May - An Idea for Every Day - Week Two

How's May been going for you so far?  For us, May so far has been rich in rainstorms, great horned owls, re-blossoming of trees and catching of bluegills.  We're also continuing to navigate through online schooling (both in official and nonofficial teaching roles) and we're feeling the impact of store closures.  What about you?

Did you participate in any of the suggested activities from last week?  If so, we'd love to hear about it.  We had every intention of making the Nine Men Morris board for May Day, but ran out of time. We were, however, ecstatic to hear it mentioned in the book we're reading with our nephew: Justin Case: Rules, Tools and Maybe a Bully by Rachel Vail.  This book is the third in a series our nephew immensely enjoys, and we like it too.  It accurately reflects the inner thoughts, worries, concerns, decisions and likely outcomes of a third or fourth grade boy.  So, if you have a third or fourth grader in your home, consider checking this one out.  You'll laugh, you'll relate, and, if your learner is anything like our nephew, you'll hear applied book-related concepts popping up throughout the day.

Our hope, in gathering these activities, is that they will bring some joy, some learning and perhaps even some adventure into your days.  Choose the way you'd like to discover our ideas for every day:

Now, we invite you to glance through the upcoming week and see if one (or two) ideas stand out to you.

If you're here to view a specific day's activities, click your desired link below.

Sunday, May 10th - Mother's Day

May 10, 2020 ideas to honor mothers.
On this day, we honor mothers, in whatever shape that takes for you.  It's a day for children to stand up and call that woman who played a pivotal role in your life, "blessed."  Here's some ways you might fulfill this goal:

If you want to give this special lady in your life a meaningful gift, but you have no idea what it could be, we suggest you head over to Good Housekeeping for some suggestions.  They rounded up 58 unique gift ideas for the woman of honor.  Our favorites include a personalized pillow featuring names of her children, a sunflower garden starter kit, or a journal you get to personalize called: "What I Love About You by Me." If none of these suit your mother, do not despair - there are many more possibilities for you.

One of the iconic Mother's Day ideas is a brunch hosted in her honor or breakfast served to her in bed.  Food Network gathered 40 breakfast or brunch recipes for you to browse.  From sweet to savory, fancy to simple, there really is something here for every mother.  Want a peek at my menu?  Bacon, egg and cheese toast bowls with a grapefruit spritzer to start.  Followed by yogurt creme brulee with fresh fruit and granola served with coffee.  If this doesn't sound appetizing to you, don't worry, there are 37 more recipes from which to choose.

I've seen this warning going around: dad's your child won't be making their mom's a craft at school this year for Mother's Day.  Well, dad's, if you want to rid yourself of this predicament, Country Living provides a list of 52 Mother's Day crafts from which to choose. From paper weights to oven mitts, we're thinking you'll find a craft (or two) to do.

Or perhaps you'd like to read stories about inspirational moms.  Reader's Digest compiled twelve short stories for precisely this purpose.  After reading these, and now feeling inspired, perhaps you'd like to pen a story about your own inspirational mother (biological, adopted, or philosophical).

Monday, May 11th - Twilight Zone Day

May 11, 2020 - a perfect day to start a new mystery.  Whether you write it or read it, that part's up to you.
Common Sense Media rates The Twilight Zone, a classic TV show laced with shocking twists, appropriate for ages 10 and up.  So, if your learners fit the bill, you could consider watching it with them.  Stream the show with your subscription to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or CBS All Access.  

If your learner is younger than the 10+ age-level recommendation, read and/or write (Preschool to 2nd Grade and 3rd through 6th Grade) mystery stories with them instead.

Reading is the route of choice?  Then visit Book Riot for a list of 50 mystery books for kids, organized by age appropriateness.  Of the books on this list, we found the following on Open Library (free for use currently):
You read a mystery book and now you're inspired to write your own! Or, maybe you were from the get-go.  Well, whatever the case, we have some ideas to get you started.  If your learner is a preschool to second grade learner, you'll want to check out The Curious Kindergarten. The Curious Kindergarten invites you to round up all your Easter eggs (you still have some around the house, right?) then use them to inspire your young mystery authors by writing riddles as clues for what's inside their eggs.

For third to sixth grade learners, you want to head over to Scholastic where they will learn the ingredients of a great mystery. Using important documents like the "Ingredients of a Mystery Checklist," and a "Detective's Case Report," your learners will record evidence they spot while reading through a mystery.  Once done, use the same resources to have them plan their own mystery. Or, if they're ready, just start by using the documents for prewriting.  

Tuesday, May 12th - Limerick Day

May 12, 2020, write or read limericks.
The way we see it, there are two ways to celebrate this day: read limericks or write limericks.  Brownie Locks compiled 83 limericks for your reading pleasure.  Feel free to hop on over and get lost.

Now, with your head full of limericks, it's time to try your hand at your own.  Poetry 4 Kids walks you through the limerick writing process

If you write or read a limerick you'd love to share, we'd love to hear it.  Come on back here and leave it in the comments or email us (mr@wolfestew.com or mrs@wolfestew.com).  We can't wait to read your contributions.  

Wednesday, May 13th - Frog Jumping Day

May 13, 2020, a day to hop like a frog, make origami, or explain the frog jumping process.
We give you three options to celebrate Frog Jumping Day: play, create or research.  So choose the one that's right for you and your learner(s), then jump right in.

You want to play leapfrog but forget how?  Or maybe you're not sure how to explain it.  Or perhaps you've never played it. Don't worry!  We found this video that explains how to play leapfrog for you on YouTube.  All you have to do is make sure you have your learner's attention then press play.  Oh, then go outside and try it out, of course!

