1-2-3 Come Do Some Christmas Writing With Me
I truly believe that if you give an interesting writing prompt to students, or toss in a bit of craftiness, or make it a bit like a game, you'll grab their attention and they'll want to get down to the business of writing.
With these things in mind, I designed 4, rather creative, writing prompt packets for December. First up is my "Spin a Winter Story Story" wheel.
These 14 story wheels are easy-peasy for you, as you don't have to constantly think up seasonal writing prompts, and highly motivational for your kiddos.
My students imaginations kick into high gear, creating some really awesome work.
So that you can use them every year, simply print, laminate, trim and attach a paperclip with a brass brad.
Children choose one, or several, of the 14-winter story wheels, then spin 3 to 5 times.
They incorporate those items into a short story or paragraph on the worksheet.
For more writing practice, I've included a "Spin a sentence" worksheet, as well as one where students spin 7 times, give those pictures a one-word name/description and then alphabetize those words on the worksheet.
Next up is "How to Dress an Elf", where children practice giving directions. My students LOVE the crafty aspect of this writing prompt; completed projects make a super-cute bulletin board too.
Encourage students to use transitions, ordinal numbers + adjectives when they explain how their elf gets dressed.
I’ve also included a set of transitional words on mini cards.
For that finishing touch, we used opalescent white glitter, flat-backed jewels and pom poms to add a bit of pizzazz to our completed “elves”.
If your students enjoy The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, they're sure to get excited about this next creative writing activity.
Diary of a Wimpy Elf includes templates to make a “top secret” file-folder diary, a variety of diary pages, clip art badges to decorate their diary cover with, plus a selection of incentive “stickers” that they can earn.
I’ve also included 30 writing prompt ideas to jump start your students' minds.
Finally, "Stuff It!" is a personal favorite and literally stuffed with lots of Common Core.
For the writing prompt portion of "Stuff It", students gather in groups of 3-4 and exchange their decorated paper stocking with each other.
Everyone in the group "stuffs" a Christmas compliment into their classmate's stocking, by writing something nice about that person. Encourage the use of adjectives.
These completed projects also make a nice, self-esteem building, December bulletin board, which is particularly appropriate if your school does the "Bucket Filling" program.
The other writing prompt option, is for students to "stuff" their stocking with a list of things they'd like to find in their stocking, if money was no object, or you could also write a realistic one.
Along with the writing prompts, students can also stuff their stocking with words that begin and end with the ST blend.
I've included an alphabetical list of 92 words that begin with st, as well as a list of 64 words that end with the st blend, plus matching mini-word cards.
There's also a set of 6 worksheets that are played as timed games, as well as an "I Spy a Shape" whole-group assessment game, plus a "Shapes on a Roll" dice game.
Today's featured FREEBIE is A Letter to Santa with a twist.
Instead of children asking Santa for something they want, they write on behalf of someone special to them, that they think deserves a present.
Introduce the activity to older students with "If there really was a Santa, and he really could bring a special gift..."
I've included my sample that you can share to help explain what you want your kiddos to do. Completed projects make a sweet "Christmas is Caring" bulletin board too.
Well that's it for today. My feet have hit the floor running! I have lots more shopping to do, and our tree's still not up!
Wishing you a day filled with energy, and lots of peaceful moments to breathe in the joy of Christmas preparations.
"May peace be your gift at Christmas, and all the year through." -Unknown
1-2-3- Come Do Some Elf Activities With Me
Since the story Elf on a Shelf continues to be very popular, I wanted to make a few new elf-themed activities.
I think you'll really enjoy how many skills & standards you can cover with this cute Little Elf emergent reader packet!
The book incorporates 34 Dolch sight words, rhyme, end punctuation (period, question mark & exclamation point), descriptive writing, use of adjectives, plus the five senses.
To spice things up with a little math, I’ve also included 5 graphing extensions as well as...
An interesting and super-fun rhyming activity that matches the 5 pairs of words that rhyme in the story. I’ve included answer keys.
This can be done independently on the worksheet provided, or students can work in teams.
As another option, do a different set of words orally, by having students stand up.
