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Sunday, September 30, 2018


I'm sorry, but I just couldn't resist writing a blog about National Chewing Gum Day which is September 30th. Gum is one thing I loved as a child and I still love it as an "older" lady!!! Besides, I try to learn one new thing each day, and this is what I learned about gum today.

*People have been chewing gum for over 5,000 years. We chew for enjoyment, to freshen our breaths, and to help with the hungries.

*Originally people chewed gum made from the resin of trees and plants.

*The first commercial gum was sold in 1848 by John B. Curtis. He called it "The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum."

*Studies show chewing gum helps improve memory, reduce stress, and can increase alertness! (Wow! Whoever new???)

Bubble Gum Song (Silly Songs CD)
Bubble gum, bubble gum, (Roll hands around each other.)
Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy (Pretend to pull hands apart.)
Bubble gum. (Roll hands around.)
Bubble gum, bubble gum,
Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy (Pull hands apart.)
Bubble gum.
I love it! I love it! (Throw arms up in air.)
Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy
Bubble gum.
I love it! I love it!
Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy
Bubble gum.


Super fast…

I put a penny in the gum slot.
I watched the gum roll down.
I get the gum and you get the wrapper,
Cause I put the penny in the gum slot.

Sing substituting the initial consonant sound of each word with “B,” “N,” “P,” “G,” “L,” and “F.”


Activities: Cut out paper gumball machines and write different letters from the song on
them. Substitute other consonants, blends, and diagraphs in this song.

I’ve shared this idea before, but it's worth repeating on chewing gum day. Give children sugarless gum and explain that they can open it and start chewing when they get their name on their paper and an idea in their head. As long as they are writing they get to chew the gum. When they stop writing they have to throw their gum away. Sure cure for writer’s block!!!!

(Stand up and pretend to jump rope as you say the rhyme and count as high as you can.)
Bubble Gum
Bubble gum,
Bubble gum in a dish.
How many pieces
Do you wish?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5…(How high can you count?)

Get your bubble gum and open it up.
Put it in your mouth and start chewing.  (Pretend to open a piece of gum and chew.)
Blow!  (Put hands by the side of your mouth and pretend to blow.)
Blow!  (Spread hand farther apart.)
Blow!  (Spread hands farther.)
POP!  (Clap hands!)

Saturday, September 29, 2018


If you know anyone whose school or community was hurt by Hurricane Florence please have them contact me ( so we can send them some music and free materials and put a song back in their hearts!

Ask any child what their favorite thing at school is and without a moment's hesitation they will say, "RECESS!" Well, those kids in New Jersey should be happy because there is a new law that will "require public school districts to provide a daily recess period of at least 20 minutes for students in grades kindergarten through 5. The recess period would be required to be held outdoors, if feasible." I hope this is a sign that other states will follow! 

Here is some valuable information from experts that confirms why recess should be an essential component of the school day.
In “Give Students Time to Play” Debbie Rhea explains:

Kids are built to move. Having more time for unstructured outdoor play is like handing them a reset button. It not only helps to break up their day, but it also allows them to blow off steam, while giving them an opportunity to move and redirect their energy to something more meaningful once they return to the classroom.

When a human sits for longer than about 20 minutes, the physiology of the brain and body changes. Gravity begins to pool blood into the hamstrings, robbing the brain of needed oxygen and glucose, or brain fuel. The brain essentially just falls asleep when we sit for too long. Moving and being active stimulates the neurons that fire in the brain. When you are sitting, those neurons don't fire. 

In another article I found that Anthony Pellegrini, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Minnesota, emphasized that the new science of recess says that recess isn’t a waste of time at all:

Having recess is much, much, much better than not having recess…That’s unequivocal, I feel. That’s a no-brainer.

Pellegrini says, “because attacking recess has got this sort of intuitive feel: If you give kids more time doing something, they’ll do better in school. When in fact the opposite is probably the case.” Repeated studies have shown that when recess is delayed, children pay less andless attention. They are more focusedon days when they have recess. A major study in Pediatrics found that children with more than 15 minutes of recess a day were far better behaved in classthan children who had shorter recess breaks or none at all. 

One more fascinating article I found was “Get Tech out of Schools.”   Researcher Patricia Greenfield argues that: 

Precisely because young people spend so much time with digital media outside of school, schools must offer them a very different kind of education in order to even the cognitive scales. In Greenfield’s view, this means reading copious amounts of old-fashioned literature—just what young people are not doing (according to research) on their own time…. schools could also strive to provide more of the face-to-face contact, the in-person social interaction, that has been largely displaced by young people’s use of Facebook, Twitter, and texting in their off-hours.

I’m obviously a believer in play and recess, and you must be as well if read my blogs. This is some powerful information that I hope you can share with your parents, administrators, and legislators!

