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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

     May your stuffing be tasty.
     May your turkey be plump.
     May your potatoes n gravy have nary a lump.
     May your yams be delicious,
     May your pies take the prize.
     May your Thanksgiving dinner                     
     Stay off of your thighs.

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with family, fun, and many, many blessings.

P.S.  It's about time, teachers, for the annual TpT Cyber Mon. & Tues. sale. Everything in my store will be 28% off with coupon code CYBER.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month.   Celebrating their heritage with my students is something I look forward to each November.

Legends are inherent in any study of the Native American culture.  Thus, I begin by sharing picture books that are based on such legends.  Here are some of my favorites:

Perhaps my uber favorites are:

After reading The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, my 3rd & 4th graders research other wildflowers in the computer lab. They choose one for their own legend, telling how the wildflower came to be.  

My 1st & 2nd graders focus on winter counts and skin stories. After sharing pictures of actual winter counts, we compose a skin story together.  I display picture dictionaries of Native American symbols and we collaborate on how to "tell" our story using the symbols. Then we prepare a "skin" using a paper grocery bag or construction paper.  Tear the corners and sides to mimic the shape of an animal skin. In an effort to be more authentic, we record the story on our skin by writing in an oval that expands outward.
This is a collaborative story by a group of 1st graders.  2nd graders can do this independently.

The vocabulary of the Native American culture is often foreign to my charges.  Thus, I have created several literacy center activities that allow the students to work with the vocabulary while practicing skills aligned with the CCSS.  
This one requires students to put the words in alphabetical order, using up to the 2nd letter.

This one asks students to sort the nouns cards into piles of people, places, or things.

For more activities to extend The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, check out my thematic unit.  It is available on TpT and TN.

You may also like:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Poem for Veterans' Day

It's about time for Veterans' Day, teachers! That means it's about time for a poem.  And, of course, some activities to go with it.

You could also challenge your students' detective skills.  Since this poem is replete with polysyllabic words, ask them to find all the 3 syllable words, 4 syllable words, etc.  Put this poem in a literacy center and direct your students to find and list all the homophones and their alternate spellings.

The poem and possibilities are found in my unit, Poetry Possibilities -- Fall.

Thank you, Veterans!