May - An Idea for Every Day - Week 4
Confession alert - we're planning our first family get together since the beginning of COVID-19. It almost feels like we're doing something illicit. What about you? Have you had the opportunity to meet up with your family since the beginning of quarantine? There's something about this gorgeous weather that just makes you want to break free. Do you feel it too?
As a distance learning activity, our nephew wrote journal entries detailing engaged-in activities with his "flat teacher" (follow the link to That Teaching Spark to learn more). The first event, a paper airplane flight, ended with his teacher falling out of the airplane and plummeting back to earth. I'm just thankful it was a flat teacher and not the actual one. It's clear though: many learners love paper airplanes and in this group our nephew clearly belongs. What about your learner(s), do they love paper airplanes, too? If so, consider holding paper airplane flight investigations (inspired by a Mystery Doug inquiry) or contests.
What?!? Paperclips? Seriously? Yes, seriously. And what's more, we think you're secretly (or not so secretly) going to love Paperclip Day. I mean, just think about how helpful these humble strips of metal are. And, after today, we're hoping you discover their versatility too.
Did you know creativity is good for your health? According to the Forbes' article, "Here's How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health," by Ashley Stahl, creativity promotes the following positive changes to your overall well-being: increases happiness, reduces dementia, improves mental health, boosts your immune system, and makes you smarter. With all these benefits, why would you forego the opportunity to be creative? It's time to seize the day, friends!
It's nearing the fourth week in May - the first full week school is officially out here - also known as, the first week of summer break. We were going to go camping, but apparently everyone else had the same idea. So, we had to put that on the back burner. What are your plans?
If you're still looking to make a few, we're cooking up some ideas for you and plating them in the following ways:
- The full May menu (in calendar form of course).
- The weekly descriptive menu (the blog you're reading).
- Subscribe to get it delivered right to your inbox (yellow subscribe button above).
- Check out the previous four weekly blogs:
- Daily specials (follow us on Instagram or Facebook)
- The secret menu (on our Pinterest board)
And now, with out further ado, check out these ideas we've cooked up for you:
If you're here in search of a specific day, choose your desired link below:
The last activity my extended family participated in together before sheltering in place was a scavenger hunt. In celebration of the first day of spring, we walked (or rollerbladed) around the neighborhood recording signs of spring on our scavenger hunt sheets. Perhaps a way to honor the gradual release of restrictions would be to engage in another one.
There are many ways in which to engage in a scavenger hunt:
- Make it up as you go. If this is your style, you might want to head over to Very Well Family where they have some make-it-up-as-you-go scavenger hunt ideas including nature, neighborhoods, photos and downtown topics. Basically, you set up a designated area then brainstorm together a list of things to find. Alternately, prepare the list before the outing.
- Plan your own. With the help of She Knows, prepare a memorable scavenger hunt for your family. To do so, you'll need to prepare and leave clues that lead you to the end. Christina Holt, the author, suggests making maps for younger children, creating it around a specific theme, and beginning with the end in mind. Speaking from personal experience, I've planned a few of these and they've always been a huge hit with the littles in my life.
- Print and go. My Joy-Filled Life lists 75 printable scavenger hunt links arranged in the following categories: nature, around town, holidays, seasonal, educational, Christian and miscellaneous.
Memorial Day is a day we honor those who fought and died for our country. To teach learners about this day, we visited Smithsonian's History Explorer website and chose a few resources for you. Choose from Star-Spangled Banner learning or a magazine cover competition.
In "Making the Star-Spangled Banner," your learner meets Mary Pickersgill who monologues, while crafting a garrison flag, about the War of 1812 and thoughts about the flag. The accompanying teacher guide includes extension activities for your Kindergarten to 5th grade learners, a link to a 19th century recording and complete lyrics of the song. They also recommend reading The Flag Maker by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. It's available digitally through Open Library and read aloud by krowe4kids via YouTube. We'd choose the following extension activities for each grade level range:
- Preschool - 2nd Grade: "Math and Measuring the Star Spangled Banner" (Links to a PDF.) Learners measure and create a string flag that represents the original size of the Star-Spangled Banner.
