When it comes to teaching beginning young writers, there are a few essential tools that every teacher needs in their toolbox.
What's in your toolbox?
First and foremost, patience is key. It can be frustrating for beginning writers when their ideas don't always come out perfectly on paper, but it's important to remember that they're still learning and growing. Try to provide encouragement and positive feedback whenever possible.
2. Sense of humor
Secondly, a good sense of humor can go a long way. When beginning writers make mistakes, try to see the humor in it and help them to see the silver lining.
3. Story telling
Lastly, story telling is a great tool for beginning writers. By providing examples of stories that have been successfully written, beginning writers can see what is possible and be inspired to create their own masterpiece.
With these tools in your toolbox, you'll be well on your way to teaching beginning young writers.
Tips for getting started
There's nothing more rewarding than seeing a beginning young writer find their voice. But getting started can be tough. That's why I always tell my students that the best way to become a better writer is to write every day, even if it's just for a few minutes.
One of the best ways to get started is to keep a journal. Write about anything and everything - what you did today, what you're thinking about, what you're feeling. It doesn't have to be perfect, and no one else has to read it. Just getting your thoughts down on paper can help you to clear your head and see things in a new light.
Another great tip for beginning writers is to read as much as you can. Not only will this help to improve your writing skills, but you'll also get some great ideas for things to write about. So go ahead and crack open a book (or two, or three!) and start exploring the world of writing today.
Remember that every writer has to start somewhere. So don't expect perfection from the beginning. Just encourage them to get their thoughts down on paper, and worry about editing later.
I often tell my students to use approximations to get their ideas out, and then find the "dictionary spelling" when they are ready to polish their work. If they fret too much about correct spelling, the stories will never be as developed and wonderful as they could be.
Use scaffolds and graphic organizers
Scaffolds and graphic organizers can be extremely helpful for beginning writers. By providing a structure for their thoughts, beginning writers can more easily organize their ideas and put them into words.
Scaffolds also help beginning writers to stay on track, keeping their focus on the task at hand.
Graphic organizers can be used to plan out a story or to brainstorm ideas for an essay. They can also be used to keep track of characters and events in a story.
By using scaffolds and graphic organizers, beginning writers can become more confident and proficient in their writing.
Here are a couple of scaffolds that I have used successfully over the years for the fall.
If you would like a copy, click on the images.
Finally, be sure to offer plenty of compliments and encouragement along the way. Let them know that you're proud of their progress, and that you believe in their ability to become great writers.
Remember: With a little support and guidance, beginning writers can achieve anything.
There's nothing quite like the feeling of struggling to read or write. It can be frustrating, overwhelming, and even a little bit scary for kids. But there's hope!
I often hear the question, "What can I do to help my struggling readers and writers?" While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are a few strategies and activities that can be used to help struggling students.
Supporting your students
If you have a wide range of reading abilities in your class, it is important that you find ways to support all your students in developing and expanding their skills and knowledge. One of the best ways to do this is to create reading groups of similar abilities so that you can target the instruction to the specific needs of each group.
Note: There can be many high achieving readers and writers in the class, but for this post, I will be focusing on those who struggle.)
Ideas for struggling readers
Do guided reading groups. This can be done with just a few students at a time, so everyone gets the individual attention they need. Choose books that are at the right level for each group, and then take turns reading aloud. As you read, stop and discuss vocabulary words or tricky concepts. This will help your students build their comprehension skills and confidence.
Create some reading center activities that complement what is happening in the reading groups to help kids to remain engaged and motivated to keep trying. For example:
1. Provide a variety of books of a similar level for kids to choose to read quietly alone or with a partner. Make sure you have a variety of different genres of books for your struggling readers. This will help them find something that interests them and that they can read at their level.
2. Create word lists or anchor charts with high frequency words or sight words. The students can use the word lists to help them read the books.
