1-2-3 Come Do Some Pussy Willow Activities With Me
"Fun With Pussy Willows" is another "From my Heart to your Hands" FREEBIE.
Spring is such a fun time to be outside, breathing in the beauty of nature, as things start to bud, bloom and grow.
Pussy willows are one of the first signs of spring here in Michigan, so I like to gather a bunch and bring them into the classroom for my kiddos to touch.
They exclaim at the softness of the little puffs, and can certainly understand how these lovely branches got their name.
With that in mind, I designed this "Fun With Pussy Willows" packet. I hope you enjoy the activities, as much as I did creating them.
. 2, intersting legends about how the pussy willow got its name. You can read these as part of your introduction as well.
. A pussy willow craft.
Students can draw a few “twig” branches on their paper and create their own pussy willow pattern, or for younger kiddos, who need a bit of guidance, you can run off my pattern on construction paper.
A bright blue or gray blue color looks like a spring sky, but to add variety to your display, you could give children a color choice.
So the "branches" of the pussy willow stand out, have children trace a thick, brown line over them using a brown crayon.
There are two options for making a pussy willow picture, and both look stunning.
One is made by pulling a pinch of cotton from a cotton ball, then balling it up a bit, and gluing it to the oval sections on the branches.
For less mess, I squirted a dollop of Elmers glue on a paper plate.
Children then dip their Q-tip into the glue and put a dab on the oval sections of their paper, then press the cotton in place. Older students can simply use the glue bottle.
I filled in the entire paper using just half of a cotton ball. As you can see by the photographs, the wonderful 3D results are quite realistic.
The other option is to have children make a "keepsake" picture, by dipping their pointer finger into a dollop of white, acrylic paint, then pressing their "print" onto the oval sections.
For this picture, I added a 3D effect by gluing a real twig to the center branch of my pussy willows.
While the paint is still wet, sprinkling on a bit of opalescent glitter really adds a lovely finishing touch to the picture.
I've included a little poem, inside of a heart, which children can cut & glue to the bottom left corner of their picture:
This pussy willow's special, as you can plainly see. I made it with my fingerprints, with lots of TLC. It's bringing springtime wishes, with love to you from me.
The packet also includes...
. Letters that spell “Pussy Willows” to use as a caption for your spring bulletin board or hallway display.
I made the letters using background paper featuring various pussy willow branches.
. Since April is Poetry Month, I thought it fitting to include a pussy willow poem, which you can use as the center of your display.
I love the stanza "...and I'll rub spring across your cheek." which provides th perfect opportunity to teach about metaphor.
Students can also try their hand at writing poetry, by coloring, and filling in the acrostic poem worksheet.
An acrostic is a poem where the first letter of each line is used to describe that word.
Acrostics provide wonderful practice for descriptive writing and learning about adjectives & synonyms, as well as being a nice vocabulary builder.
Students can use just one word as I did (especially because the S & L letters are used twice), or they can use several words or even a partial sentence or phrase.
The letter I proved a bit challenging, so you might tell students that they can use the I as a pronoun, as in "I like pussy willows." However, the word Interesting also works.
Here’s an example of another acrostic for the word spring, where I used phrases rather than single words.
Splashing in puddles
Plants are blooming
Rainbows in a sunny sky
I see buds sprouting
Nests are being built
Gray clouds threaten rain.
No matter what grade I taught, all of my students really enjoyed writing acrostic poems.
.There are also 3 additional worksheets, which include a Venn diagram comparing pussy willows to kittens.
Any of these worksheets, as well as the acrostic poems, can be added to your bulletin board display, and look really nice hung with the pussy willow craft, topped off with the "Pussy Willows" lettering.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
I'm wishing you a fun-filled spring, touched by many soft & tender moments.
For more springtime activities click this LINK.
"Spring is a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be."
1-2-3 Come Do Some Spring Things With Me
During spring, it’s a good idea to once again assess things like colors, color words, and shapes.
With that in mind, I designed the “Bunny Tails & Tales” packet as a super-fun way to practice, assess, or teach.
Add a bit of “crafty” to writing practice, and your students will be excited to show off their writing skills, with the “Bunny Tale” shape booklet.
The cover flips up to reveal their bunny tale. Add a cotton ball for that finishing touch.
I’ve included my silly story about the “Magic Carrot”, so that you can easily make an example to share with your students.
Review thirteen, 2D shapes with the “Shapely Bunny” game.
Students match the appropriate shaped tail to the matching bunny with that shape word.
I used glue dots to add a mini, white pom pom to each piece.
This not only makes manipulating the tails easier, but the pinching aspect, is a great way to strengthen finger muscles.
If you’re making this center for PK, simply trace the tail shape onto the bunny, so they can practice one-to-one correspondence.
The packet includes patterns for these 2D shapes: circle, oval, triangle, rectangle, square, hexagon, octagon, pentagon, rhombus, trapezoid, star, heart and crescent. Choose those appropriate for your group.
Besides writing and shapes, the packet also practices colors and color words.
I’ve included mini word cards for all of the basic colors, which are placed over the matching rectangle on that color bunny. Children then place the matching colored pom pom “tail” underneath.
There are word cards in matching ink colors for little ones, as well as cards with black ink, so you can use this as an assessment tool as well.
I wanted to see if you could do the games with a 3-year-old, so I tested them out on my grandson Kaiden, and he absolutely loved playing them.
When he got done matching the color words and pom poms he proudly exclaimed, "I did it!"
He also enjoyed the shape matching game, so you're good to go with a preschool group.
Finally, the packet includes a sweet “just the right size” Itty Bitty Shape booklet.
Children read the shape word, write it on the bunny’s head, then draw that shape for a tail.