- Third - Fifth Grade: "Music, Poetry, and History" (Links to a PDF.) Learners analyze the first verse of the "The Star-Spangled Banner," to explain Francis Scott Key's word choice. Also, they will recite and paraphrase a verse of the song and practice singing it.
- Sixth - Eight Grade: "Poetry and Our National Anthem" (Links to a PDF.) Learners analyze and discuss the poetic techniques used in the Star Spangled Banner penned by Francis Scott Key. Then, they will try their hand at writing original patriotic poetry incorporating devices used by Key.
Another suggestion to honor Memorial Day is to design "United We Stand" magazine covers. Inspired by a contest originally ran in 1942 to rally the nation to unity in support of the war, learners observe the covers then make their own in this lesson idea (again from Smithsonian).
|AbsolutVision via Pixabay|
If it's the investigation you choose to do, you'll want to start by heading over to Mystery Doug and watching his answer to the question, "Why can't airplanes fly to space?" After hearing the answer, it's time to start the investigations. In a video, Mystery Doug guides your learner through crafting a printable glider. But it doesn't end there. Take your learner(s) outside and make that glider fly. Use these handy tips for set-up suggestions. After the first flight, learners use a printable checklist to consider ways to improve their glider's flight.
With one glider under their belt, perhaps they're ready for an open-ended challenge. Or maybe your learner was ready for an open-ended challenge from the get-go. If so, Scholastic is the site for you. Once there, you'll find several resources for holding a paper airplane contest including instructions for building and scoring and research resources for learners to use when planning their design. The resources include an article titled, "What Makes Paper Airplanes Fly," a link to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and a book list. Of the books on the list, we found the following digitally (either at Open Library - free for use during COVID-19 - or via YouTube):
- PreK- 2nd Grade
- How People Learned to Fly by Fran Hodgkins (YouTube Read Aloud by Alicia Wong)
- Tell Me Why Planes Have Wings by Shirley Willis
- Wright Brothers by Lisa Wade McCormick
- Planes by Amy Shields (YouTube Read Aloud by H. Clayton)
- 3rd - 6th Grade
- Can You Fly High Wright Brothers? by Melvin Berger
- Black Eagles by James Haskins
- Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan
- Talkin' about Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes
- Lost Star: The Story of Amelia Earheart by Patricia Lauber
- Amelia Earhart: Adventure in the Sky by Francene Sabin
- Bessie Coleman by Bruce L. Brager
Whether you hold an investigation, contest, or both, we're certain learning will soar with these activities.
I love this picture. It screams, "Look, Mom, no hands!" I've had those moments - you know the ones - when you look fear in the face and say, "I'm not afraid of you." Fears change in adulthood, but they still exist. It's an awesome opportunity, leaders, to show your learners how you deal with fear with the hope of helping them learn to deal with their own. To help guide you toward accomplishing this end, we've rounded up some ideas for you.
For a leader's perspective, Child Mind Institute hosts an article by Rae Jacobson entitled, "How to Help Children Manage Fears." Jacobson discusses using fear management as an opportunity to build self-regulation skills, healthy parenting perspectives, tips on how to help your child, and how to differentiate between types of fear - including when to seek assistance.
To address fear from a Biblical perspective, Ministry-to-Children offers a Bible lesson (based on Psalm 28:7) called "Faith Overcomes Fear," by Kristin Charles. The lesson leads learners through an exploration of Bible verses that cover the topic of fear. Using these verses, learners honestly discuss questions regarding the subject. Through the verses, discussion, lesson, game and art project, the goal is that learners will learn to trust God in the midst of their fears.