Friday, September 28, 2018


Here's a simple song that will help your students learn directions.  It goes to the tune of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."

The sun is rising in the East, (Face the front of the room and point right.)

uh huh, uh huh.
The sun is setting in the West,  (Point left.)
uh huh, uh huh.
My nose is North, (Point forwards.)
My tail is South, (Point backwards.)
And so I turn myself around,  (Turn around.)
And the sun keeps rising in the East  (Point right and then swing arm over to the left.)
And setting in the West.

*Go out on the playground in the morning and find the direction where the sun is rising.  Sing the song and point to the true directions.  

*Play "Simon Says" as children point to the different directions.  For example:  Simon says point south.  Simon says point west.

*Demonstrate how to use a compass.
*Explain how a compass rose is used all over the world to help orient people.
Now, they'll be all set when you talk about Christopher Columbus day on October 8th.

Columbus Day
(Tune: “Going Over, Going Under” – Happy Everything CD)
Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 (March and salute.)
The Nina, and the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, too.
Going over going under in the Atlantic Ocean’s thunder,
(Make hands go up and down.)
What a brave thing to do! (Thumbs in to chest.)

When Columbus set sail he knew the earth was round.
(Make a circle with arms.)
He was amazed at all the lands and the people he found.
Going over, going under, in the Atlantic Ocean’s thunder,
(Make hands go up and down.)
What a brave thing to do! (Thumbs in to chest.)

Columbus visited Bahamas, Cuba, South America, too.
(Hold up fingers – 1, 2, 3.)
On October 12 we remember him and his crew. (Shake finger.)
Going over, going under, in the Atlantic Ocean’s thunder,
(Hands up and down.)
What a brave thing to do! (Thumbs in to chest.)

*You can download this book at

Sailor Hats 

Make sailor hats out of newspaper. Fold in half. Bring corners down until they meet. Fold up top edge and then turn over and fold up the bottom edge. Let children decorate.


Point out where Columbus started in Spain and the islands he visited. How has travel changed since Columbus’s voyage over 500 years ago?

Sailor’s Chest 

Make a sailor’s chest for each child out of construction paper similar to the one shown. Explain that every sailor had a chest (like a suitcase) that they used to pack everything they would need on a long journey. What would you pack in your chest? (Children could write items or draw pictures.)

Sail Away 

Columbus didn’t have motors on his ships. What made them move? Have you ever seen a sailboat? Put a piece of paper on a table or on the floor. How can you make this paper move without touching it? Let the children practice blowing a sheet of paper across the floor. Divide the class into teams and have relay races to see who has the most “hot air.”

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Yes, I do wish I could visit every one of your classrooms! (You know I like kids better than most adults I know!) Although I can't visit you in person, I can visit you with a YouTube video. Here are four new ones to share with your class.

DO TOUCH instead of DON'T TOUCH!
Last week when I visited Heartland Head Start in Salina, Kansas, I saw some amazing artwork. The sensory boards lining the halls were fantastic. I believe a high school art class created these and then they were hung at the children's eye level.  I love when different classes in a district USE what they are learning in such an original and meaningful way!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


I have been called many things in my lifetime, but one of my favorite names a teacher called me was DR. OF FUNNESS. I mean, someone has got to tell you that it's O.K. to have fun. In fact, I truly believe that PLAYING MAKES YOU SMARTER!

So why are some administrators and supervisors so afraid to let children play and have a little fun? I've got to share some of the comments teachers have told me their administrators have said:

     No play dough in kindergarten.

     Only lined paper for writing activities.

     No nursery rhymes.

     No crayons or markers. Only use pencils.

     Games are a waste of time.

     Children should not use their fingers for math.

YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!!!! (P.S. By the way, there is NO research to support the above statements!)

As I've said before, if you've never taught a grade level you should not write curriculum, make skill lists, or supervise that grade level. (It would be like me trying to tell a band instructor how to teach someone to play the clarinet!)  What we need in education is a little more commonsense, flexibility, and balance! I've been at this rodeo long enough to know there is NO ONE correct way to teach reading, writing, or math. Every 5-10 years a new bandwagon comes down the road and everyone jumps on it. The good news if you don't like something, it will change. If you do like something, don't be too happy because it will change as well.

Childhood is precious, and we have a responsibility to protect it like we do endangered animals. The brain is meant to talk, play, laugh, move, and do hands-on activities. That's how it's developed for thousands of years. One day it might be too late!!! And that's why I keep doing my blog and FB Live and workshops! Someone needs to say it's O.K. to sing and dance and play games and have FUN and remember they are just little children!!!


There will be time for computers and screens when they are grown...
But will children be able to make snakes with play dough or build a castle with blocks?

