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Showing posts with label free printable. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free printable. Show all posts

Hands-on, cross-curricular (and fun) lesson plans on Covid 19 pandemic and masks

Many schools require students to wear PPE (personal protection equipment) masks and as a survivor of Covid 19 (coronavirus), I heartily applaud this initiative! Unfortunately, some parents object to mandatory mask-wearing and that can make for problems in classrooms. So how do you as the teacher diffuse tensions while still complying with Covid 19 mask mandates? From 30 years of effective parent-teacher interaction, I advise you to avoid confrontation and make it fun with creative, positive activities to encourage students to wear masks. Here are crafts, games, printables and activities to give mask wearing a "facelift" (LOL)! 

Teach preschool and special needs students to overcome fear of masks by putting masks on stuffed animals and puppets. Talk to children through puppets or animal friends. Explain why they are wearing a mask and how easy it is! Take the mask off and show that the friend is no different with or without it. Let children ask questions. You can also use puppets to teach hand washing, social distancing and other disease prevention activities. 

Use free printable Covid 19 lesson plans to explore coronavirus and why we wear masks to protect against it. PBS offers great resources on PPE masks. Make these printables into health science lesson plans. There's a lot of data-based content which is useful in math lesson plans. Students might graph and chart which PPE masks are most effective. Cincinnati Children's has several educational videos to help younger children understand coronavirus. Kids Health has a plethora of free printable Covid 19 activities for health science lesson plans. PBS also has lesson plans on the 1918 influenza outbreak (often referred to wrongly as the Spanish flu)

Read children's literature books on pandemics, epidemics and other outbreak diseases. Here's a list written just for the coronavirus pandemic. The blog Semicolon lists books about plagues, epidemics and outbreaks of diseases like Bubonic plague, "Black Death", 1918 influenza pandemic, cholera, smallpox, polio, measles, typhoid and others. Compare and contrast the 1918 influenza and Covid 19. But focus on the positives, such as all the resources, like PPE, better access to clean water, knowledge of hand-washing, vaccines and clearer understanding of germs that we have now compared to then. 

Dress in a masked superhero costume like Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Ninja, Power Rangers (include a PPE mask). Ask kids if they find your face mask scary. (They'll most likely say NO!) In fact they probably think your mask is cool. Now explain that wearing a mask to avoid getting sick or making others sick with Covid 19 or other diseases is even cooler. Explain why it's important to stay safe and how to do that.

Have a poster making bee to encourage mask-wearing. Print coloring pages of superheroes, Disney characters, animals, favorite book or cartoon characters wearing masks.  Or have children create their own with catchy, fun slogans. Display in class or along the halls. Leave them up for conferences. 

Use "Glitter germs" science experiments show how germs and diseases are spread and why hand-washing as well as mask wearing is so important. The Indianapolis Children's Museum gives easy science experiments and games with glitter to demonstrate. Here are more science experiments from Mark Rober's Youtube channel to explore germ transmission in classrooms. 

Decorate your own DIY masks: Get a bunch of kid-sized plain white cotton masks or paper hospital style masks. Bust out the bling, sequins, pom-poms, yarn, ribbon, rick-rack, sewing notions, beads and charms. Using large needles and yarn, glue dots or staples, help students decorate their masks. Older students can practice sewing with regular needle and thread. Provide non-washable Crayola type markers (not permanent as they are more toxic) to draw pictures or write messages. Use these free printable coloring pages to print your favorite superhero, animal, Disney or cartoon character and use the printables in mask-making. These make great arts and crafts lesson plans. 

Explore mask-making and wearing among other cultures in social studies lesson plans. Research mask wearing for religious, social and cultural expression. Here are free printable social studies lesson plans on mask-making. Here are more free printable social studies lessons on masks. 

The lesson plans on plagues can be kind of depressing, so don't dwell too long on them. And be sure to end with fun, positive lesson plans. 



DIY nature science detective kit for hands-on science exploration


Looking for back to school activities for kids? Here are nature science lesson plans. Make nature detective kits to explore wildlife science concepts. Use this activity to welcome kids back to school. Kids will love playing nature CSI investigators! Homeschooling parents will love this inexpensive, hands-on science lesson because all ages can participate, from toddler to high school! 

You will need one of each of these items per student:

--large gallon size zipper bag or cheap carry-all bag to store supplies

--plastic magnifying glass (available in bulk at Great Party, Party America or Oriental Trading)

--cheap one-subject notebook

--pocket folder ($.05 -$.15 each from Walmart, Staples, Target)

--plastic disposable gloves (choose latex free; give each student one pair)

--tweezers or cotton swabs (both would be useful, but use cotton swabs to save money)

--3 or 4 specimen bags (snack size Zip-Loc)

--3-4 larger specimen bags (sandwich size Zip-loc)

--sheet of label stickers

--pen and pencil

-- roll of invisible Scotch tape

--several pieces of yarn or string

--box of crayons ($.25 at back-to-school sales)

--measuring tape (Printable-Ruler has a free printable measuring tape )

--free printable animal tracks cards (from Exploration America) Extend these nature science activities for kids into craft projects by having students cut and paste their own flash cards. 

--free printable Animal Signs Guide from US Fisheries and Wildlife www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Animal%20Signs%20Guide.pdf You can download directly from here as a PDF. Check here for more animal tracking printables

How to Use Nature Detective Kits:

Make kit assembly part of the lesson. Set out supplies in stations and give students gallon zipper bag and supplies list. This provides experience in counting, sorting and organizing. Using stickers, kids label notebook: Investigator (name)____________ or Detective (name)____________. Label bags: Exhibit A, B, C or Evidence. As evidence is collected, data and date should be added. For example: 'beetle exoskeleton 9-3-2021.

