Friday, August 26, 2011


Before we started the apples, I asked the students for adjectives that described good character traits of a person.  Be aware, the more traits written on the board and explained to the students, the better this project ends up.  Then, I handed out a lined paper and had the students give me one adjective that described each child in the room.  I encouraged them to really spend time thinking about each person before they chose a trait to describe them.  I collected these papers. Then, I took pre-cut apples and wrote 5 of the traits I had been given for each child.  I posted these on a bulletin board for Back-To-School Night for the parents to enjoy.  I placed a note near the board that explained that these traits listed for each child were thought of by their peers in our class.  When I took the board down, I put these in the Journal/Memory Books for the children to continue to enjoy all year.


This is a powerful concept that is great to do at the beginning of the year before you have any problems.  Make sure you assign the names to people so you do not get duplicates.  I didn't hang the pictures.  I put them in the Journal/Memory Books.  That way the students saw the reminder every time we had our Journals out to work in them or to add to them.  Try it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


America the Beautiful
Have you ever thought about where you live on this great planet of ours?  On which continent?  In what country?  In what state? In what city?
Do you know that in our country there is a huge bread basket?  A belt made of corn?  A mountain full of faces?  A very grand canyon?  Let's take a trip across this great country of ours to learn some interesting things about where we live! You will be fascinated by some of the sights and information you will discover about our 50 nifty 
United States.
Before beginning your tasks, read through the whole unit. Pay special attention to the evaluation section so you will know how you will be graded.
You will become familiar with the names and locations of the states by playing games on the Internet with a classmate.
You will become a member of the Annunciation Third Grade Department of Tourism for the United States. In order to promote tourism for our great country, you will learn about various states and choose three that you would like to sell.

On this site you'll practice identifying all fifty states. 

Explore the States

On this site you'll find lots of great information on all fifty states.  Click on More Stories for additional information.

U.S. States

This site is full of information about each state.

US States

Enchanted Learning

Fact Monster

Facts on the United States of America, state and city statistics, US history, US government

National Parks in America

Facts and information about all 50 states. There is also information about the size and population of each state, the date each state entered the union, and the state's capital, largest city, bird and flower. 
Products by State                                                                                                                                                                                
The Process
1. Get a State Folder from your teacher so you can keep your work safe and sound.
2. To begin learning the names and locations of the states, you and a partner will play Test Your Geography Knowledge. You might be amazed at how much you already know!
3. To record your progress, use the log in your state folder.  Each time you play this game you will see how much you've improved!  Play the game three times before you begin the unit.  Then, at the end of this unit you will return to this game to see how much you have learned.  Be sure to keep your log in your folder.  You will earn EXTRA CREDIT for all the states you can locate at the end of this project.  You may practice at home if you wish.
4.  Now you need to begin looking at the states in the regions shown below.  Look at the different regions.  Find the states in the region are interested in.  Find out as much as you can about the states that interest you. 
The regions and the states are as follows:

Great Plains
  • Colorado (CO)
  • Kansas (KS)
  • Montana (MT)
  • Nebraska (NE)
  • New Mexico (NM)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Oklahoma (OK)
  • South Dakota (SD)
  • Texas (TX)
  • Wyoming (WY)
Western Pacific
  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Hawaii (HI)
  • Idaho (ID)
  • Nevada (NV)
  • Oregon (OR)
  • Utah (UT)
  • Washington (WA)
New England/Mid Atlantic
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • Delaware (DE)
  • Maine (ME)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • Rhode Island (RI)
  • Vermont (VT)
  • Alabama (AL)
  • Arkansas (AR)
  • Florida (FL)
  • Georgia (GA)
  • Louisiana (LA)
  • Mississippi (MS)
  • North Carolina (NC)
  • South Carolina (SC)
  • Tennessee (TN)
  • Virginia (VA)
  • West Virginia (WV)

Great Lakes/North Central
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Indiana (IN)
  • Iowa (IA)
  • Kentucky (KY)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Minnesota (MN)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • Ohio (OH)
  • Wisconsin (WI)

5.  You are a member of the Third Grade Department of Tourism.  In order to promote tourism, you are to choose three states you would be interested in learning more about.  You will explore various Web sites to gather information about each state that interests you.
You may take notes or write down sites that you like.  You may visit these sites at home and show your parents what states you are interested in.                                                                                                      
You may wish to use the links listed above for research.  You may also use any reference materials in the classroom or school library to research the following information for each of your states.  Some of the information you should be gathering is listed below.  Pay particular attention to red notes by topic.  If there is any other topic about your state that you are interested in, you may also research that.  
6.  Once you have looked at our United States, choose three states you would like to promote this year.  Circle your FIRST CHOICE.  Hand it in to your teacher.  Your teacher will let you know which state you will be in charge of promoting this school year.