You start the game by saying the word go. (I chose this word for the oral competition, because I found 135 words that rhyme with it.)
The first student gives a word; you write it on the board so there are no repeats.
If a child can’t think of a word, they’re out.
Play continues ’til there are no words left, or whoever is left can’t think of another word.
There's a teacher's edition in full color, as well as black line masters, with 2, as well as 4 pages, on a one-page template.
To further reinforce the 5 senses, I've also included boy & girl elves to color and label.
There's also a mini "cut & glue" similar version. It's an Itty Bitty booklet where children read, add end punctuation, circle the capital letters, underline the adjectives, trace & write the 5 senses words; then color, cut and glue the matching picture.
Click on the link to zip on over to my TpT shop, where the 40-page, Little Elf packet is a dollar off for a limited time.
The featured FREEBIE today is the Santa's List packet. Students write why they think that they should be on Santa's "nice" list.
After students share their page, collect, collate, add the cover and make into a class book.
Includes a Santa's List poster to use as a good-behavior motivator, as well as a template for students to write a note to their Elf on a Shelf or to Santa. These make fun Daily 5 writing activities.
The elf is watching and reporting back to Santa. Students write why they think that they should be on Santa's "nice" list. After students share their page, collect, collate, add the cover and make into a class book.
Includes a Santa's List poster to use as a good-behavior motivator, as well as a template for students to write a note to their Elf on a Shelf or to Santa. These make fun Daily 5 writing activities.- See more at: http://teachwithme.com/downloads/item/4029-christmas-elf-on-a-shelf-activities#sthash.pWWnOhjJ.dpuf
Well that's it for today. My brain is on overdrive, brimming with all sorts of things I want to design.
I LOVE December and all of the themes. My little ones make it even more magical. Wishing you a fun-filled day.
“Christmas gift suggestions: to your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” - Oren Arnold
1-2-3 Come Do Some Letter Activities With Me
Because my Y5s study the alphabet all year long, I like to plug in some themed, letter activites each month. The single-letter alphabet wheels are perfect for this.
In the falll I feature the Aa is for apple, Ll is for leaf, Pp is for pumpkin and Tt is for Thanksgiving turkey wheels. (Click on each title to have a look).
For December, I created the Ee is for elf, and Gg is for gingerbread ones.
The Dollar Deal Alphabet Wheels, are a quick, easy & fun way to practice letters, and build the vocabulary needed to give an example of a word, with that beginning sound.
They feature 6 nouns that begin with that letter, and come in black and white, as well as full-color, so that you can use them as an independent center or individual word work activity.
Vowels, have word examples for both long and short vowel sounds.
I've also included a worksheet where students trace & write the words in alphabetical order.
Besides the individual letter alphabet wheels, I also have a collection of 20 seasonal alphabet wheels, which cover all of the upper and lowercase letters.
As you can see from the photo, there's a gingerbread man and a mitten alphabet wheel for winter.
Besides the alphabet wheels, another fun way to practice letters is with my elf slider.
There’s nothing quite like a quick and easy little craftivity, to make practicing a variety of standards fun.
The paper elf can be used as a “slider” or turned into a "belly booklet”.
I’ve also included an easy-peasy “color me” option, where you can skip the craft, or simply do both.
Your kiddos will also enjoy making the little mini, belly booklets.
There are 3 options:
* Upper & lowercase letters that students trace & write, with enough room for older kiddos to write a word at the top and bottom;
* Numbers 1-12, where students also trace & write (play the Twelve Days of Christmas carol, while they’re working).
* There’s also a shape booklet. Here students trace, draw & color the 2D shapes, then trace & write the shape word.
Each booklet is on a one-page pattern, so students could make all of them, over a period of a few days, for a really big belly book!
* The “sliders” are a quick, easy and super-fun way to whole group assess a variety of standards as well.
* There’s a slider for: numbers 1-10, 1-30, counting backwards from 10-0 & 20-0, as well as skip counting by 2s, 3s, 5s, and 10s; plus one for upper case letters, another for lowercase, and finally one for the 2D shapes.
* Choose which one you want to work on. I have my kiddos trace the letter & number strips in a red and green, ABAB color pattern, and color each shape a different color.
