Jack and the Beanstalk Terrariums and Plants and Seeds


We were busy this week making terrariums out of 2 liter clear bottles. We had a couple of mom helpers cut them in half. (Thanks to Kam’s mom and Nayantara’s mom). It was pretty treacherous with just some scissors!  I pulled some ivy and creeping charlie out of my garden and placed them in water for a week hoping they would grow roots. I should have left them longer according to Mr. Moss. (He’s more of a gardener than I am). But I looked online and ivy will grow pretty much from a cutting. We will see. So far so good! And the bishop’s weed I pulled out from the roots. Everybody chose 2. I had some succulents too. 

Plants and Seeds Unit Activity was Making Terrariums out of a clear, 2 Liter Soda Bottle! 

Last Week we read the Jr. Great Book Jack and the Beanstalk.  And just for fun we read a different rendition of it in the form of a reader’s theater, which is ALWAYS fun! Some retell picture cards to color I found are HERE at Sparklebox. Or you could make up your own titles (Jack and the potato plant,Jack and the Cornstalk, Jack and His Cow, etc.) That would be a hoot to write a creative story using Jack and the Beanstalk as a springboard!

I think they all are proud of their terrarium plantings. 
Some kids added shells to their soda bottle terrariums, to make them look even prettier! 

  Also At Sparklebox.org are some PUPPET FACES for acting out the parts in the reader’s theater. HERE is a cute reader’s theater of J and the B. And HERE is the one we used. This site has lots of reader’s theaters. We will soon do The Little Red Hen in a few weeks  to go with The Bremen Town Musicians. It’s coming up in a few weeks in our Reading Streets Anthology. 

I think the terrariums turned out pretty neat. It was easy thanks to my mom helpers! 
A couple of best friends and their terrariums from a 2 liter bottle. 
I think K loved doing this little science activity more than anybody else. She loved her terrarium! (notice the pride on her face). She would only put in one plant because she added some veggie seeds to hers and wasn’t sure they would have enough room to grow. I hope she isn’t expecting a bean stalk! 🙂

After reading the Jr. Great Book version of Jack and the Beanstalk, We each wrote out a question to ask the class.  We had a big discussion about how honest Jack was, and if the Giant’s wife was nice or not, (lots of argument on that one!) or why nobody comes down the beanstalk? We are trying to write rich, thought provoking questions good for discussions. AND, We are learning to look in the story for “evidence”.

These girls loved making terrariums too. 

I think they were excited to take their terrariums and plant journals home this week! 

We are also trying to learn to find the “main idea” in stories. At Brainpop I found a powerpoint on how to find the main idea. So we looked at that and practiced it on the Scholastic News on “Bats”. They had some questions on Main Idea on the back. It was a pretty easy one and the students all got it. 

My class is so cute. We are all wearing red because it was red ribbon week! 
Alas, even though we had 102 red items we wore, we still didn’t win for class with the most red!! 

Some fun color and sequence cards to go with the story are HERE at Sparklebox. These could also be made into a retelling book to add some sentences to. HERE at Worknotes.com are some easy reader’s theaters to try. 

There is also a crossword puzzle of Jack and the Beanstalk at this link from ABC teach.  It was a fun activity for my kids to do after reading the story and acting out the reader’s theater. My students loved doing it. 

Clear 2 liter bottles make pretty good terrariums. I was thinking if I wanted to really seal them up I could have wrapped the seam in some 2 inch book tape, but all of the kids wanted to water their plants! Oh well. 
Close up of our terrariums 

 A good step by step how to is found at this link to Teaching Tiny Tots HERE. 

We added some rocks to the bottom, then about 3 inches of good potting soil, then the plants, and topped it with rocks again (and a few pellets of plant food). 

TERRARIUMS (using empty 2 liter bottles)

 A good book to read is  From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons to start the plant unit. She is a master of children’s science books.