There will be time to play video games and text when they are grown...
But will children be able to play "Farmer in the Dell" or do the "Tooty Ta"?

There will be time to do worksheets and code when they are grown...
But will children be able to do a finger play or pretend to be a scarecrow?

There will be time to surf the web when they are grown...
But will children be able to make a bird feeder or mix goop?

There will be time to sit still and listen to lectures when they are grown...
But will children be able to play "girls chase boys" or blow bubbles?

Cherish childhood - it's a once in a lifetime opportunity!!!!

Singing and dancing with the children at Head Start in Salina, KS, last week.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


Do you know what tomorrow is?  It's Johnny Appleseed’s birthday, but you can do this finger play and story 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, so say “cheers” to him by eating 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.

*Bring apples for snack. Cut them in half so the children can all see their stars.

*Pick out seeds from the apples. How many seeds do they have? What would happen if you planted the seeds? Plant some and see what happens.

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

*Make a list of words that describe apples.

*Purchase several different varieties of apples. Cut them into bite size pieces so everyone gets a taste. Make a graph of which apple the children liked best.

*Make apple prints. After cutting the apple in half let the halves dry on a paper towel. Dip into paint and press on newsprint or newspaper. Can you find the star?

Monday, September 24, 2018


Here's a simple craft activity that you can tie into science (seasons), reading (letters and word families), and writing.  It's good for small motor skills as well as cutting.

Directions:  Tear or cut 3 or 4 strips half way down from the top of the bag as shown.  (You might want to draw these lines for younger children.)  Open the bag and twist in the middle to make a tree.  

Seasonal Trees
*Tear red, yellow, and orange scrap paper and glue them on the strips to make an autumn tree.
*Pink and white tissue paper can be waded up to make blossoms on a spring tree.
*What fruits and nuts grow on trees? Let children make their favorite fruit tree.

Letter Tree
*Write letters (or use letter stickers) to make a "chicka chicka boom boom boom" tree.
*Make a word family tree by writing all the words they can make from a specific rime.

Family Tree
*Let children make a family tree by writing names of family members on their tree.

Spooky Old Tree
Twist the strips of paper as shown to make a spooky tree.  Let children cut bats, cats, and other spooky things to go on their tree.

*Use these trees to prompt descriptive writing or poems.

Fall Centerpiece

If you're entertaining this fall here's a centerpiece will get rave reviews.  All you need is a large paper grocery sack.  Wad and crush the sack until it is soft and pliable.  Next, make a large tree using the same process you did with the lunch bag.  Use silk leaves, small pumpkins, and other seasonal objects to decorate your tree.  Taaa daaa!!

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Take advantage of the science lab on your playground with these leaf activities.                                   
Leaf Hunt  
Give each child a lunch sack and let them collect 2 or 3 leaves from the ground. Bring these back in the classroom and sort by shape, color, etc. You could also graph the leaves by shape. (Whenever you collect items outside emphasize the importance of taking things from the ground. Return the objects to where you found them after exploring with them in the classroom.)

Science Center 
Let children investigate leaves in the science center with a magnifying glass or microscope.  Ask children to draw the enlarged leaf.
Hint!  You can also take a photo of a leaf with your phone and enlarge it to show the veins and details.

Check out a leaf identification book from the library. Can children match up their leaves with those in the book 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.Hint! Use rubber cement to glue the leaf to the table. It will be easier for the children to make a rubbing, and you can just rub off the rubber cement after the activity.
Leaf Book 
Let each child find a "favorite" leaf. To preserve, place the leaf in a sheet of newspaper and put a book on top overnight. Place the leaf in a zip baggie. Encourage children to dictate or write a sentence about their leaf.
*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 go home and 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? Take a nature walk and ask children to identify both types of trees.

Saturday, September 22, 2018


It's the first day of fall! Football, pumpkins, colorful leaves, and FUN are in the air!
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 WalkGo on a nature walk and look for signs of fall. Provide children with 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 21, 2018


It's almost fall and that means the squirrels are busy gathering nuts and the scarecrows are dancing in the fields. (Squirrels and scarecrows are also good alternatives to Halloween symbols in the fall.)

Squirrel Handshake
Children hold out their right hand and the teacher pretends to be a squirrel and wiggles the index and tall finger up the arm like a squirrel.  Then the children get to be the squirrel and gently run up the teacher's arm.

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.                                       

Here's a link so you can download a book to go with the song.

Gray Squirrel – Have children draw the body of a squirrel on a gray sheet of paper and cut out it out. Staple the squirrel to a straw to make a puppet. Staple a piece of felt or fake fur to the squirrel for a bushy tail.

*Trace around children's feet and attach with a brad to make a squirrel.

