Monday, March 9, 2015

Biomes Research Project

Earth Day is not too far away. About this time of year, I like to have my students study the different Biomes on earth. They learn vocabulary like ecosystem, biome, and landform. . They also read, research, and record notes on their particular biome. I try to get as many special research books as I can from the media center to supplement what I have in the classroom library. The library also has films about some of the biomes. There is always the possibility of finding some really good slide shows, virtual tours, power point presentations, and information on the Internet.

Kids love doing this kind of project. It is related to reading, research, social studies, science, geography, and they will have a product they are proud to share when finished. 

I am posting today my Biome Research Project. The biomes include: Arctic Tundra; Beach; Cactus Desert; Cave; Coniferous Forest; Deciduous Forest; Freshwater; Grasslands; Mountains; Prairies; Rain Forest; Saltwater; Sandy Desert; and Savanna.

Students select or assigned a particular biome. Each student gets a note sheet to use for research. They will also get a booklet made specifically for their biome. They research to find out where it is located, what cities might be close, what landforms might be around the biome, what businesses are located in the area, what animal life lives there, what plant life grows there, what is the climate like, and a place for special facts. There is a cover sheet, a resource or bibliography sheet, and a page for their own illustration.

You will find two pages with ideas included as well. I also have included fact cards that would make a great display. You can either staple the booklet, use yarn or ribbon to bind, or one of the binding machines. Teachers have a variety of areas for assessments they might choose to use. 
Have fun with research!!  Susan J

Projects can be found at either of my stores:

Friday, March 6, 2015

6 Trait Writing: Word Choice for Colorful Writing

Teaching Word Choice as one of the 6 Traits is also a vocabulary builder for students. One activity I do is very simple, but the kids really like it. We talk about the "value" of words and "boring" words that are so often
repeated in their writing.

A box of crayons has so many colors today with creative names the companies have developed. Our crayons are in a table baskets--one for each table to use. I give them a few
minutes to dig out the crayons and read the names. We discuss how our writing can improve if we use more "valuable" words. I give them the example of using "scarlet" for "red", and "sapphire" for "blue". Then, the activity begins.

Students will be able to use the basket of crayons to find creative names for any shade of red, purple, pink, blue, yellow, green, orange, and brown. They record the names in the color boxes. Sometimes, tables trade baskets just to look for more names. They like this detective work!

When finished, I have them turn to the last page in the packet that has flowers and stems. Students can color the flowers, however, they must use the "valuable" words they found for crayon names. If they decide to make the flower two colors, then they have to provide two names. Names, of course, are written in the box at the bottom of the flower.

This packet can be used for reference while writing. It can be stored in a writing folder or whatever organizational tool you use for your students. It can even grow into a writing assignment beyond the vocabulary. It's a great hands-on activity in teaching only one aspect of Word Choice, and the children love it!! Have fun with Word Choice!!  Susan J

You can find this activity at both of my stores:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Activities Packet

This holiday is 2 weeks from today. Always a fun holiday--dress in green, have treats even though it's not an official party, and somehow those little Leprechauns run through classrooms when students are gone just to leave treats!! (Great office staff)

I'm posting a new activities packet for this holiday. It's filled with both primary and intermediate levels. Skills include: acronym poems; number order; story writing paper; making words activity; synonyms; and antonyms. You will also find word searches, crossword puzzle, word scrambles, coloring sheets, and picture puzzles.

You will find this packet in both of my stores. Have a lovely green day celebration!  Susan J