Exporing Space, Solar Systems from Air Dry Clay

Solar Systems with Crayola Air Dry Clay…they turn out pretty awesome! 

One of my favorite Reading Streets selection is called Exploring Space with an Astronaut. It is full of pictures of actual astronauts in space doing jobs on the space shuttle and space station.

I love this Reading Streets book Exploring Space With an Astronaut. The kids love it too! 

 I love the study of space and so do the students. There is so much we are just learning due to better satellites, telescopes and current photographs.

We look at star charts and constellations and earn a little about each of the planets too. 

We finished our Solar Systems out of Crayola Air Dry Clay a while ago. We had been studying the Sun, Stars and the Solar System with the planets in Science after reading our Reading Streets story Exploring Space with an Astronaut by Patricia J. Murphy. A neat Quia with ideas to add extensions to the story is HERE.

Here are our finished Crayola Air Dry Clay Solar Systems 
Some fast finisher activities and songs 
We wrote little mini books and had a page for the Sun, Moon, and each Planet too! 
Websites for more great space information and videos:

Here are our awesome solar systems. We also made some STARs on a stick, read poems about stars and looked at constellations.

Planets made with Crayola Air Dry Clay….a fun medium for that marbling look. 

Here are the Solar System books we wrote…
It’s aways a lot of fun to look through the books I have on each planet and come up with some interesting facts to add to our books. It is surprising how many facts the kids already know. They really enjoy learning about space. 
There was a page on each of the planets…and the sun and moon too. 
Another fun book about the life of an astronaut…..
We sang songs about the planets and learned “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. Each of these words has the same letter as the planets in order!

Here is a sampling of some GREAT SPACE BOOKS:

 Me and My Place in Space  by Joan Sweeney

Find the Constellations by H. A. Rey

Postcards From the Planets

I Want to Be an Astronaut by Byron Barton

We looked at planet books at centers and read lots of books on space…

1plus1equals1  has some cute Planet VOCABULARY CARDS  that I think would be fun for kids to use to explore or write sentences with at centers.

It is a really fun science unit. 

Air Dry Crayola clay makes great planets. Kids can add marker dots and then roll and swirl the clay till it marbles!! 

Here is a song from hsprintables on the planets.It is to the tune of “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain”. It’s a cute one the kids loved singing! Hope you enjoyed our Solar Systems!

School Rules Acrostic Poetry

 A great way to start kids thinking and learning about the SCHOOL RULES is making a School Bus out of yellow, painted, tops of egg cartons or just some yellow construction paper bus shaped.

Our School Buses and Acrostic School Rules Poems. 

Every year teachers start the year going over the rules at school. Here is a fun way I like to do it after teaching the kids our school’s 4 easy rules. SOAR is the acronym we use.

This year I have 30 students so I skipped painting the egg carton tops yellow like we did last year, and just used yellow construction paper buses, 2 black wheels with white circle stickers on them and a brad for wheels, a stop sign copied on red paper and pictures of the kids on a black strip of paper.

Here were our cute school buses. It’s hard for kids to cut those wheels perfectly round though. I should have punched them out for them, maybe? The white stickers on top and the brads make them look like real wheels. 

Then we do an acrostic poem about school and the rules. 

  I copied these cute School Bus Bookmarks with jokes on them. The link is at Activity Village. The kids enjoyed hearing the jokes but some went over their heads. 😀 Then I had the kids do an acrostic poem after we brainstormed ways to write some of the school rules within sentences starting with S-C-H-O-O-L.  They did a pretty good job.

We added our kid pictures that I took with Photobooth as the kids sat in a chair facing forward with a yellow paper background, with faces turned toward me. (like they were riding on a bus)
They each chose 3 friends, and their own picture and glued them to a strip of black construction paper.

Acrostic School Rules. The stationery is from Scholastic. Get it on Amazon HERE. It’s Back to School Stationery.
Yellow School Buses with Acrostic Poetry turned out pretty cute. 
We brainstormed words that begin with the letters S-C-H-O-O-L.

Then the kids added round black wheels with white stickers and a brad. We talked about all the school rules and why we have them. And they tried to incorporate phrases  of our SOAR SCHOOL RULES into some of the letters of the acrostic SCHOOL poem.

I found some funny jokes online and we added them to some cute bus papers…..

At ABC Teach  is another cute bus blackline you might like. 

Our SOAR SCHOOL RULES ARE; 1. Safe inside and out 2. On Time and On Task 3. Accept Responsibility 4. Respect Self, Others and Property. Learn Create Love had a really cute printable for making a yellow school bus. So I cut yellow paper out in a bus shape and after we painted the tops of the egg cartons we added the yellow bus shape to make it 3D.

We have a Principal’s award at our school called “Something
to Celebrate” which is a little certificate they all try to win every week. It means they
get to go play a game of tag with him on Friday. 

Then I found this cute School Stationery with a school bus and lots of kids on it.  So I had the kids rewrite their sloppy copies of their acrostic  S C H O O L poems after I edited them.

School Bus art with SCHOOL ACROSTIC POEMS. Here’s what the egg carton buses look like painted yellow. They are a lot more involved but pretty cute too. 

They turned out really cute. What do you think?

Community Helpers Activities!

