1-2-3 Come Do Some Animal-Themed Alphabet Activities With Me
Summer's a great time to visit the zoo. It was also my favorite field trip with my first graders. With fond memories of special animals and outings, I decided to design some animal-themed alphabet activities.
Woo hoo! After an entire week of "playing", I just finished my "Wild About the Alphabet" packet. Animals are a hot-button for children, so I think these will grab their attention and keep them focused.
Whether assessing to see where your kiddos are at for the beginning of the school year, or learning and practicing upper and lowercase letters throughout the year, I think you'll find some unique and useful activities here.
The packet includes the following:
An ABC Emergent Reader: “My Animal Alphabet Booklet” (Black & white plus color copies). Students read, write, trace & color.
ABC Cards: There are 5 different sets in various sizes for upper and lowercase letters; in color plus black and white, with blank templates to program with whatever.
Word Cards: Since part of learning the alphabet, is associating the letters with sounds and words, I've also included 26, mini-animal word cards, that match the emergent reader booklet, plus 26 more, with additional animals that include those on the Dolch noun list.
8 Games: "Mischievous Monkeys" a wall-display game; "Monkey Business" a hidden-letter game; "I Spy!" plus "Feed the Alpha-gator and Lion" game.
Along with a 4-page tip list to explain the card games: Memory Match, I Have; Who Has?, Kaboom, Speed and What's Missing.
2 Center/Station Activities: Animal-print, strip puzzles for the uppercase letters, plus a Clothespin Clip game.
23 Worksheets for both upper and lowercase letters. "Monkey Mess", "Zooey Zoo", and "Bonkers Barnyard" to name a few, which include colorful answer keys.
I've included "trace & writes", "missing letters", matching, word finds, a Venn diagram, scrambled words, alphabetical order, a poem, Elkonin boxes, plus "cut & glue".
3 Craftivities: Gg Is For Giraffe Letter Slider, which can also be used as a fun way to whole-group assess.
Animal-Print Initials, (Make extra strips out of the animal-print paper:snake, leopard, zebra, giraffe, alligator & tiger used for the puzzle center.)
Children create their first initial to make a personal letter puzzle, or glue the strips down.
For that finishing touch, add their school photo and make a "Wild About Kids, Learning & Letters" bulletin board.
"Feed the Animal" Kleenex-box craft. I've included black and white templates for both the lion & alpha-gator.
As well as the B&W alphabet cards, (snack crackers), so that children can make their own "Hungry for the Alphabet" game, for a fun way to practice at home.
10 Posters: Color, plus black & white. Use the B&W ones, as worksheets.
There are also 26-large, uppercase, animal-print letter posters, to use in your puzzle center for little ones to lay the strips on. These also make fun flashcards or anchor charts as well.
6 Assessments with recording sheets, so you can assess: uppercase, lowercase, sounds, &letter formation.
I've also included a quick & easy "note home to parents", with assessment results, which identifies letter difficulties, and enlists their assistance.
3 Bookmarks: Color, plus black & white. Use as a reference, reward or mini assessment tool.
2 Certificates of Praise: Black & white, plus color for upper & lowercase letters.
As always, there are also directions, samples and photographs.
You can see, I've packed in a little bit of everything you need to help make learning the alphabet less tedious and more fun.
This big boy is a whopping 200-pages long and just $7.95 in my TpT store. I truly enjoyed every minute of the zillion hours of work that went into it. Click on the link to pop on over.
I haven't forgotten the FREEBIES either. You can get a color copy of the Animal Alphabet emergent reader, plus the matching poster, by clicking on the link.
Can't visit a zoo? I've also put together another FREEBIE: A Virtual Zoo Field Trip packet, click on the link to grab a copy and let the "ed-ventures" begin.
Well that's it for today. Doing the happy dance that I finally finished this whopper, and can concentrate on knocking off some much smaller back-to-school projects. Wishing you a carefree day.
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." -Anatole France
1-2-3 Come Do An Alphabet Craftivity With Me
Woo hoo for me; woo hoo for you! As some of you know, I just opened a shop on TpT May 6th We've reached our 1st "milestone" of 100 followers. In celebration of that, here's a special little FREEBIE great for anytime, but especially nice for back-to-school.
So that I could get a handle on where my new kiddos were at, I always liked to do some fun assessing the first week of school.
Testing and assessing students can be tedious and overwhelming for young children, as well as time consuming for teachers. Keeping that in mind, I designed Alpha Bird.
Precut "Alfie's" body parts from a variety of colors of construction paper. Students choose the pattern pieces that they want, and glue them to their paper plate bird body, which is simply a folded paper plate.
