As a final wrap-up activity for our Fair Tale Unit, we wrote a class book titled "The Very Sad Dragon." We started by reviewing the elements of a fiction story. We then generated a list of ideas. I wish I had remembered to take a photo of our list. I told the kids that I wanted to use photos to illustrate the book so that limited us a little. We agreed right away that the characters would be our class and a dragon - the kids love our dress-up dragon (and I'm good at putting ideas in their heads :). We came up with lots of possible dragon names and then voted on our favorite....and Alvin the Dragon was born.
After reading Chickens Aren't the Only Ones, we made books about oviparous animals. The pages are colored ovals that get smaller as the book progresses. We painted the cover with water colors (before they were stapled onto the book :)
I think the kids' favorite part of our Fairy Tale unit is our castle.
I made the castle using 3 refrigerator boxes and 5 washer/dryer boxes. I bought the plans and special rivets from Mr. McGroovy's website. I worked on it for about 10 hours (Mr. McGroovy says it should take 2). I got much better as I went along and if I do it again, I'll get help (I bet I'll be able to finish the whole thing in 2-3 hours next year).
This is the Bean Stalk that is in our classroom. I made it by twisting long pieces of bulletin board paper. I added a giant cardboard boot and used a "snow cover" that I got after Christmas to make the cloud. The kids made the giant leaves (using tracers).
This is one of my favorite ways to grow plants. The kids put a paper towel in a baby food jar and then a bean and then added water (it is important that just the paper towel is wet and the bean does not sit in water or it will get moldy). The little castle is attached to a stick (bought "bamboo" placemats at the dollar store so I got lots of sticks for $1). They then drew a little picture of themselves that is taped to the jar. As the bean grows, we wind it around the stick. So cute!
Once again inspired by Fairy Dust Teaching we made a story map of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. I took a large sheet of bulletin board paper and drew a path down the middle. At one end of the path I wrote "Once upon a time" and at the other end I wrote "The End". We then retold the story together and I added basic drawings along the sides of the path (such as 3 bears and then a little further down a girl and then 3 bowls, etc).
The class then got to work adding color and details. We then took turns walking down the path and retelling the story.
I put this out on several days and in addition to using the path for retelling, each day more details were added by my eager artists.
After reading several versions of The 3 Billy Goats Gruff, the kids acted out the story using simple masks I made with poster board. I also overheard them "trip trapping" over the bridge that is part of our outside play structure.
This is our Shoe Museum that we created after reading The Elves and the Shoemaker. Like so many of the ideas in my Fairy Tale Unit, this was inspired by Fairy Dust Teaching. I asked the kids to bring in old shoes and then spray painted them silver and gold. The kids decorated the shoes using jewels, feathers and sequins. I then used Fairy Dust Teaching's Guided Drawing instructions to have the children make Elves. They have loved all of the guided drawing we have done.
After reading The Princess and the Pea, we made these cute princesses. I used Fairy Dust Teaching's guided drawings to make the princesses and then let the kids choose how many mattresses their princess would sleep on. The last thing they did was add a real dried split pea at the bottom of their mattress pile.
Last year I told my kindergarteners that I had brought brownies for them. In fact, I reminded them about the special snack several times during the day. At snack time, I brought out the brownies... I mean "brown E's." The kids faces were priceless. For the kids, the real fun began when we took the "brownies" around the school to the principal and other teachers. The children took turns holding the brownie pan, and asking if the teacher (principal, secretaries, janitor, lunch ladies... :) "would like one of the brownies Mrs. Goff made." They then all said "April Fools" as one or two of them produced a "brown E" from behind their backs. They LOVED being the prankster and at the end of the year the class listed our April Fool's trick as one of their favorite memories.
While you're here…I'd love it if you'd look around (and maybe even follow me:)
After our incredibly mild winter, we celebrated the last day of spring with an indoor snowball fight. I went into our scrap bin and got lots of white paper. On each piece of paper (actually 1/2 sheets or smaller) I put one oreo or sight word. I then crumpled each piece of paper into a ball. (In Kindergarten, I always had the kids write the words). I tossed all of the balls onto the floor and let the kids go wild throwing them at each other. Every minute or so, I rang a bell and everyone grabbed a snowball and froze. We then went around and they each read the word on their snowballs. The kids always love doing this and last year they would beg to "write their sight word snowballs":) What a fun way to practice sight words!