Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thanksgiving Songs and Art and Writing for Kids .

Thankgiving Song, Art and Writing for Kids.

This Thanksgiving Song looks like a fun way to introduce the Pilgrims and the Indians information this week as we begin studying the first Thanksgiving. We will also do Thanksgiving Writing and Art.
I've done these mosaic indian corn art projects for many years. It always turns out pretty. 
I have a few books I like to read the kids too. A new one this year that is kind of crazy but fun is called Pete the Cat Thanksgiving Story. I know kids love this character so I'll add him to my list of books to retell the story of the Pilgrims and Indians. I also have Thanksgiving Stickers (below) on hand to add to the completed writing papers we do retelling the Thanksgiving story.

Then I want to do a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting Pilgrim Children and American Children of today before we start our writing. I found a cute one on TPT HERE. . I want the kids to realize how much harder pilgrim children worked and how much less fun and free time they had.
We write about Native Americans and Pilgrims on Thanksgiving.

Then we will do similar informational text reading about the native Americans and what they wore, what jobs they did and how they came across from England on the Mayflower.
Here are the papooses we do out of a paper plate hole punched and the tie is made from a pipe cleaner and some beads. 
I have many art projects I like to choose from. We can make Indians and write about the tribes. We can make Pilgrim Puppets. We can make Indian papooses or canoes. Or we can make Pilgrims faces out of paper plates.

I will probably do these this year. I like teaching the kids about Squanto and how the native Americans helped the Pilgrims plant corn and hunt duck and quail and wild turkeys and gather berries. 
You can also make a paper canoe and add items to go inside. I usually make a few hole punches and have kids lace yarn through them too. HERE at Wacky Kids is a free printable.
In the past we write about fall activities we do at home and our favorites. 

To make the outfit just fold a paper into 4ths diagonally and then in half horizontally. Then cut off 1 squares off each lower end and glue them as arms on the back of the upper top ends after you fold the rest of the page in. Then cut a slit for the legs and fold down a triangle for the "collar area".
I have the kids cut the fringe on the Native Americans and decorate their heads with a pattern of small 1 centimeter squares of colored paper. Then they draw indian designs on the outfits. We do a few ideas on the board like a zig zag pattern, a moon and stars pattern and some arrows and triangles. 
Hope you are getting excited for Thanksgiving Holiday break too! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Thanksgiving Writie the Room Center Activities

I'm working on revamping my Write the Room Center Activities this week. I have had a few cute Fall activities up, but I want to do more sentence writing.

Thanksgiving Write the Room Center Activities 

A good one I found that has no punctuation that the kids can write on any white boards, chalk boards, or on paper I found HERE at Teacher's Notebook from Learning from Superstars! Thanks so much!
Thanksgiving Write the Room Center Activities 

I will put the sheets up on the wall with some sheet protectors. Then the kiddos can write the sentences of their choice out on paper, or on the whiteboards provided in the center. They will have to choose the correct punctuation.

Here is another cute one HERE.

A few generic Write the Room pages that would go cute with your centers I found HERE. and HERE at TPT.

I like to WRITE EVERY DAY.  I'll do a blog post of each of my days of the week and how I incorporate writing into our daily themes.  The first day is MONDAY. We do Weekend News on Monday. I use dotted lined 2nd grade paper and I have a bigger rectangle for an illustration. I also have lines all down the backside for my really good writers.
Writing about our Weekend News in 2nd Grad

We call it Weekend News  because we write about what our family did on the weekend; whether it was a birthday party, a soccer game, shopping at Walmart or a trip to the movies, we write all about it. I always start with a REAL MINI lesson on one of the 6 traits of good writing. I ALWAYS start with  IDEAS, then move to CONVENTIONS. I probably work on these 2 for at least 2 months. 

I've always used the 6 Traits Writing Model. Our district is moving to the 4 Blocks method which is easier to teach, but it doesn't have enough breadth for gifted kids, so I'll be using both.  It is an unedited weekly writing project, but I help with spelling harder words as I peruse the room. 
Thanksgiving Write the Room Center Activities - Here are some of my table decorations I've been putting up this weekend too. CUTE! 

