Poem in Your Pocket

April is National Poetry Month and April 27th is Poem in Your Pocket Day.
There are so many fun things to do this month and so little time!
Here is an idea to get kids reading and sharing poetry:
Create a Poem in Your Pocket bulletin board display with this free template. (Thank you to Ashley Hughes for this super template!)

It's pretty easy.....First, have students decorate a "pocket". Staple the pocket to the bulletin board. Give them a few days or longer to find a poem that they love. Bring in a copy (they could copy it by hand) and place it in their pocket. Throughout the month classmates can read each other's chosen poem.
Students could also write their own poems, too!
Click here to download this free template.

I hope you and your students enjoy the freebie.  If you are looking for more poetry resources, I created the Poetry Unit below. 
It includes directions for writing 8 poems plus templates, poetry task cards and a covers for poetry journals.

Students can create their own poetry journals. Or create a Class Poetry Journal. After learning all 8 types of poems, have each student choose a favorite and then put a journal together for the class. Leave in the classroom library for students to read throughout  the year!

Women's History Month Freebie

March is Women's History Month!  I wanted to share a free lesson that you can use with a small window of time and some ideas for extension. This lesson can be used with upper elementary students and even in the middle school classroom.

A great and easy way to implement Women's History Month in the classroom is through a quote analysis. I compiled 8 quotes by 8 great American women. I chose quotes that would be comprehensible for upper elementary students. This handout has a color option (seen below) and a black and white option. 
Below are some ideas you use with this handout.

Quote Analysis

Have students choose (or assign students) a quote to analyze. Students can write the meaning of the quote, how it relates to the woman who said it and even how they can relate it to their own lives. Be sure to have a dictionary on hand for difficult words. 
Depending on the level of your students, they can work individually, in pairs or groups.
(A "Quote Analysis" printable is included for you!)

Illustration/Make a Poster:

Students can illustrate their favorite quote. They can also create a poster of a quote to display in the classroom.

Further Research/Extra Credit:

Have students find another quote by a famous woman that is meaningful to them and share with the class. Or, give students the option to share about a woman in history that they admire.

Click here to download this free resource. Enjoy!

For more reading on important women in history, you may enjoy this upper elementary resource:

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Holiday Traditions Flip Book

Teaching about holidays is a great opportunity for students to learn about different cultures and traditions from their classmates, whether they celebrate the same holiday or different ones. But it can be tricky - I will never forget my first year of teaching elementary school when I had children who were Christian, Muslim and Jehovah's Witness in one small class.
I wanted to share a fun writing activity that will get all kids writing, no what what holiday they celebrate.  This can done in class or taken home to be complete with family.

I will list the steps to below for easy to follow directions :)

Step 1: Fill out the Graphic Organizer. It may be helpful to have kids share aloud to remind others of their own celebrations. This is also a good time to remind them of the meaning of the word "tradition."

Step 2: Students will fill out the sheets provided for their flip book: "My Holiday", "Decorations", "Food" and "Traditions". Instructions are included for the students that explain how to cut and staple their flip books. (It's pretty easy - Just cut out each page along the black line, place each page on top of each other from biggest to smallest, and staple three times across the top.)

Step 3: Student can color their flip books and share with the class! These books also make a nice gift for the students' families.

Click here for your FREE "Holiday Traditions Flip Book."

This Holiday Traditions Flip Book is also a nice addition to my Holidays Around the World Unit (Print and Go).

I hope you enjoy the freebie! 

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Back to School Activity: Name Tag Glyph

A name tag glyph is a great getting-to-know-you activity for the first day or first week of school. I will show you how to make one here (or if you just want a free one, scroll down to the bottom! I will never know!)

A glyph is a picture or symbol that gives information. Name glyphs are great for elementary aged students and I have even used them successfully with high school ESL students.

What you need: paper (card stock works best but is not necessary), markers and crayons and a worksheet with the questions you want to ask your students

Step 1: Create a worksheet with getting-to-know-you questions. Each answer will have a symbol or direction to follow. For example:

Step 2: Give students a piece of white construction paper or card stock. (You can also use white computer paper but you may need to tape it to the desk for students to display their name tag.)  Fold it horizontally so it will stand on the student's desk. 

Step 3: Students will then complete their name tag with the information from the worksheet. It is very important that they follow the directions closely and maybe even do a practice name tag first. 

Step 4: After students complete their name tags, there are number of follow up activities you can do. - Have students introduce a partner by interpreting a classmate's name tag for the class.
- Students can write a paragraph about another classmate just using the information from his or her glyph.
- You could also do a number of graphing activities, such as graphing birthday months or favorite activities of students.
- Prepare a glyph worksheet for your sub tub so your substitute will have a name tag for each student.

If you'd like my free name tag glyph, download it here!

Some Sweet Treats for Testing Motivation (Gifts for Students)

Do you have state testing coming up soon? This can be a stressful time for students, to say the least! I know my own fourth grader is a bundle of nerves. I made these labels to give the kids something to look forward to after testing is over.

I found that the candy was a pretty good deal at the bulk section in my grocery store. You can print the labels below and tape/staple them to the bag or simply place them inside a plastic sandwich bag.

Download the free labels here!
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