Tuesday, September 22, 2020


Phonological awareness is the ability to recognize sounds in oral language (rhyme, alliteration, syllables, etc.) and is a key to reading success. Children must first hear the sounds before they can relate them to letters (phonics). Let's start today with rhyming. Learning to rhyme doesn't happen it one lesson...it takes a lot of oral language (nursery rhymes, finger plays), songs, books, and games to help children develop this skill.

Note!  Over the next few days my blogs will focus on alliteration, syllabication, blending, and onset and rime.  Most of these can be adapted to the different learning situations where you might be teaching this fall.

Rhyme Detectives
Tell the children that they will get to be detectives andlisten for words that rhyme. You say a word, and they put their pinkies up if they hear a word that rhymes with it. Pinkies down if it doesn’t rhyme.
For example: Cat - hat (pinkies up), run - dog (pinkies down).


Rhythm Rhyme
Start a beat by slapping legs two times, clapping hands two times, and snapping fingers two times. On the first snapping beat the teacher says a word. On the second snapping beat the children say a word that rhymes.
For example:
Slap, slap, clap, clap, snap, snap.
Slap, slap, clap, clap, mitten.
Slap, slap, clap, clap, kitten.
Slap, slap, clap, clap, star.
Slap, slap, clap, clap, car.

Rhyming Song
Do this activity to the tune of “Skip to My Lou.”
Cat (hold out right hand)
Hat (hold out left hand)
Those words rhyme.
Cat (hold out right hand)
Hat (hold out left hand)
Those words rhyme.
Cat (hold out right hand)
Hat (hold out left hand)
Those words rhyme.
They all end with “at.” (Roll hands around as you say this.)

Rhyme Dance
The children stand and begin dancing to some catchy music. When the music stops the children must "freeze." The teacher says a word and tells the children think of a word that rhymes. The teacher then calls on several children to say words that rhyme. The teacher can "unfreeze" the class after a few rhyming words have been said.  The game continues as children dance, freeze, and say rhyming words.

Riddle Rhyme Game
Let children make up their own rhymes in this game. First, they choose an object. Next, they say a word that it rhymes, along with another clue. For example: “This rhymes with hair and it is something you sit on.” “This rhymes with look and it is something you read.”

Rhyme Bag Homework
Give each child a lunch bag and for homework ask them to bring two objects that rhyme. As they take turns sharing their items encourage classmates to think of other words that rhyme with their objects.
Note! You don't need to use the bag.   Just ask them to find two objects that rhyme for homework.

Monday, September 21, 2020


Take advantage of the upcoming season with these science activities using leaves.

Leaf Hunt
Ask each child to get a lunch sack and collect 2 or 3 leaves from their yard for homework. Use this for sharing time by encouraging the children to describe their leaves.  Talk about the shapes, colors, likenesses, differences, etc. 

Do a little research on the internet. Can children match up their leaves with those online to identify which tree they came from.

Leaf Rubbings
Lay a sheet of paper on top of a leaf. Remove the paper from an old crayon and rub the side over the leaf to make a print.

Leaf Book 
This is a book that children might want to make with their parents.  Let each child find "favorite" leaves and preserve them by placing the leaves between newspaper and putting a book on top overnight. Place each leaf in a zip baggie. Encourage children to dictate or write a sentence about their leaves.
*Put several baggies together to make a book.

I Wonder Why?
Brainstorm why leaves turn colors and fall off trees in the fall. Have children do a little research with their parents and report results in class the following day.

Deciduous Trees (Sandra Kelley)
Tune: "Do Your Ears Hang Low?"
Do your leaves fall down?
Do they tumble to the ground?
Do you lose your leaves in the fall?
Then you are deciduous that we know
because in the fall your leaves all go!

*What's the difference between deciduous trees and evergreen trees? Invite children to take a nature walk with their families and identify both types of trees.

Sunday, September 20, 2020


Who doesn't love scarecrows?  They have entertained crows and children for years!

