We had a lot of fun this week doing a Reader's Theatre of Jack and the Beanstalk to go along with our plant unit. I found some puppets for each of the 3 pages of text using these coloring book pages found at HERE at Sparkle Boxes. Then we divide up the parts and have readers use their most expressive voices. This is the way I did it this year.
Another way I've done it some years is to have each child bring in an empty cereal box. Then I cut out a square out of one side of the box after school (to use as a puppet theatre stage). Then we put the characters on Popsicle sticks upside down. Students paint black poster paint on their cereal boxes or cover them with paper (or spray paint them with a can of black paint after school). As the readers theater is read the kids can act out the parts on their own individual puppet theater stages on their desks. It's a lot of fun. (but a lot of work too!) A picture and link to how to make a puppet theater out of a cereal box is HERE at Toddler Crafts. Or another cute one that shows how to do the puppet on a stick is HERE at Flipflops and Applesauce. I can't find my sample or I'd snap a pic of it. Another cool tutorial is
this website HERE
I blow up the characters large for a class puppet for some kids to act out the parts too. The link for character masks is HERE at Sparkle Box. You will need a color printer for the masks. I just put them on poster board and taped them to rulers to keep them sturdy. The kids LOVE doing these mini reader's theatres. A link for a cute but long 4 page readers theatre is HERE from the Grandview Library.
There is also a crossword puzzle of Jack and the Beanstalk at this link from ABC teach. It was a fun activity for my kids to do after reading the story and acting out the reader's theater. My students loved this activity and didn't even need the word bank.
On Monday when we plant our seeds we will watch the time elapsed seeds growing into plants on one of the utube videos below. Then we are planting our seeds in recycled soup cans. You can use washed out soup cans from home, some washed out pint size milk cartons covered in paper, or make a terrarium out of liter or 2 liter bottles cut in half similar to the example picture below. I just use the spout for air hole and I cut out about 3 inches of the middle section of the bottle.
TERRARIUMS (using empty 2 liter bottles)
A really fun activity to teach seeds and plants is to make individual terrariums. A good step by step how to is found at this link to Teaching Tiny Tots HERE. I love how she used ivy. I'd like to use fast growing grass seeds or radish seeds so the students can see the roots and how they grow up into stems and then on the radish, leaves. Start by reading the book From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons. She is a master of children's science books.
2 Liter bottle terrarium instructions HERE
Another fun planting activity is doing "Sprout Houses" in a zip lock baggie. That's what we are doing this year. I pass out Lima bean seeds that have been soaking overnight. Then I pass out wet cotton balls. A link to a fun lesson plan using Lima beans is HERE at A to Z Teacher Stuff. We use the Lima beans as our seeds for our sprout houses which are another kind of terrarium. Tape them up against a window for light. Watch what happens in a week! I really like the kids to plant radishes because they come up within about 2 to 3 weeks. I'll post our sprout houses tomorrow.
|Lima bean and cotton balls make up our Sprout Houses|
|Some of my girls making their Sprout Houses"|
Flower Garden by Eve Bunting
Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Planting a Rainbow by Lois EhlertFrom Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel Jock in the Beanstalk by Stephen Kellogg One of my favorite books that my own children loved was The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. It goes through the plant cycle in a really fun way that kids will enjoy. ART PROJECT Then afterwards we make an art project using real sunflower seeds as the round middle part of a sunflower plant. I've done it with yellow hands traced and cut out around the circle of seeds, I've also used yellow paper petals, and I've used painted dots of yellow inside traced petals (pointillism) with Q tips dipped in yellow paint. I will post pictures of all of my samples. Each year I tweak it a little bit. WORD SCRAMBLE Another fun link to a plant and seed word scramble of plants and seeds vocabulary is HERE at ABC Teach. I would attach the word bank to the page so kids will have that to use which makes unscrambling a LOT easier! (My kids all told me it was "too easy" with the word bank. Oh well! MUSIC (use percussion instruments) A Seed Needs (To the tune of "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay" ) I see you are a seed, Tell me what DO you need? I need some soil to grow, And then the sun to glow, Water to make me wet, Air for my leaves to get, Space for my roots to spread, I'll make your flower bed! by: Iram Khan I always look for a poem to put on the back of art to sing or read together for shared reading. This is a great one for the backs of our sunflower art projects or our veggie garden arrays. A fun MATH ACTIVITY designing a garden for Frog and Toad for their 24 plants can be found HERE . It is a math problem solving that is challenging and fun. I will give the kids a page of clip art plants to color with 4 of each plant and they will choose the number of plants to map out a garden "array". The book is called Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel. The chapter is called The Garden. I turned it into a lesson on "arrays" and multiplication. They lined their garden veggies up and multiplied the "rows" times the "columns" of veggies. Here are a few finished ones. Some did larger arrays and some just did 2 x 4. So it is a great lesson for differentiation with that open ended aspect to it. I also modeled one on the board and wrote in "column 1, column 2 and Row 1, Row 2 etc. So they could refer to mine. Everybody did it a little differently.
|Allie's vegetable garden array...|
|Nova's veggie garden array...|
|Kate's veggie garden array...|
|7 bean soup and venn diagrams..I add a few seeds, large peanuts, pods from outdoors....a great activity!|
|Hi Girls! They are sorting their beans and seeds...|
|Some wrote white and brown, others seeds and nuts, others big and little....|
|They added their own category titles on the yellow stickies...|
|I will post pics of finished cute cans with our plants...|
|If you look close you can see a real seed or "bean" between the stem and root...|
|Here is a sample center activity I have along with 2 similar matching activities at the magnet center.|