 I do a brainstorm on my white board of activities the kids dictate to me. The other thing I have always done is write out a sentence frame;

      On Friday I played....         On Saturday I went........   On Sunday my family and I......

That way the kids get some sight words memorized and have a way to cut up the weekend into 3 simple paragraphs. Each week I write a new brainstorm.  A great website for graphic organizers to write  on just about any topic can be found  HERE at vrml k12. They have lots of powerpoints on lots of subjects good for kids brainstorming in 1st and 2nd grades. I teach ORGANIZATION mid year

Did YOUR family go out to eat like we did? Did you go to Jimmy Johns too?  It's super  yum! 

An easy way to design the paper you want your students to use is to go on this website and peruse her various grades and styles of writing paper.  Check out Donna Young.org. It is all free and I loved the different sizes of dotted, lined paper you could print out for a booklet of "Weekend News" or for a Journal. You could just add a small rectangle for an illustration and the words WEEKEND NEWS across the top.

Thanksgiving Write the Room Center Activities. Here are my cute little handmade pilgrims. 
A good CHECKLIST for students to use when they are done with their Weekend News can be found HERE at Read Write Think. This is a silent, at your desk, unedited writing activity. Kids can use their personal journals or the word wall to help with sight words. Otherwise they are sounding out words they write.
This was an idea for "WORD CHOICE"  from Cheryl Sigmon's website on 4 Blocks Method for writing.... link is HERE.
I teach  Word Choice the 3rd month of school. It reduces how many "good" and "nice" words you get in student writing.....and you get spectacular "$100 words" as we call them!! 

Some fun books I use to teach kids the story of Thanksgiving. It is a good one to get them thinking about if mom has put up the decorations for Thanksgiving yet around the house. As you can see I decorated mine all up already. Woot!

Weekend News is a very valuable and simple way to start your week writing on Monday.  Check out what I do on Fridays HERE. Check back to see what I do the rest of the week!! 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

First Grade Turkey Activities

First Grade Turkey Art and Activities 
I found some cute First Grade Turkey Art and Activities to do when we get back on track Monday. I have my favorite Turkey books to read first of all. Then we'll talk about what Thanksgiving is all about.

Here are two of my favorites that are SO GREAT for first graders. The first one is a funny story about animals that come to dinner at Mr. Turkey's house. The second one is a darling ABC book about Thanksgiving. Great for building background knowledge about the pilgrims.

Today we'll just focus on the American Holiday started by the Pilgrims who came from England to escape a bossy king. We'll add to the history lesson later in the week.
I usually do a Venn diagram like this one from The Controlled Chaos Classroom's blog.

Kids are always amazed at how hard Pilgrim kids worked. Then we'll have a discussion of what things the pilgrim kids had to do for chores compared with what easy lives kids today have and what kinds of chores they all have. Then we'll do a brainstorm of what we should all be thankful for this year.

First Grade Turkey Art and Activities 
We'll do a cute crossword puzzle about Thanksgiving. The downloadable freebie is HERE. I also have a Thanksgiving Read the Room center we will put out this week. A simple printable story about the pilgrims coming here from England is HERE at TPT. This will also be a great reading passage to do together.
Before having the kids glue the strips, have them write 1 word on each of things they are thanksful for. This is a prewrite activity. I wrote a brainstorm from our discussion on the board so this is always easy for them to do after that. 

I like doing an artsy turkey a few weeks before Turkey Day and then write about the things we are grateful for. I found some cute and free writing paper that has some pilgrims and Native Americans on the top HERE. We will go through the writing process and do a sloppy copy, edit and then rewrite our "I'm Thanksful for.... narrative writing project.
The body was a 6 inch brown circle and the head was around 4 1/2. I just cut them out and had them in stacks for the kids to come get with their "rectangle feathers". Use the correct terminology and they will learn those geometry shapes.  The legs are also rectangles and the toes are made from 3 small rectangles. The nose is a triangle.

