Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Polar Express Day and Elephant & Piggie

I'm so excited for next week!  It's my favorite time of the year and celebrating it with our students makes it even more fun!  

On another note, I just created a new Polar Express Day Unit to use for our Polar Express Day next week.  We love our Polar Express Day and we are always looking for new ways to spice it up and keep it engaging.  I've just recently been into incorporating song lyrics into our fluency work and cross checking activities.  I also put in lots of literacy activities (word work, writing activities, song lyric rhyming, and more!)  I'm working on a song lyric activity related to similes with our upcoming Grinch Day.  Hope this Polar Express Day packet is useful to someone!  :
Click the picture for the link.
My awesome co-worker who made this reindeer food bar for our Polar Express Day.  The kids visited the "bar" after visiting the cafe car on our Polar Express train!  )  
But...the past week or so we've really enjoyed our Mo Willems study!  Our 1st-4th grades attended the WORLD PREMIER of Mo Willem's musical called "We Are in A Play" at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  Check out some of the activities we did below! 

 If you are in the D.C. area before December 31st you should definitely check it out!!  In fact, check out this video promoting this show.  You'll enjoy it.

We started our study by focusing on Knuffle Bunny.  We used pieces of Hope King's Knuffle Bunny Book Study (click link if you're interested), that had super cute crafts and reading response sheets.  One of my fantastic colleagues shared some music based on Knuffle Bunny.  Since Trixie (the little girl in the story) can only speak in her little girl voice, we had the kids listen to the music and try to interpret what she was saying based on the story they had read.  (using their inference skills!)

Then we headed into working on our Elephant and Piggie study.  We spent time making "noticings" about Mo Willems style in these books (simple backgrounds, few props, speech bubbles, simple text, lots of room for intepretations, etc.).  Check out this FREEBIE if you are planning your own study.  Today I will Fly by Mo Willems is the first of over 30 Elephant and Piggie books!  I had no idea there were so many!  

Here are some pics from our doodle day.  The kids got in groups of 2 or 3 and doodled their own versions of Elephant and Piggie after lots of study of the characters and how they expressed themselves through the doodles that Mo created.  

Doodle Drawings by 2nd graders
Getting ready for Gingerbread House Making
Last year's Gingerbread Houses
Dreidel Game
Happy Holiday Week to everyone!  

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