I feel it friends…spring is in the air! It MAY have something to do with the lovely weather we had this week or the fact that my daffodils are blooming, but I feel it AND I love it!
This past week we had ELPA testing. I volunteered to be a non-testing room. So, I got to keep my non-ELL kiddos and I got the non-ELL kiddos from another class. Boy…we had a great time! We are focused on fables this week, so we had some fable themed days that were awesome! I apologize for all the pictures and length of this post but it was such a great week, I HAD to share it with you!
Before we switched, which was on Wednesday and Thursday, we started our week just learning about fables. Our core specifically talks about folktales and morals, so we spend over a month focusing on fables, fairy tales and tall tales. We want to make sure that the kiddos have a really good understand of the elements in each type of story. We always start with this anchor:
We also get a whole, ton load of books. Here are a few of my favs:
Now, let’s get to the fun stuff! I was scheduled to have the non-ELL kiddos for two days, all day. I didn’t want to teach them any new content because the kiddos who were testing would miss out. SO, we had two theme days. The first day was all about fables and the second day was all about the Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Let’s look at day one…fables.
We started off reading this short fable from our Aesop’s Fable Leveled Passages pack. The kiddos read the passage and did a retell for it. Then we went through as a group, retold the passage AND talked about the moral. This moral was pretty easy to get…success!! Then, we moved on to writing our own fables. We learned that in most fables the characters are animals. I gave the kiddos a page full of animals and they had to choose 2, 3 or 4 to include in their own fable. Then they started brainstorming their problem, solution, moral and if they wanted to, trickery. I didn’t give them a ton of guidance for this activity. I wanted it to be more like a prompt, just to see what they came up with.
They really turned out AMAZING! I was quite impressed! This took us the morning, until lunch. When we returned from lunch we did a little math activity to help us practice coins. The kiddos had to add the total amount of coins and write the answer in the corresponding fruit square.
When they were done rotating around the room, the kiddos got to color the fruit and if they got the answer right, they got to put that piece of fruit into Anansi’s basket.
The kiddos LOVED this activity! Even though it wasn’t practicing fables, they loved the Anansi stories and they loved that this activity connected them to that.
Then we moved on to another fable, this time The Crow and the Pitcher. We read the fable and talked about the moral. Then the kiddos spent their time estimating how many “pebbles,” really beans, it would take to move their water line. Then they got to work figuring out how many it would take. They loved it and many requested to change their estimate halfway through. Turns out…it takes A LOT!
Phew! That’s the end of day one. Next up, day 2!
This was Three Billy Goats Gruff Day! We started by reading the story, of course, and then we made retell sticks with the characters. This helped us to retell the story to each other.
Then we practiced a readers theater for the story. Oh boy, they LOVED this activity! I found a free readers theater from Jaime Locke at the First Grade Bloom. Click HERE to get a copy! I used Educlips Three Billy Goats Gruff clip art for the hats, actually for EVERYTHING:)
This is a peek at a couple of the hats! This was a really great activity. They were really excited to perform their plays and they did an awesome job changing their voices for each character!
Next up, we did a retell because this is a skill we are working on. Luckily, they have had so much exposure to this story and practice retelling with the retell sticks, that writing the retell was easy for them!
We had another activity planned for math. It was a scoot style game with triple digit subtraction but, of course, we had a fire drill! So, I had to nix that idea and move straight onto our bridge challenge. The kiddos had to build a bridge using marshmallows and toothpicks and only one piece of paper. Their bridge had to go across the river, or bowl of water. The challenge was to see how many “goats,” really plastic hippos, their bridge could hold. Let me tell you, this was HARD. We looked at bridges and talked about how to make them more sturdy, but it was still pretty tricky!
These were a PACKED couple of days, but boy were they fun! The kiddos strengthened they understanding on fables, morals, retell as well as practiced fluency, adding coins and writing detailed stories. It was fantastic! You may not have the time to do ALL of these activities but hopefully one or two of them will work for you in your classroom:)
I’ve really been wanting to have more theme days. More ways to engage and motivate my students! I see so many great ides that I thought I would give it a try. I wasn’t dancing or jumping on tables, Ron Clark style, but I did have them engaged and excited for each new activity that we started. This is definitely something I plan to include in my days from here on out!
I hope that you all have a wonderful and restful evening and a fantastic week!!