Go on nature investigation hunts around your neighborhood, school playground or camp. Assign students different items to investigate, native to your area. Students should not keep living specimens, but they might bring a bug box to temporarily house and examine a living critter. Look for evidence of living creatures: bug carcasses, exoskeletons, fallen leaves, feathers, owl pellets, seed pods, rocks, fallen nest, bits of animal fur, bark samples, plants, flowers and rocks. Use nitryl gloves to collect specimens. Warn kids not to pick up insect nests or other potentially dangerous items. Rather have them sketch items in situ. 

Have students draw living creatures, homes and habitats: spider's web, bird's nest, wasp's nest, rabbit hole, ant hill, scat (animal droppings). Students should record when and where they observed it. Students shouldn't touch but may observe scat(animal droppings) or dead animal remains.

In class, have children discuss and hypothesize on findings at their level of reasoning. Students might create a natural history museum displaying what they have found. Students can act as young docent guides, explaining discoveries to visitors. This makes a superb activity for parent-teacher conferences, which come early in the year before teachers have had time to collect much student work. It's ideal for summer camp, too. 

#printables #naturescience #animaltracking




Free math facts homework kit with Montessori-based, student-made activities and printables


<---Teacher Omi (grandma) has been having fun re-creating lesson plans for the grandkiddos, from materials made over my nearly 40-yr career in education. Today I'm sharing how to make a math homework practice kit I created 35 years ago and used with my Montessori students, tutoring students and in homeschool. I even trotted this out when I taught adult education. I've given you some of the activities here and for the full set of lesson plans, visit me at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

For the math homework kit, begin with a sturdy shoebox and fill it with:

Dice  Repurpose die from game sets with missing pieces. Or pick up a cheap set from Dollar Tree.

Set of dominoes (base 12 preferred) Students can also make domino flash cards on index cards. Write domino dot configuration in number color from chart. To play, student selects a domino and adds, subtracts or multiplies the two numbers.  Students should write answers on back for self-checking. Here are free printable dominoes from First-School. https://first-school.ws/theme/printables/dominoes-math.htm

Deck of playing cards  Student chooses two cards and adds, subtracts, or multiplies them. Face cards are valued as such: ace-1, jack-10, queen, 12 and king-0.  You can print playing cards from Printable Board Games https://www.printableboardgames.net/preview/Playing_Card_Deck  or have students design their own! 

Math flashcards for each fact family Purchase at Dollar Tree or discount store or better yet, use free printable math flashcards from First School https://first-school.ws/theme/printables/flash-cards/numbers-shapes.htm.


Tablet of small stickers, shape punches or mini-stamper marker—Students create flashcards by writing math facts (problems) in color code on one side. On the back, they illustrate with  punched-out shapes, stickers or stamps (5 stars plus 5 stars, for example). They write the answer on the back.

Pencil, eraser and scrap paper squares—students write out fact families (say the nine times tables). Then they draw story problems to illustrate and quiz each other. For example, the student draws three groups of seven apples for 3x7. Þ Toddlers draw marks and practice counting.

100 chart and bingo marker or dry erase marker Laminate and attach to the inside lids of the math kit. Student uses bingo marker to practice skip counting by different numbers. From there, she memorizes multiplication tables (which are just the series of number in skip counting). The 100 chart helps the student find number patterns, too. Þ Toddlers bingo “stamp” each number as they count.

Yarn strung with 100 plastic beads. This homemade abacus is a great visual for math operations. Give student a problem, like 7x8.  She counts out and adds seven groups of eight. Þ Give toddlers large beads to string, for fine motor skill practice. 

Food snacks with little pieces. Students use fish crackers, fruit snacks, breakfast cereal, raisins, candies, pretzels, marshmallows, to demonstrate math facts and equations. Let children make their own trail mix and write the recipe as math problems. (6 raisins + 10 pretzels + 5 Cheerios +3 Cheez-Its).  When done, they get to eat the treats!


Medieval history lessons plans: Cardboard castle crafts, princess crafts with printables


I am a self-avowed history fanatic, particularly the medieval period. I also love things princess. And being a teacher, homeschool mom, education blogger and now Omi (gramma), I'm always looking to create hands-on lesson plans.  To that end, here's a guide to making recycled cardboard castle crafts with free printables. Use these are recycled cardboard crafts for kids in many cross-curricular lessons: preschool learning center activities, theater and dress up fun, arts and crafts, STEM and history lesson plans. These medieval crafts include a homemade cardboard castle, costumes and props. Homeschool parents, I promise ways to engage all ages, from baby to teen! 

(Materials are noted in BOLD CAPS within the how-to guide)

1) Make cardboard castle walls. Cut open two large RECYCLED CARDBOARD REFRIGERATOR BOXES along one long side. TAPE (duct tape works best as it resembles grey stone) two boxes together to make an octagon castle "keep." Measure, draw out and cut cardboard castle battlements (great STEM activities). History note: Castle walls had a series of crenellations and merlons (squared edge thingies) along the top. Tim's Printables has free printable recycled cardboard castle patterns for medieval crafts and castle design ideas. Cut cardboard castle keep windows: Draw a four-pane window and cut openings for the princess to look out of. 

2) Decorate recycled cardboard castle. Draw in bricks and family crest to make these medieval crafts for kids look really authentic! For more STEM fun, make moat and drawbridge. Cut drawbridge opening in the side of cardboard castle. Attach YARN or ROPE to both sides of to lower and raise drawbridge. Cut holes in the top to tie drawbridge closed when the royal inhabitants aren't receiving company. Place BLUE BLANKETS around the outside for the castle moat. Fill with STUFFED ANIMALS dragons, fish, alligators and other aquatic creatures. Add some PLANTS to make it more realistic and discuss wetland habitat science. Toddlers and preschoolers can take on the job of gathering and arranging flora and fauna.  

