Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I pulled these pages (shown) out of our Social Studies Book to help the children understand community, using writing and art. The students were paired and assigned a question to discuss and research. The students wrote the question they were to answer on their writing/art paper, answered it using complete sentences, and had it proofed by the teacher. Students then drew and colored a detailed picture, covering all the space. The pages were compiled into a Community Booklet and put in the Reading Corner to be used as a resource all year.


This is a fun way to have students learn poetry. The teacher reads and discusses a variety of poetry from different authors. Then list a few of the poems on the board for the students to vote on, making sure there are enough lines for each student to have one. The teacher types up the poem and hands out the line(s) to the students they are responsible for. I sent it home to be memorized. After the students have memorized their part, have them write their line(s) on writing/art paper, get it proofed by the teacher, and then illustrate/color the concept of the line in detail, filling in all the space. Wow, you have a cute class book, or a nice web page! BUT WAIT...when you are standing in a line with your class (don't we all), start the poem. Encourage the dramatic and let the fun begin. Soon you will notice some of the students will be able to recite the entire poem, with little effort on your part. If your students are interested, begin another poem, letting them have a bigger say in the choice, since they know the process. Remember to put their paper in their Journal/Memory book at the end of the year. 

The page on the bottom is taken from "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out". The page on the top is from "Sick". Both poems were taken from WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by Shel Silverstein.


This is a cute way of celebrating EARTH DAY in April. The idea of OPEN-GREEN SPACE is becoming more prevalent as cities grow. Discuss the need for green space - wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, peaceful break for our hectic daily life....
Have students discuss what would happen if we cut down all trees, put in parking lots, and built buildings in all the space in our city.
On the worksheet, the students need to write a complete sentence with solid ideas, get it proofed by the teacher, then draw and color a detailed picture, using all of the space allowed.


This is a cute idea for LABOR DAY. You end up with a CLASS BOOKLET to put in your READING CENTER for students to enjoy all year.  As you talk about the reason for Labor Day, let the students brainstorm jobs they would like to work in when they grow up. List these suggestions on the board. The students fill out the worksheet, get it proofed by teacher, draw and color (I like colored pencils with this project.) using details, covering the entire space. This could be a cute Bulletin Board or you could post it on your Webpage. At the end of the year make sure to add the page to the child's Journal/Memory Book to take home.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


( Taken from Teacher's Friend, January)
Season/Month: January
Age/Grade: Primary-Elementary
Groups: Whole - Homework
~ Audiotape or book about M.L.King Jr.
~ Mobile pattern printed on white construction paper
~ String
1. Read or listen to a story about M.L. King Jr.
2. Discuss and reflect about M.L. K's dream
3. Assign homework: write dream you have for community, country, and world.
    Your dream needs to show people caring for one another and working together in harmony.
4. Have the students carefully cut out the clouds and attach them with string, to make a mobile.
5. Hang each mobile from the ceiling. When taken down, you may put it in the Journal/Memory Books.


STUDENTS LEARN THE ROLE MATH PLAYS IN EVERYDAY LIFE.                                                      

(Taken from Mailbox Magazine)
Season/Month: January
Age/Grade: Primary
Groups: Whole - Homework
~ Worksheet
~ 9" x 12" construction paper
~ 9" x 12" construction paper, various colors, cut into 1/8th
~ small picture of student
~ colored markers
~ scissors
~ glue
1. Send home worksheet as homework.  Put a note that it is to be returned with a small photo of the student.
2. Students choose 8 different colored paper rectangles.
3. Students fill in each rectangle with a different math fact from the worksheet, making sure one rectangle has
    their name on it.  Encourage them to fill the space of each rectangle.
4. Students arrange their rectangles on the 9" x 12" construction paper, making sure there is room for their
    small photo.
5. Student glues the rectangles and photo to the large construction paper - keeping confined to the edge.
6.  Teacher may post on the wall (see below) or make a class book.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Season/Month: Thanksgiving-November
Age/Grade: Primary
Groups: Whole, Small, Center, Individual
Materials: book, white paper, Turkey Music

1. Choose an appropriate book about turkeys to be read: 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey.
2. After the story is read, pass out white sheets of paper, having students place the paper horizontal.
3. Illustrate on the board how to draw a "Hand Turkey".  Show them how to add feathers and markings.
4. As the students are working on their turkeys, play Turkey Music in the background.
5. Talk about different environments the turkeys could be in.  Have students draw an appropriate background for their turkey.
6. Share the turkeys, telling their name, all about it....
7. This could easily lead into a writing activity.
8. The Turkey Art could be displayed in the hallway or Website.
9. After the season place turkey art/story in the student journal.
1.  Have the students make their turkey and glue it onto colored paper.
2.  The students copy poem (below) from the board.
3.  Encourage neatness!
4.  Glue the poem beneath the turkey.  Send this Memory Gift home for Thanksgiving, making sure to have the student sign and date it!
This isn't just a turkey,
As anyone can see.
I made it with my hand,
Which is a part of me.

