Category Archives: writing

{FREE} Dr. Seuss Themed Writing Prompts

Writing is so much easier for my kids when they have a prompt. We usually have to do a little brainstorming together to get the creative juices flowing, but once they get started, they come up with some great stories.

Included in this pack are 5 story prompts and 2 blank writing papers.

Enjoy! Be sure to click on the link BELOW the image to download the pack!

Dr. Seuss Writing Cover Click to download Printable Pack->> Dr. Seuss Writing Prompt Pack

Do you like the clip art? You can pick up a set for yourself at Ninja Mom Designs! Use NINJA50 to save 50%!!

Did you see the Dr. Seuss Themed Printable Pack yesterday. Be sure to check out my other Seusstastic resources as well!

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{Free} Winter Olympic Writing Prompts

Continuing with the Olympic Printables, I’ve put together this pack of writing prompts.

The pack includes 5 prompts and one blank template.

Happy Writing!

Remember, CLICK BELOW the image for the downloadable pack!!!

Olympics WritingClick to download Printable Pack ——->>Winter Olympic Themed Writing Prompts

Be sure to check out my other Olympic Themed Printables:

Olympic Themed Printable Pack for Preschool

Olympic Themes Printable Pack for Elementary

I’d love to hear from my readers! Did you use this pack in your homeschool/ classrooom? Comment below and let me know.

Linking Up with:

hip-homeschool-hop-featured-image

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Make Your Own Lego Idea Book with Free Printable

Big Brother is ALL ABOUT LEGOS these days. He can almost always be found building and creating. We got a free 2 year subscription to Lego Magazine. They have a section called “Cool Creations” where children can send in their creations to be featured. Big Brother comes up with at least two or three creations a day that he wants to send in!

We got him this book for his birthday this year (worth every penny):

It is filled with creations that came from those who decided to think outside the lego box and instruction manuals. The books and it’s ideas have challenged Big Brother in his own building.

We decided that, instead of sending ALL those cool creations to lego magazine, we’d put together his own ideas book.

lego book Whenever he makes a cool creation, we snap a picture and print it out for his book. He can then add whatever descriptions or name he wants to complete the entry.

Yesterday, I came across this wonderful collection of LEGO WRITING PROMPTS from Homegrown Learners. Big Brother decided to use them to write stories about minifigures which he will include in his Lego Ideas Book.

And now… here are a couple of Free Printables to get you started. Click on the link BELOW the image for the PDF.

Lego Idea Cover BookClick for PDF—————>  Lego Idea Book Cover

Meet the BuilderClick for PDF ——————> Meet the Builder

I hope this is something you are able to use!!!

**I found the MiniFigure Template on Flicker from Dutch Micro Figures **

Linking up today with:

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Freebie Friday- Autobiography Printable

For the final week of the writing class I’ve been teaching, I had the kids do an autobiography. I read the beginning of Little House in the Big Woods to give an example of what an autobiography could be. I also wrote an example for the kids before I gave them this week’s freebie to complete their own autobiographies.

Enjoy… Remember… click on the link BELOW the image to download the PDF. This week’s freebie is TWO PAGES!!!

Auto 1

 

Click here to download ———> Autobiography Page 1Auto 2

Click to download ———–> Autobiography Page 2

I love feedback so let me know if this is something you found useful! Happy Friday!!!

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Teaching Poetry

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been teaching a writing class through our local homeschool association’s enrichment classes. I have one class that is early elementary and one that is upper. I’ve really enjoyed teaching (I do miss being in a classroom every now and then)… and, even though some of the kids have made it clear that my class was not their first choice, I think they’ve enjoyed it as well.

Originally, I was going to teach poetry for just one week, but decided to stretch it into two (we only meet once a week). For the first class, I read poetry from the Bible, Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein and a book of riddles I picked up from Scholastic. We then spent the rest of the time doing “magnetic” poetry. To prepare for the class, I printed out several common words, laminated them and cut them out. The idea was to have a large version of the magnetic poetry kits you can buy (at least I think you can still buy them!).

IMAG2787

I split the kids into groups of three or four and had them come up and work as a team to make up a poem using the words provided.

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My younger class decided that the point was to use ALL of the words provided. The older class worked a little harder to make the poems make sense. Both classes really enjoyed this game.

You can visit www.magneticpoetry.com to do an online version of magnetic poetry. I used the words from this site when making the game for the class.