3. Provide word games and activities that they can use to improve their decoding and fluency skills.
Be sure to set realistic goals for struggling readers and help them celebrate their progress along the way.
Ideas for struggling writers
Getting started is one of the most difficult things for struggling writers. There may be a variety of different reasons for this, but it is a barrier that they need to get past in order to become good writers. Sometimes it is hard to come up with an idea, or maybe it is a fear of not knowing how to spell words, or maybe it is the motor skill of writing itself.
These are only a few examples of things stopping the writing from happening. If we provide support to help with these roadblocks it is amazing what can happen with our struggling writers.
Here are a few suggestions that might help our writers to get started.
For those who have difficulty coming up with ideas
1. Try using favorite interests, hobbies, events, or things that are important to them as starting points.
Work on brainstorming ideas and organizing thoughts.
2. Encourage them to draw pictures or create a graphic organizer before actually writing.
Provide a variety of different writing supports such as sentence starters, word banks, scaffolds, templates or prompts to support getting their ideas down on paper.
3.Encourage them to write for 20 minutes each day and help them brainstorm ideas for stories or poems.
Give struggling writers plenty of opportunities to practice writing, whether it's through daily journaling or regular writing assignments.
For those who worry about correct spelling
1. Provide word banks or word lists and dictionaries.
2. Encourage them to use approximations to get their ideas down and then go back and check for the "dictionary spelling". (It is important to get the ideas out first and then edit.)
3. Have someone scribe for them at first and gradually get them to write on their own.
Don't forget to provide plenty of praise and encouragement!
For those who have motor issues
1. Create an area with paper, pencils, and crayons. The students can practice writing their names, letters, and words. They can also draw pictures and tell stories. These activities will help the struggling writers to develop their skills.
2. Set up a dictation area where they can orally tell their stories and then have them transcribed.
Set up a writing center
Establish a writing center where struggling writers can go to work on their skills. Here they can work on different writing strategies. They might work on brainstorming ideas, organizing their thoughts, or using descriptive language.
They might work on specific writing goals with your guidance. For example, you might have a student who is working on adding more detail to their writing. Give them some sentence starters that they can use, and then have them add as much detail as they can. Alternatively, you might have a student who is working on editing their work for grammar mistakes. Give them a list of common mistakes to look for, and then have them edit their own work or someone else's.
Writing centers are flexible, so you can tailor them to meet the needs of your students.
Help struggling writers set realistic goals and celebrate their progress along the way. Be sure to praise their efforts and provide specific feedback on their work.
Assess how they are doing
Finally, make sure you have a plan for monitoring the progress of your struggling readers and writers. This will help you know if they are making progress and where they need additional support. By taking these steps, you can help struggling readers and writers get the support they need to be successful in your class.
Organizing reading and writing groups can seem daunting, but it's worth it! Your struggling students will benefit from the extra attention and support. And who knows - you might just see some strong readers and writers emerge.
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Round Up Of Tips, Ideas, And Activities
During the summer, there are lots of opportunities to do activities that blend academics and fun. This helps kids to practice and maintain concepts and skills already covered and also gives them chances to see how these concepts matter in real life.
Here is a round up of different tips, ideas and activities that I have shared in the past that I feel are still relevant and worth revisiting.
Math is often thought of as lots of calculations, worksheets, equations and critical thinking activities, but in fact, math is used in almost every decision and action that we make on a daily basis. Math is everywhere around you. We use math for most activities without even realizing it. In my blog post Tips For School And Home:How To Help Primary Kids With Math, I suggested a few different activities for sorting and classifying, measurement, estimation, time, geometry, fractions, and basic operations.
In Math Real Life Activities For Children I talk about math in the kitchen, math in the workshop, shopping and math, and working with money. These are only a few ways that math can be connected to real life situations at home as well as at school.
Language Arts - Reading and writing are only a couple of the components of language arts. In my blog post Tips For School And Home: How To Help Kids With Language Arts, I share several different suggestions and activities for the various aspects of language arts.