  • outline map of the state showing the location of the capital city-compass rose/boundaries of state
  • physical features-landforms
  • area
  • year of statehood
  • state bird-what eats
  • state flower
  • state flag
  • state animal-vertebrate or invertebrate
  • state tree-conifer or deciduous
  • state motto/song/nickname

  • nickname
  • chief agricultural products
  • chief manufacturing products
  • important activities
  • natural resources
  • national parks
  • historical landmarks
  • interesting places to visit
  • notable people
  • fun facts or other interesting information
7.  Play Test Your Geography Knowledge again with a partner. Keep recording your scores to see how much you have improved. Keep playing until you feel you know all of the states (or until your teacher tells you to stop).
When you are ready to test your stately knowledge, get a map  from your teacher, take it to your seat, put your name and number on it, and label each state. Remember to keep this in your folder, too.
Before turning in your state folder to your teacher, check to be sure you have included your log sheet, your labeled map, and any information you would like to keep for your project.


1 - Excellent
2 - Very Good
3 - Satisfactory
4 - Needs Improvement
5 - Unacceptable

    Individual Participation in the Group
·         Stayed on task
·         Followed directions
·         Used time and materials wisely
·         Knew where to go for help
·         Behaved appropriately and respectfully toward others
·         Resolved problems fairly and quickly
·         Applied technology appropriately
·         Folder information is neat, organized, and complete
·         Completed designated portion of task on time

      Knowledge of Names/Locations of the StatesEC points
5 - name and locate 46 to 50 states
4 - name and locate 41 to 45
3 - name and locate 36 to 40
2 - name and locate 31 to 35
1 - name and locate 30 or less  
Now that you've taken a trip across this great country of ours wouldn't you agree that these are truly 50 Nifty United States?
SS 1.2 Recognize major events that shaped the United States
SS 1.8 Use resources for historical information
SS 1.10 Gather, organize, and interpret information using a variety of media and technology
SS 2.3 Locate the 50 states
SS 2.4 Identify political maps: boundaries of state and country
SS 2.5 Recognize landforms on a map: rivers, lakes, and mountains
SS 2.14 Describe how patterns of culture vary geographically


Sunday, August 21, 2011


 Fantastic formatted Bulletin Board that can be used year after year.  The first year I did this project with my students, I used blown eggs.  That was fun, but a lot of work.  From then on, I gave the students an egg-shaped card stock to draw their picture on.  I supplied tiny movable eyes, pipe cleaner, and pom poms.  You can see from the pictures that there were quite a few "creative" eggs.  We extended the project by writing either poems or stories about our creatures.

Friday, August 19, 2011


As you learn about Moses, this project will help the students understand the timeline of the story.  The papers the students use to draw descriptive pictures are formatted with the following writing.
God helped Moses escape slavery by bringing down plagues.  One plague was _____________________.


This was a card sent to my class from another class.  The bottom part was the inside prose.  I think it would be a beautiful bulletin board for the beginning of the year.  Use dark blue burlap as the background.  On the balloons write the habits you want your students to practice this year in your class.  You could even start the board without balloons and add one a day the first week or two as you discuss habits you want your children to exhibit.  A fun thing you might do is get helium balloons.  They last about a week.  It would be cute as a 3-D bulletin board.
Good Habits:

1.  Enter classroom Quiet and Ready to Learn.
2.  Hand in Homework everyday.
3.  Use Inside Voices when you are conversing.
4.  Be Polite and Friendly to all your classmates.
5.  Do your Best Work at all times.
6.  Stay in your Seat when teacher is out of the room.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Take the opportunity to teach a little about colors.  Discuss warm and cool colors and then have students color one of these pages to demonstrate the concept.  I also took the opportunity to teach the rules of coloring: neat, cover all the space, one direction.


While you are studying the gift of the Holy Spirit, hand out the mirrors for the students to draw a picture of themselves doing something with the Holy Spirit's guidance.  Make sure to decorate the rim and the handle.  Remind the students of the coloring rules:  Neatly, One Direction, Cover All White.  I used these on the border that is on top of the chalkboards.  It looked very nice.  I wrote the name of the student on the handle with black sharpie.


This is a Thank You Card for the end-of-the-year.  It should be printed front to back.  This could be two ways.  One as a gift to the parents that helped you throughout the year, or as a final gift to your students.  If you send to your students, I would change the Offering Prayer to the Thanksgiving Prayer (see below).  Add a Sacred Heart of Jesus inside the card.  Explain to the students that the heart should be hung above the entry to their home or their bedroom. I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.


 During Lent we try to focus on Jesus at a deeper level.  One way is to ask the children how they can walk with Jesus on a daily basis.
Get foot prints.  I purchased a set from Instruction Fair.  The # IF9220 In His Steps.  They added color to the bulletin board.  Background is dark blue burlap bordered with Stained Glass Border.  Purchase a poster of the poem Footprints and put in the left lower corner.  Have student footprints making a path across the board toward a picture of Jesus or a cross.

Posters Footprints Sale |     


I made this into a poster, laminated it, and taught the basics of Faith from it.  I love the visualization of OUR PATH TO HEAVEN.


Help your students understand what certain people do in the Catholic Church.  Make sure they list the name of the people also.  This might be a good time to ask the priest, visit your class and tell about their vocation and what their job description is.


Saturday, August 13, 2011





Copy these letters on cardboard.  I used a variety of colors, but I think the art the children put on the other side is colorful enough without the added cardboard colors.  Put students in groups of 5.  Have them choose a letter. Give them the resources to find the answers.  Remind them to write neatly and to draw with lots of detail and to color in one direction.