Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spider Art and Spider Acrostic Poems

We had a SPIDER DAY! We read about spiders, wrote spider poems, made spider art and sang spider songs! 

Here is one of our cute SPIDER ART PROJECTS. 

Here is a cute video to play while making spiders.

Some cute Spider stationery I found at Activity Village will be fun for the kids to do spider poetry with.
A spider acrostic is fun to do. HERE at Joglab is a link to help with brainstorming words that begin with each letter of SPIDER. The kids come up some some good ones too.
 I start by writing their ideas on the whiteboard using the letters of SPIDER. They were really good this year at coming up with great brainstorming words!
 Then for our SPIDER ACROSTICS we chose the best word we liked and wrote out a sentence.
Here are our cute SPIDERS ART PROJECT. We called them "SPIDERS ON A STICK!"

 Then I edited all 22 kids' spider acrostic poems and then the students rewrote them on this cute spider paper.
They turned out really great! I loved their Spider Poems! 
And they really loved their spiders on a stick! 
1. Cut out 2 circles that are 4 - 5 inches.
2. Cut out one circle that is a half inch less and fold it in half and glue it.
3. Cut 1/2 inch strips that are about 8 inches long (8 for each student).
4. Copy the wiggly eyes and get some dot stickers from Walmart and some wooden skewers from the Dollar Store.
5. Fold the legs 2 at a time accordian style and glue the ends down to one of the circles 4 on each side as the picture shows.
6. Glue down the head piece (smaller circle) that has been folded in half. It is sandwiched in between 2 larger circles and glue it close to the edge of the circle.  Then glue wiggly eyes to the top of it.
7. Glue the wooden skewer down at the bottom of the spider in the middle and then glue the last circle on top of the skewer and the legs.
8. Add colored dots to the spider. Optional....add fangs with some leftover black paper and glue to underside of the head.
 We read lots of science books on Spiders and  several Weekly Readers to give us information on Spiders. And we had a big spider discussion to be sure everybody knew what they eat, where they live, how many legs and eyes they have and when they breed and how they make an egg sac.

    Product Details    Product DetailsSpiders
These are some of my favorite books I've purchased over the last few years. I get a lot of books from Scholastic and I especially look for science books in my book orders. Lots of times you can get some cool sets of books on a topic. Those are the ones I go for most.
Kids in my class really seem to love science and non-fiction books. 
Here are a few of them showing off their Spider Art Project. 

I am very proud of their Spider Acrostic Poetry. 

I copied off this cute compound word matching game and had the kids color it when they got done. Then we cut them all out and laminated them for a center game.  

 Another fun and free math game called SPIDER WEB SPILL can be found HERE at Teachers Pay Teachers.
 A Spider sight word game can be found at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Cute Spider on a Stick art project. It is one of my favorites.
A spider fact crossword puzzle can be found HERE at DLTK Kids.

A fun Spider writing activity from Amy Lemons is super cute and the eyeballs on her spiders are so clever! I had to have some! She has a free download on her cute blog!
Spider Craft and Poem

Afterwards, we sang some spider songs and we did a spider crossword. It was a fun day!

Monday, October 15, 2012


This week we will be making and studying skeletons! Since our district is having a short week with only 2 1/2 days we are going to be reading Halloween fun books and doing spiders, skeletons and fun pumpkin math and activities.

The Skeleton Dance 

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dancing bones,
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dancing bones,
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dancing bones,
Doin’ the skeleton dance.
The foot bone’s connected to the leg bone.
The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone.
The knee bone’s connected to the neck bone.
Doin’ the skeleton dance.
The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone.
The hip bone’s connected to the backbone.
The backbone’s connected to the neck bone.
Doin’ the skeleton dance.
Shake your hands to the left.
Shake your hands to the right.
Put your hands in the air.
Put your hands out of sight!
Shake your hands to the left.
Shake your hands to the right.
Put your hands in the air.
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,
wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle… wiggle your knees.
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dancing bones,
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dancing bones,
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dancing bones,
Doin' the Skeleton Dance! 
Lyrics from Super Simple Songs -Thank YOU! 

The directions for this cool skeleton art project are HERE. They take 8 pieces of 1 x 18 white and 1 x 18 black strips. Then the head and hands and feet are copied on art paper. The folding is the hard part for kids. Glue 2 strips together same color end to end. Then glue a black and a white together at a 90 degree angle like this.
Weaving a skeleton body for art.
 Then comes the fun part. Cross the white over the black in front, then the black over the white turning it a little as you go. It will always look like an L.   Some kids crossed it behind and some kids crossed it in front. It doesn't matter as long as you are consistent.  It was pretty easy for them, they got into a rythm.  
Skeleton art project 

When they got to the end of the strips they glued the last 2 bits together.  Each of these make an arm or a leg. The middle is done same way just use 3 inch x 18 inch paper to weave back and forth. Glue 2 legs to the middle and 2 arms to the top of middle section. A cute skeleton head and feet can be found at Family Education's site.

I made up some GHOST BINGO cards at DLTK HERE. They will be fun for a centers game. I had half Halloween words, half Halloween pictures. 

I have a dozen skeleton heads and a sheet of skeleton heads for math. I will use it for a math game for the kids to choose a number between 8 and 12 and figure out all the addends they can make as number sentences with that number as the sum.  We could also do skeleton shapes with marshmallows and toothpicks. Here is an example of a cube's skeleton shape. 
The skeleton of a cube made with marshmallows and toothpicks or clay and straws The
idea is from N Rich Maths. 