For the second week of class, I had the kids actually do some writing. I gave them three choices to write… an acrostic, using their name,.. a riddle or just a simple poem about things they liked. I did examples for them:

IMAG3024

I let the children use THIS PRINTABLE that I found on Pinterest.

What are some ideas you’ve used when it comes to teaching poetry?

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Freebie Friday- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive The Bus Printable

Have you read any Mo Willems books? My kids LOVE them!!! He’s clever and uses simple text for easy readers. Seriously, I can’t quit laughing at these books.

I used the book “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” in a writing class that I am teaching. We read the story and then discussed whether or not the pigeon should drive the bus. I always have the kids brainstorm ideas first. We made pros and cons and then I let them write a paragraph telling me their opinion. I used this activity to teach persuasive writing.

I was really impressed with my younger class (1st- 2nd grade) and all the reasons they came up with to support their opinions… like the fact that the pigeon did not have a driver’s license or hands and was too short to reach the pedals.

I hope you are able to use this week’s freebie! (click on the link below the image to download the pdf)

pigeon writing

 Click to download ——–>Pigeon Writing

Happy Friday!!!

 

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Celebrating Seuss- Part 1

We are HUGE Dr. Seuss fans around here. Did you know that his birthday is coming up this Friday? We are planning a Dr. Seuss birthday party with some of our friends.

To lead up to the party, I’ve planned some lessons to get us Seussified (Dr. Seuss isn’t the only one who can make up words).

I, of course, turned to Pinterest for some ideas. Here are a few that we will be using this week. I am also going to throw a few of my own original lessons in there as well… be sure to check back during the week to see what else we’re up to.

First of all, we are going to watch a short video about Theodore Giesel, A.K.A. Dr. Seuss:

Then, we will put some of the events of Dr. Seuss’s life in order using this timeline. UPDATED (2/24/14)… the previous link no longer works, but here is another one with a great timeline of Dr. Seuss’s life.

I selected about ten major highlights and printed them in large font on a separate word document. Big Brother will have to put them in chronological order.

Another idea I really like is this design a hat activity:

However, because I want big brother (6 years old) to work on his addition facts, I’ll probably give him two dice and have him add the sum when he rolls them. I’ll give him key that say if the sum equals 2, color the strip red, 3- blue, 4- green, etc.

For big sis (5 years old), I’ll give her one die and let her do one to one counting with a key to determine the colors for her hat.

During the week, we’ll be working on this:

You have to sign up with Teachers Pay Teachers to receive this printable book… there is no cost to sign up and this book is FREE!!!

Other activities we’ll do will include polling our friends about their favorite Dr. Seuss book.. we’ll graph the results.

We’ll play rhyming games, draw silly creatures and write stories about them, read lots and lots of Seuss books, party on Friday and so much more.

As I said, be sure to check back in the week to find out what we’ve been up to!

In the mean time, here are some websites with some great Seuss activities, printables and more…

Two Teaching Mommies

Erica Bohrer’s First Grade

About.com

Seussville

PBS Kids

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What Else Are We Going To Do

I have a six year old who loves school…. the only thing is that when we finish all I have planned for the day, he wants more. It’s a good problem to have, but the fact is… come afternoon, I am worn out! I am ready for the kids to play quietly and the toddler to nap so I can put my feet up for a while. I don’t want to quench his thirst for learning, but I don’t want him to rely on me for all of his entertainment and educational needs. I now have a folder and section of our school shelf for when I hear “what else are we going to do today?”

Here are a few of my extra activities for those days when the kids just can’t seem to get enough:

I cut up some letters from magazines, cereal boxes, circulars, etc. and keep them in a little container on the shelf. These can be pulled out and used to make words… spelling words, sight words, random words, etc.

Also…

Sort the letters. Put all the Bs together, Cs together, etc. Big Sis can do this one too.

Other ideas for using these letters… make a letter collage, write a letter to a friend using the cut out letters, make labels for things in the house, etc.

Every now and then, the dollar section at Target has some great school stuff. I try to stock up on the workbooks when I see them. They also have some of these at Walmart…

With big brother being able to read, I can just let him grab a workbook and do some on his own. I really like the story starter book. I don’t know about you, but trying to get my little guy to write is like pulling teeth. He has great ideas, but doesn’t like to take the time to write them out. This book is full of silly pictures. He has to make up the story to go with the picture. So far, so good with this one. He hasn’t complained once!