To expedite things, I'd fold and staple them shut ahead of time, leaving the bottom middle open so that students can insert the birds "legs". For extra pizzazz, I added several feathers for a tail. You can buy a bag at The Dollar Store.
Students cut and glue the alphabet strips to make Alfie's legs. When everyone has completed their alpha bird, play "I Spy" by calling out a letter. Because the legs are long, and to increase upper body strength, have children lie on their tummies.
Students find and trace both the upper and lowercase letters. When they have done so, children raise their hand, so that you know that everyone is done.
With just a glance, you can see who is struggling, either trying to find a letter, tracing the wrong one, or peeking at others to see what they're doing.
Jot yourself a note, so that you can work with these children later. Call on a child to choose the next letter. Play 'til all of the letters have been traced.
Alfie offers a simple, quick and interesting way to whole group assess, while providing a nice review of upper and lowercase letters.
The birds also make a stunning hallway wall border. Simply tie a yarn loop at the top and suspend from the ceiling. Caption: "We know our letters and that's something to TWEET about!"
If you don't want to do this craftivity with your students, but like the different assessment idea, simply make your own alpha bird, hang him on a wall, and use Alfie to individually assess, in a non-threatening fun way. Click on the link to grab a copy of this fun FREEBIE: Alfie the Alpha Bird.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by, and a very special thank you to all of my loyal followers! Wishing you a warm and wonderful summer.
"If plan B doesn't work, don't give up; the alphabet has 25 more letters!" -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Letter Tile Activities With Me
If you're a blog hopper or Pinterest pinner, then you've probably seen all sorts of wonderfully creative activities for the alphabet or word work that involve letter tiles.
Some teachers and homeschoolers use magnetic ones on cookie sheets, others order colorful plastic alphabet squares from a company, or use the Scrabble tiles from a garage sale find. Although many educators have their kiddos cutting and gluing letters to make words, I didn't find any templates to do this with.
With that in mind, I designed a packet that includes both upper and lowercase letter tiles in 4 different sizes. From one set on a page, to 8 sets. Simply print, laminate and trim to use in centers and for games.
Run off extra sets for students to use for Daily 5 or other word work activities, where they cut and glue letters to make words. The packet includes a 4-page tip list, filled with ideas and games to use the letter tiles for.
Make an uncut laminated copy of the large set to use as an assessment tool. Individually, ask a student to point to a letter or cover it with a block or other manipulative. Click on the link to view/download the Upper and Lowercase Letter Tile packet.
Besides this newest FREEBIE, since it's Thursday, I also wanted to feature something for TBT (Throw Back Thursday).
As far as cutting and gluing letters to make words go, one of my most popular downloads is this word-work worksheet. It's simple and fun and fits easily into Daily 5. Students write and stamp the word, plus use the letters included in the packet, to cut and glue a word together.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for visiting. A soft and gentle rain is falling. My office window's open and the fresh air smells wonderful. I find the sound of rain very soothing, so I'm just going to kick back and relax, while I cut, paste and play today. Wishing you a carefree day.
"...I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.” -Mark Haddon
1-2-3 Come Read and Write the Room With Me
This week has been especially busy, so I'm not quite done with a Very Hungry Caterpillar activity that I've been working on for days...so I wanted to check some of the most popular downloads and feature one on the blog today.
I came up with my Read and Write the Room packet. You can plug in this activity anytime of year, or make it part of your Daily 5 word work activities. There's nothing like passing out a clipboard and telling your kiddos that they should pretend to be ABC De-tectives, to grab their interest, and get them excited.
With that in mind, I designed some "Read and Write the Room" worksheets. You can simply make copies of the template you like best and have students fill them out, sending them home when they finish, or you can have them glue them in a notebook. (I stock up at the beginning of the year when all of the supply stores sell them as loss-leaders ranging from 10-15 cents!)
By having students glue the worksheets to a page in their Read and Write the Room Journal, you'll have an easy way to show student progress during parent teacher conferences, and a nice keepsake for the end of the year.
Since I'm blogging about this in April, use these activities as a wonderful review that helps reinforce what your kiddos have learned thus far. I found that I constantly needed to do that to make sure they were retaining things as we moved along.
I also needed to add some zip to their "word work" activities to keep that interesting for them. This is great for that, as it's easy to implement, they can work on things independently and at their own pace, and they get the wiggles out, by roaming the room reading and writing!
The first photo is one journal option, if you like the idea of running off separate worksheets. I have two kinds available. One has a traceable letter box with an empty one for children to write the upper and lowercase letter in.
