1-2-3 Come Do Some Interesting and Fun Writing With Me
Having interesting and fun writing prompts, will motivate your students to want to write. Tossing in a bit of crafty coloring, will be icing on the cake.
With that in mind, I just finished designing some creative-wintry writing prompts that I think your kiddos will enjoy. They are pretty simple, so they'd easily fit into your Daily 5 or writing block.
A Sweet Tweet For Santa, is based on the popular idea of "tweeting". Students color, cut and glue the bird to the top of their writing prompt paper, then each day (for 10 days) they jot down (tweet) something sweet that they've done, that Santa might be interested in knowing.
Remind them to use proper spacing, capitalization and end punctuation. I've also included a completed sample for you to share with your students.
"Stuff It!" is also a unique writing prompt. I've included several options, with two different stocking patterns, so you could actually do both of them, or give students a choice.
To reinforce patterning, have students write their name on the "cuff" of the stocking in an ABAB color pattern.
After coloring and trimming their stocking, students make an alphabetical list of things they'd enjoy finding "stuffed" in their stocking. Once they've completed and checked their list, they rewrite the final draft on their stocking.
For the other writing prompt, students gather in groups of 3-4 and exchange their stockings with each other.
Everyone in the group "stuffs" a Christmas compliment into their classmates' stockings, by writing something nice about that person. Encourage the use of adjectives.
This activity is especially appropriate if your class does the "Fill a Bucket" program. Completed projects make a nice, self-esteem building, December bulletin board.
Now You're Talkin' is an especially imaginative writing prompt, that I really enjoyed making samples for.
It's especially beneficial if you're working on the proper use of quotation marks.
There are 5 different writing prompts to choose from. Pick one for your students, give them a choice, or have them do a different one each day and assemble them into a journal. I've included a cover if you want to do that.
Students color the pictures, then pretend to be a gingerbread man, reindeer, and snowman, jotting down things they might say if they could talk.
To help explain things, I've included completed samples for each one for you to share with your kiddos.
If you could hear Santa or his elves, what might they be saying? are the other two writing prompt options.
Encourage the use of adjectives and remind students about proper spacing, capitalization and end punctuation.
If you're not doing these as a journal, have students choose their favorite, mount on construction paper and hang them on a hallway wall or bulletin board.
Finally, my personal favorite, is a class made book entitled Who Will Pull Santa's Sleigh? Making class booklets, were always my first grader's favorite writing activity, as well as much sought-after reading options during quiet time.
Here's the scenario for this fun December writing prompt: Oh no! Santa's reindeer are sick! Who will pull his sleigh on Christmas Eve?
Students choose an animal and write why they think they would be a good choice, then illustrate their page. Collect and collate your students' contributions and make into a class book. I've included a cover for it.
Read your completed book as a whole group, by having each student read their own page when you come to it. Be sure and make one of your own, or share the completed sample that I've included in the packet.
To help give your students some interesting ideas, and get them excited about writing, you might want to read Who Will Pull Santa's Sleigh Tonight, by Laura Rader.
In this story, as with the writing prompt, the reindeer are sick, so Santa holds auditions for replacement animals.
Another hilarious story, with awesome illustrations, is Who Will Guide My Sleigh Tonight? by Jerry Pallotta. This story takes place pre-reindeer time, when Santa was wondering who could pull his sleigh.
Your kiddos will get lots of ideas, as there are many silly scenarios presented by different animals trying out for the job -- from skunks, kangaroos and giraffes, to monkeys, mice and even snakes. In the end, Santa finally realizes that reindeer are the perfect animals for pulling his sleigh.
I've included a Venn diagram, as well as a graphing extension you can do if you read both books. Click on the link to view/download the Who Will Pull Santa's Sleigh? class-made book packet.
That's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I hope these writing prompts help to get your students excited to practice.
The sun is trying to peek out, making the snow sparkle, which puts me in the mood to do some decorating. Wishing you a festive day.
"Christmas without reindeer is like snow without moonlight: it loses its sparkle." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Winter Craftivities With Me!
Hopefully things are winding down this last week of school before Christmas Break. If you're looking for a few last-minute things for your kiddo's to do, you've come to the right place. Here are some quick, easy and simple activities, I think your students will enjoy.
