1-2-3 Come Do Some Back To School Activities With Me
The other kiddie lit packets have been such popular downloads, that I thought I'd do a bit more with one of my all time favorite back to school stories. I designed this quick and easy-to-do packet, around Laura Numeroff's book, If You Take A Mouse To School.
The packet includes a class made book. Run off the master and have students complete the writing prompt: If you take a child to kindergarten they will...
I've included templates for preschool through second grade, plus a blank one to fill in with whatever you teach. There are also matching covers.
They color the mouse and then illustrate their page. Younger students can dictate their thoughts to you or a room helper. Collect, collate and add a cover. Read together as a whole group activity, as each child shares their own page.
Be sure and make a sample of your own. I made up an example that you could also share or use as a sweet poster.
I've also included bookmarks for children to color.
Older students can write why they had a great first day on the back.
Click on the link to view/download the If You Take A Child To School packet. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away.
I've been designing so many things this morning that my brain is on overdrive and feeling very cluttered. One of those seasick kind of headaches is coming on, so it's time to take a much-needed break and go play outside to defog my mind. Wishing you all the best and a very happy day.
"Art enables us to find and lose ourselves at the same time." -Thomas Merton
This is a wonderful packet to do after you read the story If You Take A Mouse To School by Laura Numeroff.
1-2-3 Come Do Some Viola Swamp and Miss Nelson Activities With Me!
“The kids in Room 207 were misbehaving again. Spitballs stuck to the ceiling. Paper planes whizzed through the air. They were the worst-behaved class in the whole school.”
Thus begins the story of Miss Nelson is Missing, one of my all-time favorite back-to-school books. This cute classic was first published in 1977, but is still relevant today, as a lighthearted reminder of how important it is to show our appreciation of others.
When I read the story to my students, I wore a reversible "cape". (A lovely pastel floral print was on one side, when I became the sweet Miss Nelson. When I "transformed" into the terrible Miss Viola Swamp. ("...the meanest substitute teacher in the whole world!") I easily flipped it to the solid black, ugly side.
I've also donned a plastic witch nose, along with a few long black fingernails for my left hand, while pretending to be Viola. She is the crazy substitute teacher in three children's books by Harry Allard (illustrated by James Marshall). The books are entitled Miss Nelson is Missing!, Miss Nelson is Back, and Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. The latter is by far my personal favorite.
At the start of the story, Miss Nelson’s students are very disrespectful and naughty. They constantly take advantage of her good- natured personality, and haven’t a clue of what a wonderful and sweet teacher they really have, ’til she doesn’t show up one day and is replaced by the horendous substitute, Miss Viola Swamp.
Days pass and FINALLY, to the utter joy of her students, Miss Nelson returns to class with a "little secret" as to her disappearence. By this time, the children have become wonderful and very appreciative students. I highly recommend this great read aloud, and always kept a copy in my sub folder.
Because the book is so popular, I thought teachers would enjoy some activities to go with it. You can do some of them with your students and/or tuck others into your sub folder, to be plugged in as emergency lessons. The Miss Nelson is Missing packet, includes a variety of writing, language arts and reading activites. Plus some adorable "craftivities" to review even more standards.
Here are a few of the FREEBIES.
There are 76 word cards, plus a blank set to program with your own. Great for vocabulary building. You can also use these as an opportunity to teach synonyms, antonyms, and adjectives, while reinforcing their importance in writing.
One way to use the cards is as an assessment game. Students make a Popsicle stick puppet with Miss Nelson on one side and Viola Swamp on the other. I enjoyed sketching these memorable characters, particularly Viola.
Hold up a word card and read it. Children decide which character they think that word describes and flip their Popsicle to the appropriate face.
For added pizzazz, I glued the facial circles to pink and green construction paper and then glued them back-to-back.
The teacher then shows the correct answer and asks students if they know what the word means. If not (s)he defines it.
Because Miss Nelson and Miss Swamp are certainly "opposites" you can have a teachable moment, and ask students if Viola's qualities are antonyms for Miss Nelson's.
I've also included several other adjective activities as well, including a sort of graphic organizer, where they jot down words that describe their teacher, Miss Nelson, and Viola Swamp.
The packet has 7 writing activities, including 2 class-made books. One book is entitled The Case Of The Missing Students.