Welcome back to a new year in 2nd grade!  We were in our first week of Reading Streets last week and we read the book Twins Club.  It is kind of a similar theme to Town Mouse, Country Mouse  because two cousins come from different parts of the country; one is a rural dweller, and the other lives in the heart of an urban city. And the two communities are polar opposites. We were to compare and contrast rural, suburban and urban areas of a community. We also read the story Officer Buckle and Gloria and lots of books on occupations, community helpers and what we want to be when we grow up.

For art we made police hats and had badges and a puppet to start a puppet show writing project. We sang a few songs about different occupations and did some riddles on the same topic.

Here are some of the fun stories I read the class this week. For social studies we learned about communities and what that means, and we talked a lot about helpers in our community.

Community Helper Books I read to my class the first week of school….

Then we made a brainstorm on the board of all kinds of community helpers. We would make a puppet out of 2 of them and think of a story idea with a problem that could happen to one of the puppets we chose. Then we had to come up with a solution to the problem that another puppet (community helper) might come and fix for us. We made a list of problems and a list of helpers. Then we decided on 3 opening sentences to get us started and everybody chose one.

 I  modeled how to start a puppet show with the class. Our class story had a baker that had a fire start in his bakery and called the fire department and had firemen come put out the fire. Then the baker gave some cupcakes to the firemen and they became friends after that. (gotta have a happy ending people!)
Here we are doing a match game using community helpers and what they do for us. The kids had to match up the occupations with a riddle of what they do. We did it in small cooperative groups of 3 or 4. Here are my little police people matching up their cards. (some of the boys were too “cool” to wear their hats home.) Isn’t that so funny? Gotta be macho in Grade 2! tee hee…..)

We also did a few worksheets on vocabulary words from the Reading Streets story and some community helper songs.HERE are a few songs I thought were fun. I played my autoharp and we sang to a few familiar tunes.   I had the kids do a few fun activities like a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting Urban communities with Rural communities.

Here at First Palette.com was a lot of free printables of community helper people to use as puppets. We put heads on bodies out of paper and glued them to tiny popsicle sticks. 

My goal was to have them write a fictional story with a problem, a solution and the setting would be a community helper’s place of business. We are learning about story structure. Then they buddied up with a partner who did their puppetry for them while they read their story in a microphone.

Here are the finished puppet shows and puppets. I forgot to take a pic of our puppet theater I got out for the occasion.It was cute seeing them taking it all so seriously. Some of them got “stage fright”. Good thing we had a microphone!  It took us all week during writing workshop to finish the puppet shows. Then we read and shared them in the afternoon. HERE at only passionate curiosity are some cute visuals you could put up in a pocket chart. Another cute one that is free and downloadable is HERE at k-3 teacher resources.

 Here is our finished bulletin board. I also had a magnetic match game with these little community helper cutouts they could match up at the magnet center. I’ll take a pic of that too.

 Some of the kids made more than 2 puppets, and some had extra visual aides…..like wedding cakes or butterflies.

Lots of great illustrations happened here…..yup! 

     I try to get them to learn the vocabulary in the writing process. The one before sharing is illustrating. So they learn what to do to become great illustrators; at least 4 colors, no white showing.

are a few songs I thought were fun. I played my autoharp and we sang to a few familiar tunes. Then I read them a few stories on people that help out in our communities. We are a mixture of urban and rural where we live. And a mixture of both where houses are outside of a city is called Suburban.

Community Helper Puppets and Stories we shared last week to go along with reading The Twins Club.

Bulletin Board of our Community Helpers and our Puppet Show Stories….

We also did a fun activity using URBAN, SUBURBAN, and RURAL. We did a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast both. The kids did it on whiteboards while I did the one on the doc camera.

Kids did a venn similar to this one….

 Then we came to the rug and did a brown bag activity where they each got 3 cards (using the COMMUNITY CHARACTERISTICS CARDS found below at UEN) and they had to decide which bag labeled Urban, Suburban and Rural, to place it in of the 3 Vocabulary Words.. HERE at Utah Education Network are all the activities and some lesson plans to go along with it taken from our Utah core

Each bag had the caption “URBAN” or “RURAL or “SUBURBAN” and kids had to come up and place picture in the right bag. The class all helped. 

There are many youtubes about communities highlighting our vocabulary. I liked this one and it was a short 5 minute video. There are longer ones with reading blurbs on each scene too. ..

 Nice Handwriting and illustrating on all of these cool puppets guys!

 It was fun to listen to such creative stories. We have some budding authors in our class!

Community Helpers Puppet Shows

Our vocabulary for the week were  the amazing words from Reading Streets. I keep them in a pocket chart all week and we do short activities with them every day from acting them out, to switching around the words and then matching them back with definitions. Then we tested them all on Friday. 30 kids all got 100%. Way to go parents!! Woot!

 This little artist in my class won the illustration contest.  We have lots of other good illustrators too!

 Another fun things to do in this unit is to play Community Helper Bingo. A VERY easy one is HERE made by Michelle Prinzo. It would be great to put these words in the pocket chart to help the kids learn the vocabulary of different types of community helpers.

Our finished puppet shows and puppets were awesome.

 It is a fun reading unit and a great story to compare with Country Mouse City Mouse. I have 3 different versions and it’s fun to read them to the kids and get a different response and perspective on each one. And we are thankful for all those community helpers we rely on.