Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Continents and Oceans of the World

Me on the Map geography project....
I start the geography unit by showing this fun Harlem Globe Trotter movie. HERE at TV411. Some games we do this week in computer lab are HERE at Reach the World and TRAVELPOD. Both are fun geography skill games.
Zach on the map....

This was a major project we did in our class to teach GEOGRAPHY and all the vocabulary of the oceans, continents, countries, states, towns, cities and streets for all of us.  We started by reading the story, "ME ON THE MAP" And I had a list of Geography books too.
Me on the Map

Books that I read include:
Me on the Map by: Joan Sweeny
Our Earth by Anne Rockwell
The Nystrom Nystronaut Atlas for Kids (A great resource for a mapping unit)

I bought a class set of these children's atlases a few years back....best money I've spent! Find them on Amazon
for $3.00 each.  You can get 10 delivered for $30.00 including shipping.... 

We read about 4 pages every day of the atlas as it coincided with our town, city, state discussions. I only have a 1/2 class set as they are rather expensive but I LOVE them and would buy them again.
Hey! Did we make a stopover in Hawaii?  I like that place! 

Another link has a flags of the world match card game in color that is really cute and fun. The LINK is HERE at Homeschool Creations. I thought of adding flags to this project but it was already so involved, I'll save that for another year when I've got the basics down and have extra time. A cute map of the world with a word search and continent questions I used is found HERE at tls books.

The Webquest for Geography I will use is at this LINK HERE at Web Mac. This had lots of great info that the kids could check out in the computer lab.



Crossword puzzles I used for each of the continents was HERE at Mac.com. This I used as an extra at another time during the day when we were done with our writing and map booklets.So HERE was the Art/Map project we did.
Finished Me on the Map Projects...
TAGS FOR EACH PAGE HERE.  I found outline political maps at this website HERE at the Teacher Corner. A map of Antarctica I found HERE at factmonster . A few free maps of several continents I found HERE at Superteacher Worksheets. And HERE at Round Valley Schools are some great maps for a unit on the continents and oceans too.

We also wrote about each of the 7 continents in my class as part of our STUDENT TREASURES BOUND BOOKS PROGRAM.  I then took their pictures with safari hats, shrunk them down to 2 x 2 size and had them color pictures of the maps and added their little photog'd selves in their safari hats to the maps. Super cute.  I'll post that project when it comes back from the publishers.
Posing in our safari hats....

Do they LOOK excited to be traveling around the world? hmmmm....

Did you guys like traveling on the Orient Express across Asia?  


Where in the world is.....Matt and Saige? 

I think they got stuck on a submarine in Antarctica....that's what I heard....

Did you girls have fun in the Amazon? Or did you like the Sahara desert better? 

That helicopter ride over the Mediterranean? Yeah that was pretty cool! 

1. First we did a 4 inch white square with "ME ON MY STREET" and had our street names and addresses if we knew them. We drew a black street with yellow lines on it and our house with our dog a tree and a picture of us next to our house. Then we colored it and then backed it with a 5 inch RED SQUARE for color.
Me on My Street....
We tried to add house numbers....some kids had just moved and didn't know them yet...
But I think that is important to learn their street number and name....
2. Second we did a 5 inch white square with "ME IN MY CITY of SALT LAKE" and did a picture of
a criss cross black street with yellow lines. Then on either side of the criss cross street we made buildings and listed our favorite restaurants, stores, movies, pet shops, police station and fire station. Then we colored them different colors and put ourselves near our favorite place to go in our city. Some kids had skate shops and libraries. We backed it with a 6 1/2 inch ORANGE SQUARE.
Then we did cityscapes of our favorite stores in our city....

McDonalds and Walmart were big time favorites...

I have floor puzzles I bring out this week for a geography center. Kids love these giant floor puzzles and I always hear lots of discussion because this one has pictures of what things are found on that continent or state.
The kids will remember cities....where we shop, eat and play....
Yup, gotta love the golden arches of McDonalds...favorite places in our city!  

3. Third we made a 6 inch white square with "ME IN MY STATE of UTAH" and did a picture outline of the State of Utah with the Great Salt Lake, Lake Powell, and a star with our capital city of Salt Lake.
Then we colored that in and had us standing next to the state in cowboy hats or baseball hats. We backed it with a 8 inch YELLOW SQUARE.
Lucky for us our state of Utah is very easy to draw! 
We added the Great Salt Lake, the capital (Salt Lake City) Lake Powell and the Colorado River....

