Zombies and mummies yesterday, why not ghosts today? I love the accompanying activity guide, because it can be printed out and collated ahead of time and placed in a writing center. When students have some extra time, they can make their own How to Make Friends with a Ghost book.
Activity name: Make your own How to Make Friends with a Ghost book.
Activity description: Have the books printed out ahead of time. Then, students can fill in the missin information. First, they'll have to draw something that could be mistaken for a ghost. Second, they'll have to label the various parts of a ghost. Third, they'll have to write a short autobiography. Fourth, they'll have to craft a recipe their ghost might enjoy. Finally, students will have to identify a food item their ghost is sometimes mistaken for. Tons of ghostly fun!
Zombies and mummies, need I say more? It turns out I do because in addition to this book being a ton of fun, it introduces young readers to various genres.
Watching this video took me back ten years to when I lived in Japan with my family. We visited this Ninja Museum http://www.iganinja.jp/?page_id=837 My sons loved dressing up as ninjas and throwing shuriken.
I wish Ninja would have existed back then!
Activity Name: Ninja Star Origami
Activity Description: Give each student two pieces of origami paper along with the activity sheets below so that they can create their own shuriken. Hint: This activity is best done at the end of the day so that the ninja stars can quickly be sent home.
In February of 2016, Fearless Flyer earned a starred review from School Library Journal. Fearless Flyer and Heather's other biographies of women who changed the world should be in all classroom libraries. If you don't have one of her biographies yet, pick one up in time for Women's History Month in March.
Activity Name: Fearless Flyer Found Poem
Activity Description: Using FEARLESS FLYER: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine, create a found poem and be inspired by positive word choice.
1. As you read FEARLESS FLYER, look at the art and jot down any slogans or hash tags that come to mind. (This can be a class brainstorming activity.)
2. Choose one as a title for your poem.
3. Now go back through the text and collect a list of words or phrases that are meaningful to you or relate to the title/theme of your poem (at least 20 or 30).
4. Create your own inspiring poem by rearranging your chosen words. For example it could be a first person poem, a poem about another person, or a poem about a feeling or a hope. You can repeat words as often as you like. You may add two of your own words to personalize your poem.
5. Be creative! Play around with things like font type and size. Think about the shape of your poem or how you could place it on the page. And make sure you illustrate your poem!
Teacher’s Guide Link: https://heatherlangbooks.squarespace.com/s/Fearless-Flyer-Teachers-Guide-FINAL-2hpl.pdf
Website url: https://www.heatherlangbooks.com
Each year during the first week of school, I read Madame Martine to my students. Afterward, on a photocopied drawing of a dog, they each write down one new thing they're going to try during fourth grade. Then, they attach a ribbon leash to the paper dog, and the other end of the leash is attached to a photo of themselves. They love the book and the activity. I'm so excited to feature the sequel's trailer and an accompanying activity.
Activity Name: Make Your Own Museum
Activity Description: In Madame Martine Breaks the Rules, Madame Martine and her dog Max get lost in the Louvre Museum. The Louvre is the most famous art museum in the world, but there are lots of other kinds of museums! There’s a Museum of Bad Art in Massachusetts. You’ve probably been to a science museum, but what about a telephone museum? Or a museum all about nothing but postage stamps? There’s a cartoon museum, and a children’s book illustration museum. There’s even a museum of burned food! Seriously!
Some museums are dedicated to a single famous person, like Benjamin Franklin, or an artist like Picasso, or a musician like the opera composer Giacomo Puccini.
What would be in YOUR museum?
Choose something you’re really interested in, like skiing, or comic books, or your favorite TV show.
Or, your museum might be all about yourself!
Draw a picture of the museum, with the different rooms and spaces. Then draw pictures, or cut out pictures, of all the things that would be in your museum. Be creative! It’s your museum, so it’s totally up to you. Make sure to show people why they would want to come and visit!
Sarah typed up this activity on a word document so that you could print it out and put it in your writing center for early finishers. The document is below. Enjoy!
My students are crazy about Sarah Albee's nonfiction books. Each year during our nonfiction unit Poop Happened: A History of the World from the Bottom Up gets passed around the classroom as if it were contraband. It's almost as if simply by holding it in their hands, they're breaking the rules and they love it! Last week I brought in Bugged: How Insects Changed the World and handed the book to the student I had promised it to, and she began jumping up and down. I don't have Poison: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions and Murderous Medicines yet, but I'm expecting the same kind of response when I add it to our collection. In addition to the above trailer, Sarah has a bunch of other videos for Poison that highlilght stories she was unable to fit in the book. When I saw the one about Ponce De Leon below, I immediately thought about the fifth graders in my school who do reports each year on explorers. Be sure to check out Sarah's activity, too!
Activity Name: The Dark Side of the Periodic Table
Activity Description: Choose one element from the periodic table that is also mentioned in the book (arsenic, mercury, thallium, polonium, radium, phosphorous, etc). Research the element using the book and other sources, and write a paragraph, or make a list, of different products used by humans that are made from that element, or compounds that contain that element, both useful and nefarious, both historical and today.
I read this Winterhouse excerpt and loved it. Then, I immediately passed it on to one of my students. Can't wait to buy this book for my classroom and share this awesome activity with her.
Activity Name: Creating Puzzles and Codes
Activity Description: Explore several types of fun puzzles and codes--including anagrams, Word Ladders, ambigrams, and the challenging Vigenere Cipher--and try to create some of your own. If you learn how to use the Vigenere Cipher, you can send coded messages that are nearly impossible to break! (Teachers can go here to find more details and some helpful resources for all codes/puzzles indicated on the activity sheet: http://benguterson.com/puzzles-and-codes/)
Learn more about Ben Guterson here benguterson.com/
Valentine's Day is only three weeks away. That means soon students will be making and trading Valentine's Day cards. Read this book before you begin crafting. Then, have them personify their card and write a story about Valentine's Day from their card's perspective.
Activity Name: Make Your Own Little Card
Activity Description: Using the downloadable template below and a few common supplies, students can create their own version of the book's main character.
I wish this book would have existed when I taught first grade! There's a great character tracking sheet you can use when you read different gingerbread man stories, and there are super cute gingerbread men with rhyming words piped on their plump bodies. Fun for all!
Activity Name: GB Man Hunt Extension Activities
Activity Description: Sequencing Sheets, Missing Posters, Lesson ideas - Mapping, Maze, Word Search & many more!
The amazing Matthew Winner interviews Laura Murray here on All The Wonders player.fm/series/all-the-wonders-the-childrens-book-podcast/laura-murray
If only kindergarten naptime were quiet and everyone slept! But that's not the case. So, we might as well have a sense of humor about it.
Activity Name: Noisy Naptime
Activity Description: Make a class book that mirrors Noisy Night. Take a photo of each child making a noise in the classroom and of each child "trying" to nap. Have each child write, "Who is making that noise?" in a speech bubble above the photo of them sleeping. On the next page, place the photo of a different child making the noise with a short sentence describing the child's action. Fun!
Chalk and Ink
Chalk and Ink is a biweekly podcast that publishes on Fridays throughout the school year. Learn how teachers who write and writers who teach combine craft moves to create outstanding products for their students and readers. Download Chalk and Ink wherever you get your favorite podcasts.