 2 Liter bottle terrarium instructions HERE

Another fun planting activity I’ve done in the past is doing “Sprout Houses” in a zip lock baggie. That’s what we did last year. I pass out Lima bean seeds that have been soaking overnight. Then I pass out wet cotton balls. A link to a fun lesson plan using Lima beans is HERE at A to Z Teacher Stuff. 

We use the Lima beans as our seeds for our sprout houses which are another kind of terrarium. Tape them up against a window for light. Watch what happens in a week!  I really like the kids to plant radishes when we’ve done plantings in a clear plastic cup because they come up within about 2 to 3 weeks and you can see the roots growing.

Wet Lima Beans and cotton balls in a ziplock baggie make cute Sprout Houses. 

MUSIC  (use percussion instruments) 
A Seed Needs (To the tune of “Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay” )  
I see you are a seed,
Tell me what DO you need?
I need some soil to grow,
And then the sun to glow,
Water to make me wet,
Air for my leaves to get,
Space for my roots to spread,
I’ll make your flower bed!

by: Iram Khan


Flower Garden by Eve Bunting
Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel
Jack in the Beanstalk by Stephen Kellogg
POEMS  I always look for a poem to put on the back of art to sing or read together for shared reading. This is a great one for the backs of our puffy pumpkins we made out of orange butcher paper. Thanks mom helpers for coming to help us cut out our orange pumpkins for stuffing. See them HERE.  .

We made the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin too. Check those out HERE.  The Halloween Jack-o-Lanters stuffed with newspaper. The lifecycles and seed songs were on the back.

Then we wrote the stages of the pumpkin life cycle out as a sequencing writing. 

CELERY SCIENCE EXPERIMENT – We did THIS experiment at teaching tiny tots too. Here are some pictures after the weekend. We added red and blue food coloring (thanks to Brooke’s mom for the food coloring) to 2 stalks of celery in 2 jars and watched to see what would happen. 

Celery and food coloring experiment – you can see the celery turned red (left) and blue (right) at the tips of the leaves! 

We talked about what would happen to plants if people put pollution items in lakes and streams like oil, paint and car fluids and it went downstream and plants used that water to survive.  We decided the plants might get sick. We wrote about it in our plant journals. I also had shrunk down some 8 1/2 x 11 worksheets on all kinds of plant topics and made the kids Plants and Seed Journals. 

Our Plant and Seed Journals had lots of interesting activities in them like labeling plants, writing out what part of the plant we eat, crosswords, fill in the blanks, and this celery experiment.


A fun MATH ACTIVITY designing a garden for Frog and Toad for their 24 plants can be found HERE at birdville.k12. It is a math exemplar which are great math problems to solve that are challenging and fun. I will give the kids a page of clip art plants to color with 6 of each plant and they will choose the number of plants  and their own totals to map out a garden “array”.  The book is called Frog and Toad Together  by Arnold Lobel. The chapter is called The GardenHERE at Virtual Vine  are some other Frog and Toad activities like compound words which are great to print. 

Here are some pictures of multiplication arrays we’ve done after reading Jack and the Beanstalk. 
Making Multiplication Arrays with vegetables in rows and columns. 

 I turned it into a lesson on “arrays” and multiplication. They lined their garden veggies up and multiplied the “rows” times the “columns” of veggies. Here are a few finished ones.  Some did larger arrays and some just did 2 x 4. So it is a great lesson for differentiation with that open ended aspect to it. I also modeled one on the board and wrote in “column 1, column 2 and Row 1, Row 2 etc. So they labeled their columns and rows. Everybody did their totals a little differently.


Parts of the Plant Magnet Center Idea….

This idea was taken from a Red Butte Garden docent that came into my 2nd grade classroom and did this magnetic parts of a plant one year. I loved it so much I made one that very day!  I  have the parts of a yellow sunflower plant I made up and laminated and put magnets on the backs of all the pieces, along with the labels that I place out at the magnet center. Kids love to put the flowers together and label them. The other magnet center (on filing cabinet sides) has pictures of parts of plants we eat and what type it is (root, leaf, flower/fruit, stem etc.)