It is important to note that language development starts at home and then is refined at school. There are many different ways to promote language development with reading, writing, and oral communication activities. I shared ideas and resources for phonics and vocabulary development, reading, writing, and oral communication in the above mentioned post.
If you are looking for more ideas that will help with reading and writing for students that struggle in these areas, check out the following posts:
Motivatiing Reluctant Readers
Tips For Helping Struggling Writers In The Classroom
Just take a look around you and think about the various things you see and the things you do and if you start to analyze them, you will be amazed at how they involve science. Science is involved in every aspect of our lives. At school, kids are introduced to some of the basics, and various experiments and investigations are done. At home, more of these types of activities can happen and deeper learning can be accomplished.
In my blog post, Tips For School And Home: How To Help Kids With Science, I break science down into different categories to help with providing a broad glimpse into the world of science. Hopefully, this will inspire kids to look further and continue to learn about the marvels around them.
You will find some tips and ideas for chemistry, biology and life sciences, earth science, and several different areas of physics.
Science Ideas For School And Home also gives some more ideas and possible activities that might be fun to try.
Social Studies is the study of people and their relationships to other people and the world. For young children, it starts with family and then spreads out to community, regions, provinces, states, or territories, and from there, to countries and the world.
It can be broken up into 5 different categories: geography, history, culture and society, civics and government, and economics. I wrote 2 posts last year because there was so much to cover.
Tips For School And Home: How To Help Primary Kids With Social Studies talks about geography, history, and culture, heritage and traditions and gives some ideas and possible resources that might work.
Tips For School And Home: How To Help Primary Kids With Social Studies Part 2 This blog post focuses on the rights and responsibilities of people and regional leaders, relationships between people and the environment, multicultural awareness and diversity, and the interactions of First Nations people and early settlers.
Social Studies Ideas And Activities For Outdoors also provides some tips and activities for learning more about the area where we live and the surrounding environment.
In my final instalment, Tips For Summer Support: How To Help Primary Kids, I focus on finding creative ways to do academic activities to make learning fun during the summer break.
Well there you have a selection of tips and activities for the various academic areas that can be used to help kids keep learning throughout the summer while they are enjoying their holiday break.
I hope that these tips and ideas have given you some inspiration for ways to keep the learning going while having fun during the summer break.
Understand Figurative Language By Using Idioms Outdoors
When I think about figurative language and idioms, I immediately think of Amelia Bedelia and all the things she did literally rather than as intended because she didn't understand figurative language. This made me think of how often we speak literally and what it must be like for those who are new to the English language. They must think we are completely crazy at times.
As I was thinking about using this form in speaking and writing, I thought it might be fun to actually take things a bit further. Imagine pretending to be Amelia Bedelia and acting out the idioms literally. This could be a lot of fun for the kids and it would help them to better understand what we mean and what the literal translation would be for others.
In Amelia Bedelia, Mrs. Rogers tells Amelia to "do just what the list says". This will be the message used for the following examples and activities. Have fun trying any or all of them out.
After trying out some of the examples, do a follow up activity where you discuss the literal meanings of the phrases and how they were different from what was meant in the stories.
Good Work, Amelia Bedelia
Mr. Rogers was angry and he said, "Go fly a kite". Amelia Bedelia was confused, but she did so.What did he really mean?
Have a kite available and then in an angry voice say "GO FLY A KITE!" Have someone go and fly the kite.
Mrs. Rogers left a list of jobs for Amelia to do. One of the jobs was to "pot the window-box plants". What did she really mean?
Have a pot or two available along with some soil and hand shovels and let kids put some plants in them.
Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia
Amelia Bedelia filled in for the teacher while she was away. She was given a list of instructions to follow. Here are a couple that could be done outdoors.
"Plant a bulb".