3) Make flags for cardboard castle. Aristocrats and nobles in medieval times had a coat-of-arms or family crest that symbolized their lineage. The design and display of a coat-of-arms is known as heraldry. A coat-of-arms was placed on banners flown when the family was in residence. Banners were carried on standards into battles. Have kids design their royal family crest. Here are free printable heraldry patterns and stencils for medieval crafts for kids. Make banners on  SCRAP FABRIC SQUARES CUT FROM OLD BED SHEETS OR TOWELS. Attach to YARD STICK OR HOT DOG STICK. Draw or paint family crest using MARKERS OR FABRIC PAINT. Older kids can make these as history lesson plans. 

4) Make secret entrances for your recycled cardboard castle (my grandkids favorite part!)  Line chairs up to make a crawl-through tunnel entrance into castle. Drape sheets, blankets and bed linens over tunnel. Establish cardboard castle dungeon. Make a parapet (walkway) by placing several chairs or a bench along the inside edge of the castle. Soldiers keep lookout here and send prisoners to sit under the chairs in the dungeon sit under bench. Fashion a turret. Put a collapsible net laundry hamper upside down on a chair inside the castle. Children crawl into hamper and onto chair to look out of the turret. These are perfect jobs for youngers. They will love exploring, arranging and guarding the cardboard castle as part of their dramatic play learning center activities. 

5) Outfit your royals. Haul out the DRESS UP BIN and collect OLD TOWELS, BED SHEETS AND BLANKETS. Donate JUNK JEWELRY and OLD FANCY DRESS. Make recycled cardboard crown crafts for the princess with these free printable crowns from First-Palette. Use this guide to make a suit of armor cardboard crafts for a knight. More STEM lesson plans! 

6) Equip the keep. The keep is the living area of a castle. Let kids fill their cardboard castle keep with snacks, blankets, pillows, coloring supplies, books and pets. When the novelty of guarding the castle wears off, kids can use it as a cozy play fort. Set your homemade castle up in a place where it can be left up for other rainy day fun or make it convertible to go outdoors on nice days!

Stay tuned for more medieval crafts! Picture is courtesy of Free Coat of Arms (couldn't find my last name, alas!) 

Disney "Frozen" snacks: Elsa, Anna, Olaf the Snowman themed party treats

Disney "Frozen" has taken the world by storm (snowstorm, that is!) so what better theme than Disney Frozen for a children's winter party? But it's the middle of summer, you protest! Well all the better! Cool off with these Disney Frozen treats and party snacks, inspired by Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Kristoff and Sven and Olaf the Snowman. Use free printable Frozen coloring pages to create party decor. Here are more free printable Frozen activities for party planner use. Make these into lesson plans as craft snacks for hands-on Frozen fun. 

Chili Elsa: Here’s a beverage to warm the coldest of ice queens. It's a less-gruesome, non-alcoholic Bloody Mary to honor Queen Elsa. Serve warm or cold. Season V-8 vegetable juice with cumin, oregano, basil and celery seed. Garnish with celery or carrot sticks, green, yellow or orange pepper spears or lime wedge. Create cucumber-grape tomato bowties. Make radial cuts in cucumber slices. Place one end on toothpick, then a grape tomato. Twist cuke and stick to other side. Add Tabasco sauce to taste. Children will love making this craft snack themselves. 

Princess Anna Kindergluwein: This Scandinavian/German beverage has been enjoyed by children in frozen climes for generations. And Princess Anna celebrates the eternal joy of childhood! Simmer apple cider or apple juice and add fruit juice (any flavor, cranberry, orange, lemonade, grape). Add raisins or currants, cloves, lemon and lime slices and cinnamon sticks. Make orange strawberry bowties as you did the cucumber one for the Chili Elsa. 

Silly Sangria for Olaf the Snowman: Olaf the Snowman is too young for real sangria and too easily meltable for hot drinks, so make his kindergluwein slushed or "frozen" (pun intended). Mix grape juice, lemonade or orange juice, clear soda and sliced oranges, lemons and limes. Serve with star-shaped ice cubes. 

Princess Anna Snowballs: Even Queen Elsa will love these snow treats! So let kids help make snowballs for a great craft snack. Melt marshmallows and add popped popcorn. Have kids rub light margarine on hands and form popcorn (snow) balls. Roll in sprinkles if desired. 

Olaf the Snowman party recipes. Do you want to build a snowman? Maybe Queen Elsa can't help, but kids can build one with Princess Anna. Make popcorn snowballs using recipes above. Form them in different sizes: small for his head, medium for middle, large for Olaf the Snowman base. Use raisins for buttons and chocolate chips for eyes. Use matchstick or baby carrots for nose. Cut Twizzlers, Fruit Leather or Fruit Roll-Up for scarf and smile. Use Chiklets gum for teeth and pretzel sticks for arms. 

For a traditional snowman like Frosty, add candy corn cob pipe. Place round chocolate candy like Brach’s Star on head for a hat.. For “stovepipe hat" affix gumdrop, Hershey’s Kiss, or Reese’s Peanut Butter cup with dab of frosting. 

Princess Anna snowshoe cookies: Frost Nutter Butter Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies with vanilla frosting. Sprinkle with clear, white, silver or blue sugar crystals. Rest cookies on sprinkles to look like snowshoes in snow. 

Princess Anna ski pole cookies: Poke pretzel sticks in mini marshmallows (or pretzel rods in large marshmallows) Warm vanilla frosting in microwave. Dip marshmallows in frosting, then dip in colored sprinkles. 

Kristoff’s Kool Kocoa party recipes: Heat milk on stove and add chocolate syrup. Add colored marshmallows (snowballs). Use ski pole pretzel cookies for swizzle sticks. For healthier swizzle sticks, dip pretzels in peanut butter and roll in powdered milk. Stir Kristoff's Kool Kocoa with candy cane if you have any left from Christmas. 

Sweet Princess Anna stirring spoons. Melt chocolate, butterscotch, mint and peanut butter chips in separate dishes. Dip plastic spoon in melted chips then roll in colored sprinkles, crushed cookies or candies. Allow to harden. Kristoff's Kool Kocoa will warm Queen Elsa and the Princess Anna stirring spoons will sweeten her frosty disposition. 

