Did you know that Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham on a bet that he couldn’t write a book with fifty or fewer distinct words? After doing some checking, I discovered that the bet was made in 1960 with Bennett Cerf, the co-founder of Random House, and was for $50. Ironically, even though Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham using EXACTLY 50 words, it's been reported that Cerf never paid up.
Celebrate Seuss with these two Grinch "craftivities". One features two writing prompts. Students think of things that make them grin like the Grinch. They jot these down on the left side. On the right side, they list things that make them "grinchly and grumpy".
Practice rhyming words with Dr. Seuss. You assign a word, or give students a choice. Children write the word on the brim of their Seuss hat and then think of as many words as they can that rhyme with it. Students jot their words on a sheet of scratch paper, then write them in aphabetical order on their hat.
1-2-3 Come Play Some Long E Word Games With Me
Word work and vocabulary building was part of my Y5's every day activities. Daily 5 came along and simplified or complicated things, and gave teachers something else to try and find "stuff" for.
To keep my students interested and semi enthusiastic about word work, I changed the theme of these activities each month, so although the skills were repetitive, there was variety because the theme was different. Doing this little adjustment was very successful and helped avoid tedium.
With that in mind, I wanted to create an activity with a November theme. When I taught kinders and first grade, we continued to practice vowels at this time, particularly "When two vowels go walking the first one usually does the talking." so I went in search of a symbol that I could use.
A sheave of wheat was pretty prominent and perfect for the ea vowel grouping. Some of my kiddos were often confused with that long E sound wanting to spell these words with an ee, so I decided to make up a list of words for both. Need, became needle and the haystack idea was also born.
The Haystack Howdy packet is a quick, easy and fun way to practice words with a long E vowel sound, which have the double ee or ea letters in the middle of the word.
The packet includes the Needle in a Haystack whole group file folder game, with 130 double ee "needle" word cards, plus an alphabetical list of the words in poster form.
The cards are small, with 22 on a page for easy printing. Choose the ones you want your kiddos to work on.
Print, laminate and trim the cards. Toss them into a container and have students choose 1 or 2. Using the list, ask for a word.
The child holding that card, shows it to the class, everyone reads it together, then they put the "needle" into the haystack.
To make the haystack, simply print off a copy, trim and glue to a file folder. (I've included 2 color options, plus one in black & white.)
Using an Exacto knife, cut a slit wide and long enough for the needle cards to be slipped through the slot.
Hold up the file folder, by putting a small basket in the back. The cards will drop through the slot and into the basket. Keep the cards in an envelope, in the folder and tuck into your file drawer.
The Sheaves of Wheat game works the same way, with 107 ea "wheat" word cards to choose from, plus an alphabetical list of those words.
There are plenty of other ways to use the cards as well. For writing practice or a Daily 5 activity, have students choose 3-6 cards and use those words to create sentences. Afterwards, have them select 10 cards to alphabetize.
If they are not familiar with a word, they can look it up and add it to their writing journal or student dictionary. Children can also work with a partner and play Memory Match, Slap, Speed etc. I've included a 4-page tip list of ideas.
For more teachable moments, there's also a background page about the idiom "needle in a haystack" as well as a definition page for the word sheaf.
Finally, whenever a nursery rhyme fit in with a particular theme, I'd plug it in, so I could also review rhyming and this genre.
I used to have an entire week for a nursery rhyme and fairy tale theme, but as standards became more demanding, I ran out of time. I'm sure you all can relate with "so much to do, so little time to do it in..."
Adding rhymes here and there, solved the problem. Because a haystack is featured in the Little Boy Blue nursery rhyme, I've included some activities for that in this packet.
There's a poster poem of the rhyme in black and white, as well as color, plus 8 pocket chart picture word cards, and a paper "strip" booklet for students to make.
I call these "strip" booklets because I fit anywhere from 5-8 "strips" on one page that students complete, trim and collate into a mini booklet.
My kiddos LOVED making these emergent readers that they could take home and practice with. Click on the link to view/download the Haystack Howdy packet.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
This Nana is in serious need of some snuggle time, with her new grand baby Kaitlyn and little grandson Kaiden, so I'm off to visit my daughter. Wishing you a love-filled day.
"One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. However, no machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." - Elbert
This haystack packet is a great way to review words with a long E vowel sound, which have the double ee or ea letters in the middle of the word.
1-2-3 Come Read The Mitten and Do Mitten Craftivities With Me!
I LOVE the story The Mitten by Jan Brett. It was also a favorite of my Y5's. Her illustrations are nothing short of spectacular.