Other ideas for “what else are we going to do” and for rainy day activities include:

puzzles– the kids have some puzzles in their rooms that they can get any time they want, but I have a few that I reserve for just such an occassion

sorting– I have a huge box of buttons (you can get bags of assorted buttons at any craft store for pretty cheap)… my kids love to take the button box and some muffin tins to sort them. After they sort them, they usually pretend that they are baking exotic muffins. I also have a bag of assorted pasta they like to sort.

reading– Big Brother likes to take a good book out on the front porch by himself and read

scavenger hunt– send them outside with a list of nature items to collect… then let them draw pictures of what they’ve found… rainy day… give them a list of things to find inside.

I have also found some great web sites with free printables… like mazes, cross word puzzles, word searches and riddles that keep them busy for a little while. One such site is www.superteacherworksheets.com.

How about you? What kinds of extra things do you keep around for your kids that just can’t seem to get enough school?

I’m linking up with Living Life Intentionally’s First Ever Linky Party:

 

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Filed under crafts, homeschool, kids, manipulatives, muffin tin, rain, sorting, writing

Ultimate Blog Challenge- October

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My sis in law and I decided to take part in the Ultimate Blog Challenge for October. We did it in April. I was pretty proud of myself for knocking out 30 posts in 30 days.The idea is to challenge bloggers to give their blog a boost by posting more often. The blog challenge folks help drive traffic towards your blog. Should be fun.. so many different types of blogs participate!

SO… here we are again… Another 30 posts this month. I have plenty of blog fodder with my homeschooling, crafts and life in general. I hope you’ll join me this month.

What would you like to see on the blog this month? Homeschool lessons? Confessions? Craft Tutorials? Giveaways? I’d love to hear from you. Are you participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge… let me know so I can stop by and say hi! It’s not too late to sign up!

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Journaling With Young Children

I think journaling is an important skill for children to have. It aids in literacy development as well as language and reading abilities. Big Brother and Little Sis have both had journals for the last couple of years (Big Brother started when he was 4 and Little Sis when she was almost 3).
When I was teaching, the school I worked for used the Write From the Beginning Curriculum throughout the school. I have adapted pieces of it to teach my children how to write and journal.
The first HUGE step to teaching your children to journal is modeling. We have an easel with a white board. Sometimes, I have the children sit on the floor and watch me do my “journal.” Before I begin writing, I brainstorm out loud about what I might write about. Usually it has something to do with what I’ve done or what I am planning to do that day. I draw a line across the bottom of the easel. My words go below the line, my picture goes above it. With young children, you will want to leave more space for pictures and less for words. I write my name and date at the top of the easel. Next, I write my words. For example, “Today, I am going to Publix.” I then draw my picture, making sure that it goes with the words I just wrote. During this whole process, I am talking about what I am doing and why I am doing it so the children understand the process for themselves. After I model my journal, the children have a chance to go and write in theirs’. Some days I give them a specific assignment… other days, they can write about whatever they want.

 The kids each have their own school box where they keep their scissors, crayons, pencils, journals and whatever they are working on. At the beginning of the school year, I let them pick their own journal. You can imagine the excitement!
 This is one of Little Sis’s first entries from the beginning of the year. She told me what words to write and then she drew the picture. 
 This is an entry by Little Sis from this past March after a trip to Sea World. She wrote the words, date and drew the picture. She’s come quite a long way since the beginning of the year!
Big Brother works on writing complete sentences. He does not like writing because he does not want to make mistakes with spelling. I have told him not to worry about spelling for now… just to sound words out as well as he can. He does not like this… he is a perfectionist. He enjoys making detailed and colorful drawings. I am not very strict with the journals at this point. They are more for creativity and developing a love of writing.
 Part of My Father’s World first grade includes reading through the Bible reader (which is basically a leveled reading book that becomes more complex as it goes) and journaling about the readings. As the year goes on, the space for writing increases and the space for pictures becomes smaller. At first I only had Big Brother write once sentence to go with the story… now he has to write three.
This is one of his Bible journal entries. He wrote about when Jesus went out to the desert and was tempted. 
The topics you can use are endless when it comes to journaling with young children. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
– What did you do today?
– What did you play with today?
– What is your favorite _______________? (food, toy, animal, etc.)
– What is your least favorite __________________?
– What would you do if you were king/ queen for the day?
– If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be?
– How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
– What are you thankful for?
Also… one more tip. Have lots of books around to look up words and ideas. Usborne’s First Thousand Words is a great one!

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