Children write about what happened to their entire class when their teacher came to school one day, but no one else did!
The other is entitled Our Teacher Is Missing. As with the original story, students try and figure out what happened to their teacher, and write about one of their conclusions.
Other writing prompts have students explaining why they wouldn't want Miss Swamp to be their teacher, what qualities they feel a really good teacher pocesses, and 5 things they think their teacher might be doing if (s)he disappeared.
For good measure I threw in 2 "Is, Can, Was" worksheets for both Viola and Miss Nelson.
Students will undoubtedly compare Miss Nelson and Viola to their own teacher. To review this concept, have students choose one of 3 Venn diagrams. Students compare and contrast the characters to their own teacher, as well as the book to a similar story.
On the craftier side, there are 2 WANTED posters (for male as well as female teachers), for students to fill in, as well as 4 MISSING person posters. I'm sure what your students fill in about you, will be quite amusing.
My personal favorite activity in the packet is Swamp's Stocking Statements. It's a cute way to review concepts of print.
Completed projects make a wonderful back-to-school bulletin board or hallway display.
To round things out, I included a page of discussion questions, a synopsis of the story and 2 "retell the story" bookmarks.
Finally, after you read Miss Nelson is Missing to your students, you may want them to see an absolutely "awwww-dorable" 13-minute youtube video.
Mr. Arturo Avina's kindergarten class, from LAUSD's Olympic Primary Center, did a tremendous job acting out their adaptation of “Miss Nelson is Missing”. He’s done an outstanding job recording it, as well as incorporating music from some popular songs.
What a fabulous learning experience for these students. They are certainly fortunate to have such a creative teacher. I hope you and yours enjoy it as much as I did. My students, no matter what grade I taught, LOVED doing reader’s theater; I highly recommend trying it.
Click on the link to view/download the Miss Nelson Is Missing packet.
This packet will be FREE for an entire year. After which time it will be up-dated & included in my 203-page jumbo Miss Nelson is Missing Literacy & Math packet in my TpT shop. Click on the link to pop on over.
It is one of my most useful & all-time favorite packets. I'm confident that your kiddos will LOVE these activities!
Oh, and if you'd like a poster that's appropriate, click on the link. It's not in this packet, but would be a cute writing prompt or discussion: "What do you think this poster means?" and... "How does it fit in with the story Miss Nelson is Missing?"
Thanks for visiting today. By all means PIN away. We've just added the automatic "PIN" feature to all of our pix. Simply hover over them.
"If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you." -Dr. Seuss
There are lots of things you can do with these large upper & lowercase letter posters: Use them as anchor charts, flashcards, Play-doh mats, letter collages, a class book, or run them off on a variety of colors of construction paper; laminate and cut them out to make an alphabet border.
1-2-3 Come Do S'more Seuss Activities With Me
To help get the wiggles out after story hour, we sang songs. Singing lightened up the day and taught a variety of skills.
With that in mind, I thought other teachers might be doing the same thing and looking for something with a Seuss theme, so I used the tune to B-I-N-G-O and substituted the letters with Seuss.
I've included letter cards, so that you can put them on your flannel or white board and then take one down as you sing each verse. (This is also a teachable moment for subtraction.)
As I was singing, to make sure of the beat, my husband walked in and started singing a goofy little ditty to the tune of Brother John, so of course I had that song stuck in my head and wrote a second Seuss song. Click on the link to view/download Some Seuss Songs.
I'm working on a list of characters and nonsense words in each book, (a massive under taking, so who knows when I'll finish!) To do so, I'm slowly reading all of the Seuss books that I have in my vast collection (almost 50).
Since I'm always multi-tasking, I jotted down writing prompts that popped into my head while reading. Here are a few that I've finished. These make wonderful class books, and there's more to come, so stay tuned!
First, hot off the press, is a class book entitled: Feature Creatures Plus One Teacher.
This is a different way to have students practice the alphabet, along with their writing skills, and is an interesting transition after you read Dr. Seuss's Alphabet book.
Make a copy of the letter tiles; toss them into a Seuss hat and have students pick a letter card and glue it to their page.
Children write their upper and lowercase letter on the blank and then think up a creature that starts with that letter, afterwards drawing a picture underneath. This should NOT be a real creature like Zz is for Zebra.