  I hope you enjoyed my plant and seed unit! It’s been a very popular one with the kiddos! 

Pumpkin Life Cycles

No nose is good nose. 

Life Cycle Youtube.  
Our district just adopted the Reading Streets Language Arts program last year. So last year was the first time reading all the literature stories. We didn’t realize in October that this book LIFE CYCLE OF A PUMPKIN would end up in order being read in February. Too bad, because it would go better in the fall when pumpkins are everywhere. So this year I switched it up.

Puffy 3D Pumpkin Jack o Lanterns we made along with reading the story Life Cycle of a Pumpkin. 
Then we wrote a sequencing retell of the Pumpkin Life Cycle. 

HERE are slides  to show to start the unit too. Since my art project will have 6 PICTURES for the stages, I like these slides because they go along well for sequencing the stages of a pumpkin life cycle. Also HERE are Life Cycle Picture Cards from Montesorriforeveryone.com. I will put magnets on the back and the pumpkin life cycle at the magnet center for the week. Along with that I have jack o lantern addition magnetic pumpkins I made up last year.        

Our Pumpkin seed Life Cycles
On the back is the stages of a pumpkin life cycle. 

 HERE at  Printables A to Z is the cute pumpkin project and printable that I’m using in my classroom so kids can do a pumpkin life cycle in a different, artistic way. Instead of the flat pumpkin I’ll do a 3D “puffy” pumpkins from orange butcher paper folded, stapled and stuffed with newspapers.

With white string attaching these little circular life cycle pictures to trail behind the pumpkin, it will be a cute project. Then kids put “Jack-o-lantern” faces on them for a Halloween Bulletin Board for October. I copied these songs off on paper put 2 on a page and gave each student one to glue on the back of their pumpkins. We sang the songs when everyone was done with their art. HERE is the link to the 2 songs sung to Wheels on the Bus.

Some of the 3D puffy pumpkins had eyelashes, and some had mustaches. 
Pumpkin life cycle retell.- the stationery is from Oceans of First Grade Fun.  

I started with about 4 feet of orange butcher paper and folded it in half. Then I cut out 1 foot pumpkins freehand in different shapes with the paper doubled. Then I stapled it all around with about 8 staples in each one just on the edges, but left about 5 inches unstapled at the top for kids to stuff their own with newspapers. Then mom helpers came and did the rest since I have 30 students. We each did about 7 or 8 and it took about 20 minutes. A card game that looked fun I found at TPT HERE and a minibook HERE,

Halloween Jack o Lanterns and Life Cycles of a Pumpkin. I loved the ninja in the middle done by Ivan. Very creative. 
I showed the kids these faces up on the document camera and left them up as we did our art. Then I gave them each a 1/4 sheet of black construction paper. They  did their own thing for the faces. They turned out pretty cute and unique. 
All but 2 of the kids had the whole sequence down perfectly. I liked that they understood the flower dies and what is left is a little green pumpkin bud. 

 Then the kids came up and “chose” their pumpkin from the “pumpkin patch” which was really my countertop…haha. We had tall skinny ones, short fat ones, wide ones, tiny ones, you name it.

3D Pumpkin Art projects….on the back we glued the songs we sang.  

We stuffed them with newpaper balls and stapled around them. Then we put a green “vine” on the top and curled it around our pencils and stapled the “vines” inside the stuffing hole at the top.

Then I gave each child a 1/4 piece of black construction paper (6 inches x 8 inches about). They used this for eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows, mustaches, whatever they wanted. We even had a “NINJA” faced pumpkin!!

Life Cycle of a Pumpkin art project and sequencing retell. It made a cute Halloween bulletin board. 

Life Cycle of a pumpkin – string with the life cycle attached….we taped these to the backs of our pumpkin art. 
Hey Jack! Have you seen my nose? I can’t smell anything! 

