1-2-3 Come Do a Super-Fun Writing Prompt With Me
No matter what grade I taught, if I added a bit of craftiness to a writing prompt, I’d grab my students’ attention.
Once they saw my example, they were excited to make one of their own and get right down to business.
With that “focused & happy engagement” in mind, I thought a super-fun writing prompt, would be for students to pretend to be a school bus; which is a glimpse of “personification”, “point of view” and “text to self”.
If you’ve gone over bus safety with your kiddos, this is also an interesting way to reinforce those rules.
As one of the posters states: “I’m a bus and I’ve got something to say; which includes some rules that you need to obey.”
For example, my bus says: “Thank you for not eating or drinking. I hate getting all sticky and dirty. It makes me smell bad too.” Younger students can write a simpler sentence, like "Railroad crossing! Quiet please." etc.
To introduce the craftivity, read “Bus Chatter”.
It's a little ditty I wrote, as a fun way to grab students' attention, give examples, and motivate kiddos with an “It’s your turn” challenge.
The packet includes 5 large, (full page) black & white bus patterns for students to choose from.
There are also 2 speech bubble options.
Students choose a bus, color & cut it out, then fill in a speech bubble with their final draft of “bus chit chat”.
Add extra pizzazz to the “flashing lights”, with flat-backed rhinestones, or red and gold glitter.
I've included several posters to explain your display.
You can also use the two extra buses provided, as examples, then include them on your bulletin board for added interest.
One reminds students to check for traffic, the other reasures children that a bus is built for their safety.
Besides the craftivity, you can also make a class book. There’s a cover, last page and 5 page options.
As always, there are matching colorful templates for teachers.
I’ve also included my text-filled bubbles, if you’d like to use those, to expedite making an example to share.
Because students really enjoy this type of writing, you can certainly do both activities.
Since "National Bus Safety Month" is celebrated in October, do the craftivity for "back to school", then make the class book later in the fall; which will hopefully show lots of improvement!
For some word work, and vocabulary-building, I’ve also included a bus safety word find, which is a fun pre-writing activity.
There's also a few other goodies to round out the packet.
Often teachers are so busy teaching, that sometimes they can miss important things that are happening in their students' lives.
Putting up a tweet board on a door, wall or bulletin board, helps you stay informed and builds community.
A more caring classroom will be created.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stoppping by.
The thunder is booming and the lightning is crackling as it pours. Love a summer storm to soak my flower garden.
Great day to hunker down and design some more fun stuff for school. Woo Hoo!
"Children must be taught HOW to think, not WHAT to think!" -Margaret Mead
1-2-3 Come Do Some Bus Safety Activities With Me
Do you read the story, "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" by Mo Willems? Click the book cover to see a cute YouTube video.
Because it’s a favorite of young children, I thought it would be fun to spice up bus safety with a pigeon. (Bus Safety With a Pigeon Packet)
If you don't read that story, or are just looking for some super-fun bus safety activities, I also made a matching packet with no bird. (Bus Safety Activities).
Listening to lots of rules can become tedious and boring for little ones, but playing a game, doing a center activity, or making a "flip-the-flap" booklet, helps get the “you need to know this stuff” into a child’s head, in a hands-on way.
Both these packets includes a nice assortment of quick, easy and interesting activities, that help make learning about bus safety super-fun.
Since “National Bus Safety Month” is in October, I do a few of the activities the first few weeks of school, then others later in the fall, which is a nice review.
There are 12, colorful cards on a one-page pattern to conserve paper and ink.
Simply print, laminate and trim. Children decide if the behavior pictured on the card is a do or don't rule, then place the cards under the correct do/don't header.
You can also pass the cards out to students, then have them show and share their card with the class, explaining the rule on the card.
* To whole-group assess comprehension, I designed a super-fun, Popsicle stick “puppet pal” craftivity.
There's a pigeon one for that packet, and a bus puppet pal in the other packet.
The flip side of this paddle is a green circle (Green = "Go! Do".) Adding a wiggle eye provides the "finishing touch".
I've included a list of 20+ statements for you to choose from, then read aloud. Students decide whether that statement is a "Do" or a "Don't" then flip their paddle accordingly.
I kept the booklets short, with just 9 pages to choose from, which feature the graphics for some of the most important rules.
Children color the picture, then circle a "Do" or "Don't" word to describe what's going on in the graphic.
The pigeon's "wing cover", flips open to reveal the pages, while the booklet for the bus, is on the "windshield".
* There’s also a set of 24, colorful graphic rule posters, which show the various “Do’s & Don’ts” for riding the bus. I printed mine on card stock then laminated.
Use them to introduce bus safety, then hang them on the wall; or... add the cover & last page ("No muss. No fuss.We know the rules for riding the bus!") and make a booklet with a split ring.