Scarecrow's Chant
You can say this chant or sing it to the tune of “Skip to My Lou.” Have the children stand up and stretch out their arms like a scarecrow. Ask them to echo each line as they make the appropriate movements.

Can you turn around? I can turn around.
Can you touch the ground? I can touch the ground.
Can you wiggle your nose? 
Can you touch your toes?
Can you wave up high?
Can you let your arms fly?
Can you give a clap?
Can you give a snap?
Can you jump, jump, jump?
Can you thump, thump, thump?
Can you wiggle your knees?
Can you sit down, please? Yes, yes, indeed! (Children sit down.)

Scarecrow Picture Talk
Download a picture of a scarecrow from the internet. Discuss what a scarecrow does. How many details can children notice about the scarecrow? Ask them to draw lines to label their descriptions.

Scarecrow Collage 
Invite children to create their own scarecrow with paper, crayons, construction paper scraps, etc. What is their scarecrow’s name?  Write or dictate a story about their scarecrow.

If I Were a Scarecrow... Make a language experience chart where children complete the sentence. Older children could write creative stories about what they would do if they were a scarecrow.


Squirrels are another seasonal character. This is a sweet old song about Gray Squirrel that my students always loved. They probably loved it because I had such fun acting like a little squirrel when I sang it. Who can resist wrinkling your nose and swishing your tail?


Gray Squirrel
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, (Hold hands close to chest like paws.)
Swish your bushy tail. (Wiggle your bottom.)
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail. (Wiggle your bottom.)
Wrinkle up your little nose, (Wrinkle nose.)
Hide a nut between your toes. (Pretend to hold a nut in your paws.)
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail.
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, (Hold hands close to chest like paws.)
Swish your bushy tail. (Wiggle your bottom.)
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail. (Wiggle your bottom.)
Climb up in the tallest tree. (Arms climb up above head.)
Let your tail blow in the breeze. (Wiggle bottom.)
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail.
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, (Hold hands close like paws.)
Swish your bushy tail. (Wiggle your bottom.)
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail. (Wiggle your bottom.)
If you’ll be a friend of mine, (Point to self and then a friend.)
I will be a friend of yours.
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail.

Note! Visit drjean.org and you can download this free book.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Pandemic or not, seasons change and there's "fall" in the air because Tuesday, September 22nd, is the official first day of fall.  Here are some activities to celebrate the week.

Leaves Are Falling
(Tune: “Where Is Thumbkin?”)
Leaves are falling (Echo song. Children repeat each line.)
Leaves are falling (Flutter fingers down.)
To the ground. (Touch the ground.)
To the ground.
Red, orange, and yellow (Flutter fingers.)
Red, orange, and yellow
Falling down. (Touch the ground.)
Falling down.

*Let children dramatize being leaves and dancing in the wind. As the song ends they fall quietly to the ground.

*What happens to leaves after they fall from the trees? Later in the fall when there are lots of leaves on the ground demonstrate how to pick up a handful of leaves and crumple them in your hands. Explain how those leaves will decay and turn into soil.

Why do you think they call this season “fall”? What’s another name for fall?
What season comes before fall? What season comes after fall? Fall is a cool off time between hot summer and cold winter.

Signs of Fall
Brainstorm signs of fall and write them on the board. What kind of clothes do we wear in fall? What’s the weather like in the fall? Are there any special seasonal foods we eat? What kind of sports are popular in fall? What holidays do we celebrate in the fall? What do animals do to get ready for winter? What do plants do in the fall?

*Let children make an attribute web and label it with pictures or words of things that remind them of fall. Older children can do this as a writing assignment, but for younger children this can be an opportunity for the teacher to model writing and develop vocabulary.


Nature Walk
Ask children to go on a nature walk with their families and look for signs of fall. Remind them to take tablets, paper, and pencils so they can record their “observations” on the walk.