 Lastly we colored the life cycle circles and attached them folded over onto to a 2 foot piece of string and then taped this string to the back of the pumpkins. We put the seeds on the outermost edge of the string and the small orange pumpkins next to the artsy, big, orange, stuffed pumpkins. . Last thing we did was glue on a real pumpkin seed on top of the paper “seed” circular picture.

This is the other side of our Life Cycle of a pumpkin….the orange pumpkin end is taped to the large 3D orange, puffy pumpkin.

MUSIC we sang these and then glued them on the back of our pumpkins. 

Oh, A Plant Needs Lots of Things, (sung to the tune of “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain”) 
                                    Oh, a plant needs lots of things so it can grow.
                                    Oh, a plant needs lots of things so it can grow.
                                    It needs water, seeds, and light,
                                    And some soil that is just right,
                                    Oh, a plant needs lots of things so it can grow.
                                    Oh, a plant needs sunlight and a lot of rain.
                                    Oh, a plant needs sunlight and a lot of rain.
                                    It needs warmth and soil and air,
                                    And it needs gentle care,
                                    Oh, a plant needs sunlight and a lot of rain.

Another song is HERE at dtlk. Sing to the tune of Jimmy Crack Corn.

 Another song I found HERE at loving2learn you can sing to Row, Row, Row Your Boat. 

For a writing assignment I had them retell the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin with this stationery from Oceans of First Grade Fun. She had a few other cute worksheets too. I . All but 2 kids out of 30 rewrote the stages perfectly so I think making a lifecycle AND reading about a pumpkin life cycle helped in the background knowledge for writing a sequenced retell. A cute cut and paste you could add too for fast finishers is HERE. A cute one for younger kids I found HERE at TPT  HERE are activities and writing papers for life cycles of all sorts. All these are free downloads!! Thanks guys!

Another idea I liked but decided not to use was HERE  at First Pallette. It is a cute pumpkin craft that the kids could glue their stages of a pumpkin life cycle to. It makes a cute 3D pumpkin to set on desks.


The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons
Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeane Titherington
From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer

From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
Jack in the Beanstalk by Stephen Kellogg

One of my favorite books that my own children loved was The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. It goes through the plant cycle in a really fun way that kids will enjoy.

READING other literature on Pumpkins…    From Seed to Pumpkin Pfeffer, Wendy/ Hale, James Graham (ILT) 1 of 1
A printable HERE at Preschool Alphabet I used for a minibook I blew up bigger on art paper and the kids colored and cut out the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin. I liked the “vine” vocabulary on it and that it grows a “green” pumpkin  after the flower dies off.  So I chose this one to use. We also read a few science books on how Pumpkins Grow.

Pumpkin Pumpkin
HERE at Scholastic are lists of fun Pumpkin activities for math, science and social studies. It also had a cute poem about 5 little pumpkins sitting on a gate. 


This is a radish time elapsed video that goes for 2 minutes with some very entertaining music behind it.  http://youtu.be/d26AhcKeEbE The roots can be seen through the clear glass container and some aphids show up at the end with a pulled radish root vegetable at the end. I like that I can teach the kids that some are root veggies, some are tree and vine fruits, and some are stem/stalk and leaf veggies. We could make a large anchor chart or poster about which kinds of fruits and veggies fall under each type.

ROOTS WE EAT- potatoes, radishes, carrots, turnips, rutabaga
STEMS WE EAT – rhubarb, celery, asparagus
FLOWERS WE EAT – broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes
LEAVES WE EAT – lettuce, spinach, cabbage,collard greens, mustard greens, chives
SEEDS WE EAT – corn, peas, rice, wheat

A great set of printable worksheets for a lesson on the parts of the plants we eat can be found HERE at Oklahoma 4H. The kids loved the matching activity and there are always some surprised kids when they learn what part the the plant corn and carrots are!

We saved 2 liter bottles and brought them into class. It took us a month to get 31 (enough for everybody!) 