* The packet also includes some “paper praise” options: a slap bracelet, a bookmark, and a brag tag necklace, plus a “color me” bus safety certificate.
Making a bus safety necklace, provides fine motor practice, which helps strengthen finger muscles.
This also practices counting as well as showing a pattern too. Plus studets really enjoy making them.
Hopefully, people will ask children about their necklace, giving them an opportunity to explain some of the bus safety that they learned, once again reinforcing the lesson.
There's also a "High fives from ________ who knows bus safety" craft in the pigeon packet, which makes a sweet keepsake, as the bird's wing is a child's hand print.
There are two FREEBIES today. Both come from these new packets.
One is the "Stop-Look and Listen" poster.
The other is the "Stay Out of the Danger Zone" poster.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
I feel fall in the air, as the lovely breeze is cooler and a sprinkling of leaves are actually turning!
As long as we have to be inside at school, we may as well have lovely fall weather.
"There is a time in the last few days of summer, when the ripeness of autumn fills the air." - Rudolfo Anaya
1-2-3 Come Do Some "Wemberly Worried" Activities With Me
No matter what grade I taught, to get students excited about writing, all I had to do was incorporate a bit of craftiness, to get & hold their attention.
With that in mind, I designed these super-fun writing prompt craftivities, which were inspired by Kevin Henkes’ book, “Wemberly Worried”, an all-time favorite back to school story.
I think realizing that others also have fears, helps children not feel so alone when dealing with their own emotions; especially if they find someone who shares the same worry (Like Wemberly & Jewel).
Hopefully, these various writing prompts will provide cathartic fun.
1. There are 14 cover options for the “Sometimes I worry about…” craftivity, which includes 5 girl & 5 boy patterns.
Students color & draw in the facial features. There’s also a generic pattern, plus one featuring Wemberly, as well as a blank template where students can draw themselves inside the “worry circle”.
The cover is then glued to the top of their writing prompt so it flips up.
2. So that you can do a variety of quick, easy & fun writing activities throughout the week, I’ve also included 4, “point of view” postcards, where students pretend they are Wemberly and then write a postcard to a classmate.
3. Students need to know that everyone worries; it’s normal and there are coping skills to help. Which is why I also designed the “Flip the Face” (Mice Advice) craftivity.
Students color, cut and glue Wemberly’s face together, so that it flips up to reveal something they do to help with their worries.
I think this prompt is easier for students to “share” because they feel they are helping others.
4. As another story extension, I’ve also included several Venn diagram options, where students compare Jewel with Wemberly, as well as Wemberly to themselves.
For a fun icebreaker, have students partner up, and do the “Venn Friend” activity, which make an adorable back to school bulletin board.
5. A discussion helps to alleviate fears as well, so I’ve included a whole-group activity, comparing young people’s worries with those of adults.
6. To help get rid of worries, I’ve also included 2 worksheet options, where students write their worries on a large W or “pencil page”, then rip their worries into small pieces, ball them up into a wad, then “toss their cares into the trash”.
7. On the same order, is “Give your worry warts away”, where students give their warts to Wharton the toad, who never worries about anything.
The warts are simply colorful stickers they sprinkle on one of two toad options.
To expedite coloring, I ran the patterns off on tan construction paper. Students add some shading with crayons.
On the back of Wharton, they write down 3-8 worries that they have, numbering them as they go.
The "worry ball" that Wharton sits on says: Don't Worry Be "HOppy". While students are working, I play Bobby McFerrin's song. Click the link to have a listen.
I've included several photo posters of real toads to help introduce your lesson, then later they can spice up your bulletin board display.
The packet includes:
* A “Chalk” behavior modification, positive reinforcement activity, that will help promote working as a team to achieve a desired goal, building self-esteem at the same time.
* Black & White “color me” headers, for a sidewalk chalk treat Baggie, as well as patterns in full color for preschool, kindergarten, & first grade, with a blank template for you to fill in with any other grade. I’ve also included a generic one you can give at anytime of the year.
* A “Chalk Talk” bear poster you can write a daily message on.
* A “Chalk Talk” kitten poster wishing children a “purrr-fect” day. Plus...
* 2, Chalk Talk ("I had a nice time at school today. These are a few of the things that I did:" ) writing prompt worksheets.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
It's the middle of August, so my feet have hit the floor running. My "To Do" list is way too long, but it's also a ton of fun.
Wishing you a zippidy-do-dah kind of day, filled with lots of zip and not so much "to do" dah.
"You're off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting so get on your way!" - Dr. Seuss
1-2-3 Come Do Some "Jack & the Beanstalk" Fairy Tale Craftivities With Me
All three projects help practice the "sequencing & retelling a story" standards.
First up is the "flip" booklet.
There are 2 “print & go” booklet options to choose from: one featuring the giant’s castle, the other the cottage, where Jack & his mom live.
Pick your favorite, or give students a choice.