I Like Autumn Language Experience Chart
Let children dictate sentences about why they like autumn. Older children could write their own original stories about, “Fall, Fall, Best of All!”

Acrostic Poem
Write the words “fall” or “autumn” vertically down the side of a sheet of paper. Children think of a word that starts with each letter that relates to fall. 

Friday, September 18, 2020


Here are some tried and true activities that you can adapt online, in class, or in one of the thousand other ways school districts are operating!!

Environmental print is one way young children “read pictures” and develop visual literacy. Using environmental print at the beginning of the school year is a great way to help children make print connections, develop visual memory skills, and motivate them to read. 

Note!  Some of these activities would be great to share with your parents so they could encourage their children to "read" around the house.

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

Glue wrappers from snack foods, cereals, etc. that children would be familiar with to sheets of paper and write this rhyme at the top of each page:
 "Old Mother Hubbard
  went to her cupboard
 to get her poor dog a bone.
 But when she got there, the cupboard was bare, and so the poor dog had...(Children read food logo.)"

What’s for Breakfast?
Ask children to bring their favorite cereal box to class.  Let them take turns holding up their box and challenge their friends to "read" what they like to eat.


Read sayings on T-shirts, sports jerseys, shoes, and other clothing the children wear.

Read at Home Book

This is a project that children can do at home with their parents.  
Directions:  Cut five 9” x 12” sheets of construction paper in half. Write “I Can Read” on the front and let the children decorate with their name and picture. Encourage parents to help their child cut out words they can read from boxes, magazines, and advertisements. 

I Like

Invite children to save labels from foods.  Write the words “I” and “like” on index cards. Model how to place the cards "I" and "like" on their desk or table.  Choose a label to put after the index cards.  Encourage the children to read, "I like (logo)."  Comment, “Look at you reading!!!!”

Block Engineers
Cut store logos from Sunday advertisements. Tape to wooden blocks and make your own mall in the block center.

Out the Door
Last January when I was in Pleasanton, TX, Nadine Barrow shared this idea. She posts words and environmental print on the inside of her door. Students have to read two of the words before exiting the classroom.

Thursday, September 17, 2020


Several years ago I read a powerful book called LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS. It reminded me that children need to be connected to nature, and in our technical, fast paced society they are just not getting to spend enough time outdoors. 

We all need balance in our lives or things get out of whack. Most would agree that children are having too much screen time, so it’s especially critical to make sure they have plenty of sensory stimulation, time to be creative, time to use their imaginations, and time to experience all seasons of nature.

Children love to collect things. Aren't they always picking up rocks or leaves or flowers or nuts? A nature center in the home would be a perfect place to display their treasures and give them the opportunity to observe and investigate natural items. What a great idea to share with your families!


Materials:  plastic tub
magnifying glass
clipboard, pencils, paper
natural objects (rotate according to seasons)

Directions:  Take the tub to a natural area in your community.  Let children collect rocks, leaves, pine cones, sticks, nuts, and other natural items.  Place the tub on a table or quiet place in the home and encourage children to do some of the activities below: 

*free sensory exploration (see, feel, smell)
*seriate by size
*observe with a magnifying glass

Note!  When children tire of the nature tub return the natural items to where you collected them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020


National Comic Book Day (September 25) is another September holiday that you can celebrate this month. What a treat when I was a kid to get a new comic book! No, we didn’t have videos or computers, but friends would come over and we’d read comic books together. I know! I know! Sounds corny now, but it was a favorite indoor pastime when the weather was bad. Let me tell you, if the weather was good our mothers would say, “GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!”

I also remember sitting on my grandpa’s lap as he’d read the Sunday comics to me. I think the cartoons were much more “child friendly” in the 50’s than they are now. However, it might be interesting to save some of the comics from the newspaper this weekend and share them with your class. Explain how cartoonists use “bubbles” to let you know what the characters are saying.