Class Scarecrow – Some old clothes, newspaper, and paper grocery sack will work just fine for a classroom scarecrow. Stuff newspaper in the sack and gather the bottom with a rubber band to make a head. Add a face. Let the children wad up newspaper and stuff the clothes. Sit it up in a chair and prop up the head with a dowel rod. Have the children bring in gloves, a hat, boots, etc. from home to complete the scarecrow. Write stories about the scarecrow. What would you do if you were a scarecrow?

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? Draw lines to label their descriptions.

Scarecrow Collage – Give children fabric scraps, construction paper, straw, etc. and invite them to create a scarecrow. What is their scarecrow’s name?

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.

You can say this chant or sing it to the tune of “Skip to My Lou.”
Children stand up and stretch out their arms like a scarecrow.
They repeat 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.)

Thursday, September 20, 2018


Let’s make a backpack we can take on our bear hunt! You'll need lunch bags, scissors, markers, and glue.  

*Here's a link to the video:

1. Make two dots about 1/3 down from the top corners of the bag as shown.

2. Cut down on the corners to the dots and stop.

3. Fold the front section of the bag down and hold it with your hand. Cut off the remaining 3 sides.

4. Fold down the front section to make the backpack.

5. Cut the section of the bag you cut off in half lengthwise to make the two straps. Fold the ends and glue to make loops.

6. Glue the loops to the back of the bag for straps.

7. Let children decorate their backpacks with crayons or markers.

Hint! Attach a piece of Velcro to the flap to close.

Note! This is a little complicated to you will need to do it with a small group at a time.
So, now you’ve got your backpack, how can you use it?

Backpack Activities
Let the children draw the items mentioned in "The Cool Bear" hunt and pretend to use them in the song.

Use the backpacks for “homework.” Have children bring in something that starts with a sound…two things that rhyme…environmental print they can read…a shape, etc.

Send home copies of nursery rhymes, finger plays, songs, recipes or other activities children can do with their families.

Send home flash cards with letters, sight words, math facts, or other skills children need to practice.

Grocery Bag
You can make a larger backpack from a paper grocery bag.  
Hint!  Use ribbon or fabric scraps to make more durable straps.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


I'm packing my suitcase with TONS of hands on activities, centers, cheers, games, songs, and stories! I promise I'll do my best to give you lots of great ideas and joy in your heart!!!

Early Childhood Educators Symposium, Odessa, TX
October 6, 2017

Early Childhood Conference, Cumberland, Maryland
October 20, 2019

Georgia Kindergarten Conference (Atlanta)
December 6, 2018

Florida Kindergarten Conference (Orlando)
December 10, 2018

California Kindergarten Conference (Santa Clara)
January 11 & 12, 2019

Ohio Kindergarten Conference (Columbus)
January 14, 2019

Arkansas Kindergarten Conference (Little Rock)
January 28, 2019

Pennsylvania Kindergarten Conference (Harrisburg)
February 4, 2019

New Jersey Kindergarten Conference (Atlantic City)
February 25, 2019

Southern California Kindergarten Conference (Pasadena)
March 1 & 2, 2019

Virginia Early Childhood Conference (Roanoke)
March 15, 2019

Ohio Early Childhood Conference
April 26, 2019

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Our prayers and thoughts are with all our teacher friends and families who were hit by Hurricane Florence.  As the devastation unravels we share in your pain.  If you were at a school impacted by the storm, please contact us ( or so we can give you some free materials and, hopefully, put a song back in your hearts!
Dr. Jean & Carolyn Kisloski

Here is a fantastic THINKING game that you can make in about 15 minutes and use throughout the school year. Write the categories below on index cards. Punch a hole in the cards and attach to a book ring. If you’ve got a few minutes before lunch or while you’re waiting during other transitions you can flip through the category cards and see how many words children can “pop out.”

*Whisper - Let the whole class participate by whispering as many words as they can.

*Toss and Tell – Throw a beanbag around the group and each child must add a word to the category as they catch the beanbag.

*Brainstorm - Write words on the board as the students call them out.

*Think Time - Give older children 2 or 3 minutes to write all the words they can think of. You could also divide students into partners or small groups to do this.

shapes cars
something in the yard animals
fruit or vegetable movie stars
something in the kitchen body parts
river, lake, or ocean towns or cities
country or state machines
type of transportation foods
something you wear actions
something in the zoo plants
toys books
songs nouns
famous person verbs
something in the school games
TV shows feelings
colors occupations
restaurants or stores adjectives
sports teams candy
cartoons things that fly

Hint! Adapt the categories to the specific age, skills, and interests of your students.

Check out this video my webmaster (Alex May) just created to go with my song about "Five Little Fishes."