There are full color patterns so that you can quickly & easily make an example to share, plus black & white templates so students can make their own.
Children color, cut & collate their pages, then add the cover.
I've also included an optional title page, "Once upon a time" page, plus a "And they lived happily ever after page" too.
Since children enjoy giving their opinions, there's also a "thumbs up or down" rating page, along with a star ranking as well.
Younger kiddos can write "The End" or "They lived happily ever after."
Next up is the "Jack and the Beanstalk" storytelling wheel.
There are two, full color cover options, so teachers can easily make a sample to share; plus black & white patterns, so your students can color their own.
Pick your favorite, or give children a choice between a beanstalk topped with a castle in the clouds, or a beanstalk that Jack is climbing.
Children color the cover, as well as the "pie" wheel graphics, then poke a hole through both, and fasten with a brass brad.
So you have a nice variety, I purchased lots of "Jack & the Beanstalk" clip art, so that each packet is different.
This way, if you purchase more than one craft, it will be fresh, incorporating different graphics.
All three of my samples are then kept in a basket in our language arts center.
For another fairy tale, I switch things up, so in the end my students have had an opportunity to make all three "types" of storytelling crafts, but for different fairy tales.
So that you can diversify your lessons, there are two options.
I've also included a larger, colorful copy for teachers. Print, laminate & trim and then use while reading the story, or as a reveiw afterwards.
Pass out the pieces to students, then have them help you put them in sequential order. Use tape, magnet dots, or Velcro to stick the pictures to the base.
When everyone is done with whatever craftivity you've chosen, practice retelling the fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk” by calling on a child, who explains what is happening in that graphic.
You could also ask, “Is this the setting of the story?”, “Is there more than one setting?”, “Is this the beginning-middle-or end of the story?” etc.
Afterwards, for more reinforcement, have students pick a partner and take turns sharing their booklet with each other.
Finally, there is the "Jack & the Beanstalk" Slider Craft.
There are 3 "cover" options for this craft which feature: Jack climbing the beanstalk, the castle, as well as the giant.
Use card stock, or white construction paper for a sturdier and less flimsy craft.
I call these "sliders" because a paper strip "slides" through two slits, revealing various "story elements".
Students retell the fairy tale, by pulling the paper strip through the "window".
Today's featured FREEBIE is a little something for your Open House or "Meet the Teacher" back to school event, which is also appreciated during "parent-teacher" conferences too.
I put a basket of peppermints on a table for visitors. (Use soft mints for younger grades).
Here's the poster I print, laminate & tuck by my basket of candy: "Families Are Worth A Mint! Thank you for your involve-mint and commit-mint to your child's education Here is a sweet treat for your enjoy-mint!"
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
It's wonderfully overcast today, with a nice summer breeze...perfect for doing a bit of gardening.
Wishing you a fun-filled and stress-free day.
"I am not a teacher, but an awakener." -Robert Frost
1-2-3 Come Do A "Jack and the Beanstalk" Fairy Tale Craft With Me
It’s one of my students’ favorite themes. Among their favorites is Jack and the Beanstalk.
To help them sequence & retell the story, I designed this super-fun beanstalk craft.
So that you can quickly & easily make an example to share, I’ve included full-color patterns, as well as the black & white ones for students.
Children color & cut out the castle & title cloud, then glue them together.
An 8-link paper chain is suspended from the bottom of the cloud.
Three leaves, with story element captions (Setting, Characters & Events) add to the beanstalk’s appearance.
Since there are a variety of versions for Jack & the Beanstalk, I’ve included a number of “picture tile” options.
Students choose the ones that were in the story that they read, then color & cut out these mini "pages".
They sort the picture pages into the 3 different story element categories: setting, characters & events, then sequence each group of pages, in the order that they appeared in the fairy tale.
These “itty bitty” storytelling booklets, are then glued to the appropriate leaf.
Before displaying, have students partner up, taking turns explaining what the setting is and who the characters are, then retelling the tale using the picture prompts.
For writing practice, and to further check comprehension, I’ve also included a “Here’s What Happened…” worksheet, which can be done as a whole group with little ones.
Completed projects look terrific suspended from the ceiling as a border along a hallway wall.
I've included a "Climbing new heights in reading" poster to add extra pizzazz to your display, which is sure to garner lots of compliments from passers by!
This is an inexpensive little gift you can make for your kiddos for that first day of school, which will occupy their time for a bit, freeing you up.
I've also included a large apple puzzle, to be used as an independent center activity, as well as a blank grid, to help younger students easily put their puzzles together.
The patterns come in color, as well as black and white, so kiddos can color, then cut out their own puzzle, then put it together; which gives you even more "sanity saving" time.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for popping in. It's a lovely summer day here in Michigan.
So love the sunshine streaming in my office window, along with a frangrant and gentle breeze.
Feeling very contented and blessed. Wishing you a carefree day.