Invite children to draw a picture of you and make a bubble with something you frequently say coming out of your mouth. You might be surprised!!!!

You could also let the children draw pictures of themselves or their friends and then use bubbles to make them talk.

Comics can also be used to reinforce standards. Start off by giving children copies of a cartoon frame with 2 sections. Tell them to think of a story that has a beginning and an end and draw it.

Next, let them think of a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Finally, challenge them to create a story with 4 sections.

*Have children recall the sequence of a story with comic frames.

*Use comic frames to illustrate the life cycle of a butterfly, the water cycle, plant growth, and so forth.

Here’s a link to download blank cartoon frames:


Cartoons That Move
Would you like to learn how to make cartoons that move? It’s easy peasy, but you’ll surely impress your students (and parents) when you teach them how to do this.

Hint! I would demonstrate this with kindergarteners, but the primary grade children could do this with some guidance.

Materials: white copy paper, stapler, black pen or pencil


1. Fold the paper into fourths and cut on the creased lines.

2. Take two sheets and staple them at the top.

3. Lift the top layer and draw a simple shape on the bottom. Keep your drawing on the bottom half of the page. 


4. Now, place the top sheet over the bottom and trace over the lines. Vary one or two features, such as arms, ears, mouth, etc.

5. Take a pencil and roll the top sheet up around the pencil.

6. Quickly move the pencil up and down to bring life to your cartoon. Waalaa!


*Connect this activity to literature, science themes, or social studies.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020


One day that we will all want to celebrate this year is WORLD GRATITUDE DAY.  Maybe we should change it to WORLD GRATITUDE MONTH!!!!  I think I need to "practice what I preach" today!


Gratitude is an emotion of expressing appreciation for what you have, rather than what you don’t have. Psychology Today reports that gratitude can be cultivated and it can increase levels of happiness when you do. Energy, optimism, and empathy are by-products of gratitude. 

Model Gratitude
Make it a habit to include things you appreciate into daily conversations.  "I am so grateful that you are in my classroom."  "I'm so grateful that the sun is shining today."  I am so grateful that we can learn together."

What does it mean to be GRATEFUL? Write children’s responses using a web. What are some synonyms for GRATEFUL?

Children love to make lists, so let them make a list (draw pictures or write) of all the things they are grateful for.

Can they think of something for each letter of the alphabet that they are grateful for?


Gratitude Journal
Let children make a special "gratitude journal." Encourage them to write what they are grateful for each day for a week.

Grateful Greeting
Start the day by asking each child to say something they are grateful for.

End with Something GOOD
End the day by having children say something good that happened at school that day.

P.S. Have I told you lately that I'M GRATEFUL FOR YOU!!! Thanks for reading my blog!

Monday, September 14, 2020


Another special holiday in September is Johnny Appleseed Day (September 26th) in honor of his birthday. Here's a finger play and story you can tell any day. Johnny (John Chapman) is remembered for planting apple trees throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He was well known and liked for his kindness and generosity. Say “cheers” to him every time you eat an apple.

Apple Tree (You can say it or sing it to the tune of “This Old Man.”)
Way up high in the tree, (Point up.)
One red apple smiled down at me. (Hold up 1 finger and then smile.)
I shook that tree as hard as I could. (Pretend to shake a tree.)
Down came an apple, (Bring down one hand.)
Mmm! Mmm! Good! (Pat tummy.)

Adapt the number of apples, or use other fruits:
Two yellow pears… (Hold up 2 fingers.)
Three purple plums… (Hold up 3 fingers.)
4 orange peaches… (Hold up 4 fingers.)
5 green limes… (Hold up 5 fingers.)

Make a flannel board from a file folder to use as a follow up for this rhyme.

And, here’s a story that I bet Johnny would have loved.

The Star
Materials: shopping bag or grocery sack
Apple (red delicious works best), knife

Directions: Put the apple and knife in the bag and have it on your lap as you begin to tell the story below. Insert children’s names in your classroom to capture their interest.