Have some plant pots and soil available along with shovels and some old light bulbs. Have the kids prepare the pots and add the light bulbs to them. If you have a garden bed, perhaps they could plant the light bulbs there instead. Afterwards, these lightbulbs can be replaced with flower bulbs.
"Practice our play"
This would be fun to do as an extra recess activity. Afterwards, the kids could actually rehearse a play they might be performing.
Math problems with apples would be fun to try outside, especially the subtraction ones.
Play Ball Amelia Bedelia
Right now is ball season, so many kids will be starting practices or playing ball as part of their gym classes. This would be a great time to have fun trying out a couple of the idioms from this book.
"Tag ________ before he gets to second base". Have some ready-made name tags and use them as the person runs from first to second base.
"Steal the base". If you have something that is the place holder for a base, you can have someone grab it and run with it.
"Run home." This one could be running back into the building.
This is only a small sampling of the activities that Amelia Bedelia did in the various books, but it is a fun way to see how literal and figurative language is different and get outside as well. It might be fun to try out some other activities that can be done in the classroom or at home as a follow-up activity.
I have created a follow-up activity for some of the different idioms listed above. Click the image to check it out.
I always had so much fun exploring idioms and other figurative language with my students. I hope you enjoy trying some of these ideas with your students.
Winter Celebrations Are Approaching
It's time again to celebrate as we approach February and all the various celebrations and special days that are happening soon. We have Chinese New Year, Hundredth Day of School, Groundhog Day, Valentines Day and in some cases other special days as well.
What better time to add a little fun and theme into daily lessons than now.
First up is Chinese New Year. This celebration lasts for two weeks, so it can actually be a focus for more than one day.
Kids love to hear the story of the animals in the Great Race and learn about the zodiac animals and the years they are linked to. This year is the year of the Tiger. Why not use a tiger theme when doing activities to do with Chinese New Year.
I have a bundle of sight words that features each of the different animals of the zodiac. They are fun to use and they can be helpful as children learn to recognize high frequency words. You can check them out here.
I also have a couple of other resources that work well for math and literacy.
Chinese New Year Activities includes some math and literacy activities.
Winter Fun Math Activities features special activities for Chinese New Year as well as Valentines Day and Hundredth Day of School.
Groundhog Day comes right after Chinese New Year this year. It is fun to find out if the groundhog will predict more winter or an early spring. With all the snowstorms and floods we have had this winter, so far, where I live, an early spring would be welcome.
Here is a Groundhog Day Activity booklet of math and literacy ideas that I created that might be fun to use for this day.
If you are interested in Groundhog themed sight word cards, I have a set of them available also.
For 2022, a special day is coming to celebrate twos. It is the second day of the second month of the twenty-second year of this century. Wow! What a great opportunity to work with numbers and enjoy this event. Maybe Groundhog Day could be combined with Twos Day. Here is a resource I created for this day. It can also be used at other times of the year.
Of course, when you mention February, people immediately think of Valentines Day. There are so many different activities and crafts available to celebrate this day of friendship and love. Here are some that might be of interest to you.
Valentines Sight words and bingo
Valentines Day Math And Language Games
Numbers And Number Words Match
Themed Place Value Practice
Do you celebrate the hundredth day of school? I know that this is a popular celebration at many elementary schools where I live. It is a day to do everything "Hundreds". At schools that I worked at, we would have tables set out in the hallways to display collections of a hundred. Primary classes would sometimes get together to do activities as well. Here is an activity resource that might be of interest for One Hundred Days at School.
Well, there you have it. A bunch of ideas and resources to make your special days fun for your students. I hope you enjoy these days of celebration.
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Back To Basics Is Key
Getting back to basics is key this year as many children strive to catch up after a year of online learning and missed opportunities for individual support due to the pandemic. Last week I spoke about focusing on the mental health of the kids first and academics second. That doesn't mean that we stop teaching the academics and following the curriculum, but we need to find the balance that will support the students where they are at. Returning to some of the basics will be key.
