Before I delve into the featured activity, today is the last day to share this trailer on Facebook or Twitter to be entered to win a signed print from the vivacious Vanessa Brantley Newton. Many thanks to Curious City for this fabulous opportunity. Here's what you need to do to win a signed print:
1. Share the book trailer on Facebook or Twitter.
2. Include the hashtag #YoungestMarcher
3. Winners randomly selected on 4/1/17.
4. Winners have until 4/7/17 to respond to our DM or another winner will be chosen. Alas!
Activity Name: Interesting Sentences Activity Sheet
Activity Description: If you're looking for a fun way to introduce your students to descriptive language, this activity worksheet is the way to go. It highlights five fabulously powerful sentences from the book and asks students to note what interests them about the sentence.
This post also gives me a chance to recognize the great work Tammy and Clare from Teachers for Teachers are doing at The Center School. Our fourth grade team will be starting civil rights book groups after April break. But before we start the book groups, we're going to read a bunch of civil rights picture books to famailirize students with the historical era. I will definitely be adding this book, along with Let the Children March by fellow Epic Eighteen member, Monica Clark-Robinson, to the list of civil rights books found at this link.
Author Website: cynthialevinson.com/ Be sure to check out her site and this link because there are a ton of additional resources for teachers.
The link to Vanessa Brantley Newton's website is above. If you want to learn more about her, be sure to listen to this awesome interview with Matthew Winner.
We all know how difficult it is to be "the new kid on the block." But immigrants and refugees not only have to overcome the nervousness associated with not knowing anyone, they also have to overcome language barriers and adjust to the customs of a new culture. Since I married an immigrant, and because I have lived in two different foreign countries and have had to overcome two different language barriers and adjust to two different cultures, this book speaks to my heart. Oh, and by the way, National Refugee Day is June 20th. So, if you'll be in school to the end of June, like me, then this could be a fun end of the year activity. But, truthfully, it's an important activity to do with students any day of the year. The activity guide explains the activity above, and the activity below would be a fun way to get started. Enjoy!
Activity Name: Welcome Speech Bubbles
Activity Description: "Consider capturing the spirit of the event or classroom experience, by making
speech bubbles that say “welcome” in many languages. What are the major languages in your community? Ask the ELL coordinators in your school system or one of the community groups serving new arrivals for this information. The kit provides blank speech bubbles (pages 13-14) for you or your community to write “welcome” in a language they know or a language they research. These speech bubbles are best printed on cardstock paper. We have also provided a handful of languages as speech bubbles (pages 15-20): Arabic,
Chinese, French, Korean, Somali and Spanish."
So excited to learn about this early reader series. The activity I'm featuring is an activity all students need to be proficient in, the retell. Be sure to check out the guide because there are lots of fun ideas inside. My favorite activity inside the guide is Lights, Camera, Action! which accompanies Joe and Sparky, Superstars! Sparky's talent is shadow puppets, and the guide suggests making paper bag puppets with students. Every year our fourth graders do light-themed shadow puppet activities. I'm including the file below.
Activity Name: Joe and Sparky's Time-ly Adventures
Activity Description: There's an appealing activity sheet for the retell in the activity guide. "You can use time words to help recall and retell a story. Think about your favorite Joe and Sparky adventure. Then retell the story using the time words below. Finally, draw pictures of the adventure in order in the correct spaces."
Author Website: www.jamiemichalak.com/
Another fabulous community building activity by Curious City. I've linked to the guide below, but no worries if you don't have access to a color printer. The same activity can be done by cutting blue construction paper into rectangles. I'm looking forward to trying the Blue Pool of Questions out. Also, the final paragraph, that encourages students to submit their questions online gives educators a way to move up the SAMR ladder as well.
Activity Name: Blue Pool of Questions
Activity Description: "The activity should inspire your readers (students, patrons, and/or community) to ask the big questions. Whether their questions are personal, philosophical, political, or seemingly impossible, the activity invites them simply to ask.
There are blue slips of paper provided in this kit. If your readers’ questions are written on these blue slips and collected in a clear container, the “pool of questions” grows deeper and deeper with every question asked. This visual pays tribute to the story, but also demonstrates the power of a community coming together to exhibit curiosity.
Penny Candy Books is also building a “blue pool of questions” at BluePoolofQuestions.com. There, questions can be asked in an online form and then appear in the pool. Questions are being asked by readers of all ages from all over the world. The questions your community asks can be added into that larger pool at BluePoolofQuestions.com."
April Pulley Sayre's beautiful texts always make me smile and feel as though all is right in the world. This book has very few words. It's sparse text is perfect for a quick read aloud. I'm including an origami activity below. When we lived in Japan, my son's Japanese language support teacher turned us on to this site. We've been using it ever since.
Activity Name: Origami Squirrels
Activity Description: Follow the directions on the sheet below. If you're never tried origami with your class, it's a good idea to invest in origami paper. It's much thinner than typical paper, so it's easier to fold which leads to less frustration and more success.
I love books that celebrate the importance of story. The Storyteller will transport students to other places whether it be a location in the book, or a place in the heart of their own story. Plus, there's step-bystep instrctions for creating an origami cup in the guide. A story and a little origami can calm the crowd on a jazzed-up day.
Activity Name: Quench Your Thirst: An Origami Activ ity
Activity Description: "Readers are invited to write and draw in the “pool of blue”on this activity sheet as the book is read to them. When they fold the paper according to the origami instructions, readers will hold a cup filled with water, words, and images. This reinforces the book’s theme that you can quench your thirst with story!"
