1-2-3 Come Make A Haunted House Craftivity With Me
Flick off the lights to set the mood, then all you have to do is quietly & slowly say the words, “Haunted House” , and you will have everyone's attention.
No matter what grade I taught, I loved going for that “Gotcha!” moment, to get people excited about writing.
I truly believe that students will be enthusiastic about “getting down to the business of writing”, if you simply give them something interesting and fun to write about.
It’s that simple. Find their “hot button”. If your students are like mine, then a haunted house, is that catalyst in motivating them to WANT to write. Woo Hoo!
With that in mind, I set to work to design two crafty packets involving a haunted house.
First up, 6 writing prompt craftivities for the “Haunted House” packet.
They are all different enough, so that you can easily do several; one in class, one as a fun homework assignment, one for extra credit, a sub tub, or for early finishers etc.
You could also give students a choice.
You may be surprised that they want to do them all.
Student can choose which they want to write about, or you can make this a two-part assignment.
Kiddos can write the ARE portion on one day, and finish up the HAVE prompt the next day.
You could also do one in class, and do the other as homework.
Completed projects turn out "terror-rific"!
I think it's very important to not overwhelm beginning writers.
For example, asking students to write a "spooky story" can be a bit daunting for even a seasoned writer.
To experience this, put yourself in the assignment. Would you want to write an entire story, or would you be more excited to develop a list of things that a haunted house has?
Because it's a smaller chunk of writing, and children can draw from experience, they know the "answers" and feel empowered; so they can get right down to writing; and often very excited to do so!
With that in mind, all of the activities in both packets are "bite size".
Because it's simple yet thought provoking, I think your students will also enjoy "If a haunted house could talk, what might it say?"
There are 5 diffferent "speech bubbles" to add variety to your display, as well as several posters you can use to introduce the lesson, then sprinkle on your bulletin board.
Besides the different posters to help you introduce the lesson, as well as several more to enhance your various displays, I've also included spiderwebbed letters that spell LOOK!
They are 4 1/2 inches & come in 3 styles. (Oh the possibilities...)
I substituted them for the O letters in LOOK.
To expand the lesson, and practice yet another standard, I’ve also included a whole-group graphing extension in both packets.
Next up is the "Trick or Treating at a Haunted House" packet.
To get more bang for my “time” buck, I like to cover a variety of standards with one activity.
“Trick or Treating at a Haunted House”is not only a super-fun writing prompt craftivity, but it also reinforces the 5 senses, and the importance of using them to enhance writing.
Students are trick or treating and they visit a haunted house.
What do they see, hear, feel, taste & smell?
After writing their rough draft, then editing, they fill out a rubric checklist, then write their final draft on the writing prompt worksheet. (I've included RUBRICS in both packets.)
There are 4 different haunted houses for students to choose from, with a TOP & BOTTOM pattern for each. as the 5 senses writing prompt is glued to the center.
There's also a “5 Senses” poster, plus one that defines “Adjectives”.
Use them to introduce your lesson, then add them to your display.
Toss some “cobwebs” in each corner, and you have a “WOW!” bulletin board, sure to get lots of compliments.
As you can see by my samples, "answers" can be a simple sentence for younger students, as well as a more in-depth use of descriptive word choice for older students.
I've also included a "side-by-side" photo of a sample that's very simple, then another that was worked on.
I always try to make time for students to share their work with their classmates, so we popcorn around the room and everyone shares one of their "5 senses sentences" before displaying them in the hallway.
A child's handprints become the "fire" at the top.
I've included a "We promise" pledge poster for children to sign, which helps make students accountable for not playing with fire.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for dropping in.
Autumn is in it's full splendor here in Michigan, so even though it's rather chilly today, I want to grab some fresh air.
Wishing you a fun-filled day.
“I don't know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids!" -Robert Brault
1-2-3 Do An Awesome Autumn Activity With Me!
Because my Y5's needed to strengthen their finger muscles, I tried to think of interesting and fun ways to help them do that. Peeling and sharpening crayons, and then pinching clumps of shavings and sprinkling them on the print of a tree, provided excellent practice; the completed projects looked truly outstanding!
I'd introduce autumn with a variety of books. After reading a few, we'd have a discussion about the various colors that leaves turn, and why they do so, (chlorophyll was a brand new vocabulary word for all of them).
They'd transition to some table top activities, and while they were busy, I called students up individually to make their creation with me or a room helper. Students could also be peeling their old crayons at this time as well.
I've included 7 different trees with bare branches for you to choose from, or run off a selection on white construction paper and give children a choice.
Children can add more pizzazz to their picture by coloring their tree with a brown crayon. This should be done AFTER you have "melted" the leaves on, or the trunk will also melt.
Set this activity up as a center, and call children to the table to shave the red, orange, yellow, brown and green (peeled) crayons with a crayon sharpener.
They made their piles on 5 small paper plates and then pinched a few shavings from each color-pile and sprinkled them onto their tree branches.
Gently brush any stray crayon shavings onto the tree if they happen to fall elsewhere. As my students "sprinkled" I'd ask them why the leaves turned color? I was looking for "Because the green leaves lose their chlorophyll."
The teacher or helper gently puts a sheet of wax paper over their tree and presses a warm iron onto the paper.
If you slowly press the iron in an arched motion, the colors will run together to create more shades and you'll have a thicker looking tree. If you just press and then lift, the colors won't run as much and this creates a different affect. When you are satisfied with the way the "melting" looks, carefully peel the wax paper off.
My kiddo’s always oohed and ahhed over their beautiful autumn tree. For extra pop, mount the fall trees on black construction paper. They make a lovely bulletin board or hallway display. You can also punch a hole in the top, add a yarn loop and hang back-to-back from the ceiling. Click on the link to view/download the Autumn Tree Crayon Melts.
Thanks for visiting today. I design daily and try to blog about it, so I hope you can stop by tomorrow to see the latest FREEBIES hot off the press. Feel free to PIN away. If you'd like to take a peek at all of the other educational FREEBIES that I post, click on the big heart to the right of the blog.
"A lot of very successful people are risk-takers. Unless you're willing to do that--to have a go--fail miserably, and have another go--success won't happen." -Phillip Adams
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