Reading books to children about overcoming fears may help them to realize the normalcy of the issue. Many books exist around the topic of fear; Bookroo compiled a list of over 93 of them. Here are five digital versions for each age group mostly from the Bookroo list that we've found digitally.
- PreK to First Grade
- Let's Go, Hugo! by Angela N. Dominguez (YouTube Read Aloud by Stories that Build Character and More...)
- Wally Does Not Want a Haircut by Amanda Driscoll (Read by Mrs. Rossi)
- Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall (Read by Storytime with Mr. Stephen)
- Lionheart by Richard Collingridge (Read by Bedtime Story Collection)
- Little Bird by Jo Empson (Read by Layad de Cordillera)
- Second-Third Grade
- Maria Finds Courage by Tony Dungy and Lauren Dungy (Read by LWKids)
- Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve
- Roxie and the Hooligans by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Read Aloud by Laurie Ann via YouTube)
- Judy Moody was in a Mood by Megan McDonald
- You've Got Dragons by Nick Maland (Read by Roxanna Zook)
- Fourth to Sixth Grade
What's your favorite way to prepare a hamburger? Personally, I love so many varieties that I truly see it as art on a bun. Let your learners discover this in a variety of ways.
Thanks to The Mama Workshop, let your Preschooler build their own hamburger. You might even consider making up order forms so they can custom make burgers for the whole family. Or, see how quickly preschoolers can build the burgers. You could even turn it into a game to see who could build their burger the fastest (place pieces in a bag and randomly draw them out to make it more challenging).
It's time you invite your Kindergarten to Second Grade learners in on the secret that hamburgers don't just magically appear, and National Agriculture in the Classroom wants to help. In the lesson, "Where Did your Hamburger Come From?" they'll learn the truth of the origin of each part of their hamburger. Here's a link to the activity book required for the lesson.
Let older learners get artsy with KinderArt's "Hamburger Collage." All that's required is construction paper, crayons or makers, scissors, glue and a little imagination.
After all this hamburger learning, we hope you cook up hamburgers for dinner too. We bet your learners worked up quite the appetite.
|Photo by Ann H. via Pexels|
Up first, get your Preschool and Kindergarten learners hooked on paperclip games and activities with Premeditated Leftovers. You'll chain them together, craft barrettes, go fishing, do some math and make some jewelry. We bet they'll engage in these activities again even after today.
Your First through Third Grade learners get crafty with it by making a fishing game, bookmarks, animal chains, gliders, a magic trick and more (much more) with their paperclip and the help of Artists Helping Children.
While not a game, and not a craft, your Fourth to Sixth Grade learners will innovate in this STEM challenge from STEM Activities for kids. The challenge: design and create a new paperclip. Invite the "A" into STEM and make it STEAM by adding in a visual appeal element to your expectations.
Whether you learned to love Paperclip Day or not, may these lessons serve as a reminder: even when you get bent out of shape you still serve a purpose.
|Photo by Amber Lamoreaux via Pexels|
If you're looking for creative inspiration, check out Hadley Mendelsohn's post at My Domain. She offers up 40 Creative Things to Do When You Need to Recharge and Reset. First, chose the art form in which you desire to engage (music, performing arts, visual arts, exploration, introspection, culinary arts, writing, or crafting). Then, chose an activity. For me, from each category, I'd choose the following activities: creating playlists, working out, coloring, playing tourist, assembling a photo album, hosting a tasting party, writing a children's story, and taking on a sewing DIY project. Now, project chosen, create. The best part: there are no expectations other than that you create. So, showcase your authentic self. Let loose. Create.
Before You Go
We'd love to know:
1) Which activity are you most anticipating?
2) What other ideas do you have to add to these days?
That wraps up another week full of ideas for every day. Until next time, leaders, we're hoping you find the joy in each day.
At Your Service,
Interested in even more educational resources? Then stop by our Learning Lab. It's here where we store all the educational resources we've cooked up to date.