Filling A Pail With Fun
Double-Duty! Writing Prompts and Bulletin Boards
I love this time of year. Standards have been taught, assessments are pretty much done, and I'm looking for some fun pre-summer things to plug in.
Students are anxiously waiting for summer vacation so why not cash in on that enthusiasm and use it as a writing prompt?
I like to incorporate writing with a bit of art to turn these lessons into "craftivities".
Students seem to enjoy them more, they turn out awesome results and I have an instant bulletin board or hallway decoration when things are starting to look a little sparce.
Make A Bucket List!
I had a bucket list when I was in college. It filled up an entire notebook.
Now that I'm "officially" a senior citizen at some restaurants (There are perks to getting old!) my bucket list is not quite that long.
I'm happy to report I've achieved just about everything I've wanted to accomplish in that notebook, and that's a wonderful feeling.
I now have mini-bucket "to-do" lists on a daily basis which triggered this idea.
These colorful sand pail buckets make an adorable bulletin board or hallway display, or can simply be sent home with your students.
If you're homeschooling they are perfect for a summer scrapbook page.
Run off my masters on a variety of brightly colored construction paper and give students a choice of colors. Make sure children choose a DIFFERENT color for their pail and shovel as it makes a nicer contrast and more colorful bulletin board.
Students CUT out their pails and write their name on the back of them. Children also cut out their shovel and write their name on that as well.
If you want to make this even more of a keepsake, add their school picture to the shovel as well. Cut two, 2-inch strips of complimentary-colored construction paper, and glue them together. Mine are 22 inches long.
Glue the ends to the back of the pail on either side, for a 3-D handle. I looped mine down so that it crossed over the written paper, and then I folded the right end down.
Have children brush on Elmer's school glue to the oval section of their pail and then sprinkle on play sand. Set the pails aside to dry.
While the pails are drying, students write their "bucket list" of all the things they want to do during the summer and then glue the list to the bottom of their sand pail.
Mount the pails on the bulletin board or wall with the shovels leaning against them. Use light brown paper as a background so that it looks like a beach or big sandbox.
Two or three paper seagulls suspended from fish line, flying overhead, complete the picture. The caption: Our Summer Bucket List!
You could expand this idea and have a "not fun" bucket list for another day of writing.
This would be a list of things students have to get done over the summer that they don't really want to do, like clean their rooms, do yard work, etc. For these buckets and shovels they would pick colors they don't like.
Click on the link to view/download Summer Fun Writing Prompts
Scroll down for article #2 Summer Writing Prompt Having A Ball This Summer...
A little bit different twist to the "Bucket List" activity in the first article, is to use a beach ball instead of a sand pail. Run off my master and have students fill in the writing prompt: "I'm going to have a ball this summer doing..."
Children have the option of writing their list on the balls and then coloring them, or cutting out brightly colored pieces of construction paper and gluing them to the beach ball like a puzzle and then writing on them.
The easiest way for them to do this, is to give them two copies of the white beach ball and three 5x7 sheets of 3 different colors of construction paper of their choice.
One of the white beach balls will be their template, the other one they will lay on top of a piece of construction paper and cut out the desired colored piece and then glue it to the white template.
After they have glued all of their pieces down, they write their prompt: "I'm going to have a ball..." and then cut out their beach ball. Students write their name in a pretty colored marker around the small circle on the ball.
Put royal blue paper on your bulletin board, gently scrunch up some light blue tissue paper and arrange it in long rows to look like waves and then staple it across the board.
Tuck the beach balls in and on top of the waves. Purchase 3 beach balls at The Dollar store, blow them up and suspend them with fish line from the ceiling.
Write: Having A / Ball This / Summer! on 3 different index cards. Use a thick black magic marker. Put scotch tape on the back of the index cards and stick them to the beach balls.
If the balls spin around so that you can't read them, make another set of cards for the backs of the balls.
If you want to do the pail as well as the beach ball, then have the beach ball be about friends they are going to do things with.
To add to the fun, and to get some gross motor and verbal acuity activities in as well, toss around a real beach ball.
The student who catches it shares what they will do this summer. When they catch the ball have students write their name on it with permanent marker.
After everyone has had a turn, pull a student's name out of a basket of names. That student wins the beach ball!
Click on the link to view/download Summer Fun Writing Packet
Scroll down for yet another summer writing prompt: Having A Whale Of A Good Time...