Making a Terrarium from a 2 Liter Soda Bottle (clear)
I’ve never done this before this year but I’ve always wanted to. So I asked for parents to collect soda bottles the first day of school in my welcome letter. It took a month to get all 30 of them.


Then mom helpers and I cut them all in half. We filled them with a little gravel in the bottom of each 2 liter bottle and then 3 inches of potting soil.

 Lastly we will plant a few seeds  and a tiny piece of ivy from my side yard. (Thanks to the hubs for this service project!!) The kids will put them together and put the lids on after we add some foliage and maybe little plastic frogs.  HERE is a link to a tutorial on terrariums. We should be done with them in a few days.

Plant terrariums from 2 liter bottles…they turned out great! 

Each child added 2 seeds to their terrariums along with some ivy and succulents and some other clippings from my garden. 

We topped them with a little gravel. These terrariums were great to go with the Plant Unit. 


Moffatt Girls at Teacher’s Notebook designed 20 fun math games packet that is free and downloadable for FALL! It has scarecrow math games to fall leaf themed dice and domino games, number handwriting and other fun stuff.  There is a ROLL A PUMPKIN dice game I added larger numbers to and on the directions I added roll 3 dice and ADD. What a fun mini-unit this turned out to be! Happy Fall ya’ll! 

Reading Streets Tara and Tiree and Favorite Pets Activities

Why Pets Rock! Our Pet Essays and Why We Think They are So Great! 
Who are your favorite pets? We wrote about ours this a few weeks ago and I’m just now posting them!  Surprisingly, most of the kids don’t have dogs or cats. But some do. Some have a virtual zoo at their house!

Pet Activities and Stories 

Then we drew pictures of those pets, after going through the writing process (sloppy copy, edit, final copy etc.) I found some fun math and langage arts activities HERE at Pet Week.

We read the Reading Streets story Tara and Tiree Fearless Friends. It’s a story about rescue dogs. A fun rescue animal word search can be found HERE. We learned a lot about how rescue animals help shut ins, and handicapped people function better in their homes. 
Tara and Tyree is a cute story in our Reading Streets Literature Book. It was the springboard for writing about our pets. 

A fun crossword puzzle for animals and pets is HERE at All Kids Network.  Another Pet crossword is  HERE at cfphc.com . An easy Pets Crossword.  for younger kids is HERE at ABC Teach.
Did you know there are not only service dogs but now service monkeys? 

We started by reading a few Weekly Readers on Dogs. And I had a lot of cute Dog read alouds we did throughout the week. We talked about how we have to learn to be responsible if we get a pet. A fun activity to teach being responsible for pets is called the “EGG PET” PROJECT. It looked like fun to try but we ran out of time. Check it out HERE at TPT Class With an Alligator. (2nd grade)

Front Cover     

 Front CoverJust some of the Pet Stories I had out all week.

Then we talked about our favorite pets and why we love our pets. Most of the class have fish as pets this year. We didn’t have very many dogs or cats, but we did have a few birds and fish.

Here is a fun youtube for the book I Wanna Iguana – which is about a boy begging his mom for a pet and giving her good reasons why he would be very responsible for it.

Persuasive Essays on Why Our Pets are the BEST! 

Some cute stationery to write about our favorite pets I found on Snippets By Sara’s blog. The paper is really cute. We had the same idea as her and wrote a PERSUASIVE ESSAY on Why our pet is the best. I used the 4 blocks method for brainstorming 4 reasons why our pet (real or imagined) is the best of all!

I loved this cute illustration by artist Swetha. She is very talented. APet Wordsearch is HERE at Spoonful.  
Gotta love a puppy pitbull! 
Or who couldn’t love a goldfish? 

Some of the stories I read the students for background knowledge and pet ideas. 
We wrote sloppy copies, then I edited them with a few parent helpers, then we wrote final copies of our essays. I loved reading them. 

Some kids have frogs and some have lizards. Nobody this year has a snake. Some of the enrichment activities we did included a math “counting by 5s DOGGIE MAZE at HERE at Printactivities. 