Students need to use their imagination and think up a silly creature just like Dr. Seuss does: "Ff Four fluffy feathers on a fiffer-feffer-feff." Pre-K kids can stop there, but encourage older students to write a few sentences.
Challenge them to use rhyming words, as well as some tongue-twisting alliteration, to make things more “Seussical."
For example, Zz is for a Zigglewag who likes to play wiggle tag. He eats zinnias, zingles and zag, all of which make me personally gag. or Bb is for Boomtoot, who's from Bangladoot and likes to eat fruit, especially bapples, belon and bloot.
I've included Suess-font letter cards, student and teacher writing pages, plus a sample. Click on the link to view/download the Feature Creatures Plus One Teacher class book.
Another Alphabet book I think your students will enjoy making is On Before Ant. This is a take off of Dr. Seuss's book On Beyond Zebra, which is about all of the letters that come after Z. In the beginning of the story, Cornelius is bragging that he knows all of the letters from A to Z.
He's shocked to find out that there are more! "Then he almost fell flat on his face on the floor, when I picked up some chalk and drew one letter more. A letter he never had dreamed of before..." like the letter Snee, which is for "...sneedle, a terrible kind of ferocious mos-keedle. Whose hum-dinger stinger is as sharp as a needle. "
All of these goofy letters have a name and symbol. I thought it would be fun to make a class book of all of the pretend letters that might possibly come before the letter A.
Run off copies of the inside page and have students think up a letter, design it, and then give an example of something that starts with that letter, finishing up with an illustration.
After students share their work, collect the pages, collate and make into a class book. Click on the link to view/download the On Before Ant class book.
Finally, another fun writing prompt has to do with Seuss's book If I Ran The Circus.
The packet includes a class book with two writing prompts to choose from, as well as a 3D cylinder "craftivity."
Students color and cut out their circus tent and then attach their completed writing prompt paper to either side, so that they can bend it into a cylinder shape.
The photo shows the various views of a completed project. Punch holes on either side, add a yarn loop and suspend from the ceiling.
For that finishing touch, children add a toothpick flag, and then choose either a clown or a ringmaster to color and glue their photo on top of that face.
They glue "themselves" to the inside of the tent, so it looks like they are peeking out of the door flap. Click on the link to view/download the If I Ran The Circus Writing Craftivity packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. For another cute Seuss writing prompt, scroll down and you'll find a 3D balloon "craftivity" perfect for Seuss's book Oh The Places You'll Go.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's not!" -Dr. Seuss
1-2-3 Come Chase The Gingerbread Man With Me!
I LOVED designing this gingerbread writing and activity packet and am so excited to share it with you. I hope you have oodles of fun with your kiddos doing these fun-filled activities.
Before hand, put up the wanted posters in your room. I've included 3, and think the one with the mustache is a hoot.
Run off the masters and put the notes, signs and clues in a variety of places in your school: cafeteria, library, office, gym etc. Get your principal, secretary, cafeteria staff etc. in on your "ed-venture" and give them a clue card.
After reading the original story of the gingerbread man, tell your students that you are going on an ed-venture looking for the gingerbread man, and to be on the lookout for clues of his where abouts.
Before hand, fill out the clue cards using plenty of spatial directions. To get in some math practice, you may want your kiddos to count steps as they go.
The clue cards also come in black and white, but you may want to print everything in color, laminate, and then save for future years.
As you arrive at the various destinations, have adults at those places, say something like: "Oh no! You just missed him, but he left this clue!" or "I think I spotted him over by that shelf." (A clue card is on the shelf.)
After you make the rounds, return to your classroom to find a note on your door that the gingerbread man had been looking for them. As a special surprise, while you are gone, have a helper set up gingerbread or cookie treats for your snack time.
Now would be the perfect time to do the "Take a bite" graphing activity. Children take one bite out of their cookie, and you graph what they bit off.
I've also included a graph for "Who does or doesn't like the taste of gingerbread?" Both of these graphs can be found in the Gingerbread Class Book packet.
(Back to the original packet) I've included a class book where each student contributes a page, writing about the day's adventure.
There are templates for students to do this separately or in groups.
They can draw pictures or take a photograph.
There's also a graphic organizer where students name their gingerbread man and describe him.
Click on the link to view/download the Gingerbread On The Loose Writing and Activity packet.