Princess Anna Arctic Adventure Cake. Frost vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. Add blue or white sprinkles. Place snowshoe cookies on top to look like a snowshoe trail. Add a few ski pole cookies. Have kids make standup Disney Frozen character dolls from Disney Frozen free printables. Scroll down for Disney Frozen games, puzzles and crafts for party games. Click here for free Frozenprintables for party decorations and crafts. Here are more free printable Disney Frozen coloring pages as party activities, decorations, games, crafts or placemats.  

Free printable deer themed unit lesson plans, coloring pages: Frozen, Bambi, Rudolph story party ideas


Our backyard bird feeder attracts a lot of feathered and furry friends. And last night, I had a new guest, that pretty mama deer in the photo left! This was surprising because we live in a city but also exciting. We often visit our "deer friends" in their habitat by the lake and it was nice that they came to see us in ours! And being a teacher, what's my first thought? To make any cool experience into lesson plans! This summer, I've been writing a series on story party ideas based on favorite kids books. Today I'll share a deer themed book party and lesson planner, in honor of our deer friend (whom I've named Fauna) and our newest grandson Ezra whose spirit animal is a deer. I'll include cross-curricular lesson plans, book party crafts, games, snacks, free printable deer coloring pages, plus famous literary deer such as Bambi, Sven from Frozen and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! 

Deer-themed story party books and literature-based activities

Stranger in the Woods (Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick) Several inquisitive whitetail deer meet up with a snowman dressed as a bird feeder and happily sample his wares. This book is part of a series of pictures books of animal photography. Here are free printable snowman crafts from the book. Have kids make deer crafts (listed below) and act out the story. 

Bambi, a Life in the Woods and Bambi's Children (Felix Salkin) provided the basis for the Disney cartoon Bambi. Read the books at your story party or view the film (warning: it's quite sad and may  not be suitable for some viewers--raising hand here!) For followup activities, make a woodland animal habitat diorama. See my blog post for habitat diorama crafts and printables. Visit Coloring-Book.info for free printable Disney Bambi coloring pages

Disney Frozen Read the book version or enjoy the Disney Frozen or Frozen 2 movie. It's not exactly reindeer themed but Sven the reindeer certainly plays an important role! Here's an article with free printable Frozen coloring pages. You could make a Frozen diorama, too. 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerRead the Little Golden Book version at your deer themed story party. Next, use these free printable Rudolph coloring pages, from the book and also the Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas cartoon. Have kids make up their own book of Rudolph adventures. You can do the same with Frozen or Bambi. Or make up a Frozen, Bambi or Rudolph board game. 

Deer themed phonics, vocabulary and reading lessons

Earlier I made the pun about our deer (dear) friend. Use that in phonics lesson plans on word families and homonyms, which include homophones (words with the same pronunciation but different spelling and meaning) and homographs (words with same spelling regardless of pronunciation and meaning). Here are vocabulary/ spelling words from the unit.

deer, bear, woods, snowman, prey, rabbit, bird, feed, Frozen, reindeer

Here are homonyms to explore from our deer unit:

deer/dear
bear/bare
reed/read
here/hear
red/read
rein/reign/rain
wood/would
fawn/fawn/faun (a baby deer, to bow and scrape, a mythological woodland creature)
book/book (something to read, to plan something)
feed/feed (to give food, a live broadcast)
prey/pray (animals that are food for others, to honor a deity) 

Deer and reindeer themed science and math craft snacks for story party

I always like lesson plans that involve hands-on, interactive activities for kids. And craft snacks (aka edible craft projects) make great hands-on lesson plans. Involve kids in counting and measuring for craft snacks, for preschool and elementary math activities and lesson plans. 

Pretzel deer snack craft: Give each child one small braid pretzel, two broken pretzel halves (antlers), one red M&M (nose) one slightly melted Hershey kiss or Rolo and two edible eyes. Child places kiss on pretzel and presses M&M and eyes into kiss for face and pokes broken pretzels in on top. If it won't stick, use a little chocolate frosting. Or you can omit kiss and just use frosting for face. 

Antler Apples (deer feed and bird seed craft snacks): Our deer friend was drawn to our bird feeder, so why not make bird and deer snacks for animals and kids to enjoy together. Have children dip small pretzel sticks in peanut butter and poke into an apple. Stick raisins to peanut butter on tops of sticks. For bird snacks, mix bird seed, peanut butter or suet, oats, apple peels and raisins and mold into balls. Place in recycled plastic mesh orange bags. Or mold into squares and place in suet feeder. Best of all, attach balls to pretzel rod and poke into the ground. For the kid snack version, substitute bird seed and apple peels for mixed nuts and apple cubes. Add coconut, dried cranberries, dates to taste. 

Science lesson plan extenders, keep a nature journal noting and drawing pictures of who visits your feeder! 

Deer themed games

Animal Antics: Discuss food chain and predator prey relationships. Animals, like deer are "prey animals" and they rely on camouflage to stay hidden from predators. Use these free printable animal camouflage worksheets to make matching games. Then have kids discuss how deer protect themselves in the wild. Children might camouflage costumes and play hide and seek outside, at dusk. 







Free printable Peter Rabbit bunny crafts for Beatrix Potter story party or Easter party



Several bunnies visit us each night. They call to mind our many beloved books about rabbits: Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, Peter Cottontail, "The Velveteen Rabbit", "The Runaway Bunny", Easter bunny stories, Richard Scarry's "The Bunny Book", I am a Bunny" E.B. (from Disney "HOP") "Guess How Much I Love You?" the bunny from "Goodnight Moon" and more!  And being a former teacher and homeschool parent, and now an education blogger and second generation homeschool Omi (grama), I always think educational lesson plans. 