We all thought Lake Powell was soooooo important....snicker....Love that place!  

4. Fourth we made a 8 1/2 inch white square with "ME IN MY COUNTRY, U.S.A." and I copied a blackline and shrunk it of a U.S.A. Map. We backed it with a 9 1/2 inch GREEN SQUARE. HERE is a U.S. Map Blackline for Free.  It has a number for all the states and then a line underneath to write the names of the states. It is a fun activity for kids to help each other in cooperative groups to fill in all 50 of the United States.  We will be using this one in my class. THIS IS THE MAP WE USED. I shrunk it down 10 %.
Our country the good old U.S.A.   We listed all the states we could....


This was a very fun activity....

5. Fifth we made a 9 inch white square with "ME ON MY CONTINENT, NORTH AMERICA" with a map of North America and we colored in the different countries; Mexico, Canada, USA and Greenland all different colors.  We backed it with an 11 inch BLUE SQUARE.
Our continent....North America....
We glued everything with a border around 3 sides, but flush with the top...no border....

Me on My Continent...we listed Me on My...on every page we did....

6. Sixth, and lastly, we made an 10 1/2 inch white square with "ME IN MY WORLD, THE PLANET EARTH"and I copied and shrunk a blackline of the world's continents. We colored them 7 different colors and the water blue and had the oceans labeled. We backed it with a 12 inch PURPLE SQUARE.  This link is a great one for copying simple maps of the countries of each continent. HERE at eduplace is the link.
Me in My World....The Planet Earth....
I did 2 styles of these...one for the rotation on the bottom includes a word bank. The top one they
have to come up with the continents AND oceans on their own with just a beginning letter....One was more challenging than the other.  One was for my test to see if my kids learned all 7 continents and all 4 oceans. 

Then we stapled them all together....Finished Mapping Activity - Continents, Countries, Cities and  States....
You'll notice there is no border on the top of each page....we kept that flush so the colorful parts would not
get obstructed by white papers from each section.....I think that looks nicer....
 Me on the Map Geography Activity....What do you think? I think the kids learned a lot about their world....
And I did a LOT of paper cutting.....snicker.....
Here was my inspiration...a project I saw on Pinterest.....Here is one on 365 Day of Pinterest Creations 
The reason I did squares instead of circles or ovals like others did was simply because it would be easier to cut on a paper cutter and measure and I did it for a 2nd grade rotation so I had 100 kids to do it with. I'd go absolutely crazy cutting out that many circles....EEK!
Here was my rotation class with their finished map project....Me on the Map! 

I think they were very proud of their work....
I hope they learned more than just "NEVER EAT SOGGY WAFFLES...NORTH, SOUTH , EAST, WEST".....
I updated the captions to include the names of the states, continents and country we live in...so kids
would always remember them and not get mixed up on the vocabulary.

 I think it turned out just as nice. And very colorful with the rainbow order of papers.  What do you think?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Puppet Theaters from a Cereal Box




I saw this artist's cute renditions of kids drawings on "How to Be a Pirate" or "How to Be a Fairy. I thought that sounded so fun for kids.  I wanted them to do some writing on something other than reports and non-fiction and narrative stories since we'd done plenty of each during our writing block.

So We first looked at Helen Doodles drawings HERE. I liked how her drawings had lots of fabulous writing hints on them too. For How To Be a Pirate she had listed pirate lingo like "Walk the Plank and Shiver Me Timbers" and stuff like that....GREAT tips for kids to jumpstart their own brainstorming.
Product Details
Then this book was another inspiration. Kids love superheros! 
So how about a "How To Do It" instructional writing? That would be fun with a kid's imagination tied into it! It also teaches kids another "AUTHOR'S PURPOSE FOR WRITING....TO INFORM, ENTERTAIN, PERSUADE". This will definitely fit into the first 2 purposes for these authors to write!

Product Details
Another Inspiration were the series of books called "How to Train Your Dragon"....These are very popular in my class too....