For younger children, literacy is huge. Developing and nurturing literacy skills is important. This may include phonics, phonemic awareness, word attack skills, emergent reading and writing activities, and guided reading groups. Sometimes all of these will be needed as the range in primary classrooms can be developmentally wide.
Choosing activities that are interactive and hands on will be more engaging than worksheets and will also allow for small group work so that everyone can be working on different skills or concepts that are appropriate. This will require some assessment, preparation, and scheduling, but it will be worth it.
Check out my guided reading post to see how I managed this in a multi-level classroom.
For math, most curriculums work with a spiral approach so that skills are reviewed and then built on as the concepts are mastered. This is a good practice and makes it easier to adjust to meet the needs of the kids. In the primary grades it is important to make sure that the activities start with the concrete before moving to the abstract. Some kids are able to do this quickly and others will require additional practice with hands on activities. Small group activities and guided math situations will help with this as well. As with the literacy activities, you will need to assess, prepare, and schedule things to make them run smoothly. Check out this blog post for tips that help kids struggling with math.
Social studies in the primary grades can be global or community based depending on the specific concepts being taught. Mapping activities can be simple or complex to fit the needs of the children. Studying about the community and more global ideas can also be made simpler or more detailed for the children. Project based activities work well for this. Check out this post to see how I successfully used projects with my primary classes. You can also grab a mapping activity from my followers free resources page if you have subscribed to my newsletter.
As for science choose a few different areas and focus on them. It isn't necessary to do all the different topics. This will allow deeper learning and concept development. Kids love doing science experiments and learning about how things work. You can even add in a project if it works. There is a free gravity experiment on my followers free resources page as well as some other free resources in my TPT store that may help you out.
Language Ideas for the holidays and seasons
The holiday season is here and kids are getting excited and restless. The weather is changing and winter is almost upon us. We need to find activities that capture the attention of our students while continuing to provide content and skill development. What better way to excite kids than to focus on the holidays with these activities.
There are many different subject areas that can be considered here. For now, I would like to focus on language arts. Being able to read, write, and speak well are goals that we would like to see achieved. This is a great time to focus on new activities that expand vocabulary and help with creating more detailed and descriptive oral and written experiences. Using games and other hands on activities will help to engage kids and motivate them to learn. For students learning a second language this is especially important.
For the purpose of this blog post, I will be focusing on French, but the concepts and ideas are appropriate for any second language.
Why vocabulary development is so important for second language learners
Second language learners often feel tongue-tied when they start to learn a new language. They know what they want to say, but they don't have the words yet to say it. They struggle to make themselves understood as they attempt to use the limited vocabulary they have been given. They are self conscious and often afraid to speak out loud. Doing activities that help to broaden their vocabulary will help them with communication. Holiday vocabulary activities will work well for engaging them in the excitement of the season.
There are many different types of vocabulary activities, but I would suggest that they focus on fun and interactive games and activities. As they continue to develop their vocabulary skills, they will gain more confidence and begin to speak out more often. The more they speak, the more they get practice, and the more confident they become. The same goes for reading and writing. The more comfortable they become with the language and the vocabulary, the more they will use it. Win-win.
French/English resources for the holidays and seasons
I have been creating French resources for younger kids and for those going into late immersion. I created many of them in both French and English so that they could be used for those who might be learning English as well. They are also great for primary English classrooms.