In keeping with my story party theme, here are bunny book party ideas and rabbit themed lesson plans. I've included free printables, bunny crafts, rabbit themed snacks and games based on Beatrix Potter stories and other books about rabbits.  You could use them for a Beatrix Potter or Peter Rabbit story party, Easter party or as preschool-early elementary activities. I've included cross-curricular activities for lesson plans. Homeschool parents, I know you need ways to engage all age students. So have older kids read "Watership Down." Then they can have an excuse to do these rabbit crafts! And as always, olders should help the little ones for extra learning cred! 

Preschool reading activities: Have children collect all their rabbit stuffed animals and toys. Don't forget Rabbit from Winnie-the-Pooh or Thumper from Bambi. Bring animals friends to the story party! Remember to make the pillow pile I mentioned in an earlier post. Children will listen better if they can snuggle up with their cuddle toys. For very lil uns, read stories just before bed. 

Preschool dress up activities: Printable animal masks from Classroom Jr. Everything is more fun when you're in costume. So let's start by making a printable bunny mask. Here are more animal printables from First Palette. Print on plain paper and transfer to recycled cereal box cardboard to make the mask more durable. 

Rabbit crafts: Vintage Easter Bunny crafts Now that kids are properly attired for the story party, let's make some Easter baskets and greeting cards. You don't have to wait for Easter to make Easter crafts and they lend themselves well to Peter Rabbit and Peter Cottontail stories. The Toymaker (link above) has free printable egg baskets, bunny cards and an

Rabbit games: Play the egg roll game (like they play on the White House lawn) included on the Toymaker link. (Grandson Moses, I foresee a lot of fun playing this with you!) 

Volunteer and Community activities: Make greeting cards from the Toymaker link. Fill baskets with rabbit themed treats (listed below) and share with a neighbor, senior, someone who is sick or disabled. Wear your bunny mask, of course! It doesn't have to be Easter to bring some bunny luv! 

Dramatic play and fine motor activities: Make these cut and paste 3D Paper Bunny Crafts and then use them to act out stories after reading them. Pass out baby carrots for theater snacks! Homeschool parents, engage the baby by making her the audience and theatre critic!  

Art lesson plans: Paper Bunny Toy Mania DL-TK, those wonderfully crafty folk, have a blowout of Easter bunny coloring pages, masks, paper ears, stand-up toys, pop up crafts and much more. I love how easy these are to make. Perfect for preschool, toddlers, babies and special needs children who need no-fail activities. (Grandson Ezra, I look forward to seeing you in rabbit ears, sir!) 

Math and literature activities: Peter Rabbit and The Velveteen Rabbit (Margery Williams) has a page on Making Friends. It's part of a complete page of free printable bunny-based coloring pages, games, puzzles, dot-to-dot, count by number and other activities. Grandsons Milo and Lucian (the twos) you'll like the felt board games and felt board pattern printables. First School has an educational Peter Rabbit unit with learning games, literature activities, writing prompts and stories. 

Writing Activities: Use free printable Peter Rabbit coloring pages to create a booklet and then tell the story in their own words. Or they might use generic rabbit coloring pages to make up their own bunny book! Best idea of all is to assign children to design their own rabbit, give her a name and make up adventures for her! (Silas, I know you'll like this one!) 

Bunny treats AKA snack craft (Granddaughter Lola, just for you, girlfriend!) 

You'll need:

--Hostess Twinkies or Sno Balls (coconut covered marshmallow cakes) or Dolly Madison Zingers or

unfrosted cupcakes

--Handi-Snacks Oreos Dunk'Ems or white frosting

--oval cookies (Nutter Butter) or ladyfingers or graham cracker sticks, or pretzels. 

--pink frosting

--red jellybeans

--coconut

--square gum pellets like Chiklets or Trident cut in half

--miniature marshmallows

To make bunny teats, 

1) open Handi-Snacks and use cookies to frost cupcake or Twinkie. Or use knife or popsicle stick and plain frosting. If using pre-frosted Zingers or Sno Balls, skip to step three. 

2) Sprinkle frosted cake immediately with shredded coconut. 

3) Spread pink frosting on cookies or crackers for ears. If using pretzels, dip in pink frosting. Insert cookie "ears" in cake. 

4) Insert two jellybeans for eyes and two gum pellets for teeth. Attach marshmallows with frosting for tail.

Science snack craft: Discuss where rabbits live (in warrens under the ground) and what they eat (herbivores eat plants, leaves, vegetables). Review Peter Rabbit and what he liked in Mr. Macgregor's garden--lettuces, French beans (green string beans), radishes and then parsley for his sick tummy. The other bunnies ate blackberries. 

Collect various kinds of garden vegetables: carrots, broccoli, lettuce, beans, pea pods, cauliflower, peppers, cucumbers and celery. Include some less familiar ones: parsnips, scallions, endive, mustard greens. Set out a tray of herbs for sensory exploration. Let children herbs and vegetables. Have them touch, smell and taste and describe them. Then let them prep them for a veggie tray to enjoy. Or they might make vegetable soup. 



Free printable Scrabble games and homemade Scrabble and Boggle word games


Looking for hands-on spelling lesson plans? Here's a fun, easy DIY language arts game to make using homemade Scrabble or Boggle dice. Use manipulatives with preschool through high school, in reading, writing and spelling activities. Here are free printable Scrabble games plus instructions for a homemade word game I call Babble (Scrabble plus Boggle). The site gives free printable Scrabble tiles if you want to play the traditional game too! 

I love the word games Boggle and Scrabble in which players make words from random letters. Both Scrabble and Boggle are superb word games for spelling and reading practice. So I invented a game called Babble, that combines the scoring of Scrabble with the letter mix-up of Boggle. Use with the free printable games I've linked to, in reading lesson plans, spelling games and writing activities. Here's how to make and play Babble.  

You will need

12 dice: Recycle die from old games like Kismet or Yahtzee.
Dice can be purchased at almost any store for under $2).