Since the 3D cylinder shape was always the "toughy" for my Y5's to wrap their heads around, I tried to do several projects each month involving that shape. The cylinder-shaped Santa windsock, was one of their favorites. I made Santa's beard by tracing their hand once and then cutting it out 4 times.
Children work on a flat surface; when they are done, then help them roll their Santa into a cylinder shape. Pulled-cotton and glitter, add those finishing touches. Punch a hole in the top, tie a yarn loop, so it can hang from the ceiling.
Review the triangle, oval, and circle shapes as well. If you have your kiddo's do a craft on party day, these are great as a whole-group, or independent center activity.
To expedite things, make sure you trace and cut their hand prints the day before. Click on the link to view/download the Keepsake Hand Print Santa
Quite a few of my favorite Christmas Stories involve mice, so I thought it would be fun to design a sweet treat for my Y5's, featuring this Christmas character. You can review the oval shape with this craftivity as well. His ears are heart-shaped.
I don't buy peppermint candy canes for my kiddo's, as when we graphed whether they liked peppermint or not, most of them did not.
This was true every year, so I looked for the flavored candy canes. You can get a box of a dozen at The Dollar Store. Wiggle eyes and a pom pom nose added extra pizzazz.
You can make these for your students as a gift, but I liked doing them as a craftivity the last day of school. I used silver wallpaper for a sparkling effect. You could also glue metallic wrapping paper to tag board. Click on the link to view/download the Christmas Mouse.
Another peppermint activity I call "Me Mints." I made the larger one out of a sturdy 8-inch paper plate. Students striped the edges. Enlarge a photo, cut into a circle and mount it in the center of the plate.
Wrap with clear cellophane. (You can buy it by the roll at The Dollar Store.) Twist the ends and tie with curling ribbon.
These make a super bulletin board boarder, or have students glue the "greeting" to the back and suspend from the ceiling.
I also made a "Mini Mint" ornament template for you. Run off the peppermint candy. Students color with markers and glue to a circle of tag board. Follow the above directions to complete this "Awww-dorable" craftivity. Click on the link to grab this FREEBIE.
Finally, Wally,The Wallpaper Snowman, would be fun to do on the last day, so that you would have some winter decorations up when your students return from Christmas vacation.
If you look closely, you'll see that Wally's face is textured. I made the circles out of embossed wallpaper. You can buy a roll of white textured wallpaper for less that $5, or visit a paint, wallpaper, or home-decor store, where they sell wallpaper, and ask if you could have or buy a sample book.
I used these sample books for die cuts, banners, backgrounds, and stationery for my students to write on. I've included 4 winter writing prompts so that students have a choice.
Children write a rough draft and when they have finalized it, they write it on the circle and glue it to the back of Wally. These look wonderful dangling from the ceiling. Click on the link to view/download Wally,The Wallpaper Snowman Writing Prompt Dangler.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. I design and blog daily, so I hope you have the time to drop by tomorrow for even more FREEBIES.
"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." - Charles Dickens from A Christmas Carol
Reinforce adjectives and the poetry genre for older students, by having them write an acrostic poem. For little ones, this is a fun way to review letters and words that begin with those letters.
1-2-3 Come Do Some Christmas Writing With Me!
I decided to share some of my favorite December Easy Readers with you today. These make nice whole-group reading activities or something simple and quick to plug into your Daily 5 writing block.
In My Winter Color Words booklet, students read, trace and write the color words and then color the pictures. The last page has students write about their favorite winter color and draw a picture of something that color. Click on the link to view/download it.
This easy reader has been so popular, that I decided to make one featuring penguins; this too reinforces colors and color words.
The last page has students write which penguin was their favorite, as well as draw a picture of something a blank penguin is holding and then color it.
I did a huge penguin unit in January, but I know many teachers have penguins as a theme for December too, so I'm featuring some penguin activities this month. I've also included a certificate of praise in this packet. Click on the link to view/download the Penguin Colors booklet.
Hurry! Help Santa, is an older easy reader before I had all the software, graphics and fonts that I have available to me now, but it's still a favorite that I think your kiddo's might enjoy too. In this easy reader students trace and write as well as cut and glue. I've included traceable word cards and a graphing extension as well. Click on the link to view/download the Hurry Help Santa Get Ready easy reader.
December is a Great Month includes many Dolch words. Children use picture clues to help them read the story as they cut and glue the matching pictures to help explain why December is such a great month.
