Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Peter Rabbit Activities

Do you know the difference between Peter Rabbit and Peter Cottontail? This simple lesson is a great way to compare and contrast the two stories!

We started out by reading the story The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

The students worked on story elements using this simple "All About Peter Rabbit" layered book. 

Next we read the story Peter Cottontail and then we completed a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the two characters. 

Finally, the students completed their own Venn diagram.

Want to do this lesson too? You can grab this freebie here

Easter Writing Activities

Easter writing activities are a great way to get your kids engaged in writing with a fun theme! This month we are working on opinion writing, which can be hard for my firsties! So I decided they needed something to really get them excited about writing.  Well......what do kids absolutely love? You guessed it...candy!

So this week we are going to be writing our opinion on different Easter candy and other Easter traditions!

We started off the lesson with the story The Night Before Easter.  It's a cute book with lots of reference to all the Easter candy that the Easter Bunny will bring.  

Next, we worked together in interactive writing to make a list of our favorite Easter candy.

Then the kids set to work to fill our giant Easter basket with goodies! I put out the scrap box and the kids worked to make marshmallow peeps. chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and more.  I think our basket turned out adorable!

Finally it was time for the best part....tasting a chocolate bunny! I found these little gems at the drug store and they were perfect for this lesson.

When the kids finished their bunny, it was time for them to write their opinion.  They used this little template to tell me what they thought of their tasty treat!

Finally, we finished up our lesson with a simple little chocolate bunny craft.

This super fun and easy lesson was a great way for my firsties to practice some meaningful writing, while still having a little Easter fun!  Want to try this in your room? Head on over to my TPT store where you will find Opinion writing templates for chocolate bunnies, marshmallow peeps, jelly beans, coloring eggs and more

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Easter Peep Writing Activity

If you are looking for a fun Easter writing activity, you have to try Adopt a Peep! This is seriously one of the most fun activities we have done all year!

So let me set the stage......What if you came to school one day and the Easter Bunny had stopped by for a visit? What if he left you a basket of baby “peeps” to care for until he could come back to get them? Well that's exactly what happened in our classroom!

I filled some plastic Easter eggs with blue and pink marshmallow peeps (one peep per egg....except for the egg that had twins! How fun!) and then I put them in a cute Easter bucket that I found at the Dollar Tree, with the official letter from the Easter Bunny! 

You can imagine how excited the kids were when they came in and saw this! The letter told us that the Easter Bunny was very busy getting ready for Easter and didn't have time to care for this new batch of baby peeps that were about to be born.  

He asked us to care for the peeps until he could come back to pick them up. Each child chose an egg from the bucket and then we had to say a magic poem to wake them up.  
When they opened their egg, they had either a boy (blue) or girl (pink) peep. One little girl had twins in her egg!

We worked together to create this anchor chart together.  We needed to know how to care for our new babies so we brainstormed what we thought peeps would eat, where they would live, and some good peep names.  

After this we were ready to give our peeps a name and fill out it's Birth Certificate!

Next we needed to make our peeps a little nest.  They needed a safe place to live while they were in our care. We used styrofoam cups, which we decorated with permanent marker, and filled them with easter grass. 

We created a baby book for our peeps, as well.  We included things like where our peep went on it's first outing, a picture of it's shell, and pictures of our peeps little friends!

Each child also received some "Bunny Money" (jelly beans) that they could use if they needed to hire a baby sitter.  Since no little baby should ever be left all alone, the students hired baby sitters to watch their peep if they needed to go to the bathroom or leave the classroom.  They LOVED this.  If they started to get low on money, they had to offer their services as a baby sitter to make money! 

When it was time for the students to go to our special classes (art, gym, music), the peeps took a nap and I told them I would watch over them....no baby sitting money needed!

The kids even took their peeps home over night.  They had to care for it and read it a bedtime story.  I sent a letter home to the parents explaining that this was a lesson in responsibility for the students and they MUST return their peep the next day! I'm glad to say that all the peeps came back to school unharmed (and uneaten....lol).  

This was seriously one of the best activities we did all year! The kids absolutely LOVED it.  They had a lot of fun, while also learning about being responsible.  If you want to have your kids try it out, you can grab your own Adopt A Peep right here.  This product comes with everything you need to do this exact lesson.  All you need to provide is the peeps, jelly beans and plastic eggs! Have fun!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

St. Patrick's Day Writing Activity

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner so we decided to learn about this fun holiday and hit a couple of those Social Studies standards while we were at it! We read a non-fiction text about the holiday that is included in my Social Studies and Writing Mini Unit "Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick's Day?"and also a couple of my favorite story books: 


After the firsties had a nice background on why we celebrate this holiday, we worked together to create a graphic organizer.  

Next, the students created their own graphic organizer, which they later used to help them write a report about St. Patrick's Day.  

Finally we made these adorable leprechauns to accompany our reports.....

This is the perfect little mini unit for St. Patrick's Day.  I really love it because not only does it include these great activities, but it's also differentiated and includes pre and post assessments, a non fiction powerpoint story, worksheets and this adorable craft!   If you'd like to check it out for your classroom you can find this mini unit here. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Leprechaun Traps

Leprechaun traps can be such fun to make for St. Patrick's Day! ☘ This was one of those spur of the moment ideas that turned into something fabulous...don’t you just love when that happens? 

I decided to have my firsties make leprechaun traps this week.  In the past, we have sent home instructions for them to make the traps as an “at home” project and return them to school. They always come back to school super cute, with working trap doors or cups on hinges that really work when you spring the trap.  And they seriously are adorable. And they are basically made by the parents.....soooo this time I decided we were going to make them in our classroom and I am so glad that we did! The kids LOVED it. 

We started out by reading the story "How to Catch a Leprechaun"

I also found several videos on You Tube of kids making leprechaun traps and we watched a couple of those for inspiration. 

After this, we made a list of things you need to put in a leprechaun trap.  We used the technique of Interactive Writing - where the student and teacher “share the pen” and help write the chart. 

Next the firsties chose a partner.  They would be working together to create their trap.  First step, designing the trap.  The worked together to draw their trap on paper.




Finally they were ready for the fun part - making the actual trap!  I gave each pair of students a box as their base and then they went to work creating their trap.  I had all kinds of “junk” that they used to build their trap....straws, toothpicks, mini mirrors, wood scraps. pom poms, popsicle sticks, etc.  The students worked together building their traps and then we let them dry.  



The next day we painted our traps and wrote the steps for “How To Catch a Leprechaun”. 


Our finished products!

We had such a great time making these traps....if you would like to do the same in your class here’s a letter to send home with your kiddos to help you collect the things you will need for your traps. 

Looking for other great activities for St. Patrick's Day?  I have you covered! Click on the pictures below to check out some of my other St. Paddy's fun!

 March Math & Literacy Centers

 March Math & Literacy Games