 Here is a picture of my favorite pet doggie, Bruce!  He loves road trips, beef jerky and Mr. Moss.

Here he is with one of my favorite little people. 

We sure had fun learning about everybody’s best friends at home. Pets ROCK. 

The Strongest One Story and Insects

We finished the Literature Story The Strongest One from our Reading Streets Language Arts. I loved it. It was a wonderful springboard to teaching the kids about all sorts of insects!

We did a Ladybug Lifecycle, above, and everybody did Insect Reports too, after we read The Strongest One from Reading Streets Literature Series.  A Wicki I found that had some great activities for my kids is HERE at okaloosaschools.

Here is my cute granddaughter swimming with me at Cowabunga Bay in September and she not only found a caterpillar (top pic) but a minute later she found a baby grasshopper! It was so cute I just HAD to include it! She’s a cutie! 

 The Ladybug Life Cycles above we made into a flap book where we wrote about the stages of a ladybug’s life underneath the illustration and tissue paper art we made. Here  is a ladybug printable lifecycle they glued underneath the flaps. Then we drew ruler lines on the inside flap and wrote about the stages.  Then we topped each twisted brown twig and leaf from tissue paper with a piece of rice (egg) or macaroni (larva and pupa).

My sample of the Ladybug Life Cycle. (small macaroni and shell macaroni- if you do a butterfly life cycle use the butterfly looking macaroni for the final stage). Some years I have bought live ladybugs from Home Depot for $7.00. But it was too late. If you do this activity in the late spring they sometimes have them. The kids loved watching them in my Butterfly Keeper.

Kids LOVE non fiction. And for our library time we each checked out a book on a favorite insect and did INSECT ART and REPORTS.  

 We got into cooperative groups according to which insect we wanted to research and we looked in our books and took down facts. We borrowed facts from each other’s books too. Then we watched a film about insects and took some notes individually. I also listed facts on butcher paper for each insect cooperative group.

Here are some of the Cooperative Group’s posters….everybody added facts to the posters of Ants, Grasshoppers, Dragonflies and Fireflies, Beetles and Ladybugs, and Honeybees/Wasps/Yellowjackets.  

The kids added facts to the butcher papers I had illustrated, and they added facts to their own sloppy copy newsprint lined papers. Then I edited them all. The next day we rewrote them on the insect paper.

Some of the insect books we read….and we watched a Magic School Bus Ants in it’s Pants video too. 
We had honeybees, dragonflies, grasshoppers, ants and ladybugs. 
Insect Card Game at one of the centers for the week.  

 I had a lot of information on grasshoppers, ladybugs, bees and ants and some on dragonflies. The only thing I told them is not to choose butterflies because we would do those in the spring.

Ant report after we read the story THE STRONGEST ONE (about ants of course!) We also read the story

The Pocket chart had a few cute poems in them for the week.

They weren’t as popular as the microscope though.

The kids did a really nice job on their insect reports. I loved them all….I especially loved the illustrations. I can’t help myself! I’m an art minor!  What are you gonna do, ya know? 

K brought in this cool necklace with a real bug! Everybody thought it was pretty incredible! 

Wouldn’t YOU love a BUG NECKLACE TOO? Hmmmm?  
More books we read.some kids brought insect books from home too. Ant Cities was another popular book we read 

Another center game. How many words can you make out of the words grasshopper, dragonfly and butterfly? 
Scholastic News Science Spin we read to get us started on ladybugs. 
Here the kids are making their life cycle flap books. 
You can see the pictures of the lifecycle we glued underneath the tops and then we made ruler lines on the lower part to write about the stages. 
Ladybug Life Cycles Flap Books. 
Finished Ladybug Life Cycle. Look at that proud grin!!
Cute Dragonfly picture and report….
One center were these plastic insects with viewers and some metamorphosis slides under a microscope. 

The kids loved to look at these bug models under the viewers.

