This book presents a problem that most kids can relate to. Okay, let's be honest. This book presents a problem that most people can relate to. How do you find the courage to pursue your dreams when the people around you are telling you to do something else? Astronaut Annie would be a great interactive read aloud because there are lots of opportunities to ask readers what Annie should do. In addition to the career crossword puzzle below, I included the NASA document about women in space that Suzanne Slade links to on her website. Upper elementary teachers, be sure to check out Tanya Lee Stone's Almost Famous. It'll fascinate your students.
Activity Name: Career Crossword
Activity Description: Give students a copy of Careers Crossword Puzzle provided in Teacher's Guide. Using the career definitions, students will learn about exciting career options as they solve the puzzle.
When I heard about this book, I immediately pictured the super-fun biography project that the third grade teachers do at my school. In addition to a non-fiction timeline, the third grade teachers ask students to create bottle people to accompany their timeline. If one of your students or your class decides to make a Eugen Sandow bottle person, please send photos my way. I want to see one! In the meantime, you can check out the pdf of bottle people photos and print out the assignment packet for your students. Happy reading!
Activity Name: Biography Bottle People
Activity Description: "You will be creating soda bottle sculptures. Save either a one or a two-liter soda bottle to use as the body of your famous person. You will need to fully decorate both the head and the body at home to closely resemble your famous person. You may want to “weight down” your sculpture so it will not be tipsy by placing a few heavy, disposable items inside before decorating. Sand, pebbles, or marbles would work well."
You DON'T want TEST PREP BOREDOM. So, the next time you need to practice a sixty-minute write after reading a fiction piece, don't reach for the photocopied lackluster story. Make your sixty-minute write sparkle with a classroom set of You DON'T Want a UNICORN! Don't worry, you don't need to buy a classroom set, request them from your library. That's what I just did. I love CWMars! Are you a lucky primary teacher who doesn't have to worry about test prep yet? Then, download the fun activity guide below and host a unicorn party in your classroom. WARNING-Unicorn parties are only recommended on Friday afternoons!
Activity Name: You DON'T Want an ANIMAL OF YOUR CHOICE!
Activity Description: Ask students to read You DON'T Want a UNICORN! Then, have them write their own version of the story by taking out the unicorn and choosing an animal of their choice. Set the timer for sixty-minutes and let their sparkly creativity flow. When they're finished they can use the Sixty-Minute Checklist below to edit their work.
Heather Lang's biographies have fabulous narrative arcs. So, if you're in the middle of a nonfiction unit, but you need to review story structure, this is your book! Plus, Anybody's Game is here in time for Women's History Month, spring training, and opening day. Heather's trading card activity is a ton of fun, too! If you like Anybody's Game, be sure to check out Swimming with Sharks and Fearless Flyer.
Activity Name: Make your own trading cards
Activity Description: (makes two cards) Interview a friend or make a card about yourself or someone you admire from history. On the left side draw/glue a picture of the person, write their name underneath. Complete the information on the right side. Make up a nickname if the person doesn’t have one. Cut around the outside edges, fold in half down the center line, and glue together. Create a class collection!
Website: https://www.heatherlangbooks. com
Sarah Brannen showed the pictures in Anybody's Game while Heather Lang read. Check out Sarah's trailer here: www.katenarita.com/2/post/2018/01/book-trailer-27-madame-martine-breaks-the-rules.html
This book is so much fun, and it will help your students learn to distinguish between butterflies and moths. During the winter, moths stick around but butterflies seem to disappear. What happens? Try out the activity from the Claudia & Moth Teacher's Guide below. If you have time for more activities, click on the link below for the full teacher's guide by Marcie Colleen.
Activity Name: Where Do the Butterflies Go?
Activity Description: "There are approximately 20,000 different species of butterflies in the world. While some butterflies hibernate in trees or spend the winter as caterpillars or pupa, others migrate
South to warmer climates.
Through an Internet search, find out where these butterfly species spend the winter:
o Tawny Emperor
o Red-spotted Purple
o Mourning Cloak
Create a poster of a winter scene and place the butterflies where they can be found."
Have you always wanted to travel to New York City? Here's your chance, and the best part about it is you can visit NYC without leaving the comfort of your own home or classroom. Simply pick up At Your Service by Jen Malone, cozy up on your couch or in your reading spot, and read! Don't have the book yet? That's okay. Click on this link to read the first chapter.
Activity Name: Make a Tour Map of Your Town or City
Activity Description: Chloe takes a princess on a tour of NYC and loses her, oops! Download the map below to see all the fun places a kid can visit in NYC. Then, make a map or your own town or city. If a princess were coming to your town, where would you take her. Be sure to include at least three fun places on your map. Be sure to include your house, too. After all, you're not going to miss out on a chance to have a princess over for dinner, are you?
The colors in this book are absolutely gorgeous! Your kindergarten and first grade students will absolutely love it. After you do the activity below, you can put the word search and the matching game at a center.
Activity Name: Feeling Blue?
Activity Description: In Chicken Wants a Nap, the illustrator uses a palette of warm and cool colors to
evoke emotion. What colors does she use when Chicken is having a bad day? What colors does she use when Chicken is having a good day?
What is your favorite color and how does it make you feel? Pick an emotion (happy, sad, tired, silly, mad) and one color that matches it and draw a picture.
After April vacation, we move into our historical fiction unit. I love this trailer because it features period music, dress, it's in black and white, and it asks lots of intriguing questions.
Activity Name: Write a Letter
Activity Description: Letter-writing plays an important role in What the Moon Said. Write a letter that Esther might have written from the farm to her friend Shirley if she'd known Shirley's new address. Then, have Shirley write a letter back to Esther. This is a great way to delve into perspective. You can find more activities here. You can find discussion questions here.
Would your class benefit from watching a calming book trailer? Look no further. Click on this link. You'll be whisked away to Shennen Bersani's trailer for Night Creepers. This is the perfect book to use with book buddies because the main text is simple, but the sidebars are complex. So, the younger students can read the main text and then the older students can read the scientific information in the sidebar to his or her buddy. The teaching guide below is pretty amazing. It has a fantastic Dichotomous Yes/No Key for sorting animals into the following groups: mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians. In addition, it also has an amazing adaptations section. After I have my students use the dichotomous key for sorting and they do the adaptation activity, they'll have the knowledge they need to complete this super-fun activity!
Activity Name: Who Am I?
Activity Description: "Copy and cut out the cards. Poke a hole through each one and tie onto a piece of yarn. Have each child put on a “card necklace” without looking at it so the card hangs down the back. The children get to ask each person one “yes/no” question to try to guess “what they are.” If a child answering the question does not know the answer, he/she should say, “I don’t know.” This is a great group activity and a great “ice-breaker” for children who don’t really know each other."
Click on this link for a fun firefly craft.
Looking for a warm, fuzzy feel-good activity? Check out this cute paper plate mama bear and cub activity. Be sure to look at the teacher's guide created by Marcie Colleen as well for other activities to incorporate into the classroom.
Activity Name: Paper Plate Mama Bear and Bear Cub
Activity Description: Have students make their own Mama Bear and Willy characters out of paper plates. You'll need dinner-sized plates for Mama and dessert sized plates for Willy. If you buy brown plates, students won't have to color the white plates, but white plates will work as well. Googly eyes and felt ears will delight students, but if you don't have access to these materials, you can easily use construction paper and markers to complete the project.
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.