Later today side note: Woo hoo! I was surfing the net looking to see if anyone else did a gingerbread hunt and found a 1st-grade teacher (Jodi) who does this on the first day of school. She made adorable rhyming clue cards. Click on the link to get her darling FREEBIE. (Fun In First.)
If you did the graphing activity, another fun transition would be to play a quick game of Pieces & Parts. Children color their gingerbread and then cut on the lines to make 6 puzzle pieces.
Students pick a partner and take turns rolling the dice. Whatever number they roll they glue that piece on their template. The 1st one done is the winner. Click on the link to view/download the Pieces and Parts Gingerbread Puzzle.
Finally, another follow-up writing prompt I call "You're The Man!" Your students pretend to become the gingerbread man.
Where are they going? Why are they running? What people/things are they running past? What finally happened to them? I've included a fill-in-the-blank template for girls as well as boys to write on.
Encourage students to do a little research about their destination and include plenty of description in their sentences. Have kiddo's underline adjectives when they do their rough draft, so they know if they have included enough.
I filled in a sample to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.
After students share their page, collect, collate and make them into a class book. Click on the link to view/download the You're The Man! Gingerbread Writing Prompt craftivity.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. If you'd like to see some of the creative and educational items I spend way too much time pinning, click on the link. I have an entire board of gingerbread activities.
Interesting bit of trivia: "E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898. Gingerbread Husbands: Gingerbread cakes fashioned like men and gilt, commonly sold at fairs up to the middle of the nineteenth century."
Build children's self-esteem with this class-made book. Write names of students on the Pilgrim hat; toss them into a container, children choose one and write about that child.
This activity will be FREE for an entire year! Woo hoo. After which time, it will be up-dated. It's now a part of my 24-page Thankful packet. Click on the link to pop on over to my TpT shop. For your convenience, I've included a PREVIEW here.
Fall Into Some Fun Common Core Writing For Fall!
I LOVE combining art with creative writing. I call these activities “Craftivities” and when you can mix in a little science at the same time, that's a real win-win.
Craftivities also make simple and easy bulletin boards or hallway displays that are pretty outstanding.
These fall writing prompts will help you teach several Common Core State Standards. They are listed and explained below.
Draw an oak tree on brown bulletin board paper with bare branches so that you can hang the leaves and acorn writing prompts on it, and scatter the squirrels underneath.
The leaves say: I see... I hear... I smell... The acorns say: I taste... and the squirrels say: I feel... (Older students write the entire sentence; younger students trace the first few words.)
Display the tree on a wall in the hallway. You can use the caption: Our 5-Senses Creative Writing Oak Tree OR Using Our 5-Sense In The Fall.
If you want this to appear a bit more 3-D, twist brown lunch bags into strands, and use duct tape to attach them to the branches and down the trunk.
Run the oak leaves off on a variety of colored construction paper, as this will look better than brown leaves, even though oak leaves turn brown when they lose their chlorophyll. Mention this fact to your students.
Gather students in front of the whiteboard. Review what the 5 senses are. Brainstorm with them about using their 5 senses to see, hear, smell, taste and feel different things typical of the fall season.
Review beginning capitalization of words, Common Core State Standard: L.K.2a, as well as ending punctuation. Common Core State Standard: L. K. 2b, and RF.1.1 as well as L.1.2b for 1st grade.
Have students spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships, or write a list of words from your brainstorming session on the white board having students help you spell them as you write them. Common Core State Standard: L.K.2d for kindergarten and L.1.2d for 1st grade where they use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.
Review what a noun, verb and adjective are, with older students. Keep things simple for PK students and have them TRACE the beginning words and complete the sentence with 1 noun and a period. K’s can add nouns and verbs; older students can add adjectives as well.
Make sure that you do an example yourself, explaining the parts of speech, grammar and punctuation as you go. RF.K.1a (Point out to students that they are reading words from left to right, top to bottom and page by page.) RF.K.1c (Point out that the words are separated by spaces and remind them to make sure they have a finger-space between their words too.)
Students can add color to their cut out pieces. Remind them to include their names. For a bit more pizzazz, you can also add glitter. Use this as an incentive for students if they give their best effort and do their work correctly.