It is a very popular Insect Center….My SCIENCE CENTER has insect books, write and wipe off activities and these insects with viewers. It also includes the microscope with slides of insects morphing. 
Grasshopper report was really interesting! After they finished their final copies of their reports they got white art paper and traced or did a freehand drawing of their insect. I got lots of good simple drawings HERE at Enchanted Learning. I copied off some of their reports too for kids to glean facts from. Especially if they had chosen something like earwigs or termites!! 
Our finished bulletin board on all the insects we studied. All week we read weekly readers, literature books and non-fiction insect books and stories for background knowledge. 
We made life cycles and did crossword puzzles too. HERE at bogglesworld are some insect worksheets we used.
When we were all done most kids agreed that insects were pretty cool creatures. I had a few bug boxes I had gotten from the dollar store a few years ago and the kids checked them out at recess and found all kinds of bugs in the grass. It was a living museum for a week!  Bugs are good critters. 

Columbus Day Activities

We just finished a unit on Exploration and since Columbus Day was coming up I decided to add some stories on the life of Columbus. We also read some Weekly Readers/Scholastic News on Columbus. Then we wrote little mini reports.

I hoard my Scholastic News and Weekly Readers if they are on topics I will always use. I have 4 or 5 now on Columbus.

I found some cute Columbus paper in one of my Scholastic Stationery books to use. Link HERE to check it out.
Happy Columbus Day!
I typed up the text of this book into a choral reading below.

 When our reports were done in a sloppy copy, I edited them and then the kids rewrote them on the nice stationery and colored in the pictures. For art later in the week we watercolored some background paper with sunsets and water. Then we cut out brown boats and used skewers on paper towel pieces for the sails.

Columbus Day Art and writing reports.

I think they turned out really pretty. And they made a pretty bulletin board.
Columbus reports

We brainstormed all the ideas we had read on the board first.

Then the students wrote their own reports.

We did a few worksheets like this crossword puzzle.
Columbus Day Art in watercolors. 

Our beautiful Columbusboats…..

We also did pop up books with the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria

Here was out pop up books. Inside was the 3 ships Columbus sailed with.

We read this poem as a choral reading….
More books we read….

The reports were nicely written too. Good job guys!

I used this as a comprehension quiz at the end of the week….
More cool Columbus reports…..
Happy Columbus Day ya’ll! Tell us what you think! 

A Walk in the Dessert and Owl Activities

HERE at Teacherspayteachers Brian Sweeney made up a FREE POWERPOINT to use as an introduction to wildlife of the desert. I LOVED it and so did the kids. Thanks Brian!

We learned about the animals of the desert and we all wrote OWL reports. Did you know small owls live in Saguaro Cactus of the desert?

An Owl Crossword Puzzle we found on the back of the Scholastic News!

Scholastic News about Owls I’d saved over the years. It fit perfectly in with what we were learning!

I had about  6 books to read to the kids for the week. I usually do it after recess because that is right at our science and social studies time so it works well.  Here are the text sets that I have purchased.

A Walk in the Desert

Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Cactus by Barbara Bash

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
Owls by Gail Gibbons
White Owl, Barn Owl by Michael Foreman
Owl Moon by Cynthia Rylant
Cactus Hotel by Brenda Z. Guiberson  

HERE at Homeschoolshare  I found a DARLING OWL CARD SET  that you could do some OWL Themed math games with. We chose to do a OWLS MAKE A DOUBLE. Kids would ask for numbers from each other like OLD MAID but they then had to add the total out loud and the other 3 players check their doubles adding.

Card games are always a fun way to practice math facts.

Owl math card game

I added some triple digit subtraction to this owl worksheet for a math activity.

Cutting out our math games. Each table had a different color of cards so it would be easy to organize. Everybody put their initials on the backs of their own cards for easy cleanup.  It is now a fast finisher math game.

 If you give each child a sheet of owls on cardstock and they cut them out, you should have 36 in each group of 4 kids and that is enough to play the game. We also played MAKE A 12 or more. Cards are layed down with owl numbers showing. When it is your turn you call out a number above 12 and then use 2 to 3 cards to collect that sum.