Two graphing extensions, 33 traceable word cards + a certificate of praise are also included. Click on the link to view/download the December is a Great Month easy reader.
Light Up The Tree reinforces numbers, number words (through 10) as well as colors. Students trace and write the numbers and number words + draw that many light bulbs.
On the last page children guess-timate how many lights are on the tree. A graphing extension is included. Click on the link to view/download he Light Up The Tree Easy Reader.
In I See Circles At Christmas, students also trace and write. A graphing extension + traceable word cards are also included.
As another writing extension you could have students choose a square or rectangle and challenge them to write their own I See booklet. Click on the link to view/download the I See Circles At Christmas easy reader.
If you like the idea of students creating their own booklets, be sure and check out the Christmas Class Books, where students write a page to go with 3 different booklets. Includes 5 graphing extensions, so you can incorporate math skills. The class-made books are:
After students share their work, collect and collate the pages into a class book. Click on the link to view/download the Christmas Class Books packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. I design and blog daily, so I hope you can stop by tomorrow for lots more FREEBIES.
"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try and keep it all the year." -Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
The elf is watching and reporting back to Santa. Students write why they think that they should be on Santa's "nice" list. Includes a Santa's List poster to use as a good-behavior motivator.
1-2-3 Come Do Some Elf-Themed Activities With Me
Because the Elf activities have been such a huge hit, (scroll down to see that blog & FREEBIES), I've been very busy designing a few more.
Since kiddos tend to be a bit more, shall we say "energetic" during December, I made a writing prompt that can turn into a nice behavior modification tool; I call it Santa's List.
Now that the elf is on the shelf and reporting back to Santa, students could write about why they think they should be on the good behavior or "nice" list.
Launch this writing prompt by playing the Christmas carol “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” I taught my Y5’s this song and we did some finger movements as we sang: “. . . He’s making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. . .
After my Y5's got the “wiggles” out, we brainstormed about good behavior and what Santa’s elves might be looking for. How does one get on the nice list? What things could we do? What things shouldn’t we do?
Write a list on the board, so children can refer to it for ideas as well as spelling help. Pass out the writing prompt page. Students write why they think they should be on Santa’s nice list and then color their page.
After they share their work with the class, collect and collate the pages to make a class book. A cover is provided. I’ve also included a Santa’s list poster. Print; mount on red and green construction paper and laminate. You can hang this on your wall or white board and add students names as you catch them behaving appropriately or completing tasks.
The packet also includes a template for students to write a note to their Elf on a Shelf or to Santa. Click on the link to view/download Santa's List Writing Prompt.
Another interesting December writing prompt, helps reinforce giving directions. Encourage students to use transitions, ordinal numbers as well as adjectives.
I've included word cards for sequential-transitions, + a helpful guide to using transitions that I give to my college writing class students.
Add some pom-poms, a jingle bell, and some white glitter to make an awesome bulletin board. Click on the link for the How To Dress An Elf "craftivity."
For more fun writing, have students keep a journal of your Elf On A Classroom Shelf's adventures. This makes a quick and easy Daily 5 activity for the month of December.
Have students keep everything in a file folder. I've included days of the week cards; a star chart students can color when they've done a nice job on their journal; lots of prompts for both PK and older kiddo's, + "elf mail" notes.
Click on the link to view/download the Elf Journal.
Finally, I had several requests for alphabet cards, so I designed an "elf-abet" packet.
An elf number packet and elf number-strip puzzles were also requested. (Thank you Lisa, Katie, Sue and Erin for your e-mails.) Click on the links to view those FREEBIES.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you and your little elfkins will enjoy these activities.
My personal "to do" list is a little long today, so it's time to hit the floor running.
“Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars, not if you care for such things.” -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
Now You See Them; Now You Don’t! 1 2 3 Come Do Some Elf On A Shelf Activities With Me
The Elf on A Shelf is a children’s picture book written by an American mother and daughter Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, and illustrated by Coë Steinwart.
The book was self-published in 2005 and comes with a small elf. It's written in rhyme with watercolor illustrations.
The gist of the story is that Santa knows who is naughty and nice by what his elves report back to him as they fly back and forth each night.
Upon returning, they pick a new place to hide. By choosing a new hiding spot, the members of the family play an on-going game of Hide and Seek. Children are encouraged to name their elf.
