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It Looked Like Spilt Milk Writing Activity

After reading aloud “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” have the children take torn paper or cotton balls and glue to paper. Have then write “Sometimes it looked like…..” Then, place all the pages together to bind and make a book or place on wall or bulletin board.  I always have the child present and read their finished page to class or family to build speaking skills.

Class Book

Recipe For Friendship Writing Activity

The beginning of the school year is the perfect time for children to discuss and write about what friendship “looks” like.  This is a great writing activity and a way for classroom teachers to start creating the community of friends and learners they desire for the rest of the year. In a classroom, these pages could be collected and copied into a recipe book for each to take home or just to keep in the class library. The same thing could be done for a family, small group organization such as Girl Scouts etc.

Grandparent’s Day

Each year, the first Sunday after Labor Day is the official day to celebrate Grandparent’s Day. There is nothing wrong with celebrating every day (as my mom would say) but this official day has the purpose of honoring grandparents,  giving grandparents an opportunity to show love for their grandchildren and helping children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.  If your children do not have grandparents, there are many elderly people that have no family around that would love to be a foster grandparent!

Many books can be found about grandparents. A few of our favorite picture books are Grandpa’s Teeth, The Song and Dance Man, Grandpa, Grandpa and The Gifts of Being Grand.

A writing and literature activity that can be done at home or school is to read a book and then design your own story using the same theme. We read Grandpa, Grandpa in my multi-age classroom and then each child made there own page. We then put the pages together to make our own class book. At home these pages could be used as a gift for grandmas and grandpas.

Cover Design for Class Book

First Grade Writing

First Grade Illustration

Second Grade Page

Second Grade Writing

Second Grade Illustration

Sketching and Journaling in your Own Front Yard

A creative way to journal and/or sketch for any age child is to go on a hunt in your own yard or neighborhood!  Bring a pad of paper, we keep a spiral notebook for each kiddo in the kitchen that is easy to grab . Get on your walking shoes and just observe and listen. Have each child choose one thing to draw or write about.  On this day we found a lizard (or something like that) in a bush right outside out front door. What a lucky day!

Organizing tip: You can tape or tie a string to the pencil and to the end of the notebook.

                          I keep two holders/cans on the counter, one for me and for the children.

                             This way my favorite pens or permanent markers will not get lost or used.

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Here is our new little lizard friend!

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Retelling Stories-Reading Comprehension Activity

Retelling Through Drawing

When children retell a story they increase their reading and listening comprehension.  This activity is fun for all ages, especially non-readers.  This is also a good lesson for teaching a new language, small groups and young learners.

1. Read a story out loud. (Readers can read a story on own.)

2. Have child draw one or several pictures that will be used to retell the story.
Depending on age, children may number the sequence of the pictures to help them recall the story.

3. Have child share the pictures and retell the story.

Extension:

As the child retells the story write their words onto paper.
Make the words and the pictures into a book by cutting out pictures and words and gluing onto book (sheets of paper that have been folded and stapled together, remember to put tape over the staples to protect little fingers).

Older Children:

Pretend you are writing a letter to someone who has not read the story.  Tell them the story and what you liked or did not like about the story.

Creative Writing Ideas for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was not an official holiday until 1863 when President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November “a day of thanksgiving and praise.”

75 years later, in 1939, President Roosevelt set Thanksgiving one week earlier to lengthen the shopping period before Christmas. Finally, in 1941, Congress ruled that the fourth Thursday of November was going to be the legal federal holiday to celebrate Thanksgiving.

A few writing ideas for a classroom or family at home:

Pretend you are president. Write a proclamation for Thanksgiving Day.  When do you think it should be and how should we celebrate?

Make up your own holiday and describe what should be done on that day.

Read a book about the Mayflower’s trip to America. Write about what it would be like on the Mayflower. If you could only bring one or two items from your home, what would it be?

Keep a Thanksgiving journal. Every year, write the things you are most thankful for and let each member of the family contribute. What a neat tradition and keepsake to look at every Thanksgiving!

Read the Ring

An easy to make and fun to read activity. You will need a ring, any size, hole punch and paper (index cards, sentence strips, or cut card stock.) Write words appropriate for your child’s reading level on each paper, punch a hole in each corner, put onto the ring and you have an instant activity that can even be used in the car!

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This ring is for beginning readers and holds the high frequency words. I add one or two each time.

Word ideas for beginning readers: High frequency words (the, is, was etc.), word families (cat, hat, mat, rat), names of friends or family, colors, numbers (one, two), compound words (pancake, sunrise) and any words from a story they may be reading.

Fluent Readers: Vocabulary or spelling words from school, states and capitals, countries, most common misspelled words (believe, definitely, restaurant) and any dates they may need to remember.

The link below will take you to a list of commonly misspelled words.

http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/misspelled.html

Hanging Out

This is a fun activity for children learning to alphabetize words. Cut out clothing shapes like socks, pants and shirts or if you want to keep it simple use index cards.  Write words appropriate for your child or just the ABC’s for the young children.

Tie string from one chair to another (or what works in your house or classroom) and have child use clothespins to hang the words in alphabetical order.

Other ways to use the Hanging Out activity:

Number Order: 1,2,3,4…

Skip Counting:5,10,15,20….

Sentence Order: Mix a sentence up and have child hang in correct order.

Place Dates from a Time Line in Order. This could be an informal assessment of history lesson.

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Sentence Matching for Beginning Readers

As children begin to read they need lots of practice and this is a fun and different way to approach reading and sentence structure.  You will need a simple book that is at your child’s reading level, this can be attained from the library or your child’s teacher. Bookstores also carry emergent reading books. After reading the book,  write one or a few of the sentences out on paper or sentence strips.  Cut these apart and scramble the words. Have your child match the words to the text on the book.  Allowing them to look at the book and as they advance, you can take away the book.

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Word Race

A fun way for children to practice vocabulary, writing and quick thinking! Prepare the child by talking about some of the words they know and explain they will be writing the words down on paper until you say stop.  You will need paper, pencil and a timer for this activity. Set the timer for two minutes and then see how many words the child can write in that time. Count the words and write the number at the bottom.  You can keep a chart and do this daily to watch the progress.

Also, to expand this activity you can give your child themes such as spring, school or sports or you can have them write words that start with a certain letter.

In a classroom, this would be a good pre-and post-test for a unit of study.

Younger Children:

If your child cannot write yet this activity can be modified by having the child say as many words as they can in one minute as you tally the number of words they say!

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