Christmas Bulletin Board

Christmas Bulletin Board

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

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Comparing Cinderella Stories – Ella Enchanted

Cinderella vs. Ella Enchanted Activity

Ella Enchanted is a Cinderella story with a twist. When Ella is born, a fairy named Lucinda gives her the gift of obedience. Now whenever anyone gives Ella an order, she must follow it. At first, Ella’s mother and their cook protect Ella. When Lady Eleanor dies, Ella’s father remarries.

As you can imagine, this causes Ella all kinds of trouble. Her mean stepsisters, Hattie and Olive, pull simple pranks. For example, Hattie tells Ella not to eat. Hattie even orders Ella to stop being friends with Areida. Continue Reading

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The Giver Teaching Ideas

Free The Giver Activity on Book Symbols

Enjoy these five teaching ideas to use with your novel study of The Giver including a free downloadable activity and samples from The Giver Book Unit.  

Twelve year old Jonas lives in a futuristic world where prejudice, war, hunger, crime, as well as the freedom to select a spouse has been eliminated. Jonas is chosen by the Elders to receive memories from the past. These memories come from the time before free will was removed from the society. Will Jonas be able to handle the memories of pain and war? Will these memories change Jonas? Read Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver  to see how Jonas’s world is turned upside down by the past. Continue Reading

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Crossword Puzzle Generators

Making Free Crossword Puzzles


Literally billions of crossword puzzles can be found online or in teacher resource books, but they often don’t fit the words you are studying. In this post, I have reviewed six free crossword puzzle generators. I hope these reviews will help you find the site that best fits your needs. Each title is linked to the generator website. Continue Reading

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Activities

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

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Thanksgiving Activities for Big Kids

Thanksgiving for Big Kids

With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, I’m sure you are looking for some activities that both celebrate the season and teach valuable lessons and skills.

Check out these free Thanksgiving activities for upper elementary students. Continue Reading

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The One and Only Ivan Setting Activity

The One and Only Ivan Activities

If you haven’t read The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, you are in for a real treat. The story is told from the perspective of Ivan, a silver back gorilla in a journal-like format.  The reader learns about Ivan’s past through flashbacks, his struggles in the present living in the small confined cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, and his dreams for the future. This post contains several teaching ideas to use with the book. 

Anchor Chart

Throughout his life, Ivan lives in four different places. This anchor chart lists those places. For this chart, the class brainstormed details about each place Ivan lived. Students wrote details on sticky notes. The students then placed the sticky notes on the anchor chart in the correct locations.  Continue Reading

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