Sunday, January 25, 2015

FREEBIE - Football Writing Activity and Craft Idea {perfect for the Superbowl}

I made this FREEBIE the last time the Patriots were Superbowl bound.

That didn't end well for us New Englanders.

But, there is another big game coming up next weekend and I have a fun writing project and craft for you.

And you don't even need to be a Patriot's fan to enjoy it.

I thought I would spotlight this free writing packet once again in case you missed it. 

It's ready to go when you print it so it will make an easy addition to your Thursday or Friday plans this week.

If you've wondered about my writing packets, this is a good opportunity to see what they are all about.

Pictured above are the 6 pages I printed to use with my class.

They include webs, draft papers and final product pages as well as 4 full-color printables to use as bulletin board titles or class book covers.

Here's the cute bulletin board that I made to show off their writing samples.

I began with a large football cutout.

I typically use a brainstorming page from my writing packets to have the students come up with topics and ideas. However, despite the bubbling enthusiasm for all things football that the majority of my kiddos are showing this week, I knew that some of my little learners are not so interested in the gridiron.

Anticipating that this would translate into writer's block, I opted to brainstorm together. We did so by adding topics on Post-It notes to my big football. My 3rd grade football fans frantically waved their hands in the air begging me to call on them so they could add such phrases as Tom Brady, Rematch with the Giants, and AFC Champions to the potential topics list. Another popular choice was Rob Gronkowski. Lucky for me 1/3 of my class was sporting Gronkowski jerseys so I was able to spell it without consulting Google.

And then there were my non-football fans. We talked about things that are associated with football that they could select as a topic. I had kids write about cheerleading, Gatorade and nachos. By the time we were done, each little sweetie had a topic they were excited about.

After we went through the web-draft-edit routine, they completed their final copy and then it was time for our craftivity.

These caused me to lose sleep. On Monday we completed the heads and bodies. I thought they looked like astronauts. I literally woke at 4:30 and the first thought that popped into my mind was "facemask." Sure enough when we added the 3D face masks it all came together.

I was so excited by their cute little football players that I impulsively blurted out, "Oooh get me the silver glitter. These need some glitter."

In case y'all didn't know....I LOATHE glitter.

It is not a secret.

I had to laugh when one of my little boys leaned over to another and said, "Mrs. D TOTALLY just got caught up in the moment. She never would have used glitter if she had thought about it." So funny because it's true.

I put green paper and white stripes on the back of the board.

The border makes me smile. I simply cut 12x18 construction paper into a spiral. It actually went all the way around my board. I love how it looks.

All of the writing pages I used for this project are included in my Football-Themed Writing Packet Freebie. Swing by my products page to download it for free!

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Flash Freebies or Discounted Debut Items and view my easy-to-navigate online catalog.

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Penguin Thematic Unit {Common-Core Aligned} penguins, book list, math games, science, hands-on, activities writing, research and more

I had so much fun doing this unit with my class last year, but didn't post about it until the end of "penguin season" {fellow teachers totally know that all things thematic have a season}. Anyhow, since I was late to the party I wanted to repost it now since I know penguins are about to debut in many classrooms over the next few weeks. Be sure to check out the book list below too.

You guys. I now know A LOT about penguins. I spent the entire winter break researching and creating a mega-packet of completely Common Core-aligned resources and materials for ALL subject areas. And now if I ever find myself in front of Alex Trebek I'm hoping the final Jeopardy category is "Birds from the Southern Hemisphere" because I could answer anything.

I have to say the time invested was worth it because the kids have really been motivated learners throughout this unit and it has been great to see them applying their reading and writing strategies in a manner that truly excites them.

Penguins are plentiful in classrooms across the country at this time of year, but usually those classrooms fall into the primary category. I'm so proud of this packet because it takes all the fun of those cute black and white little waddlers and kicks it up a few notches with content for bigger kids.

Below are a collection of images that will allow you to peak into my classroom and into the packet of materials I used for my 2+ week interdisciplinary penguin unit. 


{Click here to access and download: Penguin Unit for Big Kids}

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