The other is an "I spy" version and has students draw something that they see that begins with that letter. You can pick the style you like best or mix things up to add more interest and variety.
Another option is seen in the second photo. Here you conserve paper and the time it takes to run things off. Run off the "Read and Write the Room!" template, trim and glue to the inside cover.
Students use the “master” to write their own page for a new letter each week, or each day, depending on how long you want to stretch this activity out for.
After students have completed the alphabet, you can still continue this activity by using the "roam the room" alphabet cards.
Toss them in a container and have students pick one. That will be the letter they "roam the room" looking for. You can use the blank template as a worksheet for them to fill in whatever.
As with all of my other alphabet cards, you can use them for games, flashcards, sequencing etc. A tip list is included to give you some ideas and includes the "Kaboom!" game.
I've also included a simple ABC De-tective alphabet worksheet, where students roam the room, trying to find something that begins with each letter of the alphabet.
This is a wonderful activity for your early finishers, or something quick and easy when you need a fun time-filler.
There are also several choices for the cover of the notebook journals. Choose one, run off, trim and glue to the cover of your notebooks. You could also have students design their own cover.
Click on the link to view/download the Read and Write the Room Packet. Thanks for visiting today.
I'm so excited that spring has finally (sort of) arrived here in Michigan. The birds are chirping, and the rain has managed to wash away all of that dirty lingering snow.
I'm headed out the door to rejuvenate my spirit with some fresh air and sunshine. Wishing you a blissful day.
"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush." -Doug Larson
1-2-3 Come Feed The Very Hungry Caterpillar With Me
Review Eric Carle's story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by feeding him a variety of "food" story cards and a whole lot more, with this fun-filled caterpillar packet.
Use my template to make this cute caterpillar for a whole-group review game, or have students color the pattern and make their own.
I made mine out of construction paper. You can run the master off on red construction paper and students can cut eyes out of yellow and green scraps if you want to make them that way.
Cut a hole for the mouth, Scotch tape a small Baggie to the back and you’re all set to feed this hungry boy all sorts of traceable cards.
The packet includes traceable number cards from 1-30, skip counted numbers: 2’s, 3’s, 5’s and 10’s, upper and lowercase letters, all 14 adjectives used in the book, the days of the week, the months in the year, + covers so that students can make Itty Bitty booklets to match all of the categories!
There's also cards for everything that the caterpillar ate in full color as well as in black line, so students can color their own little "My Itty Bitty Very Hungry Caterpillar" booklet, which includes the rest of the story telling cards as well.
Review more concepts by using the word cards from my other free packets, such as the Dolch words, CVC words, Shape words, Number words or Color words.
Decide which cards you want your students to work on and run those off. Make all the sets for yourself, so that you can play “Flash Review” to nail all of those standards.
Besides "feeding" the caterpillar, students can also play Memory Match or “I Have, Who Has?” games.
I’ve also included several "What’s Missing?" worksheets for upper and lowercase letters, as well as all of the skip counted numbers + a blank template so you can program your own worksheets with whatever.
Students can also color a pattern on their caterpillar or play the "Caterpillar Creeps" dice game reviewing the life cycle of a butterfly. I’ve included traceable life cycle cards as well.
Click on the link to view/download this 50-page fun-filled packet: Very Hungry Caterpillar Activities.
If you're looking for more caterpillar and butterfly FREEBIES, click on the link to pop on over to that section of my blog. I also have an entire pin board for The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and another for butterflies, with lots of creative ideas, cute crafts and other other FREE activities.
Thanks for visiting. It's time for this caterpillar to morph into a butterfly. It's a better way to flit through the day getting things done, rather than be a slow slug-a-bug; certainly no time for a nap in a chrysalis or anywhere else.
Sigh....So much to do with so little time to get it all done. I can't believe Easter's this weekend.
"The beautiful spring came; and when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also." -Harriet Ann Jacobs
1-2-3 Come Practice, Review and Assess With a Bunny and Me
Spring has sprung and it's time to review some of those Common Core Standards you've been teaching all year.
Sigh.... as we all know, just because our little ones passed an assessment months ago, if we didn't continue to practice it throughout the year, sadly, a few of them did not retain that information.
With that in mind, I designed the very versatile "I'm All Ears" game packet that will make reviewing a variety of standards quick, easy and fun.
I don't know about your kiddos, but I've found that if I make a game for anything, I've grabbed my Y5's attention and can easily have them focused for a nice chunk of time.
Use the large and small bunny for a center activity, assessment, or game. Run off the large and small bunny heads on ivory construction paper; laminate and trim.