One day first child’s name went to visit grandmother. Grandmother said, “How would you like to go on a secret mission?” “Oh, I’d love that,” replied first child. So grandmother said, “I want you to find a little red house with no doors and no windows. There should be a chimney on top and a star in the middle.”

First child was so excited as he set off on his mission. As first child was thinking about what it could be, he ran into second child. “Do you know where I can find a little red house with no doors and no windows. There should be a chimney on top and a star in the middle.” Second child said, “I’ve never heard of anything like that, but would you like me to help you?” “Sure,” replied first child and off they went.

They walked on a little further until they saw third child. “Have you seen a little red house with no doors and no windows? There’s a chimney on top and a star in the middle.” “Gosh. I don’t know what that could be, but would you like me to help you?” replied third child. So off they went on their mission.

The story continues as more children join in the search.

Finally, the children had about given up when they ran into grandpa. He was on his way home from the store with something he had bought. “Grandpa,” the children said. “Grandma sent us on a mission. She told us to find a little red house with no doors and no windows. There’s a chimney on top and a star in the middle. What could it be?”

Grandpa laughed, “Well, I have the answer to your riddle right here in my sack.” And he pulled out an apple. (Pull the apple from your sack.) The children said, “How does that solve our riddle?” Grandpa said, “This apple is like a little red house. See, it’s round and the stem is like a chimney.” “But where’s the star?” wondered the children. Grandpa took a knife and sliced the apple in half. (Take the knife and slice the apple in half diagonally.) “And here’s the star!” The children were amazed to see that sure enough, there was a star in the middle.

Grandpa said, “You know people are like this star. We’re different sizes, colors, and shapes on the outside. But if you look inside, you’ll find a special star inside each person you meet!”

*Encourage each child to tell what makes him or her special.

*Talk about where apples come from. How many parts of an apple can the children name.

*Make a list of words that describe apples.

Note!  I bet your families would love a copy of this story.  You could also tell them how to make apple prints by drying the apple half on a paper towel. Dip into paint and press on newsprint or newspaper. Can you find the star?


Sunday, September 13, 2020


Years ago I created some “gift cards” with games, toys, recipes, and simple, fun activities to do with children. Carolyn Kisloski added her magic touch with graphics and design!  You can download these free or share the link with your families.   

I think it might work well to send 4 or 5 home each week instead of all at once.  Many parents want to do things with their children, but they don't have the tools and resources that you do as an educator.  


The categories include:

Let’s Make Something!
Craft projects and homemade toys
Let’s Cook Something!
Recipes for kids in the kitchen
Let’s Play a Game!
Indoor and outdoor fun
Let’s Experiment!
Simple science projects
Let’s Read and Talk!
Books to make

Click here to download the cards:


Special thanks to Carolyn Kisloski (Holding Hands and Sticking Together – ckisloski.blogspot.com)!

Saturday, September 12, 2020


My husband and I are huge college football fans, and that means today is a happy day!  With all the Covid woes, we definitely need something to distract us and give us something to cheer for.  Football can also be a “kick off” for integrating some skills in your lesson plans.

College Goals

It’s never too early to plant seeds of attending college in your students. Give them a dream and a goal! 

*Have the children brainstorm all the colleges and universities in your area. Talk about why it is important to go to college. 

*Encourage your students to think about where they would like to go to college. Give them paper shaped like pennants or jerseys to decorate with their college dream. 

Graph favorite teams.
Predict who will win the game. Who was right? Who was wrong?
Predict what the score will be. Who was closest? 

*Let children choose a favorite player and write their number on a jersey. How many math facts can they think of to equal that number?

Social Studies
Use a map of the United States and locate where games will be played.

Internet Search
Look up team mascots and colors. Listen to college fight songs. Do exercises to fight songs.

Cut pictures of players out of the newspaper or sports magazines. Challenge children to write creative stories about favorite players. 