There’s a booklet with the standard 2D shapes, as well as optional pages for the rest.
When children have completed their booklet, graph which shaped tail they liked the best.
Continuing with the bunny theme, I designed a packet called "The Shape Of My Bunny's Nose", which is a center activity, game and Itty Bitty booklet, that reinforces thirteen, 2D shapes.
The pattern comes in color on a full-page size, as well as a two-on-a-page size to use as a center activity. I've also included shape word cards, so that older students can practice matching a shape to its shape word.
There's a smaller, 3-on-a-page size to use for games, where children pick a partner and play “Show me the shape.” I’ve also included black & white patterns, so that children can make their own shape games.
* To play the game as a large group, attach a soft Velcro dot to the nose section of the bunny, as well as the word section, then scratchy Velcro dots to the pieces.
* Pass out the pieces and call for a shape.
* The child holding that shape, comes up and attaches it. Everyone says the shape as the child points to the nose, then repeats it by reading the shape word as they point to it.
There’s also a black and white “My Bunny’s Nose” booklet, with options for additional pages which feature other shapes.
Children read the word and draw that shape on the bunny’s face, then color, trim and collate their shape booklet.
I’ve also included a graphing extension to practice another standard.
Finally, since April showers bring May flowers, and Mother's Day is just around the corner, I designed this 3D tulip writing prompt craftivity.
PK kiddos can simply make the craft, while older students can choose from 2 writing prompts. Use the blank pattern to program whatever.
I've also done a "two lips" play-on-words, for a sweet Mother's Day card.
Cutting on a spiral to make the "stem", is wonderful fine motor practice. I've included a pattern for "lefties" as well.
Completed projects look wonderful suspended from the ceiling. There's a "Spiraling Into Spring" poster for the center of your display.
The FREEBIE today, also reinforces colors and color words.
Since the "mustache craze" continues, I thought it would be fun to make an "I 'mustache' you about colors" game, with two versions, one for PK kiddos, plus another for older students.
Well that's it for today. The snow has finally melted here in Michigan, and although the sun is shining, temperatures are still in the 40s, so I'm looking forward to when spring truly arrives.
Wishing you a stress-free, happy day.
"In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours." -Mark Twain
1-2-3 Come Do Some Shapely Activities With Me
Since the Silly Shaped Penguins, as well as the Shapely Owls have been such popular downloads, I decided to design a spring "craftivity" too. When I took a look at all of the spring baby animals, the cute little chick clicked for me!
Like the Penguin and Owl Shape packets, I designed all sorts of shape-themed activities around these cuties.
I hope you enjoy using them, as much as I had fun making them.
I've included patterns for the standard 2D shapes, as well as the pattern block trapezoid and rhombus shapes, plus the 3D cone, cube and cylinder shapes.
For more pizzazz, tape a real feather to the top of the chick's head and accordion fold the legs. Adding wiggle eyes also adds more pop.
You could also make the wings moveable by punching a hole and attaching them with brass brads. Click on the link to view/download the Shapely Slick Chick Packet.
The packet includes a set of black & white shapely slick chick cards, as well as a full-color set.
I've also made 2 sets of shape-word cards.
These are perfect for Memory Match or "I Have; Who Has?" games.
Run off the black and white templates and have students make an Itty Bitty Slick Chick Shape booklet.
There's also an easy reader booklet, which covers lots of standards.
Students read the sentence, underline the capital letters and add end punctuation.
They trace and write the shape words, add features on the first shape to make it look like a chick; trace the second shape and then draw the shape.
On the last page they tell which shapely slick chick they liked the best.
I've included a graph, so you can record the results. Standards are also covered with worksheets for spatial directions, attributes, and matching the word to the shape.
Finally, to build self-esteem, I designed a sweet certificate of praise. Click on the link to view/download the Shapely Slick Chick packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away.
"The first day of spring is one thing, the first spring day is quite another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month." -Henry Van Dyke
We Are “Some-bunny” Special
I LOVE using Venn diagrams with kids. They are so easy to make and are the perfect way to introduce the compare and contrast concept.
A Venn diagram is so simple that even my Y5’s easily understood them, plus they really enjoyed making them.
Even my college students like the concept. One of their personal favorites: Comparing the classes' two favorite soft drinks.
As they share which is their favorite, we narrow it down to two and then I bring the drinks in for the next class. Almost every semester Coke and Mountain Dew wins out.
They worked in small groups and made a Venn diagram comparing the soda, sipping as they worked. Using their laptops they also found out differences via the Internet. It’s my fun way to introduce them to writing a compare and contrast essay.
For little ones, I introduced the concept of a Venn diagram using 2 Hula-Hoops and index cards. We brainstormed the differences and similarities of whatever we were working on.
Write these things on the board and give each student an index card to write one of the similarities or differences on. Using clip art, you can also have two pictures to put inside the appropriate hoops along with header cards: similar and different.
Lay the Hula-Hoops on the floor and intersect them to look like a Venn diagram. Put your picture and header cards in the appropriate sections, and then have students lay their index cards where they belong.
For spring, I wanted to make this into a “craftivity” so I chose bunnies. Their bellies are the Venn diagram. I call them Venn Friends because half the students choose a friend’s name out of the Easter basket who they then team up with.
To make it a special keepsake, include their school photo. There's a checklist of 40 ideas that students can find out about each other, discuss which are similarities and which are differences and then choose which ones they want to put on their Venn diagram.
These make an adorable spring or April bulletin board. Later, each student can take their own bunny head home and the teacher can keep the Venn portions as examples. Click on the link to view/download Bunny Venn Friends
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything on my site. I'm all about sharing! If you'd like to see another spring Venn friend, scroll down for a tulip one.
"Happy Spring! Happy everything."