The accordian legs are always a little bit hard for the kids to do so I go around and help fold for those who are struggling. You can do the toes like I did or if your kids can do it give them 1 orange strip and they can snip it into 3 pieces and glue together to make toes. They are always funny looking. D

Then we'll put together our wiggly eyed turkeys. I use 2 1/2 inch by 8 1/2 inch strips of the 6 colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) paper strips. We will glue them into a raindrop look shape. Then all of those 6 raindrops glue in rainbow order to a 6 inch circle of brown. Add 2 yellow  1 x 11 legs folded accordian style. Glue on orange feet made from 3 inch long x 1/2 inch long strips made into a bird footprint. (glue all 3 ends together and opposite end spread out.

 Glue a 4 inch circle of brown for head. Add 2 white wiggly eyes, a yellow triangle beak doubled and folded.

Lastly add a red "gobble" under the beak and a bow with some checked fabric or ribbon on the front of the turkey. Some years I've done it in gingham red or orange. I'll have to see what I find at Hobby Lobby.
Cute little First Grade Turkey with his wiggly eyes and funny legs. 
 The eyeballs I found are HERE at Flamingo Toes. Another one I found HERE at Kiki Creates blog. Another blogger had such a cute post using wiggly eyeballs for a class behavior motivator. Her darling post is Here at Teacher to the Core. Check her printable eyeballs out HERE. Zombie eyeballs Here on TPT.
There were lots of activities for free download at this site; a crossword, a maze, a word search and a word scramble. We did the crossword puzzle on the back of this writing paper. Thanks to Free Printables.com. The other 4 worksheets are just below this one on their site. 

Lastly we played some Pilgrim and Pumpkin Roll and Cover games HERE at TPT.  I loved this one with the Old Lady Who Swallowed "Too Much Turkey and Pumpkin Pie" for Thanksgiving. It has a really cute visual for adding up 2 dice. It is HERE at Mrs. Lirettes Learning Blog.
I found these solar turkey and pilgrim puppets at the Dollar Store. Aren't they just the cutest? My little grandkids love playing with them. They dance when you put them in the sun. Funny! 
For centers I have Turkey Read the Room this week. It is just a bunch of turkeys with sight words on them. I'll hide them all over the room. Kids use clipboards with lined paper to find as many as they can.

My kids LOVED playing both of these during center time. Turkeys are always a hoot. Or a Gobble Gobble.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Veterans Day Handprint Art

Veterans Day Handprint Art Bulletin Board on 11-11-11. I just HAD to honor this day! 
Coming up next week is Veterans Day. We will celebrate the day by honoring soldiers who have died in the line of duty, protecting Americans in the U.S.A.  And we will do some Veterans Day Handprint Art projects.

 I will teach the kids all 5 branches of the military; Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, Marines. We will also share that they all have their own song (with lyrics) and their own cool uniforms. We listened to them and watched them march out with the flag on Youtube.