The pictures of hers reminded me of "No David" books. I showed the kids how funny the illustrations are. These would make good puppet faces!  Then we brainstormed all the "How To" titles we could come up with. Each student had to choose one of the categories.  They did well brainstorming.....
1. How to Be a Pirate
2. How to Be a Fairy.
3. How to Fight a Dragon.
4. How to Play the game of _______.
5. How to Build a ________.
6. How to Make a ________.

Some kids wrote serious How To instructions. Some did funny mythical fictional ones. We started with a rough draft "sloppy copy". It seemed like everyone had a great idea.  Then I edited them and had kids add sentences, better describing words, more enhanced "settings" for their how to's.

I think this one was "How to Catch a Dragon"

After rewriting our stories on nice paper, we all collected cereal boxes. Then we did a "front of the box" 1/2 sheet illustration on white paper of our most important point in the how to writing.  Then we cut a top square out of the front of the box and a bottom square out of the back of the box for puppetry.
Making a puppet theater from a cereal box 

I used a steak knife and cut across the middle of the front...then used scissors to cut up both sides. Then I folded
up the top and taped it to the top of the cereal box with book tape. This is where their title went. 

Then on the back about the bottom third I used my steak knife again and cut a slit. Then used scissors to cut down the sides and across the bottom leaving about an inch around the edge. I wanted them to be able to lay their puppets insde
and they wouldn't fall out.  

Here's the top folded up and ready for the red or yellow paper we glued on with the caption
and the cute little foam ditty I found at Hobby Lobby for a buck. 

We decorated the bent up top portion of the box with a curtain and a sign made out of foam. I had found them on a clearance rack in the summer for $1.00 and there were 30. WHAT A DEAL!! They had some religious slogan I covered with the rectangle of white paper.

Cereal Box Puppet Theater... "How to Spot an Alien" (this one was soooo hysterical!  "use twinkies to  lure  the alien..."

Here is the finished cereal box theater...red paper at the top and a half sheet of white illustration paper covers the bottom. The sides just stayed looking like cereal.  We used the other half sheet for puppets and I gave each student 2 mini popsicle sticks or straws or wooden skewers to use for puppets.  I kinda cleaned out my supplies.... 
Here is a finished writing after the edit and rewrite were done.....I wish I had  snapped more pics! 

They were very motivated to do their theaters so everybody got their rewrites done before
working on their puppets....I find that an art project really motivates kids to get a writing done quick.


The kids got to choose their own stationery from my collection....some chose  some cute dragon  paper...

How to be a Professional Skier.....Such great illustrations too! 


I loved this "Jump" illustration...so cute! 

 It is cute how they included a glittery star that says "starring".  I told them to write their names under their stars.  So cute, right?


Cute paper for the raspberry ice cream How To....
How to Be a Princess.....so cute...Did you know you MUST be KIND?  I loved that....

Then we started our puppets. Then we each were allowed two long, wooden skewers to tape onto 2 puppets we made from the other 1/2 sheet of our white paper. They had to have everything finished in 4 hour-long writing periods this week. Try editing 30 papers in an hour. That is not so fun.

Reading the How To Be....with friends at the microphone....

Then the author read their "How To Be a" and got help from friends in the puppeteering department...

It was fun to hear all the unique How To writings the kids came up with...
I wish I could show all of them. . There was such a huge variety!

How to be a Pirate was popular....This was such a great illustrator too!  I think  How to Spot an Alien was also popular...


There were quite a few that were very instructional.....How to Make Ice Cream and  How to
Potty Train your Pets were both very interesting, and informative! 

 So first day writing, next day rewrite and illustration page. 3rd day box and puppets, 4th day finishing day. The last day we entertained each other.  We got in groups of 4 and did the puppet shows for each other. It was so fun to watch them read with expression for each other.
We practiced  first with a partner....

They got to choose 3 friends to match up with for 3 swaps...You read to me, then I'll read to you....

I think the kids really got into this fun buddy reading activity the most....

But they were also proud of their puppets and their theaters....Nova did How to Be a Princess...
I loved that she included the fact that you MUST be very NICE and KIND.  Good advice all you "would be" princesses! 

These Puppets were my very favorites....There were quite a few kids who did How To Train Pets....so cute...

This was a lot of fun and surprisingly not as much work as you would think!  

 Here are our finished puppet theatres, and our finished "How To" writings, and our puppets. This was a fun and creative enrichment project.  I loved how they all turned out and how engaged the kids were throughout the week.

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain