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There’s So Much to Do! Earth Day Crafts & Activities


There’s So Much to Do! 
Earth Day Crafts & Activities

 

Earth Day is next Tuesday. Here are lots of ideas for how to be active all day. And then for the rest of the year! So much to do!

 

20 Earth Day Crafts & Activities for Kids from No Time for Flashcards

Includes: Nature Detectives, Make recycled Paper, Playdough Earths, and more…

 

The Happy Earth Day Coloring and Activities Book from US EPA

An 11-page coloring and activities book

 

Earth Day Crafts, Activities and Projects from Enchanted Learning

Crafts, worksheets, activities, printables

 

Earth Day from Spoonful

Activities, games, food

 

Earth Day Activities from DLTK

Crafts, games, printables and more…

 

50 Earth Day Activities for Kids from Tinkerlab

Activities to encourage children to create objects from natural and recycled materials and spend more time outdoors.

 

Earth Day from Family Education

Crafts, activities, projects, and lots more…

 

20 Earth Day Crafts and Activities for Kids from Housing a Forest

These look pretty interesting

 

The Greatest Earth Day Pages Ever! from Planet Pals

Information, activities, crafts, and more

 

I hope you have a wonderful and active Earth Day!

Gail


Plan for Earth Day with Outstanding Books


Plan for Earth Day with Outstanding Books

 

Earth Day is on April 22. Here are a bunch of books to help get you started thinking about and planning for how you will celebrate.


Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by Patricia Newman, illustrated by Annie Crawley

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of plastic—both large and tiny pieces that is floating in the Pacific Ocean. A team of researchers spent about three weeks at sea, investigating it. This book documents their work and their findings. I’ve been curious about the patch for some time and this book taught me a lot. This is a perfect book for young scientists and environmentalists!


Earth Day by Molly Aloian

With text and pictures, this book covers the reasons for Earth Day, its history and symbols, and ways it is celebrated.

 

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss, illustrated by Rosemary Woods

The text and paintings in this book combine beautifully to tell the history, workings, and complex issues surrounding Earth’s water. Written for older elementary and middle school students, this is an exceptional book.


EcoArt! by Laurie Carlson

This book has been around since 1993 and has a fantastic collection of Earth-friendly crafts. I’ve used ideas from it for many years and will continue to.

 

Let’s Celebrate Earth Day by Connie and Peter Roop, illustrated by Gwen Connelly

Using a question and answer format, this book gives lots of information about Earth Day. It includes history, important concepts, and good ideas for being good Earth citizens. The watercolor illustrations nicely support the text. This is a terrific book!

 

Earth Day—Hooray! by Stuart J. Murphy, illustrated by Renée Andriani

Three kids organize an aluminum can drive to earn money. They want to use the money to buy flowers for the local park. It’s a good story, plus it sneaks in a place value lesson.

 

Crinkleroot’s Guide to Giving Back to Nature by Jim Arnosky

I have just recently discovered the Crinkleroot series and I’m so glad I did! Each one is a little gem showing how to be good Earth citizens. This one gives lots of doable ways: feeding animals, planting animal-friendly plants, respecting animal habitats, and more. 

 

You Are the Earth by David Suzuki and Kathy Vanderlinden, illustrated by Wallace Edwards (sorry, no link)

David Suzuki is a scientist and the host of the TV show The Nature of Things. This book for older students (upper elementary and middle school) is full of information about air, water, fire, and more. I really like how it has lots of experiments that help show how many of the book’s concepts and ideas work.

 

Common Ground: The Water, Earth, and Air We Share by Molly Bang

The author starts with a simple story about a long-ago village and its commons where everyone’s sheep could graze. This story is used to show how overuse of each of Earth’s resources is like this village common. A simple story with a powerful message.

 

Planet Ark: Preserving Earth’s Biodiversity by Adrienne Mason, illustrated by Margot Thompson

This book compares Earth to the Bible story of Noah’s Ark. It stresses the importance of biodiversity (maintaining a wide variety of plant and animal species in their natural environments) for Earth’s survival. It covers many topics, including food webs, habitats, environmental threats, and the work of modern-day Noahs.

 

3 Pandas Planting by Megan Halsey

Starting with 12 Crocodiles: We’re carpooling, 11Tigers: We turn off our faucets, this basic book shows animals doing their part to take care of Earth. The illustrations have lots to look at.

 

Nature Recycles: How about You? by Michelle Lord, illustrated by Cathy Morrison

Do you think only humans recycle? Think again! sea urchins, hermit crabs, octopuses, beetles and other animals and insects recycle. I like this book’s  approach to the topic of recycling.


What are your ideas for Earth Day? Write them in the Comments Box!

Gail


Easter Games for Indoor, Outdoor and Online Fun


Easter Games for Indoor, Outdoor and Online Fun

 

One of the lovely things about Easter is the weather is getting nice and you just have to get outside. Here are some ideas for Easter Day fun.

 

8 Easter Games from Spoonful

indoor and outdoor games like Yarn Maze, Egg Scramble, Jelly Bean Trail

 

15 Easter Party Games for Children from Yahoo Voices

indoor and outdoor games like Easter Egg Bowling, Walk the Egg, Duck Walk Race

 

Squigly's Easter Games from Squigly’s Games

online games

 

Happy Easter from The Kidzpage

online games, puzzles and coloring, plus printable activities

 

Easter Games from A Kids Heart

online games and puzzles, scroll down for printable activities

 

Easter from Primary Games

online games and puzzles, plus jokes and coloring

 

Happy Easter!

Gail

 


Easter Crafts for Boosting Literacy Skills



Easter Crafts for Boosting Literacy Skills

Following directions is a get way to practice reading while having fun. And then you have something to show for it when you’re done! I hope these sites give you lots of good ideas.


 

CHURCH RELATED

Easter Resurrection Bible Craft from Smarty Pants Fun

Make a 3-D display. Coloring pages are also included.

 

Easter Crafts for Sunday School from Danielle’s Place

Crafts, cards, puppets…

 

Kids Easter Sunday School Activities from Sunday School Kids

Crafts for grades K-8

 

Christian Cross Crafts from DLTK

This site has several ideas for crosses.

 

 

NON- CHURCH RELATED

Easter Crafts for Kids from Better Homes and Gardens

Crafts, cards, puppets…

 

15 Fun Easter Crafts for Kids from Parent Map

Crafts, snacks, decorations…

 

34 Fun, Easy (and Cheap!) Easter Crafts for Kids from iVillage

A bunch of ways to use plastic eggs (love the first one!), paper tubes and other things lying around

 

10 Easy Easter Crafts for Kids from Parenting.com

Crafts, cooking, table decorations…

 

Easter Kids' Crafts and Activities from Martha Stewart

Crafts, food, games…

 

Easter Crafts from Kinder Art

Coloring eggs, crafts, food…


Easter Baskets from Spoonful

A bunch of ideas for making Easter baskets


 

Have a wonderful Easter!

Gail

 


Easter is Coming! Celebrate with Books for the Whole Family


Easter is Coming! Celebrate with Books for the Whole Family

 

Easter is April 20th this year—just two weeks away. Easter is such a wonderful holiday. I love the quiet celebration with family and church. It’s spring, or nearly so, and everything is starting to grow. Lovely.

 

FICTION

Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure by Kimberly and James Dean

The Easter Bunny asks Pete to help him find, paint, and hide some Easter eggs. So Pete puts on bunny ears and goes out to find eggs. He gets the eggs, plus more bunny parts to wear. A poster, stickers, and Easter cards are included.

 

Easter Bunny on the Loose by Wendy Wax, illustrations by Dave Garbot (sorry, no link)

Discover who took the Golden Egg by following the clues in this Where’s Waldo type book. The clues are all there, you just have to find them!


Bently & Egg by William Joyce

Bently is a young and musical frog who gets roped into egg-sitting for his friend Kack Kack the duck. Bently is not very impressed by the plain white egg so he paints it with a beautiful design. This makes it look like an Easter egg, which causes a string of adventures. This picture story is very sweet.

 

Sawdust Carpets by Amelia Lau Carling

The Lau Family has been invited to spend Easter with their cousins in Antigua, Guatemala. Though the Laus are Chinese and Buddhist, they love their relatives' celebration of Easter. The creation of spectacular sawdust carpets is one of the best parts. This is a beautiful book—it made me want to go to Guatemala to see the carpets and the procession they were part of.

 

Bunny’s Easter Egg by Anne Mortimer

Bunny is tired after spending the night hiding Easter eggs. There is still one left, but she is too tired. She brings it into her basket and goes to sleep. When it starts to crack, Bunny decides to look for someplace quieter – not an easy task. Be sure to look for the Easter eggs hiding on each page.

 

Piggy Bunny by Rachel Vail, illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

Liam the piglet is like any other piglet, except he wants to be the Easter Bunny. Even though most of his family thinks this is a crazy idea, Liam goes into training. Funny story and funny pictures!

 

The Birds’ Gift retold by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Katya Krenina

A little girl discovers many golden birds caught in an early winter storm. The villagers take in the flock and care of them through most of the winter. When they return in the spring, the birds have something for the villagers. This is a retold folktale of the Ukrainian pysanky eggs.

 

NONFICTION

Easter Traditions around the World by M.J. Cosson, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri

Read about the Easter traditions in 12 countries, including Australia, Germany, Mexico, and Poland. Directions for coloring Easter eggs are also included.

 

Easter by Trudi Strain Trueit, illustrated by Benrei Huang

This book covers many parts of Easter: history, traditions, and foods. It also has Easter poems and songs.

 

The First Easter: The Story of Why We Celebrate Easter by Carol Heyer

Starting with his birth, this book is a simple retelling of Jesus' life and the events leading up to the first Easter. The painted illustrations beautifully support the text. It would make a terrific read-aloud.

 

My Very First Easter Story by Lois Rock, illustrated by Alex Ayliffe

The story of Easter is told simply, from Good Friday to Easter day. The attractive illustrations nicely support the story. The small size is perfectly suited for small hands.

 

Easter Sweets and Treats by Ruth Owen

This book is best for family cooking or an experienced older child. All the recipes are clearly written and look delicious. There 6 recipes: Easter Brunch Eggs, Easter Bunny Cookies, Carrot Cake, Easter Nest Cupcakes Homemade Easter Eggs and Deviled Easter Eggs. Enjoy!

 

The Easter Story by Brian Wildsmith

Brian Wildsmith is one of my favorite writer-illustrators. This book is absolutely beautiful. It tells the story of the last days of Jesus' life, the crucifixion, and the resurrection, as seen through the eyes of a small donkey. It is a perfect read aloud book.


I hope you have a Happy Easter!

Gail


 

Great Games, Crafts, and Puzzles for Bird Lovers


Great Games, Crafts, and Puzzles for Bird Lovers

 

Did you see Monday’s bird books? Here are games, puzzles, crafts, and coloring to go with them! Check them out for excellent literacy opportunities and fun!

 

GAMES AND PUZZLES

Bird Games and Videos from Learning Games for Kids

Videos, online games, and puzzles


Bird Puzzles from Jigzone

Lots of jigsaw puzzles

 

Mission: Migration from Audubon.org

Online game

 

 

CRAFTS AND COLORING

Bird Seed Bird Craft from All Kids Network

 

Feeding Wild Birds in Winter from The Crafty Crow

Several bird feeder projects

 

Paper Bag Crow or Raven Craft from DLTK

 

Bird Coloring Pages from DLTK

choose from cartoon or realistic type pictures

 

Curly Birds from Spoonful

I want to make these!

 

Nest o' Fluffy Chicks from Spoonful

very cute

 

Yay birds!

Gail


Expedition Everest: A Lofty Writing Project for Student Writers



Expedition Everest: A Lofty Writing Project for Student Writers

Today’s guest post is from Martin Waller’s Moonstone Class. The class is Year 5 (Grade 5), at Holy Trinity Rosehill Primary School in the United Kingdom.  Their blog is an online space where members of the class can share their learning and views with the rest of the world. The students have their own usernames and passwords so that they can create blog posts both in school and at home.

I loved following the class’s Mount Everest project. The knowledge and creativity of the students impressed me, as did their enthusiasm. I was delighted when Martin and his class agreed to write a post about the project.

 

Expedition Everest

In Y5 Moonstone Class we have been taking part in an exciting project called Expedition Everest. Our project was focused on the biggest mountain in the world – Mount Everest. We started our project by exploring facts about the mountain environment. We were then in contact with Ben Stephens who trekked up Mount Everest in 2007. Ben sent us a presentation about his expedition including some amazing photographs which we used as inspiration for our art work.

Milly commented, “I enjoyed creating art work based on the harsh environment of Everest!”

“I liked looking at the sunset over the summit of Everest,” added Evan.

We then wrote newspaper reports about Ben’s triumphant summit to Everest.

Jack said, “Expedition Everest was fun and exciting – I enjoyed learning about Base Camp and Camp IV before the summit to Everest.”

We were then very fortunate to be able to interview Tori James as part of our project. Tori was the youngest British women and first Welsh women to successfully summit Mount Everest. We watched videos of her trek and she kindly answered our questions. You can see our full interview at: http://moonstone.htrblogs.net/2014/02/02/y5-moonstone-interview-tori-james/

Boaz comment, “I enjoyed the videos of the explorers on the summit of Everest.”

We then moved onto writing vivid and figurative poetry about the ‘Mother of the Earth’ and Matthew said that he really enjoyed this part of the project! Owen found it really helpful to use the pictures from Ben Stephens when writing his poetry.

Mr Waller then organised a special Skype session with adventure cameraman Keith Partridge, who helped realise an 88-year-old promise by taking an Olympic gold medal to the summit of Everest. Keith kindly answered our questions about the harsh environment and what it was like to be at the “roof of the world.”

Amelia reflected, “I enjoyed taking part in the Skype session with a real Everest explorer.”

Friend of Y5 Moonstone Class, Gail Terp kindly recommended the book “The Hunt for the Yeti Skull” by Elizabeth Singer Hunt which we used as the basis for writing our own fiction work. Towards the end of our projects we created a class compilation of stories called “Expedition Everest: The Yeti Sightings” and have started to publish these on our class blog. Matthew said, “I really enjoyed creating my Yeti story set on Mount Everest.”

Expedition Everest was an exciting cross-curricular project which inspired us to learn more about the great outdoors whilst also improving our literacy and writing skills. We are very thankful to Gail Terp, Keith Partridge, Ben Stephens and Tori James for helping make our project so special.

 

Y5 Moonstone is a connected classroom at Holy Trinity Rosehill C.E. (V.A.) Primary School in the United Kingdom. We use technology to help us with our learning. You can find out more on Twitter and on our class blogs:

Class blog: http://moonstone.htrblogs.net
Twitter: @Y5Moonstone
Mr Waller’s Twitter: @MisterWaller

 

Many thanks to Mr. Waller and his talented students!

Gail


Books for Young Bird Lovers


Books for Young Bird Lovers

Although I love seeing birds any time of the year, I especially love seeing them in the spring. They prove, even though the weather may be still quite wintery, spring is coming. Some years, their presence and their songs are the only evidence of spring for several weeks. Thanks you birds!

I loved reading the books for this post and learned a lot. I hope you do too!


Vulture View by April  Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Have you ever seen a vulture? Have you seen one soaring high in the sky? I think vultures are cool birds and the rhyming text and the illustrations of this book capture a day in the life of a vulture perfectly.


About Birds: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill, illustrated by John Sill

Written for the youngest readers, this book combines simple text with outstanding paintings of birds in their habitats. The last pages include more information about the birds.

 

Little Green by Keith Baker

A boy with a paintbrush carefully watches a hummingbird outside his window. The gorgeous illustrations are supported by brief text that clearly describes the constant movement of hummingbirds.

 

Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf by Olivia Bouler

The author is 11 years old. She draws and paints birds and has raised more than $150,000 for her Save the Gulf campaign. In this book, she includes lots of bird information, plus many of her wonderful watercolor paintings. Fun, informative, and very impressive!

 

Two Blue Jays by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Megan Halsey

The students in Miss Dana’s class observe two blue jays as they build a nest, care for eggs, feed their chicks, and tend their growing family. Reading this, I couldn’t help but be jealous of these students with a bird’s nest right outside their window!

 

A Nest Full of Eggs by Priscilla Belz Jenkins, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell 

Like the previous book, this one follows a family of birds - robins. This book has more information, including the growth of the chicks within the shells.

 

Birds by Nicola Davies

This well-designed book has 18 two-page chapters covering a wide range of bird information. Topics include bird bodies and senses, flying, homes, raising babies, and more. The last pages give directions for making a bird book, making bird feeders, and using nest boxes.

 

The Tale of Pale Male by Jeanette Winter

This story is based on the true story of two red-tailed hawks, named Pale Male and Lola. The pair makes their nest on the top of an apartment building in New York City. They raise their family as crowds of people watch them from the street below. They become famous but not everyone appreciates them. This story makes me want to go see Pale Male and Lola!

Also about Pale Male and Lola: Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City by Janet Schulman

 

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon by Jacqueline Davies, illustrated by Melissa Sweet 

John James Audubon became famous in the 1800s for his detailed studies of birds. His paintings are still thought to be important. This book covers his early life and the beginning of his study of birds. There is lots of interesting information about Audubon and his discoveries. The illustrations are beautiful.

 

Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing the Birds by Jim Arnosky (sorry, no link)

I really like this beginner’s guide to bird watching. It has a lot of information, but not too much. The illustrations are colorful and detailed. There are other Crinkleroot nature guides, including Crinkleroot's 25 Birds Every Child Should Know—next on my to-read list!

 

Welcome Brown Bird by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Peter Sylvada

This book is about one migrating bird and two boys. One boy lives on a northern farm and spends the spring and summer listening to a brown thrush. When the weather turns cold, the bird flies away. The second boy lives in a southern forest and waits for the brown thrush to return. He listens to the thrush’s song througout the fall and winter. This is a lovely story.

 

Everything Bird: What Kids Really Want to Know about Birds by Cherie Winner (sorry, no link)

If you spend time watching and thinking about birds, you are bound to have questions. This book answers 29 questions, including What makes a bird a bird? Can an owl really turn its head all the way around? Do woodpeckers ever get a headache from hammering on wood?  Lots of good information!

 

Birds, Nests, and Eggs by Mel Boring, illustrated by Linda Garrow 

Fourteen birds are described, plus descriptions and drawings of their nests and eggs are included. There are also 3 projects: making a “blind” for watching birds, making a bird shower-bath, and making a suet feeder.


Looking for more bird stuff? This week's Friday Fun post will have bird games, crafts, and puzzles. 

Gail


 

Online Games for ABC Fun


Online Games for ABC Fun

 

This week’s post have been all about the ABCs. Here are some online ABC games. Some are basic, some are more advanced.

 

Oobi Letters from Nick Jr.

A very simple letter sounds game

 

Alphabet Fun from Primary Games

Games, coloring, and activity pages

 

ABC Games from PBS Kids

Several online games at different levels

 

ABC Match from Read Write Think

Match letters to pictures in a memory game.

 

Educational Games from ABCya

There's a bunch of different games here for grades K-5.

 

ABCs for Grades K-2 from Utah Education Network

Another bunch of games.

 

ABC Order from Learning Planet

A game for practicing alphabetical order.

 

 

Hope you find these games fun!

Gail

 

Making ABC Books—Very Fun!


Making ABC Books—Very Fun!

 

Monday’s post offered lots of ABC books to explore. Some were basic books, others were definitely not. Today’s post gives you some ideas for making your own. Why?

Making ABC books:

  • Is fun
  • Can be very personal
  • Can support a child’s passion
  • Gets kids thinking about themselves as authors
  • Gives practice with learning sounds
  • Gives opportunities to be creative and silly

 

The pictures in an ABC book can come from different sources:

  • Pictures cut from magazines
  • Computer clip art
  • Photos from the family collection
  • Photos taken by the author just for the book
  • Pictures drawn by the author/illustrator
  • Any combination of sources

 

There are different ways to approach the making of an ABC book. Here are some approaches used in published ABC books. Each approach gives one book that illustrates it and is included in Monday’s book post.

Basic Each letter is represented by one or more pictures of common objects. (A is for apple, B is for boat…) Brian Wildsmith’s ABC

Theme Each letter is represented by one or more pictures of things that fall into a single theme. (A is for apple, B is for banana…) This is great for capitalizing on a passion. Alphabet Trucks

Riddle Each letter is represented by a riddle (B, I am yellow. I have a peel. People and monkeys eat me.) Animal ABC

Alliterative Each letter is represented by an alliterative sentence or phrase (Little Lulu loved lemon lollipops.) Great for drawn illustrations! Augie to Zebra

Journey A main character travels and on her way, sees (collects/jumps over/paints…) objects that represent each letter of the alphabet. Old Black Fly

Nonsense Each letter is represented by something that doesn’t actually exist. (A is for antsyfant, B is for battyblew…) Another good one for drawn illustrations! A is for Alliguitar

 

Although making ABC books is simply a fun idea, making them could also be used for other reasons. Some that come to mind include:

  • Gifts for younger siblings, parents, grandparents, friends
  • A fun way to dive into a passion
  • School projects to demonstrate mastery of a subject
  • Book reports
  • Family project
  • Vacation scrapbook
  • Show and tell at school

 

I hope you are seeing the possibilities of making ABC books. Perhaps you’ve already created some? Write about your experiences in the Comments Box!

Gail


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