Maybe you could even play leapfrog with origami jumping frogs.  But first, you have to make them.  No problem!  Head over to Kids Web Japan for a Jumping Frog origami tutorial complete with pictures and step-by-step instructions.

If playing leapfrog and making jumping frogs has you wondering: how do frogs actually jump?  Find Out with DK's diagram on how a frog jumps or watch a video at Charlotte Observer as they explain it step-by-step. Organize this newly acquired knowledge into a flow chart that explains the frog jumping process.  You can use this printable template from Eduplace (the previous link opens a PDF, click here to self-navigate to the flow chart) or visit Creately to craft a digital flow chart.

However you chose to celebrate Frog Jumping Day, we're ever so glad you took the leap with us!

Thursday, May 14th - Dance Like a Chicken Day

May 14, 2020 a day to bust a move to the beat of bock bock bock!
If you loved Frog Jumping day, chances are you'll also love Dance Like a Chicken Day.  May 14th presents you with yet another opportunity to mimic animal moves.  

Chances are, you know this dance. But if you don't, no worries.  This video by GoNoodle via YouTube will teach it to you. And trust me, you'll catch on quickly.  Go on.  Let loose.  

If you'd like a more structured approach to teaching this song, the PE Specialist breaks it down well for you.  He'll walk you through prepping the physical space, offers a video of him teaching it, categorizes the movements into non-locomotor and locomotor steps, then goes through the basic breakdown of all steps - all the while cuing you in that the magic number is 4.  During the movement break, (where typically you lock elbows) he suggests your learners practice locomotor steps (i.e. skip, slide, gallop). After your learners master this version of the chicken dance, The PE Specialist suggests you mix it up and offers some variations.

Maybe your learners are ready to take on something a little more advanced.  How about a round (or two) of Chicken Dance Tag?  Great Activities Online details both a variation of the Chicken Dance Warm-Up (as explained above by The PE Specialist) and Chicken Dance Tag.  For Chicken Dance Tag, you'll first need to gather rubber chickens.  What?  You don't have rubber chickens lying around the house?  Neither do we.  You could print out this chicken mask from Super Coloring, punch holes in the sides, and add string to wear it.  Or you could glue a feather on a clothespin.  Whichever you choose: rubber chicken, mask, or feather, these objects mark the person who is "it."  If you're playing with a large group, choose more people to be "it."  Play tag as usual, but when you're "out" you go to the "chicken coop." Find out how to get released and find more chicken games by visiting Great Activities Online.

After engaging in these Dance Like a Chicken Day activities, we're thinking you'll be singing, "I don't want to be a chicken, I don't want to be a duck..." all day long.

Friday, May 15th - Endangered Species Day

May 15, 2020 - draw awareness, make a plan, play charades.
When first delving into the research for this day, I learned just how many favorite animal species are on this list.  Help your learners discover this same insight by playing endangered species charades as suggested by Education World.  Use this list from Animal Planet to record animal names on slips of paper.  Place the slips in a container (bonus points if your container somehow relates to endangered animals). Prepwork ready, all you have to do is explain the purpose (to learn about endangered species) and rules of the game to the learners.  Click on over to Education World for tips on explaining charades and endangered species to learners.

Change your perspective from global to local with PBS Learning Media.  In the lesson, "Exploring Endangered Species," species exploration begins on a large scale with ecosystems and narrows to a species - a species in your state.  To choose this species, your learner first explores the habitat right outside your door.  They'll observe what animals exist and play an interactive food web game to help them understand animal interdependence.  Next, they identify which species in your area are threatened or endangered and what puts them at risk.  Finally, they choose one species for which they'll formulate a protection plan.

Education World also suggests this "Illustrating Endangered Species" webquest created by Frances Zamorano.  This webquest tasks learners with creating three proofs for a proposal to write and illustrate an endangered species picture book for an audience of second graders.  The proofs must represent each of the following art styles: Impressionist, Realist, and Naive.  The websquest asks for learners to work in groups of three, each taking on a specific role: art specialist, animal research specialist and offline researcher.  To complete the project, all three learners work together as editors.  If your group looks different, you can easily alter the roles to meet your unique needs. The webquest provides specific questions for research.  It also outlines then walks learners through ten project steps (from group formation to project turn-in).  Also included is a rubric for leader evaluations.

Of course, you could combine the three activities into an Endangered Species Unit.  Use "Endangered Species Charades" as the introduction, "Exploring Endangered Species" for the animal research process, then the "Illustrating Endangered Species" webquest for your final product.  Whether you choose one or all, one thing we know for sure: endangered species learning will happen.

Saturday, May 16th - Barbecue Day

May 16th - light the fires and listen for the sizzle.  It's time to cook on the grill.
At the Wolfe Stew household, our favorite foods from the grill are kabobs, steak, chicken patties and ribs.  These foods just don't seem to come out quite as good any other way you make them.  We'd love to hear what your favorite grilled foods are, too!  Drop us a comment below telling us what foods you love cooking on the barbecue!

If you're looking for some new ideas of what to cook on the grill, Food Network has a few for you.  We personally think these three sound especially good: Grilled Clambake, Orange Grilled Shrimp with Cocoa Nib Gremolata, or Fajitas in a Grill Basket.

However you slice it up, it's time to light up those fires.  Let's get cookin'!

Before You Go

We'd love to know:
  1. To which of these days are you most looking forward?
  2. What food do you like off the grill?
Until next week, leaders, we're hoping you find the joy in every day.

At Your Service,
Offering samplings of life by a husband and wife.


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.  



Comments

  1. There are so many great things to think about this month. Thank you for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There really are; May is a great month! I always associate it with birthdays, flowers, and Mother's Day. What about you? Thank you for commenting. Your kindness is encouraging!

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