Permanent markers

Blank stickers (round or square white stickers are best)

Note pad

small pencils

watch or timer

small box


To make Babble: (Scrabble plus Boggle)

Affix a sticker to each of the six sides of the die.

Label each die side with a different letter. With 12 dice times six sides you will have room for 72 letters. Since some letters are more popular, label dice this way. It makes no difference where on the dice you put which letters, Just be sure to get this many letters in.

  -four times each, letters: A, E, I, O, U, R, S, T, L, N

  -three times each letters: B, C, D, F, G, H, M, P

  -one time each, letters: J, K, Q, V, W, X, Y, Z

  -dictionary to check spelling


To play Scraggle:


Distribute pencils and pads. Players take turns shaking box with letter dice, to rearrange.

Player open box and make sure all dice are flat and showing letters.

Time players for three to five minutes, to see how many words they can make with letters showing.


Scoring is as follows: 

  -3 letter words = 5 points

  -4 letter words = 10 points

  -5 letter words = 20 points

  -6 letter words = 50 points

  -7 letter words = 100 points

  -8 letter words = 200 points

Players should check each others words for accuracy.

Use the free printable spelling worksheets plus this game for learning on the go! Do spelling lesson plans in the car, at the store, on a place, while waiting in line; anywhere you go it goes. 



Free printable May Day labor union history lesson plans


Spring is a poignant time in labor history. March 25, 1911 remembers 146 workers, mostly women, lost in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. April 16 mourns Ireland's Easter Rising of slain Feinians. April 28 marks Workers' Memorial Day, on which the 
organized labor movement pays tribute to the fallen in workplace accidents or in organized labor struggles. May 1 is May Day, honoring International Workers' Day. May 4 commemorates casualties at Chicago's Haymarket riot at a 1886 labor rally. May 19, 1920 is a day when the organized labor movement grieves the Matewan and Mingo County massacre of coal miners. On May 26, 1937 those who would from unions were assaulted at Ford's River Rouge plant "Battle of the Overpass" in Detroit.

Organized labor history is taught as part of American history, but there is no American (or world) history without labor history. Unions, collective bargaining--the fight for workers' rights impact every industry, occupation and person. Teachers and homeschoolers, you can educate students about unions with these free printable May Day and labor history lesson plans. These links include websites, activities, worksheets, movies and books on the organized labor movement.

The American Labor Studies Center offers a gamut of free printable organized labor movement lesson plans. It covers history, events, strikes, lockouts, workplace injuries, child labor, working conditions, collective bargaining, 8-hour workday, sweatshops, slavery, organizing, indentured servitude, socialism and labor, women's rights, African American labor issues, minority discrimination concerns, ULP (unfair labor practices). Lessons cover the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire (the worst workplace accident in history), West Virginia labor, Pullman Strike (1894), Lawrence Textile Strike (1913), Lowell Strike, Paterson Silk Strike, agriculture strikes and other events. Get free printable union labor worksheets, fill-ins, puzzles and study guides. There are links to films

Explore famous labor leaders: Noam Chomsky, Joe Hill, "Big Bill" Haywood, Pete Seeger, Jimmy Hoffa, Caesar Chavez, the Wisconsin 14 and others from the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World), AFL-CIO, Teamsters and more. This site has biographies of women labor leaders including Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Mary Harris "Mother" Jones and more. To use in lessons, print the list of names on one side and short bios on the other side (mixed up). Students match person with details. Print photos and pin to a map at places they are associated with. Or make a time line along the wall. Plot images in history.

The National Endowment for the Humanities offers two companion lessons in its series The Industrial Age in America. "Sweatshops, Steel Mills and Factories" and "Robber Barons and Captains of Industry" define the problems faced by workers in labor history and the reasons for the organized labor movement. Use the worksheets and activities with middle school and high school students.

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University in Detroit maintains the largest organized labor history archive in the U.S. It has an impressive collection of images in physical exhibits and digital archives on The Labor Movement and Organizations. Walther Reuther who was one of several injured at Ford's Rouge factory "Battle of the Overpass" in Detroit.

The United Farm Workers is the union begun by Cesar Chavez that tends to itinerant and agricultural labor issues. Along with labor movement, the UFW educates people about food safety, immigration, deportation, earth and green initiatives, pesticides and more. An important piece is the youth activism page. UFW seeks to take union and agricultural awareness beyond the classroom walls and into real life.

In honor of May Day, here's a quote from the Albert Shanker Institute. "Imagine opening a high school U.S. history textbook and finding no mention of-or at most a passing sentence about-Valley Forge, the Missouri Compromise...Benjamin Franklin, Lewis and Clark. Imagine if these key events and people just disappeared as if they'd never existed...That is what has happened in history textbooks when it comes to labor's part in the American story." Use these lesson plans to keep the May Day stories and message alive.

Free printable Anzac Day lesson plans on WWI, Australia, New Zealand, Gallipoli military history


April 25 commemorates Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand. It's akin to Veteran's Day, or as it was originally called Armistice Day in that it honors WWI Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps). However Anzac Day falls on April 25, to recognize the landing at Gallipoli, in 1915. As with Veterans Day, the holiday has been expanded to honor all who served, suffered or died, in any conflict, war or peace-keeping operation. 

Here are free printable history lesson plans from New Zealand History, to help students understand the significance of Anzac forces in World War I, not just to Australia and New Zealand but to the entire world. This site has activities and information on the Maori Battalion. 28th Maori Battalion has more on the Maori and their role in WWI and WWII. 

For Teachers For Students has complete units of Anzac Day lesson plans including history worksheets, puzzles, word search activities, poems and math activities to explore Gallipoli and WWI by the numbers. 

Teach Starter is a blog with all kinds of Anzac Day lesson plans, including free printable word search activities, arts and crafts to honor veterans, such as wreaths and poppies. The poppy is the symbol for remembrance of the fallen in World War I (WWI). There are also recipes for Anzac biscuits, a type of hardtack made for the WWI troops at Gallipoli and other engagements. Here's another site with free printable Anzac Day activities to remember this auspicious holiday. 