To give variety to your “wall board,” I have designed two squirrels. You can run off both kinds and give children a choice. Sprinkle the squirrels around the bottom of your oak tree.
If you don’t want to make a bulletin board, or hallway tree mural out of these writing prompts, you can collate the pages together to make a class book. I’ve provided a cover for you if you want to do that.
You can also suspend the various similar pieces back-to-back from fish line and hang from the ceiling. Click on the link to view/download 5-Senses Oak Tree Creative Writing packet. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others may find helpful.
"It takes time to save time." -Joe Taylor
Ready. Set. Action!
Having to write a simple sentence with a noun and verb, with appropriate capitalization and end punctuation is now a standard for even our youngest students.
This can be a pretty big mountain to climb, as some of them are just learning how to write their name and to identify the letters of the alphabet, so I thought why not cover all of these standards in a fun way with an alliterative class-made alphabet book!
The 36-page Name & Action Verb and Noun Class Book packet, is perfect for first graders, and something that can be done later in the year for kindergartners and makes a great Daily 5 or reading or writing center activity as well.
The packet covers the Common Core Standards: RF.K1a, RF.K1c, RF.K1d, RF.K3a, RI.K.5, RI.K.6, L.K1a, L.K1b, L.K2a, L.K2b I'm very familiar with Kindergarten standards, and I know some of the first grade standards over lap, but I don't have a handle on all of them. Sorry I don't have the numbers for you.
Students write a simple sentence using a letter from the alphabet that starts with the letter of their name.They underline the capital letter of the beginning word, as well as the ending punctuation. So that you have a complete alphabet book with all of the letters, you can also assign a letter to each student, and allow them to make up a name.
To make sure they have included an “action word” (verb) and a “thing word” (noun) they need to underline those as well. Children then illustrate their page.
I chose to make this an alliterative book because I think tongue twisters are not only more fun, and a bit more challenging for first graders, but they help reinforce the Common Core Standard RF.K3a where students demonstrate basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondence, by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant.
If you think this is too difficult for your PK’s or K’s, simply have them think of any verb or noun and simply work on that skill, rather than make it too complicated.
I suggest sitting in a circle around the white board and brainstorming each child’s words, as a whole group, which would help the light bulbs go on via repetition, as you are continuously working on the same concept over and over with different letters, with everyone helping you until you have completed the task.
You could also send the page home as a home-school assignment, and let parents work one-on-one with their child. For that finishing touch, add a photo to make the book even more interesting.
You can run off the last page so everyone can work on their letter skills. Have them trace and then write their letters and then pair up with a partner and quiz each other on which letter is which. I've also included a certificate of praise.
When everyone has completed their page, laminate and collate them into a class book. Make sure that you do a sample page of your own. My students are always surprised to find out that I too, have a first name.
When they are done, they can choose one question to ask the class: What the action verb was, what the noun was, what was the name of the end punctuation or what letter was capitalized?
Students will enjoy “playing teacher” and you will be reinforcing several standards in a fun way, as each child shares their page! Click on the link to view/download Name and Action Class Book
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“See everything; overlook a great deal; correct a little.” –Pope John XXIII
123 Come Color With Me!
One of the ways I counted up to 100 Day was with a cute gumball poster by Really Good Stuff. Each day I’d choose a quiet child to X off a gumball.
Because of this poster, I designed the “Wel-gum To our really sweet class” find your name skill sheet.
Learning how to recognize their name was one of my Y5’s report card standards, so we worked on this every day.
I made this worksheet a bit more special by including my last year’s school picture inside one of the gumballs.
When they found their name, I had them color the gumball their favorite FLAVOR, and then we graphed the results.
We discussed the difference between favorite flavor and favorite color, for many, this was their first introduction to graphing.
Everyone enjoyed learning something about their new friends.
This packet also includes 2 class books. One the children trace and write the sentence about their favorite color.
To make the book more special, include their school photo as well.
I also made a class color book, by including pictures cut out from magazines of things of the various colors.
Each child brought a color picture in on that particular color day, as well as wore the appropriate color.
I took a class picture each Friday and also included that in our color book.
This packet includes the letter home, a calendar + a poster for your parent-teacher conferences.
Click on the link to view/download Wel-gum packet.
Thanks for visiting today.
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“Never be too big to ask questions. Never know too much to learn something new.” – Og Mandino