Tag Archives: art

Summer Gig-Storytime at ESOL Camp

One of my teacher colleagues asked me to be a guest reader at the ESOL summer camp where she is teaching.  I jumped at the chance.  One, I love to read books to children and two, I would get to see some of our ESOL (or ELL-English Language Learner) students.

Their theme was underwater things, so that opened up all sorts of possibilities.  I had to plan for two groups, K-Grade 2 and Gr. 3-5.  So many books to choose from!


I am rarely in any photos as I’m usually the one taking them!

A House for Hermit Crab and More


I settled on A House for Hermit Crab for both groups and filled in a couple extra books depending on the age group.  I designed an activity for the K-Gr. 2 group to go along with the theme in Eric Carle’s book about the hermit crab.  His house is too plain.


Showing my example of my decorated shell.


So after reading the book, I asked the children to decorate their shell with things they liked or however they wanted to make it less plain and boring.  I drew a shell resembling Hermit Crab’s and made copies for everyone.  I also asked them to add themselves inside the shell.  IMG_1512

I also read, Somewhere in the Ocean by Jennifer Ward and T. J. Marsh.  I love Kenneth J. Spengler’s illustrations (as did the children) and it was good for this age group because of the rhyming words.


Shark Lady and Plankton is Pushy-Grades 3-5

I wanted to hook this older group right away so I started with Jonathan Fenske’s Plankton is Pushy.  I thought they would enjoy the humor and they did!


I followed up with Jess Keating’s biography of Eugenie Clark, Shark Lady.  This short, but engaging story of Clark’s passion for sharks was just right for this age group and setting.


I ended with A House for Hermit Crab, which was also a hit.  I had planned to have them build a house with LEGOS, but time did not permit.

I am definitely going to use these books and activities in the upcoming school year.


Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Makerspace Activity, Uncategorized

After the Fall

I knew I wanted to do some makerspace type activity after reading After the Fall :How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat.  Obviously paper airplanes would be the activity, but that wasn’t enough.  Santat takes the familiar rhyme and let’s us know what happened to Humpty Dumpty after his great fall, although in this case, all the kings horses and men (the name of the hospital in the book) did put him back together again.  But he can’t bird watch from his favorite high perch because he is now afraid of heights. So will he conquer his fear and get back up there again? And the story involves him making paper airplanes.IMG_9414

After reading the book to the fourth grade class we discussed what they thought the themes of the book were.  They decided it was about having courage and not giving up even if you fail once.

Paper Airplanes and Reflection

I asked the students to think about a time they struggled and how they resolved that situation. They drew and wrote about a situation where they struggled but kept on trying.  They then made an airplane out of their paper and flew them.  We flew them in the library, which they thought was great.  Some made adjustments to their plane design for a better flight.

My Reflection on this Activity: YouTube Instructions

I was very surprised after doing this with the first fourth grade class how few students knew how to make a paper airplane!  So, for the next class I had a few YouTube videos and websites pulled up on the library computers if students wanted to watch those.  After trying this method, I would definitely include sites with only VERY simple airplanes.  Students still struggled while attempting to follow the directions and videos.

Lesson learned: these students need to have more activities to develop fine motor skills!



Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Makerspace Activity, Uncategorized

The Most Perfect Snowman

A last minute idea turned out great!  I needed a quick book and activity for third grade classes for our first week back to school after the winter break.  I perused through some new books and saw, The Most Perfect Snowman by Chris Britt.  This story is about sharing and being judged on your clothes; it’s a combination of fantasy and real emotions.  After reading this book, I asked the students to create their “perfect snowman.”

Creating Their Perfect Snowman

I asked them to think what their perfect snowman would look like.  Granted, our children don’t have much (in some cases, any) experience in building real snowmen, since it hardly ever snows in south Georgia.

I asked them to think of how their snowman would show emotion and motion.  How could they express themselves? What might they do?

They really enjoyed the freedom to be creative.  Some struggle when they have very few directions.  I did hear a few, “I may a mistake; I need a new paper.”  No, just turn it over or treat that “mistake” as an opportunity!

They loved this activity and it was so simple, construction paper and crayons.

I love their artwork, including traditional snowmen, a cowboy snowman, police snowman, teacher snowman, football player snowman and more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Makerspace Activity

Kindergarten and Halloween

I have been attempting to give the kindergarten students more opportunity for drawing and writing in the the library.  They are currently exploring holidays in their unit of inquiry.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

img_7539.jpgAfter we read a book about Halloween, Linda Williams’s book, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, I asked the students to think of something they were NOT afraid of, that others might be afraid of. I copied a paper headed with “I am not afraid of” and asked them to draw that thing.


Today one of the kindergarten students asked when they came in with their class if they were going to “write” today in the library.  Building up those expectations!


Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Uncategorized

Kindergarten – Grandparents and The Hello, Goodbye Window

The kindergarten’s current Unit of Inquiry focuses on families and in preparation for our school’s upcoming Grandparents’ Day we read, The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster. After reading this book about a little girl and her grandparents the students drew a picture of their grandparents. I suggested they think about what their grandparents looked like.  Did they wear glasses?  Have a mustache?  Have grey hair?  I think it helped some students key in and include these details.


Created Window Frames

I created window frames by cutting a large piece of construction paper (12 x 18) in half and using a template cut openings with an exacto knife and metal straight edge.  A bit tedious but not complicated.

They glued on a window frame and created their own “hello, goodbye window.”








Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Uncategorized

Dot Day 2018

We did it!  I am celebrating International Dot Day again with our students and this year I did something a little different, creating one large art project.  I was inspired by an Instagram post by art teacher, Kristi Wenger; she did this display at her school.  First, I had to organize a lot of crayons!  This was time consuming, but very necessary.  Good thing I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts!

Some other planning was involved to get the rainbow effect, but it was worth it.


I read Peter Reynolds book, The Dot, to every class and then each student created a dot.  Over 400!



1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Enormous Turnip Meets Forces

Our second grade classes are exploring forces, especially the concept of push and pull. Georgia Standards of Excellence: S2P2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to explain the effect of a force (a push or a pull) in the movement of an object (changes in speed and direction).  I started thinking of books featuring a push or pull and thought of the traditional folk tale, The Great Big Enormous Turnip, written by Alexei Tolstoy.  I like the version illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.


After reading the book we talked about how the people pulled on the turnip, creating a great force to get that vegetable out of the ground.  We also made the connection to a similar experience they have every year at field day–the tug of war! I asked them to think of another person, animal or thing that could apply a force to get that turnip out.

Using paper and crayons they drew the turnip and how they imagined another version of the story.  For the most part they came up with different ideas, gorillas, trucks, shovels, even Big Foot (when I told them to thing of something very strong).  Some just illustrated the story (the old man, the old woman, grand-daughter, dog, cat and mouse); I guess I need to encourage them to think outside the box, use their imagination and get crazy!



I even bought a turnip as I figured few if any of the children would have eaten one.  Several had heard of turnip greens (we are in the south after all).


Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Uncategorized