24 March 2013

Build a Bunny

So, I had a crazy idea! I was looking at my toddler's Build-a-Bear on the floor,
 and decided I was going to make a Build-a Bunny Craftivity.  

I'm not sure yet if I'm going to display the bunnies on a bulletin board, or maybe place them on the cover of a large piece of construction paper with the Easter eggs, character traits page, and writing piece on the inside.  I really think it would make a great addition to the writing portfolios we put together at the end of the year.  

Here is a picture of the bunny I made:

They won't all be exactly the same, so they would make a cute bulletin board display.  I'm sure a few of my kiddos will have grey and brown bunnies.  There is a blank egg pattern, so they can decorate it however they like.

The idea of the mini-unit is for students to imagine that the Easter Bunny is retiring and they are looking for a new bunny to fill his shoes.  They will have to persuade the current Easter Bunny to choose them.  They will use this page to list the 3 reasons why they should be chosen.

Then, students will introduce themselves as the new Easter Bunny with this little handout.  They will draw themselves as the Easter Bunny and write describing words/character traits to describe a good Easter Bunny.  *** I decided to return to this post to add some examples from my classroom, instead of the example I had originally posted (the bunny I drew was a little scary looking).
These are much cuter!

There is also writing paper for students to write what their first day as the Easter Bunny might be like.  What might their first adventure be like?  I also love to read Jan Brett's Book, The Easter Egg.  It's a great read aloud for Easter!

You can get this at my TPT store and hope you have a Happy Easter!!!!

Check out their adorable bunnies- all very unique!

23 March 2013

Tall Tales

I just had to share what our class did during our Tall Tall Unit.  I was originally going to create a unit, but this Literature Pocket Unit by Evan Moor was too good to pass up.  We didn't have a lot of time to use the entire unit and create all of the pockets, so we just made a smaller booklet instead.  We decided to focus on just four of the Tall Tall Characters, but this unit has many, many more to choose from.  It is intended for grades 4-6, but my second graders had no problem with it, and really enjoyed the entire unit.  

 There is a 2 pager story for each of the Tall Tales.  
Each Tall Tale also comes with the chart below and several activities to go along with each person.  I unfortunately can't share all the activities we did, because I sent them home already!

 These coloring pages did not come from the Evan Moor Unit, but I just had to include them. Second graders love coloring.  I found them at this website:

The coloring page of Davy Crockett is from http://www.education.com/worksheet/article/color-davy-crockett

 I created this little thinking map to go along with Paul Bunyan.  You can get it for free here.

One of the activities in the Literature Pocket Tall Tale Unit was a simile activity.  We simply cut the boxes apart on the worksheet and attached the pieces to a sentence strip.  It was a great opportunity to talk about similes, while learning about Tall Tales.  The picture of Paul Bunyan came from the coloring page document I linked to above.

This is a picture of Evan Moor's Book, in case you are interested.  It truly is a super resource.
 We decided to use the following Tall Tale characters in our unit:
* Pecos Bill
* Slue-Foot Sue
* Paul Bunyan
* Davy Crockett

 We finished up, by completing this Tall Tale writing piece.   You can click on the image below to download it for free.



14 March 2013

Plant Unit

I have had plants on my mind these last several days.  I knew we were going to be learning about plants after returning from Spring Break, and I really wanted to create something new for my kiddos.  I knew Spring Break would give me the perfect opportunity to put together exactly what I had envisioned.  I really like to make my units into booklets, because it keeps the prep work to a minimum, and my students  just love them.   I'm all about a fun filled unit I can simply staple together and go.  This unit is just that. We've already covered All About Books, so this just had to have an All About....Title.

For each plant part, there is an overview to teach that plant part, and a follow-up page for students to write what they learned about that plant part.  Basically, what did they add to their schema? I plan to read several trade books about plants, also.  Gail Gibbons has some great ones!

Here are a few of the goodies inside this resource:

Before learning about each plant part, students will write 
what they already have in their schema about that plant part on this schema recording page.

This unit also includes:
*  Plant Hokey Pokey (Song to Teach the Parts of the Plant)
*  A Cut/Paste Venn Diagram to compare a flower and tree
* Plant Thinking Map
* Plant Poem
*  Flower Diagram that students can label.  


If you are interested in this unit, you can head to my TPT store to check it out. Simply click below.


05 March 2013

Texas Visualizing

This week is Texas Public Schools' Week and we are immersed in our Texas Fractured Tale Unit.  But,  I was also looking for a fun way to get my students excited about learning about Texas.   I knew I wanted to be sure to integrate some of the things that we had already learned this year- like poetry and visualization.


My teacher buddy had recently shared an adorable poetry book her fourth grade students had written several years ago that described Texas using all of the letters of the alphabet.  (She is in the process of started a blog...so stay tuned)  I loved the idea, but I knew that would be a MUCH larger project.  I really wanted them to be able to take this activity home with them at the end of the week, so they could share it with their parents during Spring Break.  Instead, I thought of using just the letters that spelled T-E-X-A-S and each letter would stand for something important like:

T-  Tastes of Texas
E-  Eyes on Texas (What you might see)
X-  Extraordinary Places
A- Animals of Texas
S-  Symbols of Texas
The poems turned out to be great discussion starters, and we went ahead and brainstormed a long list of everything they had in their schemas about that particular topic. The letter T was all about the Tastes of Texas.  They came up with a great list of Texas foods like...jalapenos, tortillas, BBQ, salsa, chili peppers, tacos, hot wings, etc.

After a great discussion, they drew their mental images in the empty space below the poem.   Below are just a couple examples.   They are having a great time learning about Texas.  Those schemas are growing!!!!

This is one of my favorite Texas books to read aloud during Texas Public Schools' Week. 
Way too good to miss, and goes perfectly with this activity.