Program large and small craft sticks with whatever you'd like to reinforce. Keep each set in their own Baggie.
I've included a list of synonyms/antonyms and a list of contractions so you can easily program the bunny ears with words that fit your age group.
Here are some ideas:
As you can see the possibilities are endless! I hope this makes those end of the year reviews a bit more fun and less tedious. Click on the link for the "I'm All Ears" For Common Core Bunny Game Packet
Thanks for visiting. It's hard to believe that the school year is almost at an end. Aprill and May months always seemed to simply fly, as there was so much to cram into the limited time I had left.
My timer's ringing, so I'd better check the "No Peek Chicken". It's one of my favorite recipes and smells delicious. Wishing you a carefree day.
"Sweet April showers do spring May flowers!" -Thomas Tusser
1-2-3 Come Chew On Some Common Core With the Very Hungry Caterpillar and Me
Since so many people read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, I wanted to use Eric Carle's cute little critter as a spring board to studying a variety of Common Core Standards.
I created the caterpillar template and made a list of all sorts of ways I could use it, then set about to design the details. You can choose which one you want your students to do, or give them a choice.
Teachers could also make up their own set and laminate to use as spring anchor charts. Make an extra set to use for independent sequencing centers or to play games with. Don't glue the body-segment circles together, and you could also use them to independently or whole group assess the various standards.
In The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats the Alphabet, students trace and write upper and lowercase letters. I've also included a set where a bit of the butterfly's life cycle is also included with the letters.
For example, for the letter Zz, I added: Zzzzzz sleeping in a chrysalis, and then included a butterfly pattern with the letters all over her wings to be cut and glued on the last section.
I glued just the thorax portion to the last "body" circle and bent the wings up so that the butterfly is 3D and looks like she's flying.
Older students could also make a list of a food the caterpillar could eat that begins with that letter. You may want to read Lois Ehlert's book Eating the Alphabet (Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z) to give students some ideas. Click on the link to view/download The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats the Alphabet packet.
If you'd like to review just the life cycle of a butterfly, you'll want to take a look at The Life Cycle Of The Very Hungry Caterpillar packet. Students trace and write the words, then color, cut and glue the pictures.
If you look closely, you'll see that I glued down just the thorax with this butterfly too, so it looks 3 dimensional, like the larger one above. Click on the link to view/download it.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats a Rainbow, reinforces colors as well as the days of the week. Before hand, brainstorm what kinds of things the caterpillar could eat that are the various colors. Write these words on the board to help children with spelling.
Students trace and write the color words and complete the sentence with something the caterpillar ate that was that color. Adding end punctuation reviews another standard.
Children then draw and color a picture. I've included my sample so that you can quickly make one to share with your students. Click on the link to view/download The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats a Rainbow packet.
You may also want to read one of the following books for some great examples of rainbow-colorful food: I Eat A Rainbow, by Bobbie Kalman; Can You Eat a Rainbow? by Anastasia Suen; and/or I Can Eat A Rainbow, by Annabel Karmel.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats Some Numbers includes counting from zero to ten, where students trace and write the numbers as well as the number words. I've included a butterfly pattern to glue to the last section if you want.
There are also caterpillar "body" circles for skip counting by 2s 3s, 5s, and 10s. If you are practicing counting backwards from 10 to 0, simply have children put the caterpillar in reverse order.
In all of the packets there are patterns for the caterpillar's head if you want it to be made out of construction paper, as well as a pattern that students can color, like the "Skip count by 10s" caterpillar in the photo.
Since I have many requests for shape craftivities, particulary 3D shapes, I thought I'd make The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats Some Shapes.
This is the largest packet, as I've included a caterpillar that reviews 2D shapes, as well as the days of the week. For this caterpillar, students trace and write the shape words, as well as draw the shapes.
I've included a butterfly pattern with the various shapes sprinkled on the wings, if you'd like to include that on the last "body" section. For a cool 3D effect, fold the wings up and glue only the thorax portion down.
Another caterpillar, is a cut-and-glue the 2D shapes on the "body" circles. Besides the standard 2D shapes, you can also choose to include the hexagon, pentagon, and octagon, and/or the pattern block shapes: rhombus and trapezoid.
There's also a separate caterpillar that simply "eats" all of the 3D shapes. As with the above activity, students cut and glue the 3D shapes to the "body" circles. Click on the link to view/download The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats Some Shapes.
Whew! That's a lot of Very Hungry Caterpillar options! I hope they help your kiddo-caterpillars blossom into smart little butterlies!