To whole group assess, simply call out a letter, number or shape. Students “slide” to it, and hold up their elf.
You can see at a glance, who is having difficulty. Click on the link to zip on over to my TpT shop and have a look: Elf Slider & Belly Booklets
Today's featured FREEBIE is a gingerbread-themed 10 frames packet. I hope you find it useful.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by. TpT's 20% off Cyber Sale continues through midnight tonight. Type in the code SMILE for an extra 10% off.
As for me, I'm dashing through the snow today, to get some more shopping done. Wishing you a delightful day.
"He who doesn't have Christmas in their heart, will never find it under a tree." - Roy L. Smith
1-2-3 Come Do Some Creative Christmas Writing With Me
No matter what your age, pretending is so much fun, particularly with children. It's easy for them to become princesses and pirates.
With that in mind, I designed 7, creative, Christmas-themed, writing prompts.
They are easy-peasy "print & go" worksheets, that I'm sure your students will enjoy.
The more creative aspect, has students "think outside the box" and really try and become an elf, reindeer, snowman or gingerbread cookie.
What would these "characters" say, or what might they overhear in a conversation that Santa is having?
You can simply give students a choice, and only do one, or add the cute journal cover, and have students write a new one each day.
Another option, is to have students do a non-fiction prompt, using factual information that they've learned about penguins and snowflakes.
What would they say, that would tell us factual information?
When everyone is done, go around the room, and have each student share one thing.
No time to complete them all in class? They make fun "homework" that your students will enjoy doing.
To add a bit of technology to the lesson, give them the sites you want them to visit to get some facts about penguins, reindeer, or snow, that they can then include when writing their sentences.
My full-color, completed samples, will give you an example that you can share with your students, to help explain what you want them to do. They match the black & white templates for students.
Click on the link to pop on over to my TpT shop to have a look at the Now You're Talkin' Christmas Writing Prompts/Journal.
Here's hoping your kiddos enjoy "pretend writing" as much as I did creating the samples.
The featured FREEBIE today, is another form of writing. Using a Venn diagram helps your students learn to compare and contrast in a fun way.
There are 7 Venn diagrams in this packet, all featuring an elf. I've included color as well as black and white templates.
Use the black and white copy for students to write their own, then call them up for a whole-group discussion and add everyone's ideas onto the colored Venn diagram.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
It's a chilly, but sunny morning, and I'm in the mood and energized to start decorating for Christmas! Wishing you a festive day.
"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family, all wrapped up in each other." -Burton Hillis
1-2-3 Come Go On An Elf Ed-venture With Me!
Woo hoo! It seems that The Elf On A "Classroom" Shelf activities, have been the kinds of things visitors have been looking for. (Scroll down to the last two blog articles to check things out.) I hope you enjoy these latest FREEBIES just as much.
Since teachers have commented on how the "sliders" are a nice way to "sneak" in a little art, with all of those standards, I decided to design "Jingle" the elf slider.
There are sliders (strips of paper that students slide up and down) for upper and lowercase letters, numbers to 30, counting backwards from 10 to 0 as well as 20 to 0 + skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's. They are a quick, easy and fun way to whole group assess.
If you don't want to make a slider, have students make a "Belly Booklet." They can practice writing letters, numbers, words, their name, or whatever else you're working on, and record things on just-the-right-size pages. Click on the link to view/download Jingle, the Elf Slider Packet.
Venn diagrams are a wonderful way to help your little elves compare and contrast. Click on the link to view/download the 13 Venn diagrams with an interesting elf theme. Pick one for your kiddos, or give them a choice.
Since Diary of a Wimpy Kid is really popular with children, I decided to make a Diary of a Wimpy Elf. I had a fun time designing this packet, and think your students will enjoy decorating their "top secret" file-folder diary and making entries as an elf, who is recording his/her activities and adventures.
I've included "spy stickers" to decorate their diaries with, or use them as incentives for great writing, excellent effort, wonderful improvement etc. There are also 2 diary-page templates that you can also use. Click on the link to view/download Diary of a Wimpy Elf.
