The Cricket in Times Square Teaching Activities

Students began the unit by creating crickets from clothespins.

The Cricket in Times Square tells the story of a cricket named Chester who is trapped in a picnic basket, travels on a commuter train from the Connecticut countryside, and ends up in Times Square. While in the city, he makes friends with a cat, mouse, and young boy. In this heart warming tale, Chester charms everyone with his ability to chirp familiar songs. The whole city stops and listens as Chester performs concerts. Read this wonderful book to learn of Chester’s fate.

Fun Activities Your Students Can do with the Book 

Students began the unit by creating crickets from clothespins.See more photos. Continue Reading

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Genre Flash Cards

Free Genres Flash Cards

Genre Flash Cards contains 21 pairs (picture cards with matching fact cards) in a ready-to-use printable format. These are a free download at Teachers Pay Teachers.

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Where the Red Fern Grows – A Winter Mentor Text

Mentor Text Lesson

When thinking about a winter related book to use as a mentor text, I immediately thought of Where the Red Fern Grows. In the novel, Billy has to battle the winter weather in life and death situations twice. Continue Reading

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Free Teaching Resources to use with The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963

The Watsons go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

Are you looking for some ideas to use with The Watsons Go to Birmingham? This post contains several free teaching resources.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham reads almost like a diary detailing interesting events in the lives of what neighbors in Flint, Michigan call the “Weird Watsons.” The story is told from the perspective of fourth grader Kenny. Many of his stories detail how Byron, Kenny’s older brother, gets into trouble. Finally,  Momma and Dad are frustrated to the point that they decide to take a family trip to Birmingham. This is where Grandma Sands lives. Bryon is told he is going to live with his no nonsense, extremely strict Grandma until he can learn to behave. Continue Reading

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Analogy Lesson

Free Analogy Mini Lesson

I created this analogy lesson for a planned observation with a class of fourth graders. The lesson went extremely well. Students were on task which really impressed the supervisor. The full lesson can be downloaded for free at Teachers Pay Teachers.  

Activity #1

I love using response cards in the classroom. Response cards require students pay attention because it is obvious when a student holds up the same card each time or no card at all. As a teacher, I can quickly see if students understand the concept I am teaching or need additional practice. Continue Reading

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When the Shoe Fits – A Writing Project to use with Crash by Jerry Spinelli

Free Writing Project to use with the book Crash by Jerry Spinelli

Red shoes are an important symbol in the book Crash by Jerry Spinelli. This made me think about what types of shoes would represent the main characters. This turned into “When the Shoe Fits – A Writing Project to use with Crash by Jerry Spinelli.” This is a free printable activity that can be used as an interactive notebook activity.


Crash is extremely athletic. Because he excels in sports, he gets attention from the other students in his school. He is especially proud when he can beat the older (8th graders) students. Continue Reading

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Reference Materials Mini Lesson

Reference Materials Anchor Chart

This free ‘Reference Materials Mini Lesson’ contains three activities. The lesson is designed to help students determine which reference materials are needed to locate specific types of information. The lesson goes over six types of reference materials. These include dictionaries, thesauri, manuals, encyclopedias, atlases, and almanacs.

Download either printable and digital versions. Continue Reading

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