Here are some resources that may help you through the next few months as your students continue to learn new vocabulary and develop their language skills.
le vocabulaire thématique/J'ai, qui a? combos
(les prépositions, les vêtements, les légumes et les fruits, les émotions, la météo, l'hygiène et la santé, les adjectifs opposés, les parties du corps, la cuisine rapide et la collation, la cuisine, le temps, le calendrier)
Themed vocabulary/I have, who has?? combos
(prepositions, clothing, vegetables and fruits, emotions, weather, hygiene and health, opposite adjectives, body parts, fast food and snacks, the kitchen, weather, calendar)
Here are some holiday vocabulary activities that will make learning fun.
le Noël des mots de vocabulaire - French Christmas Vocabulary Task Cards Activities and Games
le Noël des mots de vocabulaire - French Christmas Vocabulary Game I Have, Who Has? J'ai, Qui a?
le Noël Parts Of Speech Silly Sentences French Version
Christmas Vocabulary Task Cards Activities
Christmas Vocabulary Game - I Have, Who Has?
Christmas Parts of Speech Silly Sentences
l'hiver - le vocabulaire
l'hiver Parts Of Speech Silly Sentences French version
Winter Parts of Speech Silly Sentences
Winter Vocabulary Activities And Games
Winter Vocabulary Activity - I Have, Who Has?
For more French holiday resources, check out this blog post from another teacher with links to more resources that will help you make it through the Christmas season.
Preparing for a new year
If you are looking ahead for the new year, check out some of these resources and ideas. Click on the images to find out more.
Well, I hope you have found some helpful ideas and resources here. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with as you continue to work with kids.
Helping kids expand their vocabulary
Are you looking for ways to help kids with writing and sharing their ideas? This seems to be a common issue with younger children as they begin to share their ideas, but they don't have the words yet to describe things in detail. Instead, they tend to use the same few words over and over. We sometimes refer to these as "worn out words".
How to develop a rich vocabulary base
Developing a rich vocabulary base helps with writing and expressing ideas and it also allows kids to create more detailed and creative stories. There are many different ways to expand the vocabulary. Here are a few.
Brainstorm as a class
Choose some of the worn out words, such as nice, good, happy, fun and come up with a list of words that can be used instead.
Try a thesaurus
Younger children might find this a bit challenging, but they can still give it a try. A thesaurus will provide many synonyms for words.
Do a vocabulary challenge
Take a simple sentence and challenge the class to come up with different variations that make the sentence more interesting but still maintain the meaning. Then share the sentences with others.
Create a themed word wall
Sometimes kids just need words that fit the various themes. They can help them to get their stories started or provide some extra ideas to expand their stories. A themed word wall can be changed as different themes are explored. If you don't want to devote space to an actual word wall, you can store the words on rings and allow the students to take them as needed to use.
Use word games and activities to review vocabulary
It is important to make sure that the kids get lots of exposure to the words they need for various writing tasks. This ensures that the words become part of their working vocabulary. Then they will be able to access them more readily in future literacy situations.
I find that word games and activities work well for working with vocabulary words as they are engaging and fun. Kids learn without realizing they are actually studying the words and phrases. The more they play, the faster they begin to recognize the words.
Sight word games, silly sentences, I Have, Who Has? games, and task cards for matching games are a few examples that have worked well for me over the years. I created many of these games for literacy centers and they were always very popular.
Using the same types of formats helps the children to focus on the content rather than how to play the games. Just change up the themes and let them play.
Here are some vocabulary word sets I created for the seasons and special days. I hope to be able to add to the special days in the future. There are sets of I Have, Who Has? cards for each of the seasons and special days as well.
If you are teaching French, check out the French versions.
My students loved making silly sentences, so I created several themed sets for them. They enjoyed making the sentences and practiced parts of speech at the same time. As an extension activity, we would sometimes take the words and illustrate them and then put them into a flip book of silly sentences.
You can check out my special days parts of speech silly sentences here.
If you would like to try out a free vocabulary activity, sign up for my newsletter.
I am offering my I Have, Who Has? Christmas set to my followers for free.
There you have some ideas for expanding and developing a broader vocabulary base for your students. I hope they work well for you. I would love to hear what other ways you use themed vocabulary in your classroom. Let me know in the comments.