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Then we wrote  about what Veterans Day is For. We wrote about soldiers who are always protecting America around the world. I want the students to really remember how each branch of the military protects us in different ways; the Air Force with planes and helicopters, the Navy with ships and aircraft carriers and submarines, the Coast Guard with boats and divers,  and the Army and Marines on the front lines of battle. We will talk about the elite Navy Seals and Special Forces and how tough and brave they are.
A cute ABC Book with a Military Theme I bought and read with the class is H is for Honor
After writing, as a fast finisher, kids will do a Veterans Day crossword puzzle.  We will discuss some of the vocabulary in the puzzle too.  The link is at homeschooling for Veterans Day Crossword.
Veterans Day Crossword 
Then I found a few neat handprint art projects I wanted  to try. Both look very patriotic! Also I found a fun wordsearch for fast finishers I will put on the back of the crossword puzzle. It is HERE at Family Fun Shop.   
Veterans Day Art Project - we decided to do a variation of the American Eagle below...saving the flag for Memorial Day!!! 
http://homeschooling.about.com/od/holidays/ss/veteranprint_3.htm   I also found a neat way to make free WRITING stationery.  I put an eagle and stars on the borders to make a cute page for our writing project.  Make your own stationery is found here at DLTK Kids. Just look on the left side for Veterans Day.
We did a mural of all of the 5 branches of the military for Veterans Day after the kids were done with their writing. I read and edit every "sloppy copy" and then they rewrite on the cute paper. It is time consuming but I can help them correct their individual mistakes that way. 
Our Veterans Day Writing and American Eagle Handprint Art Projects....and our mural. 
And to honor the memory of all our departed soldiers in the military we will be doing an art project using  the American Eagle .....symbol of the U.S.A.  I like the colorful tail feathers on the bottom of the American Eagle, so I would change those white ones to red, white and blue  just for a more colorful bird. Then of course some red, gold and blue glitter on those tail feathers will add a lot. The tutorial for Painting an American Eagle is HERE. handprint-patriotic-eagle-craft-kit This kit for a Handprint Eagle is HERE at Oriental Trading. We didn't do this one, but it's really cute too.
Lastly I will show the kids a video song from Tim McGraw honoring fallen soldiers in the line of duty called "If You're Reading This".  It shows my students the sad part of the job of protecting people, and how some give the ultimate sacrifice, their lives in defense of America. That's why we honor them at Veteran's Day.
We brainstormed all we knew about what Veterans in the Military do....
 After watching the Utube videos we talked about what a Veteran is. We talked about how they protect the president, bridges, dams, airports and tall buildings as well as doing Toys for Tots at Christmas, marching in parades, flying on helicopters, jets, and manning boats, aircraft carriers and submarines. Most of the kids had gone to air shows and seen the military tanks, weapons and men there. We talked about places where there is war in the world and how our military helps protect us overseas.
Here is our finished bulletin board on Veterans Day 11-11-11
We made American Eagle Handprints...
While the kids started their writing I helped 2 at a time handprint paint. First we painted our left hand brown with a blue thumb. Then we painted our right hand brown with a red thumb, washing hands in between these steps. The prints overlap in the middle a bit. Then we painted our pointer finger white and did the middle tail feather. While they washed hands, I glittered with red, then blue glitter, then the white feather with gold glitter. Then the kids painted a head and beak after I lightly traced the shape with pencil on each bird. Lastly we added a wiggly eye with glue and 2 stars. They turned out great.
Veterans Day Handprint Art. I told the kids about my dad, Mr. Russell, who was a marine in 2 wars. He is burried in a military cemetery in Southern California. He was a great soldier and marine for the U.S.A. I'm very proud of him.
We wrote about Veterans we know....
 I told the kids about my kids' other grandpa, Mr. Moss's dad, and how he was a flying navigator in the U.S. Air Force. He flew bombing missions in several wars.  He is still alive and retired. I will also share a picture of my nephew Garrett, who was in the army and shares my birthday with me.
We wrote about the Air Force, the Marines, and all the other branches of the Military for Veterans Day 11-11-11....
We wrote about being Americans....
I always send home a note asking for military memorabilia or a grandpa or dad or mom who wants to come and share with us. I was surprised how many of them had grandparents and dads in the military. They sent all kinds of things for us to share; dog tags, helmets, army blankets, aircraft jumpsuits, cloth maps for directions on the ground, photographs of men in uniform, lots of military memorabilia. It was very patriotic to me.
We are proud of our Veterans on this 11-11-11 Veterans Day
Lots of kids brought in military gear and photos for us to share! 
Some kids wrote about their grandparents.....
My kids' grandpa was a navigator in the Air Force...Thanks Grandpa! 
 HERE at Military Coloring Pages  I found the neatest pictures of the 5 military branches' seals in blackline master and some other cool coloring pages. I copied them, and then put 2 on a page and copied each of the 5 seals (Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines) for the kids to choose one and color as a fast finisher during our writing time.
The Bulletin Board looks great...so patriotic! 
Cool Eagle Handprint Art Project
This was a fast finisher Coast Guard Seal coloring page...we had all 5 to choose from when they were done with their writing and centers...
We wrote about Veterans Day and did Veterans Day Handprint Art. 
I did not know the Marines are part of the Navy....did you? 
 I'm very proud to be the daughter of an American Veteran. He's gone now and I miss him. But I honor him and all who served and still sacrifice for me and my family. Thanks for sharing all your military memorabilia and precious photographs of men and women in uniform. Happy Veterans Day from our class.

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