To see her at work in her studio, click on this YouTube video link. It's only 3 minutes long and very interesting. Jan Brett video
A huge thank you to Jan for all of the great ideas on her site: janbrett.com If you haven't browsed through her site, it's a must see.
She has all sorts of information about her books, along with lots of activities and graphics to go with them.
Since The Mitten is such a popular story with teachers, I decided to design some things to go along with it.
The Mitten Activity packet is chock full of all sorts of fun "stuff" and includes:
Students underline the verbs, circle the capital letters, add end punctuation, trace and write the animal character's name, his ordinal position and an action word (verb) associated with him, then cut & glue the matching animal picture in the box.
Also included is a mitten paper plate pocket "craftivity" students make, to keep all of their mitten-related work in.
and a Mitten Matching card game, where students match the animal character to the animal's name, or the ordinal number position it had in the story, or all three:
i.e. the word bear, picture of the bear, ordinal number-card 7th-seventh
There's an Ordinal number character assessment strip with answer key.
Click on the link to view/download the Activities To Go With Jan Brett's The Mitten packet.
I also designed 3 mitten Venn diagrams, perfect for helping your students practice the concept of comparison and contrast.
Children can compare a mitten to a glove, or The Mitten story to Jan Brett's companion story The Hat; an equally adorable tale, featuring even more animal characters.
Thank you for visiting today. I design and blog daily, so I hope you can slide on over tomorrow to grab the newest FREEBIES. Feel free to PIN anything from my site.
"Winter is not a season, it is an occupation." Sinclair Lewis
A quick and easy "craftivity" to reinforce the concept of 3D, as well as the fact that apples can be red, yellow or green. When you rub the apple-topped pencil between the palms of your hands, it will twirl.
One of the shapes that my Y5’s had a bit of difficulty with was a triangle; not sure why, but more often than not that was the toughie.
They often enjoyed playing “I Spy” and trying to find a shape in the real world, so I decided to think of some fun triangle shapes that they might see on Halloween, and the booklet, Halloween Triangles was born.
I introduced the easy reader ike this:
“Uh Oh! It's Halloween and these spooky triangles can be seen! Count them if you dare!”
Your students will enjoy reading, tracing, writing, counting, and coloring the Halloween triangles.
They’ll have fun during "Tally Time" and then afterwards, graph childrens opinions of what triangle character was their favorite.
I’ve also included 10 traceable word flashcards for students to practice or cut out and use with other sets, to make new sentences.
Great for "word work" during Daily 5 activities.
This is a cute rhyming booklet, (rhyming is a Common Core Standard) that packs in a lot of skills, as it incorporates math with reading in a fun way.
Click on the link to view/download Halloween Triangles.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others may find useful.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.” –Les Brown
This Old Man Is A Scarecrow!
One of my favorite themes in the fall was scarecrows. It’s a great non-Halloween theme for those schools that don’t celebrate that holiday too.
I liked to involve music and gross motor movement whenever I could, to help make learning extra fun and get the wiggles out at the same time.
Incorporating rhyming songs via music with a beat, helped children get the hang of things quickly.
This Old Man is a terrific vehicle to introduce counting. After reading that story, and playing the CD, I told my Y5’s that they were going to pretend to be scarecrows.
I showed them how a scarecrow would stand, and pointed out the 2 scarecrows we had propped in the corners of our room.
I demonstrated how to slap, clap, and snap and asked them if these words rhymed.
After passing out the manipulatives I read the teacher's edition of This Scarecrow; the students did the movements.
Afterwards, children transitioned to their desks to read, trace, write, count and spy numbers of scarecrows completing their own booklet.
Once everyone was done, we read the booklet as a whole group to reinforce concepts of print.
Click on the link to view/download This Scarecrow
My favorite scarecrow "craftivity" I did with my Y5's was the "Personal Scarecrow"
I pre-cut large sheets of construction paper into the various shapes.
Students cut and glued smaller shapes to the body portion of the scarecrow.
We reviewed them as they assembled their scarecrow.
For the head, I enlarged their school photograph on the copier.
When you enlarge to that size, it becomes pixilated so their face really does take on a burlap-scarecrow kind of appearance!
For great fine motor practice, have students snip yellow pieces of construction paper so that they look like straw.
Children glue these behind the end of the sleeves and pant legs.
I used brass brads so that the arms and legs were "jointed." The scarecrows could dance and prance down the hallway wall.
I wrote a poem for Mailbox Magazine that I posted under the scarecrows. You can imagine all of the cool comments we received.
Click on the link to view/download the Personal Scarecrow
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Do you have a scarecrow idea you could share with us? I’d enjoy hearing from you! firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here.
“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” –Mark Twain