Once the elf is named, the "scout" elf receives its special Christmas magic. Now they can fly! However, the magic might go if touched, so the rule for The Elf on the Shelf states: "There's only one rule that you have to follow, so I will come back and be here tomorrow: Please do not touch me. My magic might go, and Santa won't hear all I've seen or I know."
In the hope that students will settle down, stay on task, and be better behaved during the hectic month of December, teachers have now gotten on board and purchased an elf for their classrooms.
To launch Elf on a Shelf read the story and let the good behavior modification begin! After all, Santa now has a spy in the room, and the teacher has a helper that is watching.
If you're looking for a costume to wear on the day you introduce your elf activities, or perhaps dress up in for story time, I found one at Oriental Trading. It's just $16. They also have an apron, or simply don the hat for $3. Children's sizes are also available, and would be a real hit in your dress up box,
I spent over an hour sourcing pictures of elf antics, 'til my head was actually spinning! There are virtually 100's of ideas Online, so I decided to start a PIN board with my favorites. Click on the link to catch the Elf Excitement.
If your budget is tight and you'd like to make an elf, instead of buying one, I designed "Twinkle." He's made out of a decorative lunch bag.
I bought my bags at Hobby Lobby. Click on the link to view/download Twinkle, the Elf on a Classroom Shelf "craftivity."
This is also a very easy thing for your kiddo's to make, and can act as a great behavior modification technique, as I've included "Tally Tags."
Children choose one and glue it to the front of their own elf. Whenever you catch a child being good, or when they have completed a task, they may add a tally mark to their card.
Have them use a red marker for tally marks 1-4 and then cross the 5th tally with a green marker.
To ensure honesty, remind students that the elves and Santa are watching, so no cheating. You could also let them know that you have a student tally total that you keep track of, so if you find a discrepancy they will lose their card. You really don't have to keep up with this, just show the paper and it will hopefully do the trick.
Feel free to walk over and add tally marks to children’s bags without saying a word. Believe me, they will be aware of what you are doing and get right down to business. After school, add tally marks to whom ever had a good day. This tally mark can be from the Elf on a Shelf. So children can readily see a difference, make the elf’s tally mark in another color like blue or purple.
Because of the book’s popularity, elf activities were being requested, so I decided to design some. I also had a few "oldies but goodies" which you can find below.
Click on the link to view/download The Christmas Elf, which is a spatial direction booklet, that also has several “craftivities” included, like the stocking with a photo of a real elf tucked inside.
Simply take a picture of each of your students wearing an elf/Santa hat. Students trim and glue to the back of their stocking. A graphing extension is also included.
The booklet Little Elf What Do You See? is a rhyming booklet that incorporates the 5 senses.
If you have lots of kiddo's and want to conserve paper, you'll want to use my up-dated mini version. Click on the link to grab this FREEBIE.
Lots of Common Core is covered, as students read, circle capital letters; add end punctuation; underline adjectives; trace and write the "senses" words and then color, cut and glue the matching pictures.
If you're looking for an elf-related writing prompt have students respond to Santa's wanted poster.
He's looking for seasonal elf help. Children write why they feel they'd make a good elf.
After students share their page, collect and collate into a class book. A "You're Hired!" certificate and "Official Santa's Helper Button" are also included. Click on the link to view/download the Wanted: Elf Help packet.
Thanks for visiting today. I design and try to blog daily, so I hope you can pop by tomorrow for the newest FREEBIES hot off this elf's computer. Feel free to PIN away.
"I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel." -Buddy, from the movie Elf
Get Ready; Get Set; Let's Go Around The World For Christmas!
Happy TBT (Throw Back Thursday). Since I'm buried in over 12 inches of snow, as schools and activities continue to be cancelled for the last two days, I decided it was time to do some Christmas activities.
I realize there's still 10 days left in November, but with winter beating on my window, I can no longer cling to fall. It's time to move on.
I'm throwing things way back today, with one of the first big units I ever designed. I'm reposting it, because my Christmas Around The World packet, continues to be one of my most downloaded items.
I hope you enjoy this blast from the past. Keep in mind that it was designed before I had all the cute fonts, clip art and design programs that I now use, but it's never the less filled with lots of goodies that I think you'll enjoy. My personal favorite, is the cereal box suitcase that you store everything in.
So hop on board the Global Holiday Express and enjoy a reindeer ride to Mexico, Canada, England and other parts of the globe.The internet has brought our world closer and put it virtually at our fingertips.
