One of my favorite things about being a teacher is the opportunity to create, design and implement fun and education original projects in the classroom. With sites like Pinterest and countless personal blogs becoming a great resource for inspiration, the number of hands-on, cross curricular activities that you can have the students participate in and have a wonderful time doing so is endless. I LOVE coming up with or discovering clever tasks and obviously so do the kids, much more than worksheets and dry textbooks. Here are some activities I designed and very successfully applied in Kindergarten.
Shape Animal: Using pre-cut pieces students illustrated their own animal and then identified the shapes they used and how many. They had a blast doing this and the product was not only very cool but also worked as a great informal progress monitoring assessment.
Bird Glyphs: Done with 3rd and 6th grade “Big Buddies” the kids were given a sheet with the individual pieces required to make these little birds and instructions on how to color based on things such as whether or not they like dogs or cats more, if they had seen snow or not, etc. When they were done they had a cute little art piece that also displayed statistical data about personal dynamics of the 3 person groups.
City Counting Activity: I drew a city scape on a large sheet and then laminated the whole thing to make this game board. Essentially there are “ten frames” parking spots (frames of ten with a number of dots for the kids to count) in different parts of the board- in a parking lot, airport, harbor, train station, etc. The kids were given little vehicles with a number on it and they match up that number with the applicable spot using the type of vehicle as a context cue. Planes would go to the airport, boats to the harbor, etc. Super fun and easy to implement. A second set involved matching animals and their appropriate pens at a petting zoo.
Santa Barbara Snowman: This activity was easy-peasy and made a neat and funny craft. Living in sunny Southern California, we don’t really have opportunities to make snowmen, so using a simple pre-printed sheet with the outline of a puddle and an overturned paper bowl the kids made their own melty, sunshine snowmen. They put the usual accessories on, with the exception of the sunglasses, and then wrote a sentence about where their snowman should move to or what happened to him. A lot of bang for the buck.
“Boo Hoo, my snowman melted. It was too hot. Keana”