Capturing Imagination In Writing
Christmas is fast approaching. This a time that is full of excitement and wonder and kids look forward to it all year. They start talking about it and making wishes. They enjoy getting gifts and being part of the decorating and family times. They have fun playing holiday games and activities at school. It is a great time to capture their imagination in their writing.
I used to tell my students to use descriptive writing with the five senses to paint a picture in the reader's mind. We would come up with lists of words and juicy details that would help to describe images. I even used paintbrushes as symbols for different types of descriptions. Check out my graphics and templates for this kind of detailed writing.
Using images and graphic organizers can be really helpful for students that struggle with writing. They can even use them like a checklist as they get started. Eventually they will not need to rely on them anymore.
One of my favorite projects for this season is Christmas Writing Using The Five Senses. It is a poem that shares images from four different settings. I even shared it with another teacher and her class after I retired. We had fun working together and seeing the poems that the children wrote.
Here is one of the poems that a grade 2 student wrote.
Another thing that we did was create a special craft to go along with the poem. You can check it out here.
If you are interested in more writing ideas using the five senses, check out my products that use images and photographs to practice descriptive writing.
Grab this free sampler by signing up for my newsletter.
Have fun watching your students create magical stories and poems this Christmas.
Engaging Kids Up To Halloween
Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends. I hope you are enjoying this weekend.
This week, we are changing gears and focusing on a day that kids love. It is almost Halloween and kids are already thinking about what costumes they will wear and different parties they might attend. It is a good time to share some activities and resources that are fun and also help to engage the kids in good learning strategies.
I have found that kids need a routine and structure even during special days in order to stay regulated when they are excited. That is why I usually take time to focus on different activities that will keep them learning, but engage them due to the theme.
Halloween activities can be started earlier in the month, or they can be kept until a day or two before Halloween depending on what you choose. For me, I usually kept more to a fall theme until near the end of the month and then added in the Halloween theme. It helped to keep the excitement level manageable. Also, it didn't stretch out the wait for the kids as much.
Literacy Ideas For Halloween
Kids often like to hear scary stories and write spooky stories or poems. This is a great time to try a scaffold for those who struggle with getting started. My kids enjoyed writing using this starter: I Was So Scared....
Literacy games and task cards can also be fun to use. They help with stretching the imagination and they can be tied into different elements or concepts that you wish to teach. I found that my silly sentences for working with parts of speech were a hit with the kids in my class and in other classes as well. I created them for English and French and found they worked well in both languages.
Math and Science Ideas For Halloween
There are many different opportunities to incorporate a Halloween theme into math. Data collection and graphing can be done for costumes, treats, characters, and a host of other categories. Practice of math facts and operations can be done with worksheets or task cards that have Halloween themed graphics or clipart.
Doing activities with pumpkins can also be fun and can combine math and science. Counting seeds, comparing designs, pumpkin shapes, cooking the pumpkin, and using it to make different recipes are just a few ideas. Pumpkin glyphs are also great to try at this time of year.
One of the things that really fascinates kids is potions. Using terms like "eye of newt", "frog toes" or "drops of blood" is sure to engage them. I remember when we would make up potions to drink and give all the ingredients fancy potion names. It was quite entertaining to watch as they saw these drinks being prepared. Really, they were just cola, grenadine, gummy worms, licorice babies, and some other gummy candies. Sometimes we would add orange juice as well. This might be fun to try with your students. You could even create a potion sheet with the "ingredients" listed.
Don't Forget Halloween Safety Tips
For younger children, a focus on safety is important too. This is a good time to talk about how to have a safe Halloween experience. They can make posters, and do some role playing or write stories that talk about what a safe Halloween should look like and sound like. Creating activities that help to discern what are safe and unsafe activities might be worth trying as well. Doing some art activities with a safety theme might be fun to do as well. Halloween can be fun for kids, but it needs to be safe.
I hope some of the ideas here help to make this Halloween fun and educational as well. Check out my Halloween category in my TeachersPayTeachers store for more resources.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.