We had fun playing addition math games with our OWL MATH CARDS

Here at 2nd Grade Rocks were some fun activities to do with vocabulary with our Reading Streets Story A WALK IN THE DESSERT. I remember at first I just loved this story, because it teaches kids all about the Sugauro Cactus, which is a giant cactus that grows in the dessert. It also mentions nocturnal animals in the story, and OWLS. I focused on the owls and we did some simple reports.

Bulletin Board for our OWL REPORTS and OWL ART
Owl Reports turned out really great!

Owl reports. Many kids got owl books from the library to get a few research facts from. We read lots of weekly readers too and wrote facts on a giant owl paper.


Here are our finished OWL REPORTS and OWL ART PROJECTS! We used scrapbook paper and construction paper, wiggly eyes too.

2nd grade links .

Compound words class activity that I found at Jan Brett’s website can be found HERE at Jan Brett.com

We found these bird houses at our cabin at Bear Lake a few weeks ago. The hubs took the power washer to them after we were sure the birds were all gone. It looked like a little bird condo! I wonder if they would have kept building on?
Bear Lake Bird Condos for sale….going cheap!

Great Powerpoints can be found here to introduce amazing words vocabulary. We use these words for our weekly vocabulary test.

Amazing Words we used for our Vocabulary Test for A WALK IN THE DESERT.

This video shows how Owls can hear their prey underneath the ground in small burrows. Amazing!

Owl Coloring Page 5
http://www.colormegood.com/colormegoodPDFthumbnails/animals/owl-coloring-pages/owl-coloring-page-05.pdf We used this for our writing paper. I just added dotted lines to it.

Words to songs in the Reading Streets Songbook can be found HERE. We sang songs about the dessert too. It is one of my favorite weeks to study animals of the desert. And all the kids did such a great job on owl reports.

Henry and Mudge and Camping Stories

Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night camping adventure stories.

Our 4th story in the Reading Streets Anthology is Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night by Cynthia Rylant. It is such a cute story about a boy and his dog that go camping with parents who are wacky and sweet.

Some kids wrote about river trips, others wrote about staying at cabins on a lake.

Camping stories were fun to read.

And the illustrations were very creative too! Camping is fun (at the Best Western). 😀

 It makes us all remember how fun camping can be sometimes…(not very often, but sometimes, okay, I’m not a camper, I admit it!). But I do like to roast marshmallows on a stick over a campfire. I just hate sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag! grand

We make a big brainstorm on the whiteboard of all the places we’ve all gone camping and what kinds of things we do.

Lots of water adventures were written about; boating, river rafting, times at the lake.

 It was a fun activity to see kids getting excited remembering family reunions and camping trips they’d had.

They had 3 different kinds of stationery to choose from, but all of them had a camping out theme.

 There was lots of s’more eating going on. And lots of hiking too. Lots of the kids have camped at lakes in our beautiful Utah canyons. And they all get excited to write about their experiences!

Here are just some of the cute tents and illustrated writings on Camping with the family.

Goblin Valley camping sounded really fun. I’ll have to try that site.

Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night bulletin board

Kiboomu  has some cute printable camping scenes for kids to color and cut out to add to their “camping tents”. Another one with many coloring pages to choose from is HERE at 1plus1equals1. I used pages 12 and 13 only and just had kids find the items, then choose which ones they wanted to color and cut out for their tent picture.

 We shared our stories by picking a partner and going to find a place in the room for me to read to you and then you to read to me. It was a great partner reading activity.

Henry and Mudge like camping stories…..

A camping wordsearch can be found HERE at Puzzles.about.com.

A great Quia for Henry and Mudge activities to go along with the story can be found HERE.

The kids really enjoyed writing about camping experiences and making their fun and artsy tents.

And I enjoyed reading them all. Henry and Mudge were a great spring board for camping trip writings. Yup.