, to once again reinforce these standards.
Completed "flip-ups" make a cute bulletin board too.
Next up is "The Tortoise & the Hare" slider craft, which will also help your students retell the story in the proper order.
As with the "flip up", there are 2 outside slider options to choose from: a turtle or the rabbit.
Students color the story elements on the “slider strip” then cut and glue it together.
As they pull on the end of this strip, the various pictures go through the “window” on the animal’s belly, so that children can take turns retelling the story to a partner or reading buddy, then take their craftivity home to share with their family, once again practicing these standards.
I introduce the lesson by reading the fable, then share my completed "slider craft” with my students.
After I read the story, we retell the tale together using the picture prompts on my slider.
I have them guess which story element they think comes next, before I pull the picture through the “window”.
My students now know what’s expected of them, and are very excited to transition to making an Aesop’s fable slider of their own.
This packet also has several worksheets to further reinforce sequencing, practice writing and as an easy & additional means to assess comprehension.
Finally, another way to practice retelling "The Tortoise & the Hare" is with a storytelling wheel.
There are 3 different wheel options. The first one is a bunny’s backside, complete with a cotton ball tail.
The next option is a turtle topper.
Finally, the third pattern is the easiest, as it's just a simple circle wheel, which children color and cut out; making it perfect for little ones with limited cutting ability or if you're in a time crunch.
Because Aesop's fables are very short, the wheels have just 4 “pie sections”, making this a simple enough craftivity for preschool children.
Likewise, because the graphic circle is divided into fourths, be sure and take that teachable moment to review fractions, with kinders & first graders.
My students easily wrap their heads around whole & half, but have a bit of difficulty getting quarters, which is one of the reasons I limited the graphics to 4, so that I could immerse them in yet another example.
When everyone is done, practice telling “The Tortoise & the Hare” using the manipulative by simply turning the wheel. Call on a child to explain what’s happening in that graphic.
This packet also has the additional writing prompt worksheets.
It's sure to become a special keepsake.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
If you can believe it, we're still getting snow flurries here in Michigan!
Although it's "officially" been spring for weeks, Mother Nature is certainly not cooperating!
On the positive side, it's the perfect day to snuggle in and craft away.
"People need to be cautious because anything built by man can be destroyed by Mother Nautre." -Russell Honore