Sunday, January 31, 2010

Graduation Kid

I recently posted some end of the year/graduation ideas. I just found this construction paper graduate and some other graduation ideas this weekend at the making learning fun web site.

Pets and Animals

During our study of pets and animals, we learn about living organisms. We make a circle map to show all different kinds of living things. Students brings pictures of living things or real living things for show and tell. We put the pictures on our circle map. If they bring a real object then I take their picture with the object and we place it on the circle map. We always do this activity at the end of the day in case students want to bring a family member as their living organism.

We read the book Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood. Then we compared ourselves to different animals.

One of our student teachers from last year did this lesson with the students.

Every year during pet week, we have a kindergarten pet show. Students can bring their pet for show and tell. We send out a very specific note about pet day. All animals must come on a leash or in a cage and with an adult. All animals must leave with the adult as soon as the show is over. We have the pet show right when school starts to make it easy on parents. I have hosted a pet show for most of my years of teaching kinder and it has always gone well. We have held it both inside and outside of the school.

Our librarian brings her dog, Brinkley, for a special pet story time.

Every year during pet week, Mrs. Wood brings her pet bearded dragon to school. She teaches the kids about bearded dragons and sets up a habitat for one in front of the students.

All of the kids and the teachers get to hold Sunny after learning about his habitat.

We wrote in our science journals about what we learned about bearded dragons and their habitats.This student wrote that they need sun light and that they eat crickets.

We compare pictures of real animals to stuffed animals. This activity is a good lead in to a discussion of living and non-living.

My teammate wrote animal riddles with her class.

We learn about living things. We brainstorm things animals and pets need.

These are good books to read for a study of pets.

This is the entire poem.
We could have a horse for a pet.
We could have a dog for a pet.
We could have a cat for a pet.
We could have a bird for a pet.
We could have a bunny for a pet.
We could have a turtle for a pet.
We could have a fish for a pet.
We could have a guinea pig for a pet.
We could have a mouse for a pet.
I want an iguana as a pet. A pet just for me!
What pet would you like?

We always end pet/animal week with Clifford Day. You can find more Clifford ideas under the Clifford Day post.

Valentine Class Book

We make this valentine class book. Students brainstorm things they can do on Valentine's day. I type the sentence and cut it up. Then they put the words back in order and glue it on. Finally, they illustrate.

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch

This is one of my favorite valentine stories. If you do not have the book or do not want to buy it, you can watch it with your students at It is narrated by Hector Elizondo. After reading the book, we wrote about the story.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Arnie the Doughnut

Our librarian had a "Donut Forget to Read" party for our kids who read 25 books over the Christmas break. I really liked her idea and the book she used so I thought I would share it. This would be a great activity for celebrating the letter D.

She read the book Arnie the Doughnut by Lauri Keller.

Of course, everyone ate donuts!

I found this cute Arnie the Doughnut cake in my online lesson ideas searching.

Students made their own Arnie the Doughnut by gluing strips of colored paper onto a donut shape. Mrs. Tricoli plans to mount them on paper plates, like Arnie is in the book, for display.

I found these other good ideas for using with the book Arnie the Doughnut.

Additional Humorous Food Stories:
Coco the Carrot by Steven Salerno. Tired of life in the refrigerator, Coco the Carrot sets off to Paris to become a famous hat designer.

Food Fight! by Carol Diggory Shields. When the salad greens declare “lettuce have a party,” who knew it would evolve into a ruckus in the refrigerator with food all over the kitchen stepping in for some of the action.

Stop that Pickle! By Andrew Shachat. A pickle races down city streets trying to escape its capture by other food items.

Book Extension Activities:

Emotions Discussion: What are You Doing?: Arnie is very comfortable sharing his emotions with Mr. Bing and uses words to communicate his anger and frustration. After his anger, Arnie works with Mr. Bing, figuring out a way to prevent being eaten. What would you do if you were Mr. Bing?

Literacy/Language Development: Vocabulary: this book introduces many words that may be unfamiliar to children: bonjour, crullers, éclair, fritter, etc. Discuss what these words mean.

Counting/Math Extensions: Math Concepts: how many doughnuts are in a dozen? Using an egg carton and 12 miniature pictures of doughnuts, have children place one picture in each eggcup. Discuss what is a baker’s dozen (13) and the story behind the number. Doughnut Math Magic: use large pictures of doughnuts to do simple addition and subtraction. How Many, How Much: create math and money problem solving questions involving doughnuts.

Art Activity: Create-a-Doughnut: Use playdoh, paper and crayons or other art medium. Encourage children to create and name their favorite doughnut.

Field Trip: A Trip to the Bakery : Organize a field trip to your local bakery. Ask the baker if he/she is willing to demonstrate how doughnuts are made and tour the premises.

Writing Extension: My Very Own Doughnut Dog : create a story about how you find your very own doughnut dog and the adventures you have together.

Musical Extension:
(To the Tune of: Baa Baa Black Sheep)
Yum, yum, Donuts,
Chocolate iced,
Glazed and twisted,
Warm and nice.
Cream filled, sprinkles on the top.
Vanilla frosting! Jelly! I can't stop!
Better than a sticky roll,
Eat them right down to the hole!

The students in this class actually made their own donuts after reading the book.

They also made felt donuts. Instructions for making felt donuts can be found at

Jessie Bear, What Will You Wear?

We read the book Jessie Bear, What Will You Wear? Then we made patterns on t-shirts for Jessie Bear to wear. We named our patterns when we were finished.

Jellybeans For Sale

We read the book Jellybeans for Sale. Then we made our own class book about jellybeans for sale. We clipped the corners and rounded small rectangles to make jellybeans. We learned different ways to make 10 cents using coins. Students chose how they wanted to make 10 cents and stamped those coins in their hand.

Clifford Day

we all dressed in red in honor of Clifford

We read the book Clifford's Family. Then we made a venn diagram to compare who has brothers, who has sisters, and who has both. We compared our families to Clifford's and we shared stories about our brothers and sisters.

My teammate had her students brainstorm things that Clifford needs.

Read Clifford's First Day of School. Then have students brainstorm things Clifford would like at school. We made these Clifford faces by clipping the bottom corners on a large red square for the face and 2 long rectangles for the ears. Then we clipped corners and rounded on 2 white rectangles and 1 black square. We painted on the eyes and whiskers.

graph whether you think Clifford would make a good pet, then chart reasons why or why not

Read Clifford's ABC book and make a class ABC book.My teammate's class made this book.

I found this Clifford at

These ideas and several others can be found listed on this web site.