I have a giant skeleton on the front board with "parts of the skeleton" write on wipe off sheet to go with it that I made.  It is a fun center for the students to figure out the names of all the bone body parts. I put in the first letter of each, or the first 2 letters on hard ones like W-R____ ____ ____ for wrist bone.
Print a "label the skeleton" here.
 Activity Village has a fun downloadable game of how to make a skeleton rolling the dice and putting a part together. It also looks fun. It should be a fun day. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

OWL Activities and Art

Who doesn't love OWLS? We were reading about little desert owls that live inside of a giant Saguaro cactus in our Reading Streets literature story A Walk in the Desert. I thought we could do some little owl reports as our first study in our animal matrix; birds, mammals, reptiles, ocean animals, insects, and amphibians. We will cover all of these by year's end.

First we did a KWL CHART about the things we already KNOW about owls, the things we WANT TO KNOW about owls. And we are adding things we LEARN little by little. This is a great strategy to develop background knowledge.

I think the important part is the THINGS WE LEARNED section. So I usually put that down in a separate place on a poster shaped like the topic and add to it all unit long. The kids help me!

Here are some of the books and resources I used for this owl unit of study. The kids loved hearing about Owlbert, and Gayle Gibbons book about Owls.
Owls by Gail Gibbons is a great book to start your unit with. It's only $3.99 at Amazon. 
Owlbert by Nicholas Harris
Owls by Gayle Gibbons
Desert Giant (Saguaro Cactus) by Barbara Bash (This is a good Reading Rainbow video now too)
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton

The Barn Owl (Animal Lives) by Sally Tagholm and Bert Kitchen

The Barn Owls
The Barn Owlis only $3.95 at Amazon. It is a totally cute book. 

ARKive - Little owl video - Athene noctua - 00 Really cute Video and some still pictures
 of owls in their habitat. And we read a Weekly Reader on Owls.

I also checked 2 desert animals and owl books out of our school library. After I read the books I put them all at a center with pictures from calendars of birds, stuffed and plastic bird models and anything I pick up that kids would be interested in and put it at the science center.
Owl Reports and Owl Art from Scrapbook papers. 
After reading all about owls during  read aloud, the kids helped me make a giant owl poster with all of the facts they thought were interesting. Then they decorated the cover of their owl research reports (informational text) which is what we will call them. The kids call them Owl Facts, but I had them each give their work a title. We are talking about MAIN IDEA and I find that if I make them think up a title to their work, they start to understand what a main idea is (what the main thing you are writing about, NOT the details).
Cute Quotation from THE BARN OWLS book. 
Here is the Owl Printable that we used for our book cover with the title. Then we READ a shared reading of a Scholastic News I have about OWLS. After that, and the books, and a poster I made, and the Scholastic News reading, we started writing our "SLOPPY COPIES". I told them to try and use 3 resources to put their non-fiction facts report together. More fun downloadables can be found at Wise Owl Factory.

Fun Owl cookies from graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate chips, candy corn and vanilla wafers! OWL S'MORES! So cute! 

Then I edited them one by one while they were doing their art and writing. It does get a little crazy if I have more than 3 in a line, so I usually tell the 4th and 5th kids to go finish their art and then bring me their writing. So there isn't a waste of time.
 I used the owl printable below as a cover for our Owl Fact books. Each child colored theirs and we typed out their titles and we added them to the covers.

Owl Coloring Page 5
Color Me Good  has this great downloadable coloring page.

This was another cute one from Pinterest 
 Then we rewrite the reports after I red-pen edit them. This is very important. I found 6 kids using "there" instead of "their" and so I have my next mini lesson. I also saw very little capitalization at sentence beginning.
Owl Puppet Printable Free Here. I like to glue a poem on the back of all of our puppets we make.... Here is a cute one.
A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?
So you know it helps me give kids one on one spelling and grammar help too. (Remember friend is fri like Friday and then end like the end of the story). Nothing I do as a teacher is more important than my individual conferences with kids.

Lovely Owl Goes Viral (VIDEO)  This is a great video to show the kids too. It is only 2 minutes.

Then after the 2nd writing is done on pretty stationery (an important motivational step) I usually hook final draft writing to a fun art or craft project. These students are gifted so they are motivated toward task completion. And I can compact my curriculum to include more art because of it. So we do 3 completed writing projects a week and several arts or an art and a craft.
Lucy Learns has this cute wordsearch to download.

Owl Art project using scrapbook and construction paper. 
Here is our Owl art. I used cut out "feathers" from scrapbook paper, fabric, peel and stick corderoy, construction paper etc. The kids dotted some of the white and gray feathers with black markers. We used white round stickers for eyes and colored them with yellow markers and added wiggly eyes and a twig for their talons to sit on. The kids designed their own talons and beaks. It was fun to do and pretty easy. They glued finished owls onto blue paper.
Owl Art Project and Writing 
Owl Brainstorm Graphic Organizer. I do this a lot for whole class writing; make the shape of the thing you are writing about and write the facts kids come up with on it in different colors. 
My inspiration was from That Artist Woman where I get a lot of my art inspiration. She has a great tutorial that I used a portion of.  My kids just taped on the twigs. And we used "masks" (banana shapes) for eyes instead of the 3D egg cartons.  I used cardstock for the owl body so the paper feathers could be attached and not wrinkle up with glue. A few other worksheets on owls are here at Boggles World.

The owls turned out cool looking, didn't they?

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