.When I come across a stunning book, I wonder how I didn't know about it beforehand. The artwork in this book is exquisite, the message is more important than ever, and the story, well, it's unbelievable. To top it off, Lee and Low has created a thorough teaching guide that will help teachers everywhere. I've featured one of the activities from the guide below, and the link to the complete guide is included as well. Enjoy!
Activity Name: The View From the Crowd
Activity Description: "Ask students to imagine they were in the audience at one of Doc and Jim’s performances. Have students write a friendly letter to Doc describing their reactions to the performance,
including a detailed description of what they saw, heard, or felt. Students should include questions they would want to ask Doc regarding Jim, Jim’s training, or the performance."
In addition to having excellent resources for Step Right Up, the teacher guide also includes lists of other books about horses as well as other books about kindness which is helpful if you're trying to gather several books on either topic.
Are your kids crazy for vehicles of every kind? Than be sure to check out Alison Goldberg's I Love You for Miles and Miles. Plus, Mother's Day and Father's Day are right around the corner. If you're looking for a new gift to send home with your students, check out the metaphor actvity below.
Activity Name: Miles and Miles of Metaphors
Activity Description: Use the Ellison machine to cut out various vehicles. Take photos of your students pretending to drive vehicles. Have them glue the picture of themselves on top of the vehicle cut outs. Then, use the corresponding metaphor from I Love You for Miles and Miles. Here's one of them:
"My love for you is
Tougher than the toughest tractor
Planting crop after crop,
Helping through mud and muck."
For older students, they could write their own metaphor based on any obeject they feel passionate about from a variety of subjects such as animals, places or characters.
Author Website: alisongoldberg.com/
Illustrator Website: myamada.com/
I cannot wait to try this activity with my class and our kindergarten book buddies. All I have to do is request all the lion books mentioned in the Story Hour Kit online from our library system and copy the kitty templates. My students can cut the kitties out and hide them inside the lion books from the library. Thanks for this awesome activity Curious City!
Activity Name: Lion Hunt
Activity Description: In Lion Lion, "the boy and his animal friends think that the kitten (named Lion) has been swallowed by the lion. The clever boy uses his flashlight to find his way into the lion's open mouth and into his throat where he finds the kitten unharmed. Your clever kids can also look for the kitten cut-outs inside a lion. When you hide the cut-out kittens inside lion books, you are mimicking the boy’s adventure."
"Look through your collection of picture books about lions and your lion nonfiction books. Set aside a collection of lion books for the event. Aim to have as many lion books as you have cut-out kittens. Here is a list of our favorite lion picture books:
A Lion in Paris Alemagna, Beatrice
Chloe and the Lion Barnett, Mac
How Loud Is a Lion? Beaton, Clare
The Lion Inside Bright, Rachel
Lion, Lion Busch, Miriam
Lionheart Collingridge, Richard
A Hungry Lion Cummins, Lucy
Ruth The Lion and the Bird Dubuc, Marianne
Roar! Edwards, Pamela Duncan
The Lion and the Mice Emberley, Rebecca
The Happy Lion Fatio, Louise
Snuggle Up, Sleepy Ones Freedman, Claire
The Animal Boogie Harter, Debbie
Library Lion Knudsen, Michelle
Lion Vs. Rabbit Latimer, Alex
A Lion in the Meadow Mahy, Margaret
Monty's Magnificent Mane O'Neill, Gemma
The Lion & the Mouse Pinkney, Jerry
The Cinder-Eyed Cats Rohmann, Eric
The Lion's Paw Tenggren, Gustaf
If I Were a Lion Weeks, Sarah
You Are a Lion! Yoo, Taeeun"
Sometimes you come across a book or an activity that you know will change your teaching. The days you come across a book and an activity that will change your teaching it's Like Magic. For years, I've done two activities in my class. One activity, the brown bag activity, we do at the beginning of the year to get to know one another. Everyone brings in three items in an unmarked brown paper bag. Then, I pull out the three items and we try to guess the owner of the bag. Last, the owner explains why he/she put the items in the bag. The other thing I do is a Star of the Week activity. Each week we a different class member brings in a photo of herself and beneath it a few of her favorite things and her favorite recipe. At the end of the year, I collate all the Star of the Week photos and recipes into a class yearbook that kids can sign.
Like Magic is going to improve both of these activities. Instead of having kids bring in a brown paper bag, I'm going to ask them to decorate a shoebox and put their three items inside inside their treasure box. Then, after I share my box I'll explain that this is going to be the class's treasure box. I'm the first Star of the Week. At the end of my week, I'll leave a homemade treasure in our class box that the next Star of the Week will take. That Star of the Week will leave a treasure in the box for the following Star of the Week and so on.
The activity below features the treasure box. The suggestion is to use a wooden box, but shoeboxes are free.
Activity Name: Treasure Box
Activity Description: "In the middle grade novel Like Magic by Elaine Vickers (HarperCollins), three lonely tween girls find friendship through a book-shaped treasure box in their library. Inside the box’s lid is printed the message,
Take this treasure,
Leave one of your own,
And remember this truth:
You are not alone.
The girls borrow the “Amicitia” box and leave each other origami stars, poems, music, and art postcards. Through the sharing of these small treasures, the girls create a connection and eventually meet.
Imagine having this friendship-building book on your shelves!" A template was created and is available at Curious City which will show you how to decoupage a book treasure box from standard craft store supplies. You can also print out the file below for step-by-step directions.
Weekly Wall Recommendations
For the 2018-2019 school year, students will be choosing books to display on our classroom recommendation wall. The wall is a lending library. It showcases the various literature choices in the classroom, celebrates students' voices and choices, facilitates getting to know each other through our literature choices, and facilitates communication with the global learning community.