Free printable penguin coloring pages and Antarctica lesson plans

Happy belated World Penguin Day on April 25! Here are free printable penguin coloring pages, crafts and lesson plans about penguins and Antarctica! Learn about penguin habitats, global warming, the polar science and more! These penguin printables are a perfect way to round out Earth Month in April! 

This Pinterest board has links for dozens of free printable penguin themed lesson plans. Edupics has free printable coloring pages of penguins. Coloring.ws has penguin printables including coloring pages, puzzles, connect the dot and more. 

First Palette has penguin lesson plans to print free, with cute printable Antarctica habitat diorama activities for earth science crafts
. There are also other polar printables. Super Coloring has cartoon penguin printables that look like the Webkinz penguins, perfect for preschool. 

Enchanted Learning offers a unit of free printable penguin lesson plans. There are polar biome and habitat diorama activities for science lessons, Antarctica map activities for social studies lesson plans. Use these in your Earth Month lessons. 

There puzzles, games, penguin crafts, word search and connect the dot to teach math and reading. I love the printable mini books at the site too, perfect for emergent readers and preschool kids. Use these activities in homeschool too! There's something for even the youngest learners! May your Earth Month be bright! 



Earth Day recycled trash bird feeders: science lesson plans, printables and trash crafts!


Just in time for Earth Day, here are recycled trash crafts for kids, to repurpose and reuse recycled milk jugs as homemade bird feeders. These bird feeders are great for National Bird Day (March 14) also. Make bird feeders in your preschool science learning centers or as part of ecology lesson plans. These recycled trash crafts are cheap, easy to make and fun for all ages.

First, if you're doing these lesson plans as part of homeschool, and you've got some little ones who are bit too young to be interested (grandsons Milo, Lucian and Ezra, Omi is smiling at you here!) you'll want activities to keep them involved. So how about assigning them the task of chief bird researcher (be sure to use the word "chief." The youngest ones love to be the boss sometimes!) Here are free printable bird coloring pages to for them to explore. As much as possible, find ways for youngers to be part of lesson plans. 

Next, teach children that reusing recycled milk jugs help the environment in three ways: when you repurpose and reuse recycled milk jugs you reduce the number that go into landfills. Homemade bird feeders support wildlife and the ecosystem. Making bird seed recipes from recycled kitchen scraps cuts waste. 

To make homemade bird feeders, wash, rinse and dry recycled milk jugs. Next, draw a window on the front of the milk jug on the opposite side from the handle. The window should be about two and one half inches from the bottom and about four inches on all sides. Using everyday scissors cut out the window. The plastic cuts pretty easily, but can be scratchy. You can assist those with physical limitations. After cutting the window, poke 5 small holes in the bottom to drain and air the birdseed and keep it dry. Decorate Earth Day crafts with permanent markers, stickers or fabric paint. Make festive nature patterns.

Now for the bird feeder fodder: here's a great time to explore bird species, habitats and nutritional requirements in your science lesson plans. To attract a variety of critters, fill the feeder up to about 1 and 1/2 inches with various bird seed recipes. You can buy generic bird seed in bulk inexpensively. This will attract chickadees, cardinals, house finch, dark-eyed juncos, sparrows, starlings, blue jays and lots of hungry squirrels. For special bird seed treats, save citrus rinds, apple peelings, fruit seeds, stale popcorn, bread, crackers and nuts. Blend with peanut butter and bird seed and place homemade bird feeder. If you carve a pumpkin, save the seeds. Squirrels will canvas the back yard at Halloween after pumpkin carving to get prized seeds.

Hang the bird feeder crafts in a tree, from poles or just about anything except utility wires. Hang with bird feeders with bright red yarn or ribbon. Many birds love bright red. You can place the feeder on a porch rail if necessary. Put a nail through the bottom to hold it in place. The youngest can be in charge of monitoring bird feeders and helping to refill them. 

Stay tuned for more Earth Day lesson plans, printables and activities! 


Homemade hats for kids: Earth Day recycled trash crafts with free printable paper hat patterns


Got kids Covid quarantined kids with stuck-at-home-itis? Got rainy-day, can't go out to play bored kids? Or, maybe you're looking for recycled trash crafts for Earth Day on April 22? If so, here's my teacher-mama first aid kit. Homeschool parents and teachers, your recycle bin is your best bud for hands-on eco-friendly, eco-nomical lesson plans. Repurpose and reuse household stuff in nifty, thrifty crafts, games and activities. Today's recycled trash crafts feature homemade hats for kids with hours of preschool dress up fun! Here's a guide plus links to free printable paper hats (this link goes to Enchanted Learning, another bestie for homeschool teacher-mamas and papas!)

The first prototype for these homemade hats was developed by our oldest daughter at 20 months old. We kept her blocks and toys sorted in recycled 5 pound peanut butter pails. One day, Little Miss emptied one, plopped it on her head, tucked handle under chin and voila—an instant helmet. Then she proceeded to saddle up and ride baby brother like her noble steed! After I removed the bucket handle for her safety and her from brother for his, I realized what really cool hats for kids can be made with a little repurpose and reuse ingenuity! 

Weed through your recycle bin for plastic ice cream buckets, butter tubs, coffee canisters you can repurpose and reuse. Size them so they fit child's head without any leftover. You don't want hats to completely envelop the child's face. You can repurpose and reuse milk jugs as awesome knight's helmets. Remove handle and use hole from the handle as a helmet visor. Cut a piece of plastic and attach with brads to make a visor flap.