To take a look at all the butterfly-caterpillar FREEBIES on my site, click on the link. I also have a plethora of more free butterfly & caterpillar activities, crafts, snacks & ideas on my pinteresting PIN boards.
Thanks for visiting. The sun has actually ventured out today, so I'm going to bask in it for as long as I can tolerate the wind and 25 degree temperature. Wishing you a stress-free day.
1-2-3 Come Do Some Common Core Kite-Themed Activities With Me
I thought other teachers might like to toss in a few kite-themed lessons, during this windy month as well, so I designed "Can Do Common Core Kites." The packet includes 14 different worksheets.
There are full-page patterns, so you can easily demonstrate what you want your kiddos to do, by making a sample.
To conserve paper, I've also included 2-on-a-page templates.
Pick and choose what's appropriate for your students.
If you're studying all of these standards, to save time, run off all of the double-page worksheets, trim on a paper cutter and collate into a mini Flying High With Common Core workbook. Use the "I Spy" a letter worksheet as your cover.
I Spy games are a quick, easy and fun way to whole group assess. Simply call out a letter. Children find and circle it then raise their hand. You can see at a glance who is having difficulty.
Once done with the game, assign however many worksheets you want your students to do that day. I used this type of activity for my morning "table top" routine.
Here are what the worksheets practice:
Click on the link to view/download the Can Do Common Core Kite Worksheets.
Thanks for visiting. I caught the flu bug last week, and if you've been there, you know how difficult it is to shake. It feels good to finally be among the "living" so it's time for some fresh air.
Since spring is "officially" here, it would be nice if Mother Nature got the message and the temp would get above 40. I'm so in need of some soothing sunshine. (Anybody relate?) Wishing you a healthy and happy day.
"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn." -Hal Borland
1-2-3 Come Do Another Cat in the Hat Activity With Me
Just when I thought I was done designing Seuss "stuff" 'til next year, I'm back at it. (Part of my "obseuss-ion" with this author?) Actually, it's all Paula's fault. (I say this with a big smile on my face, as I LOVE helping others.)
She's from Florida and asked if I had any March-themed activities to help practice alphabetizing. She's working on that with her kinders, who are quite bored with the standard.
Since they were already "not interested", I certainly didn't want to make another "same-old" worksheet.
What could I design that would be a hands-on kind of game that they'd find interesting?
One thing led to another and the result was The Cat in the Classmate Hat packet.
Paula LOVED it! I hope you can use it too. There are two main alphabetizing activities.
The large cat hat can be used as a game, independent center or whole group activity.
Print the stripe template off on red and white construction paper, so that you have enough stripes for however many students you have. Laminate the paper and then trim.
Make an alphabetical list of your students' names, so that when you pass out a strip to each child it will be the appropriate color.
Then later, when you arrange their names in alphabetical order, they will show the correct ABAB color pattern like Seuss's hat.
Children write their name on the strip. For extra pizzazz, have them glue their photo next to their name. Collect the strips and keep them in a Ziplock Baggie.
To play as a whole group game, or independent center, children arrange their classmates' names in alphabetical order on a brim of their choice: "1-2-3 Come ABC with me!" , "__________'s students really stack up!", "Hats off to wonderful word work! We know how to alphabetize.", and "The alphabet begins with ABC. Numbers begin with 1-2-3. Music begins with do-re-mi and friendship begins with you and me."
You can demonstrate what you want children to do, by first playing this as a whole group activity, explaining rules for alphabetizing along the way.
I've included a recording sheet if your students choose to take the "Speed" challenge, to see who can assemble the hat in correct alphabetical order the quickest.
Make an extra set to hang up as a bulletin board or hallway wall display. There are 9 "brim" options for you to choose from.
The packet also includes a mini cat hat activity for your students, along with a worksheet to help them alphabetize their classmates' names.
They can choose to put their hat on a cat template, a photo of themselves, or pick a head pattern and draw a face on it.
There are 9 faceless head templates they can pick from. Children color, trim and glue their hat on top.
These completed projects also make an adorable bulletin board. Click on the link for the Cat in the Classmate Hat packet.
Thanks for visiting. As usual, my day is flying by me. I have got to put my adult hat on, and get to the grocery store, so I can wear my chef hat and dream something up for dinner.
It's dreary and cold, and I'd much rather snuggle in and play.... Wishing you a wonderful week.
"Today was good; today was fun; tomorrow is another one!" -Dr. Seuss
This packet is extremely versatile. You can do these as a whole group activity, as an independent center, for a bulletin board, for a class-made book (each student contributes a letter) or have each child do all of the letter booklets and keep them in a "portfolio" file folder.