*Have children write letters to favorite players.

Team Mascots
This game can be adapted to any school mascot, action hero, or seasonal character. Since I graduated from the University of Georgia, UGA was my first choice. This is a quick, simple game that can be played with any age level or any skill that needs to be reinforced. 

WHY? shapes, colors, letters, words, numerals, math facts, etc. 

WHAT? flash cards, picture of a favorite school mascot, pocket chart
HOW? Have children identify the information on the flash cards as you place them in the pocket chart.  Tell the children to hide their eyes slip the mascot under one of the flash cards. The children open their eyes and take turns guessing where the mascot is hidden.  The teacher turns over flash cards until the mascot is found. 

*Ask children their favorite school mascot.  Which mascot would they like to be?

Friday, September 11, 2020


Here's another special day that could add some interest to your lesson plans. "Collect Rocks Day" is September 16th, but rocks are everywhere every day. Explain that scientists who study rocks are called geologists. Remind the children that they can be geologists, too!


Invite each child to take a nature walk with their families and pick up ONE rock. The children could bring these to the virtual or traditional classroom. Ask each child to describe their rock and talk about how they found it.

*Are rocks older than you or younger than you?

*Brainstorm all the things that rocks are used for.

*Let children make a design for something they'd like to build with blocks.

*Let children paint rocks or use other art media to make paperweights.

*Encourage children to start their own rock collection with this idea. Cut an egg crate in half. Attach a pipe cleaner handle and use it to collect little rocks and pebbles when they go for walks with their families.

Note! Remind the children to return the rocks to nature after they have finished investigating them.

Thursday, September 10, 2020


All over America at all grade levels teachers are TRYING to love their children and give them what they really NEED.  At the end of the day, we just want children to be healthy and happy.  Why, then, are we so obsessed with skills and content and curriculum???  

Administrators need to read this!!!  Support your teachers and trust them to love and do what's best for their students!

Our grandson's band director sent this email to his students Monday before the first day of class.  It touched my heart, and I hope it will give you a smile and faith that "WE'LL WORK THIS OUT, THINGS WILL BE JUST FINE!"


' Twas the night before Distance Learning and all through the town, everyone was thinking, how will this go down.

Students and parents and teachers all wonder, can I make this work. What if I blunder?

Passwords, logins - do I have it already, Easy now, take a breath, remember to be steady.

There will be blips, there will be unknowns, but we are in this together, you are not alone!

One Day at a time, this is not a race, a new journey for all, so please give GRACE.

Grace to yourself and grace to each other, we will get through this, one way or another!

STUDENTS want to LEARN and TEACHERS want to TEACH; families need to work so it may be reached.

PATIENCE and RESPECT will guide us through this strange experience that is so new.

I'll say it again (and many more times), We'll work this out, things will be JUST FINE!

Here we go folks, this could be a while; just remember to be KIND, and of course to SMILE.

Good Night
See Ya in the morning

Alex Robinson
Director of Bands and Guitar
Washington - Liberty High School

Wednesday, September 9, 2020


TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY isn't until September 19, but I wanted to give you a little time to think about how you'd like to celebrate. There are some good ideas here no matter what your situation might be.  And, friends, sometimes it just takes something like this to make children smile and look forward to school.


According to the founders of Talk Like a Pirate Day, “Silliness is the holiday’s best selling point. And it’s fun!” There are many troubles and a great deal of seriousness in the world now, but we all need a little FUN!
Note!  You could also pass on some of these ideas to your families.

Pirate Read – Reread poems and big books by talking out of the side of your mouth like a pirate.

Pirate Song – Tune: “Yankee Doodle”
I’m a pirate. That I be!
I sail my ship upon the sea.
I stay up late – til half past three.
And have a peg below my knee.
Yo ho ho ho
Let’s sail away
Aarrr! Matey! Is what I say.
A treasure I will hide today
And walk the plank another day.