Let children paint color, cover and decorate homemade hats however they wish. Wrap in aluminum foil for an armored helmet. Or have young inventors make hats, helmets and headpieces for robots, soldiers, aliens, animals, astronauts. Make homemade crowns for kings and queens and princesses (cut both ends out to make cylinder shape and decorate. Make cone-shaped medieval lady hats by rolling a square of paper in a funnel shape. Trim edge even. Staple recycled crepe paper streamers to hat. Cut decorations from recycle bin stuff. Repurpose and reuse old headgear in cute homemade hats for kids costumes. Repurpose and reuse silk flowers, fabric scraps, ribbons, yarn, buttons, appliques, and faux gems as decorations for your recycled crafts. Kids might wear their hats in an Earth Day parade! 

SS42 has lots of free printable paper hats for kids in several styles--baseball hats, hats with monster heads (zombies, vampire, spider web and pumpkin). There are free printable paper animal hats with noses and bills to go with animal costumes and a paper bucket hat to design and color yourself for Hat Day. Here are free printable paper hat patterns like the pointy party paper hats that attaches with a rubber band. 

My grampa was a newspaper printer. He always made newspaper hats for me and my kids (probably where my little hat maker got her inspiration).  In "Curious George Rides a Bike" George shows an easy way to make paper hat patterns or paper boats from newspaper. Here's his free printable paper hat pattern you can incorporate into reading lesson plans or activities for Earth Day. I think I'll make one in Grampa's memory! 


Giant Panda Bear printables, Kung Fu Panda lesson plans, activities coloring pages for Earth Day


Did you know that the Giant Panda is the Earth Day mascot? This will greatly please my grandson Lucian whose best friend is a panda bear named "B"! Here are free printable panda bear lesson plans, activities and coloring pages for us all to celebrate! 

First-School is an awesome website for educational printables and the subject of free printable panda bear activities is no exception. There are games, science lesson plans, literature based printables, worksheets, word search, coloring pages and more. Making Learning Fun has cute panda bear printables too. 

Living Montessori Now has links to Giant Panda printables with games, crafts and preschool activities. Lesson Planet has a plethora of free printable zoo lesson plans, including many Giant Panda activities. Enchanted Learning has dozens of free printable lesson plans on pandas. There are worksheets, crossword puzzles, maps, endangered species activities, science lesson plans and more. What could be more perfect for Earth Day?

How about doing a unit on Eric Carle's "Panda Bear, Panda Bear What do you See?" for Earth Day, April 22? Here are Eric Carle printables including some from that best-loved book. And what would a unit on pandas be without some activities involving Po, the Kung Fu Panda? Most of these have printables on other types of bears too. 

Free printable Dr. Seuss Lorax science lesson plans for Earth Day

 


Dr. Seuss’s  book "The Lorax" is the perfect book to read for Earth Day as it explores  corporate waste, pollution and lack of environmentally friendly practices. Here are environmental science activities from The Lorax. Use these literature-based Lorax lesson plans for Earth Day lesson plans and crafts. Start with free printable Lorax activities and Dr. Seuss lesson plans.

Text to Life Dr Seuss lesson plans. The Lorax is a parable or allegory. Characters represent ideas or people. As you read the Lorax ask students to decide who these characters represent: The Once-ler (corporations, society, people), The Boy (children, the future generation), The Lorax (God, Mother Nature, a Supreme Being).

Lorax story maps. After reading The Lorax, students should design environmental science diagrams to show food web and pollution impacts charts. Show in sequence how each species relies on the Trufulla trees. These could be drawn in cartoon format or as flowcharts. Now show backwards, how the Once-ler's factory takes out not only too the Trufulla trees away, but pollutes the air and water and harms the animals and plants. Here are endangered species printables to show what that looks like in real life.

Explore environmental science vocabulary from the Lorax--sustainable, ecology, symbiotic relationship, biodegradable, environment, pollution, interdependence, interconnected, food web, food chain, carbon footprint, carbon cycle, Make 3D graphic organizers by folding paper into 6 parts. for sequenced cartoon strip. Make a sequence book by accordion folding a wide strip of paper. On each page or frame, students write a word or sentence explaining what damage the factory created and how it affects each animal group. Or make a circle chart to show how nature is interconnected, by folding paper circles in six parts. Here are free printable habitat dioramas.

Environmental science experiments. Plant seeds. Here's an excellent text to life connection. Do as the Lorax and Once-ler advised and plant trees. Sprout seeds in simple terrariums by placing dried beans and wet paper towel in Ziploc bags. Or put carrot tops in water. Show how seeds need clean air and sun to grow. Place one seedling in a dark, dusty room such as a broom closet and others in the sun. Water some but not others. Compare results.

Writer's Workshop Dr. Seuss lesson plans. April is National Poetry Month. Write poems for Earth Day, telling what will happen "unless" people stop polluting and start caring for the earth. Or write an Earth Day song about why it is important to keep our world green. Draw shape poems, writing each line or sentence in the shape of the sun, trees, fish, birds, etc. The Lorax says he "speaks for the trees for the trees have no voice." Have children make posters, poems and songs to advocate for the trees.

Environmental science field trips and experiments. Go on a litter hunt. Take before and after pictures of the playground, woods or roadside. Give each student a recycled plastic bag and latex or plastic gloves. Count, weigh and measure how much trash was collected in 15 minutes. Chart and graph different kinds of litter and show what kinds of trash is most commonly thrown out. Start a recycling club. Take a field trip to visit a wildlife refuge, native tribal council, DNR station, nature center, fish hatchery or nature preserve. Wherever you live in this wide wonderful world, there are places to explore the wildlife in your area and folks committed to sharing their love of nature with students.

Environmental science skits. Students should write skits on reducing pollution and litter. Or retell The Lorax story. Explore the internet for new ways to reuse trash. For example, communities in Michigan create green eco-friendly park benches to made entirely from recycled plastic milk jugs.

Design a bird feeder, watering station and bird house. Use recycled materials like milk jugs. Compost food scraps. Or make bird seed cakes. Explore local songbirds in your area. Here are George Washington Carver printables with recycling ideas from the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle King himself!