Friday, April 11, 2014

Five for Friday April 11th

I am linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.  Thank you Kacey for hosting this!

This week  some of our mini lessons for Writer's Workshop focused on using fun texts- different sizes, different ways of writing, and speech bubbles.  We have been working on adding details to both our writing and our drawing, and using these extras are fun ways to add some details.

I started our speech bubble lesson like this: (Several of my little sweeties took the pictures of me. This too a while...)
Then we read some of my FAVORITE stories that use lots of speech bubbles:

1.  Any and every Piggie and Elephant book or Pigeon book by Mo Willems

2.  Swim, Swim by Lerch

If you haven't read this story, it's a cute one- all written with speech bubbles.  The kids love it.  This is from Amazon:
Lerch is one sassy, snazzy fish who seems to have it all: good looks, charm, a great sense of humor, and a perfect smile. But he's lonely (the bubbles and the pebbles ain't talkin'!) and wants to find a friend. But where? Then, with the help of an unexpected "admirer," Lerch meets Dinah, and it's true love from first glance.

The kids love this story because the cat calls Lerch, "Lunch" and Dinah, "Dinner", so they are SURE it will end badly... (spoiler alert- it doesn't.)

After we read the stories, we review how to write the words coming out of the speech bubbles. This sounds simple and like common sense, but lots of the children want to write the words backwards, like they are coming out of the animal's mouth with the last letter coming out last and the first letter over to the right. 

We do two quick writing activities  with speech bubbles that the kids love.  First, I have each child fold a paper in half, so they have four sections (two front/two back) to draw animals.  We talk about what different animals say or could say. I remind them to use lots of detail in the picture and to be brave and try different things.  Here are some of my sample pictures. (No, I don't just draw that way so the kids feel better about themselves... sadly that is really my  ability level.)  

Here is one of my "brave" little girl's pictures.  I am always telling the children to be "brave" and try something new!  She said the cheese was hiding and didn't want to be eaten, so the cheese said, "sh." The penguin wasn't sure if he wanted popcorn.  (I think she was having fun with some question marks, too!)
Next, we do another fun activity with animal pictures.

First, we read Mrs. Wishy-Washy's Farm.

 The children color this sheet of animals:
I don't know where I got this sheet at all. I'm sorry I don't have the source. You can get a copy here if you would like it. Of course there are lots of papers with animal pictures- and you can use any type of animal you would like. I just liked the farm animals because it gave the children lots of options for what the animals may say.

One of our other  mini lessons  for the week focused on  identifying characters and settings in stories.  We used our farm animals as characters in a drawing we made.  We did this one together. We decided that our setting would be a barnyard.  We talked about what we might find in a barnyard or on a farm.  We talked about where each animal might be on that farm, and what each one may be saying.   Then, we glued on our animals and added speech bubbles to our picture. 

The children "bubble cut" the animals.  Is that a real thing or just something that I say when I want the kids to just cut something out but not worry about cutting exactly on the line of the object?  Anyway, that's what I call it!
Then, they made their settings for their characters.  I gave them each a BIG piece of paper (11x17).  Sometimes just letting them use big paper is special enough to make an activity perfect!
(I liked how this pig was muddy!)
The kids LOVED this activity.  They worked so seriously and carefully.

Here was one of the finished pictures. The children were so proud to share their work!

I found these little chocolate carrots (CHEAP- Palmer chocolate, so they were only $1) that I bought to save for when we do some activities with The Carrot Seed after Easter- so go get some if you want them! The won't be around when I actually want to do my lesson with carrots after Easter.

I found these cute pictures from Miss Lee that will be great for sequencing the story!

The Carrot Seed Summary
We are working on how-to books, now, too- so "How to Grow a Carrot" would be a great book for the children to write using first, next, then, and last. 

I always read The Carrot Seed and Tops and Bottoms together. 

This art project from Art Projects for Kids   really shows how the root vegetables grow underground.  It would be great to use with  both these books!  Don't you love the colors?

Here is another fun activity from Along the Way!

We used these great numbered Easter eggs to make a fun little headband. WHERE did I get them from? I am not sure. There wasn't a link on the actual paper to tell me, but I am determined to find out, and I will post it here.  I'm sorry I can't find the wonderful souce, because we had a ball with them. If it is yours, please let me know! Although, if I had a Twitter account, I MAY put this under the #whatwasIthinking category... (although if that were a real thing- I may have that filled up by now, because I often have ideas that are fun but sorrrrrt of messy!) Anyway-  the children colored the eggs, cut them out, and glued them onto the band.  That was all wonderful.  Then, I thought how much fun it would be to add Easter grass.  BUT instead of me doing it, I thought they would have fun with it.  I was SO right. It was maybe the most fun ever.

(I honestly do not make my redheads sit at the same table! I have even more that these cuties!)

 So, after all was said and done, I said we would have a "Clean Up Party."  The kids had a ball with this, too.  Honestly.  The party consisted of... cleaning up pieces of Easter grass. Period.  Nothing else.  And it was really fun.  I am thinking I should throw more parties!
 Finished products!

Common Core ELA: Spring Edition!

Today was BEAUTIFUL-the first of its kind. Me, myself, and I The kids HAD to get outside for some fresh air.  First I took everyone's picture for our Swing into Spring pictures to put over the lockers. I love to use pictures of the children because that way they can find their lockers.  Art projects above lockers all sort of look the same to them, and it is confusing. 
After pictures, we had a spelling test with chalk on the basketball court. (I know it looks like I made them bow down to the sun, but that's really not it.)

 Next, I had the children line up on a straight line.  I said a sight word, and they had to take steps (giant or baby ) for each letter to spell the word.  We did this as a whole group, so the whole line was taking three steps for "can"...  We did it one way, then back. The next time we did it one way, and they had to skip back, run back, hop back...
We only had a few minutes before lunch, but they were just fabulous, so we will definitely be out there again. It's amazing how the same activities are so much more wonderful outside!

If you missed my post about some of our Easter activities, you can see it HERE!  Here are some of the things we did that are in that post-
Fun with Good Job, Jellybean-
 This cute letter to the Easter bunny paper (with a surprise bunny tail left as a surprise!)-
These sweet little bunny necklaces-

Our bunny hats and "If I were the Easter bunny" stories-

And I will leave you with this.  This was a HUGE celebration on Tuesday- our first morning glory!  Yay!

Happy, Happy Weekend!
                                   easter bunny


  1. Amazing post!! So many ideas with some of my favorite books. I'm glad you linked up so I could find our post!! I bought some of those chocolates too!!

  2. I love the speech bubbles activity! We will be doing narrative writing with speech bubbles soon and this is an awesome idea.

    Luck's Little Learners

  3. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I'm doing those speech bubbles for sure! I'm making you morning glory hats!

  4. I seriously love EVERYTHING about this post!!! The speech bubbles look like so much fun! We've been reading a lot of Elephant and Piggie books...I am SO making speech bubbles for myself next week! The egg hats are adorable and I love, love, LOVE the spelling in chalk!!! I am adding this to my list for next week! :) Have a super weekend!!


  5. I love this post too -( but I love all of yours!) I love your drawings and that YOU were brave enough to share with us! And your bubble cuttings (I'm so stealing that expression!) and your red heads, and swinging into spring, and bowing to the sun - er, outside spelling test! Now, let me think, what of these can I use??? Thanks, thanks as always for sharing! Sara


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