It comes with lots of love
Especially to say,
I hope you have a very

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Season/Month: Thanksgiving-November
Age/Grade: Primary
Groups: Whole
Materials: Poster board feathers, Math Facts, Turkey Stickers

1. Trace and cut out feathers as needed from the poster board.
2. Which math facts do your students need to work on for this month?
3. Write a fact on each feather, large enough for everyone to see from their seats.
4. Punch a whole at the top of each feather and connect them with a ring.
5. Make sure you have a sticker on 3 to 5  of the feathers.
6. When students see a feather with the turkey sticker, they yell "gobble, gobble".  Then they can answer.


Season/Month: Thanksgiving-November
Age/Grade: Primary
Groups: Small, Center, Paired
Materials: 6 cubes (1") Print the word TURKEY on each cube, one letter on each side

Throw all 6 cubes at once.
Spell words for points.
5 - rye 5 - yet 5 - key 10 - rut 10 - turk 25 - turkey
First person to __?__ points wins.


Season/Month: Thanksgiving-October
Age/Grade: Primary
Groups: Whole
Materials: Pilgrim Child (Copycat 1986 Nov/Dec)

1. Write on the board:
During this season of Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for __(1)___, __(2)__, and __(3)__. I am thankful for __(1)__ because ____________________. I am thankful for __(2)__ because __________________. I am very thankful for __(3)__ because ______________. I am especially thankful for __________ because __________.
2. Brainstorm what we are thankful for: parents, food, family, friends, animals, shelter, turkeys, people, cousins, being alive, our five senses...
3. Give examples of "because" additions (can have more than one) for the thankful items. The more discussion you have, the better end product you receive from the students.
4. Students copy the paragraph from the board, filling in their responses. Proofread, fix errors, write final copy on Thankful For Scroll (from Teacher's Friend).
5. Final copy is proofed by teacher for presentation, students color Pilgrim Child. You may need to discuss what colors were available during the Pilgrim's Time. I suggest using crayons, coloring very dark, and outlining.
6. Back scroll to construction paper.
7. Before you post in the hallway, color copy the items to put on your website if you wish.
8. When you take the papers down from the hallway, put them in the student's journal.


Season/Month: Thanksgiving-November
Age/Grade: Primary
Groups: Whole
Materials: Example of couplet poetry

Create a class Thanksgiving Poem by asking each student to contribute a rhyming couplet. Start with your own and then ask a volunteer to add another. Or send home, as homework, and then compile the couplets. When your class is finished, place your class Thankful Poem in the hallway, adding paper so others who feel inspired can add to it, or put it on your Website for all to enjoy. It can be a Class Book to be perused all year and then be added to the Journal/Memory Books to go home.

Clothes to wear
So I'm not bare

Horses to ride
With a friend at my side


Season/Month: Halloween-October
Age/Grade: Primary
Groups: Whole, Small, Center, Individual
Materials: book, white paper, Halloween Song
1. Choose an appropriate book about Trick or Treat to be read: Trick or Treat by Stan & Jan Berenstain.
2. After the story is read, pass out a white sheet of paper.
3. The children draw a large picture of themselves dressed up for Trick or Treating.
4. Make sure to remind them to put in the appropriate, spooky background, covering all the white unless it's needed (clouds).
5. As the students are adding the background you may play "Trick or Treating" Music.
6. Share the pictures.
7. This could easily lead into a writing activity.
8. Post pictures in the hallway or on your website.

 Hear song on UTUBE - Donald Duck 
(I have the students sing it much slower.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Season/Month: Halloween/October
Age/Grade: Primary
Groups: Whole, Small, Center, Individual
Materials: book, white paper, Halloween Music

1. Choose an appropriate book about ghosts to be read: Ghost Train by Stephen Wyllie
2. After the story is read, show how to draw a "hand ghost" on the board.
3. Pass out white paper. Have students place paper horizontally like a shoebox.
4. Draw "hand ghosts" . Add faces, clothing....
5. Add the environment/background for your ghost: graveyard, Halloween Evening...
6. Have Halloween Ghostly Music to listen to as you are completing your drawing.
7. Share ghostly pictures with the group.
8. This could easily lead into a writing activity.
9. Post in the hallway or on your webpage.
10.  Remember to add to the Journal/Memory Book.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Season/Month: Halloween-October
Age/Grade: Primary
Groups: Whole, Small, Center, Individual
Materials: book, picture of monster outline, Halloween Music

1. Choose an appropriate book about monsters to be read: A Monster Under My Bed by James Howe.
2. After the story is read, pass out the monster sheet or have the students draw a monster.
3. Have students follow direction given orally or read. You can make these as difficult or easy as needed.
~ Draw a mouth with # orange teeth.
~ Draw red claws at the ends of your monster arms.
~ Draw # blue eyes above the monster's mouth.
~ Draw green hair on your monster.
~ Draw # blue horns on the monster's head.
~ Think of a name and write it under your monster.
4. After the monsters are completed, add a background (environment) for the monster.
5. As students are adding the background you may play monster music: Monster Mash
6. Share the monsters, telling the name, all about it, where it lives, what it eats...
7. This could easily lead into a writing activity.
8. Post in the hallway or on your website.