We are truly just a click away from the Far East where we can grab some spices for our gingerbread creations. So if you're ready for a little adventure, then come celebrate Christmas Around The World by clicking on the link for 124 pages of fun. Pick and choose whatever you feel is age appropriate for your kiddos.
Because of special requests from upper elementary teachers, I've up-dated this packet to include some templates for older students, including an interesting writing prompt: If you REALLY could go to any country in the world for Christmas break, where would you go; who would you go with; how would you get there? etc.
First stop, we need to make a cereal box suitcase. It comes complete with travel stickers and a luggage tag, which helps students practice writing their first and last name as well as their address.
Two file folders become a briefcase that holds a passport that children help create. I used real passports to help me design one.
This activity reinforces name and address writing and is a math extension where students measure each other to determine their height and weight.
The Christmas Around The World suitcase is the perfect place to put souvenirs that represent the countries they visit! (Completed art projects, maps and papers.)
There’s also a pocket that holds airline tickets.
Children have a ticket for the country that they’re researching, one for the USA and one for their favorite country, to be determined after the unit.
Besides traveling to foreign countries, students also learn about their own state.
Children write a page about their family’s Christmas traditions or winter festivities if they don’t celebrate Christmas.
Their “State” pages and these two personal pages become part of their suitcase; and copies are made into a class book.
There are many graphing opportunities in this study: Do you hang a stocking? Do you have a fireplace? Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Each student chooses a country and armed with a list of websites to check out, must find 4-5 facts about how Christmas is celebrated there.
They are given a map and flag of their country; this is cut and glued on their Christmas Around the World page, along with how people say “Merry Christmas” in that country.
When students finish their research/writing assignment, they share it with their classmates; and a copy is made for another class book.
All students keep a Christmas Around The World travel journal, of all the countries visited. For some super-interesting background information, click on the Christmas Around the World link.This site lists 32 countries. Click on the country you want to learn about, and you'll find out super-interesting details of how they celbrate Christmas.
As students share their country, everyone's passport is stamped and they put a sticker dot on their world map, locating that country.
The Christmas Around The World crafts I’ve chosen to share, are ones that you could plug in for quite a few countries.
Putting up a tree and lighting candles seem to be universal practices for many.
The poinsettia is perfect to represent Mexico, but also the USA. Did you know that an average of 65 million are sold nationwide, grown commercially in every state, and that California is the leading producer?
Besides America, gingerbread also fits several countries, especially Germany where Nuremberg is known as the gingerbread capital of the world. However, England and France are famous for their gingerbread “fairs”, and several places in Canada have Christmas cookie exchange parties.
December wouldn’t be complete without climbing aboard The Polar Express, and reading stories like Mem Fox’s Australian animal tale Wombat Divine, Australia) and Robert Barry’s tale from England, Mr. Willoby’s Christmas Tree, as well as several different gingerbread stories that can be compared and contrasted; they all make great additions to your Christmas Around The World traveling adventures.
While celebrating Christmas Around The World we also sang songs like, We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands, adapted for this unit. (Students trace and cut out their hands and wrap them around the world for an awesome 3D craftivity.)
Come embark on a most extraordinary adventure, discovering unique cultures and traditions, that although different, bring you a little bit closer, as your students celebrate Christmas Around the World.
Whatever you’re doing this season as you study geography, I hope you hear the jingling of those sleigh bells, that help transport you on a magical journey. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away!
"God bless us everyone!" -Tiny Tim
What Should I Write About This Month?
Letter to Santa: Make it a bit more creative by adding a wrapping paper cover, a bit of curling ribbon, and a fancy tag. Have your students trace then write the sentences in an alternating red and green pattern with markers to make it a bit more fun. Click on the link to view/print the masters. Santa Letter
To Be Aware or not to be aware…
National Drunk & Drugged Driving Month:
It’s a TIE:
Read To Succeed!
Let’s Here It For Safety!
Hey! No fair! I Have RIGHTS!
High Five For Hand Washing!
The Pie’s Have It!
Home Sweet Home:
Just Go For It!
Ooooh this is creepy!
Go ahead; It’s OK!
It’s Time For A Change!
Lucky or not so lucky?
I feel unlucky because… then end on a positive note and flip it around with: I feel lucky because…