Note! I adapted this song from one posted on talklikeapirateday.com

Creative Writing – What would you do if you were a pirate? Where would sail on a pirate ship? What would you like to find in a treasure chest?

Pirate Cheer – Put one hand over your eye to make a patch. Talk out of the side of your mouth as you say, “Aarr! Way to go, matey!”

Parrot Cheer – Put your hands in your armpits to make wings and then flap them as you squawk, “You did a good job! You did a good job!”

Pirate Maps – Cut the bottom off lunch bags and then cut down one side and you’ll have a big rectangle. Children can draw a treasure map with markers or crayons. Squash up the paper and roll it around in your hands to give it a vintage look.

*Older children could write stories about their treasure hunt on the back of the map. Younger children could dictate a story.

*Add a compass map and introduce North, South, East, and West.

*Have children make maps of the playground.

Mustache – Cut mustaches out of construction paper and tape them under your nose. (This would just be optional, but what little kid wouldn’t want a mustache?)


Eye Patch – Cut an oblong shape out of construction paper, fold it in half, and glue it over a 30 piece of string.

Hook – Cut hooks out of cardboard and let children cover them with aluminum foil. Insert the end of the hook in a cup you can insert over your hand.

Vocabulary – Introduce pirate vocabulary that you can actually use in the classroom on September 19th.
Ahoy = hello
Avast = stop and pay attention
Matey = friend
Disembark = leave
Embark = enter, get started
Foul = something turned bad
Grog = drink
Weigh anchor = prepare to leave
Aye = yes
Nay = no

Parts of a Ship – Relate these to places in the classroom with labels.
Starboard = right
Port = left
Stern = back
Bow = front

Pirate Flags – Let children design their own pirate flags. These can be done with crayons on paper, or, better yet, cut an old sheet into rectangles children can draw on with markers.

Walk the Plank – Children can practice balancing by walking forwards and backwards on the plank. (To make a plank put a piece of masking tape on the floor or draw a plank outside on the sidewalk with chalk.)

Pirate Snack – How about some fish crackers in an ice cream cone? After they eat the crackers they can eat the cone.
*You could also serve oyster crackers, Pirate Booty, or grog (juice).

Tuesday, September 8, 2020


Let's have a Teddy Bear Party! Teddy Bear Day is officially September 9th, but it would be fun to do this any day in September.  This could be a special treat either virtually or in class.

Everybody loves teddy bears, so how did this love affair with teddy bears begin? President Theodore Roosevelt was a hunter. While hunting in Mississippi in 1902, he refused to shoot a small bear. The Washington Post published a story about it and illustrated the event with this cartoon.

Brooklyn candy shop owner, Morris Michtom, saw the cartoon and asked his wife to make two stuffed toy bears to go in his shop window. After asking permission from President Roosevelt, he called them “Teddy’s bears.” Eventually Michtom started the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.

About the same time a German named Margaret Steiff was making her living by sewing stuffed animals. An American saw a stuffed bear she had made and ordered many of them. These bears also came to be known as Teddy Bears…and that’s how the whole thing started.

"Teddy Bear Party"
Ask children to bring their favorite teddy bear (or other stuffed animal) and introduce him/her to their classmates. (Encourage them to name their bear and explain why they love their bear.)

*Let children draw pictures and write stories about their bears.

*Use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast real bears and stuffed bears.

*Read some books about teddy bears. Let children vote on their favorite using a bar graph.

*Play “build a bear” which is similar to hang man. Think of a word and then make blanks for the letters in the word. As children call out letters, write them on the lines. If they call out a letter not in the word begin drawing a bear (body, head, ears, etc.).

*Let children make teddy bears from play dough.

*Peanut butter play dough makes cute bears you can eat.  Here's a simple recipe that you could share with your families.

Peanut Butter Play Dough
Mix 2 TB smooth peanut butter, 1 tsp. honey, and 2 TB instant dry milk in a bowl. Stir until smooth.