I love this time of year. Excitement for season is everywhere. Students begin talking about gifts, special activities, travel plans, and food the day they return from Thanksgiving break. I take advantage of this. We read Christmas themed books, and I teach language arts using holiday activities. Students write using Christmas prompts which are displayed on holiday bulletin boards. Students really love it, and so do I!
I recently presented a workshop for a group of teachers about writing. A small part of the presentation was holiday related. I presented a number of Christmas writing prompts and showed teachers how to make a super simple bulletin board to display student writing.Continue Reading
Mrs. Armstrong breaks her leg, so Mother must direct the Christmas pageant. Everything goes wrong when the Herdmans, the worst kids in the history of the world, are the only ones to volunteer for all the main roles. Will Mother be able to pull it all together?
Read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson to see how one disaster after another is averted.Continue Reading
As September comes to an end, and October rolls around, I like for my students to start a novel with a Halloween theme. These are not necessarily Halloween books, but ones that have themes that represent the season. For younger students, Stellaluna with its bat theme is a great choice. I have used Harry Potter (wizards) and The SpiderwickChronicles (all types of creatures).This free printable includes several witch activities that can be used while reading Roald Dahl’s book The Witches.
Comparing and Contrasting Two Witches
By teaching a novel with a theme, the difficult Common Core Skill RL.9 compare and contrast becomes much easier. Whether you are comparing themes, setting, and plots by the same author (3rd grade), similar themes and topics (4th grade), stories in the same genre (5th grade), or different forms (6th grade), using a Halloween theme makes the writing projects fun and interesting for students. In this set of free printables, you’ll receive this printable for students to compare the Grand High Witch from Dahl’s The Witches to the Wicked Witch of the West in Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.Continue Reading
The Hundred Dresses tells the story of a girl named Wanda. Her classmates tease her for being different. Wanda come for a poor part of town. Her Polish name is funny. Wanda wears the same faded blue dress to school each day. One day Wanda tells the others she has a hundred dresses in her closest. This causes even more teasing. Finally, her father decides that she must leave school. Will the girls change their minds when they learn more about Wanda? Based on a true story, The Hundred Dresses teaches a valuable lesson.
Teaching Ideas for the Book
Designing a Dress
A number of years ago, I had my students complete a drawing/writing project with monsters. Students drew a monster and color it. They had to keep their drawings secret. No one was to see them until the “reveal.”Continue Reading