Here's the scenario to help jumpstart your students' writing: Imagine being the smallest and weakest elf at the North Pole. You so want to help Santa, but everyone thinks you are too little, too dumb and too weak to do anything but be a candy cane tester, licking a sample from each batch to make sure they taste just right.
To make matters worse, the only thing "big" about you are your feet and ears. They are ginormous! This little elf constantly daydreams about all of the adventures he’d go on as a super-spy for Santa.
After all, being little has its advantages. He could hide almost anywhere; and his huge ears help him hear just about anything. His humongous feet allow him to ski down slippery slopes, without having to put real skis on!
Give your students this background information (included in the packet) and have them become that tiny elf, with the giant feet, huge ears and big heart. Have them write about what they do and how they feel. I've also included 30 crazy writing prompts to jump-start their creative minds, hopefully causing a few giggles.
Encourage them to name their elf and draw cartoon-like pictures in their diary, like Jeff Kinney does in his book. When your elf activities are winding down, have students write a few pages where they "save the day" and become a highly respected, and depended-upon elf, who is a very special spy for Santa. Click on the link to view/download The Diary of a Wimpy Elf.
That's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I hope your kiddos get excited about doing a bit of creative writing. I still remember Mr. Voseteig reading a Harriet the Spy book to us in 5th grade.
We all got to have our special "spy notebook" to write in. My creative writing juices went wild, and it was my first A+ ... I was hooked. The excitement of that spy book, gave way to Nancy Drew books, which became my favorite. I've been a life-long lover of reading and writing ever since.
“I'll be famous one day, but for now I'm stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons." - Greg Heffley,” (-Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid.)
1-2-3 Come Do Some Elf-Themed Activities With Me
Because the Elf activities have been such a huge hit, (scroll down to see that blog & FREEBIES), I've been very busy designing a few more.
Since kiddos tend to be a bit more, shall we say "energetic" during December, I made a writing prompt that can turn into a nice behavior modification tool; I call it Santa's List.
Now that the elf is on the shelf and reporting back to Santa, students could write about why they think they should be on the good behavior or "nice" list.
Launch this writing prompt by playing the Christmas carol “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” I taught my Y5’s this song and we did some finger movements as we sang: “. . . He’s making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. . .
After my Y5's got the “wiggles” out, we brainstormed about good behavior and what Santa’s elves might be looking for. How does one get on the nice list? What things could we do? What things shouldn’t we do?
Write a list on the board, so children can refer to it for ideas as well as spelling help. Pass out the writing prompt page. Students write why they think they should be on Santa’s nice list and then color their page.
After they share their work with the class, collect and collate the pages to make a class book. A cover is provided. I’ve also included a Santa’s list poster. Print; mount on red and green construction paper and laminate. You can hang this on your wall or white board and add students names as you catch them behaving appropriately or completing tasks.
The packet also includes a template for students to write a note to their Elf on a Shelf or to Santa. Click on the link to view/download Santa's List Writing Prompt.
Another interesting December writing prompt, helps reinforce giving directions. Encourage students to use transitions, ordinal numbers as well as adjectives.
I've included word cards for sequential-transitions, + a helpful guide to using transitions that I give to my college writing class students.
Add some pom-poms, a jingle bell, and some white glitter to make an awesome bulletin board. Click on the link for the How To Dress An Elf "craftivity."
For more fun writing, have students keep a journal of your Elf On A Classroom Shelf's adventures. This makes a quick and easy Daily 5 activity for the month of December.
Have students keep everything in a file folder. I've included days of the week cards; a star chart students can color when they've done a nice job on their journal; lots of prompts for both PK and older kiddo's, + "elf mail" notes.
Click on the link to view/download the Elf Journal.
Finally, I had several requests for alphabet cards, so I designed an "elf-abet" packet.
An elf number packet and elf number-strip puzzles were also requested. (Thank you Lisa, Katie, Sue and Erin for your e-mails.) Click on the links to view those FREEBIES.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you and your little elfkins will enjoy these activities.
My personal "to do" list is a little long today, so it's time to hit the floor running.
“Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars, not if you care for such things.” -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit