- Encourage students to use biodegradable, vegetarian or vegan food products (something that grows)
- Ask students to create displays on biodegradable plates or platters so the whole thing can be thrown away (you can’t imagine having to scrap it off in the compost and then wash those glass platters, yuck!)
- If you are making it a competition, have the school vote on their favorite
- Set up a long table outside of your library, cover it with a tablecloth, and encourage classes (and parents) to come check out the work
- Do this in the colder months so it doesn’t get smelly so fast
- Do this as part of an all-school celebration or library-themed week (Homecoming, School Library Month, ect)
- Have creations be depictions of favorite books
Do you remember studying the layers of the earth when you were in elementary school? Yep, me neither. If I had made a clay model of the earth that was later cut open to expose the layers, that might be a different story…
This project came about after talking to the third grade classroom teacher and the art teacher, we all worked together to incorporate our areas of expertise into one cool experience for our kiddos. The students have been learning about the earth for a few weeks now so the kids have a great deal of background knowledge.
Before this project even began, I bought (lots) of Crayola Model Magic, this stuff is great to work with, dries over time and comes in lots of fun colors. I bought six colors, one for each of the layers of the earth the students were asked to represent:
I then divided the clay into individual bags, one for each student. I also included handouts for all of the tables and made my sample earth model:
I am a huge fan of cross-curricular collaborations to make learning more meaningful. My second graders are reading The One and Only Ivan in class so I recently constructed a bulletin board to feature the book and share with the community what is happening in one of the classrooms. Check out the bulletin board post here. Needless to say, the bulletin board worked. Everyone loved it, faculty, students and visitors asked second graders about the book and were encouraged to read it themselves.
When I found out the second grade kiddos were studying character and setting, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for another collaborative project. I contacted our amazing art teacher and she showed me a 3-D diorama that her daughter created for a book and we knew it was perfect for this project. I created my example using a different book so the students could be free to create without a per-conceived piece of art in their mind:
I wish I could figure out the official name of this process, I know there are other educators out there doing this and I would love to give them credit. If you have seen this process done before, or if you’re doing it yourself, please contact me in the comments section.
The students received three pieces of thick card stock, each piece is slightly smaller than the one behind it. For example, the back piece of paper is 8.5″ x 11″, the middle sheet is 8.5″ x 10″ and the front sheet is 8.5″ x 9.” This makes it so the final product curves inward and makes the diorama stand up on its own.
- The back page (the largest piece) is to show the setting. Where did Ivan live? What did his cage look like? What was on the walls?
- The middle page (the medium-sized piece) is to show the character(s). What did Ivan look like? How large was Ivan compared to his cage? Were there other important characters in the story?
- The front page (the smallest piece, already cut into a frame) is to tell others what book you’re sharing. What is the title of the book? Who is the author? Who created this diorama?
The time of year has come when I have to officially decide what storytime themes will make the cut and which ones will have to remain a Pinterest dream until the next school year rolls around. Well, the year just couldn’t come to an end until the brilliance that is Mo Willems made an appearance.
This week some of my older kiddos made Mother’s Day gifts during library and they are enough to just melt your heart!! I discovered the idea through Pinterest (where else?) where Sandy and her second graders made beautiful “I Love You Because…” cards with their iPads. By the way, if you haven’t discovered Soaring Through Second Grade, it’s a must, must, must!
Who doesn’t love adorably cute but supposedly scary monsters? This girl sure does! And the classic Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley does not disappoint. If you’re not familiar, well… You should be. You might remember me talking about Ed Emberley in my Choo! Choo! storytime post, he is the guru of fingerprint art and he inspired our thumbprint trains. Check out some of his other (incredibly cool) books.
I created. All of the pieces are removable so as the monster is appearing and disappearing, the little felt monster can follow along.
I was recently visiting the fifth grade class when I discovered a gem… The kids are currently participating in a book challenge, in which they are required to read a set number of books from various genres. I love this idea because it promotes free choice, while still encouraging students to read outside of their comfort zone (this is particularly great for those kids that “only like _______ books.” It helps them to discover books they would otherwise never pick up.
Well, our wonderful fifth grade general studies teacher has the kids record the books they’ve read in a journal, as well as reflections to those titles. Well, let me tell you how ecstatic I was when I stumbled across the following: