June - An Idea for Every Day - Week 4
It’s official: summer’s here! While we’ve been out of school for a while, knowing it’s officially summer makes me consider summer goals. Before summer’s end, we hope to go camping at least twice, attend a wedding, clean out our garage, foster curiosity and love for others in our learners, pray through surgery and recovery, and search for God’s will in a new job, all the while continuing to reach out to you through Wolfe Stew. What about you? What are your summer goals?
While you’re here, we’re hoping we might just be able to help walk with you through some of those goals. To reach that end, we’ve gathered ideas for you (and your learners) for this fourth week of June, and we’re plating them up in the following ways:
- June Calendar – Ideas at a glance with clickable links for you advanced planners.
- Weekly Blog- You’re reading it now. 😊
- SUBSCRIBE by hitting the button above to get them delivered directly to your inbox.
- Check out our four recent posts (ideas never expire):
- Daily Reminders – Follow us on Instagram or Facebook
- Even More Ideas – Look over our Pinterest board.
And now, check out the ideas we’ve been stewing on for you. (Click the link and prepare for magical transportation to the noted day’s ideas.)
- Father’s Day (6.21.20)
- World Rainforest Day (6.22.20)
- Pink Day (6.23.20)
- World UFO Day (6.24.20)
- Global Beatles (6.25.20)
- Forgiveness Day (6.26.20)
- Great American Campout (6.27.20)
Proverbs 23:24 tells us, that "the father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him." The relationship between a father and a child has the potential to be one of the most precious possible relationships. And if that describes yours, you know how you value it. Maybe it doesn’t though. Perhaps the relationship between you and your father/child leaves much to be desired. If so, we encourage you to think of some man in your life whom you do respect and choose to honor him today. We’ve rounded up several father-honoring ideas for you including gifts, meals, crafts and inspirational stories.
The Giving Assistant compiled a list of unique Father’s day gift ideas. From wearable accessories to food ideas to donation tips, we’re guessing you'll find an idea fit to honor the man in your life. Our choice: a personalized tape measure.
For Father’s Day meal ideas, head over to All Recipes where you can browse Father’s Day meals by type. And, there’s no shortage of ideas. A few we like: Mancakes, Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter, Blue Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms, and Tiramisu Cheesecake.
If you want your learner’s to make crafts for dad check out Good Housekeeping’s list of 17. We really like the idea of the “LEGO Building Memories Jar,” from The Seasoned Mom for younger learners. She suggests using it as future opportunities to build memories. But, as another option, we think you could have your learner record a favorite memory on each Lego. Also, consider including a few blank ones to record future memories.
For older learners, we think their dads will look sharp wearing these learner-crafted typography glasses courtesy of Mr. Printables. You’ll need colorful, thick paper (cardboard even), a craft knife, and the template available from Mr. Printables. With some careful cutting, direction following and a lotta love, you’ll have a craft perfect for Dad in no time.
Finally, we leave you with a few stories about inspiring dads. Perhaps they’ll remind you of the man of inspiration in your life, inspiring you to write your own. If you have time to read only one, we recommend Good Vibrations by Nancy Perkins.
In the end, we really think what that honorable man in your life really would enjoy is hearing from you. To hear you say what he means to you and details about the impact he’s made in your life. We’re willing to bet that would be the most honoring action you could make.
In Psalm 96:12 (TPT) we’re told that every swaying tree of every forest joins in ecstatic praise begun by the sky, chorused by the earth, thundered by the oceans and echoed in the field all in praise to God. Can you imagine? ALL of creation sings praise to God. Now, imagine yourself in the rainforest, surrounded in layers of swaying foliage, hearing each tree joining in. The beauty of a rainforest, already majestic, enhances itself immensely with this imagery. And, what a great reason to delve into the wonder of this diverse and exotic creation that is a rainforest with your learners.
For those Preschool to First Grade learners, read a rainforest book from this list at We Are Teachers, then play rainforest bingo using this board provided by Life over C’s. We love that Life Over C’s not only provides the bingo board, but also preparation tips and additional ideas for play. Our favorite idea: include fun facts about each animal as it’s called.
Of the recommended books (from both sites) we found the following digital versions:
Preschool to First Grade
- Secrets of the Rain Forest by Carron Brown YouTube read aloud by Kari Gulbranson
- Yara’s Tawari Tree by Yossi Lapid YouTube read aloud by Jaclyn Holbert
- Sloths Don’t Run by Tori McGee YouTube read aloud by Blue Room OPFS
- Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck YouTube read aloud by Jeannie Zwahlen
- We’re Roaming in the Rainforest: An Amazon Adventure by Laurie Krebs and Anne Wilson YouTube read aloud by Oatie & Me
Second to Third Grade
- If I Ran the Rainforest by Bonnie Worth YouTube read aloud by Maria Rizo
- The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K. Mitchell via hoopla (YouTube read aloud by Ka Wa)
- The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry via Open Library (YouTube read aloud by Mr. Baker’s Bookshelf)
- Animals of the Rain Forest by Dana Sadan via Open Library (ebook via hoopla)
- Animals of the Rainforest Wildlife of the Jungle by Baby Professor via hoopla
Fourth to Sixth Grade
- Tree of Wonder by Kate Messner via hoopla
- Real-Life Monsters Creatures of the Rain Forest by Matthew Rake via hoopla
- Rain Forest Mammals by Edward Parker via Open Library
- Surviving in the Rain Forest by James L. Castner via Open Library
- Rainforest by Penelope Arlon via Open Library
Your Second to Third Grade learners might best appreciate rainforest majesty through the creation of a rainforest dioramaopen-ended rainforest in a box activity, and inserts interesting facts along the way. We prefer this open-ended design because it allows for more learner creativity. In addition, it gives you room to include your own criteria. To up the learning potential, consider having learners research rainforests first, plan their design, adjust it based on feedback, then create their rainforest in a box.Chester Zoo guides you through an
We bet your Fourth to Sixth Grade learners are naturals at standing up for something they believe in. Help them hone this skill by creating a “How to Save the Rainforest” poster. To get started, read this National Geographic Kids article entitled, “Save Our Rainforests!” and prepare to learn facts about rainforests as well as ideas on how to help them. After reading, make a list of ideas you want to include on your poster. Any idea that is important to your learner and remains on topic is a good idea: facts, actions, pictures, etc. List completed, sketch out general placement designs. Then, work to complete your poster. When you’ve finished, share it! Seek permission to hang it in a public place, take a picture of it and share it on your favorite social media platform, send us a picture and we’ll feature it here at Wolfe Stew, or whatever other way you think of - just get your hard work seen!
We hope these activities reveal some of the majesty of rainforests to your learners, and who knows, if you pay close enough attention, maybe you’ll even hear the whisper of praise swaying through the rainforest branches.
Colors, in general, are cause for celebration. I often say life is more exciting in color. I mean, just think of the disappointment in your learner’s voice when they first notice a film is in black and white. Or, the excitement when they can print a document in color. And pink, well, pink is a special color.
My nephew and I recently finished, Justin Case: Rules, Tools, and Maybe a Bully by Rachel Vail (if you haven’t read this series yet, and you have a 3rd/4th grade learner, I highly recommend it). In this book, Justin, after coming down with a case of pink eye, expresses his firm dislike of the color pink:
“And pink. Stupid pink. What kind of color even is that? Light red? Add white to blue and do you have to give it its own dumb name? No. It’s just light blue. Light green. Light yellow. But with red? Pink.” (Vail, pp.123-4)
It seems as though pink generates strong emotions: you like it, or you hate it. Whatever your feelings of it, we hope you (and your learner) come to appreciate it more after these activities.
Celebrate all things pink with your Preschool to First Grade learner by creating a Pinkalicious Cupcake CollagePinkalicious (via Open Library) by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann. If you prefer, here is a Pinkalicious YouTube read aloud by Storytime with Miss Jeannie. Next, you’ll need to download the cupcake template. Finally, round up craft glue, paint brushes, and pink craft materials. For material ideas, you’ll want to read the suggestions and glance through the pictures at My Little Bookcase. With materials gathered, the only thing left to do is create! Lucky for you, Learning 4 Kids provides you with a few tips and tricks to make the creation process even more enjoyable, while also pointing out the skills your learner develops through this project.
Explore shades of pink with your Second to Fourth Grade learner by painting a red value scale guided by this Utah Education Network lesson plan. A value scale displays gradual variants of a hue (pure primary or secondary color) by adding more and more black in one direction and more and more white for the other direction. Download the worksheets on tints and value intensities, gather paint brushes, water, paper towels, tempera paints – red and white (green if also doing intensity scale), and paint trays (or small containers). Note, because they are making a red value scale, you’ll only need the above colors - green (red’s complementary color) only if also completing the intensity scale. Before beginning this lesson, we recommend you read through the directions. Utah Education Network provided a “Background for Teachers,” section that we find especially helpful. Once you’re comfortable with the procedure and terms, review (or teach) them to your learner using the provided note page for a reference. Next, talk through expectations for use of materials and the procedure. Then, stepping in as needed, let your learner follow the procedural steps to finish the project. If interested, you may complete the project also and compare how your finished project is similar and different to theirs. As an extension, allow them to use only the created tones and intensities to paint a picture (printed or of their own design).
On World Rainforest Day, your Fifth to Sixth Grade learner created a poster to stand-up for an issue. In honor of Pink Day, they’ll get to work on formulating arguments. And, no matter how good they may be at arguing, there is always room for improvement. This topic “Pink is for Boys” may indeed spark strong emotions (YouTube read aloud by DSEA Literacy Channel). To shake up their conceptions, point them to this Mental Floss article: “When Did Pink Become a ‘Girl’ Color?” After reading and discussing it, allow them to state their claim: “Pink is/is not for boys because…”. To help them organize their thoughts, we like this argumentative essay organizer from A Middle School Mindset via Teachers Pay Teachers. Some alternatives to essay writing: record a video of their argument or hold a debate. For any of these options, the organizer will help them think through their thoughts.
As pink seems a polarizing color, often ridiculed when linked with men, we’d like to leave off on this verse that favorably describes the princes of Zion:
Zion's princes were purer than snow, whiter than milk. Their bodies were more pink than coral. Their hair was like sapphires. Lamentations 4:7 (GWT)
What’s your take on UFO’s? Are you a believer? Or, do you just think we have yet to discover what these Unidentified Flying Objects are? Or perhaps you think they’re faked. Whatever your take, we think they’re fun to think about and wonder if your learner will agree. As a side note, World UFO Day is also celebrated July 2nd. So, if you miss out on the festivities, another opportunity awaits.
Using paper plates, a clear plastic cup, a hot glue gun, some basic aft supplies, and a tutorial from Woo Jr., have your Preschool to First Grade learner craft their own! From alien creation to protection zone installation, Woo Jr. guides you through each step (with pictures!) of UFO construction.
Put your Second to Fourth Grade learner on investigative duties by reading UFO related books and recording what they discover using page nine of this “Alien Invasion” activity pack from Chatterbooks. We’re pulling out page nine to maintain focus on World UFO Day, but if you want to jump into this creative activity pack, trust us, we don’t blame you. The list of UFO books we’ve gathered are a mix of fiction and nonfiction. Your investigator's task is to record discoveries about UFO’s from any of these books - fictional or nonfictional discoveries. Allow them to explore, imagine and have fun. And now, here’s our list of books with links to digital versions of UFO reading opportunities for your learners:
Preschool – First Grade
- Take Me to Your BBQ! (Fiction) by Kathy Duval YouTube read aloud by Chelsea Seaux
- Whoa! UFO! (Fiction) by Kirsten Larsen via Open Library (hoopla)
- Rappy Goes to Mars (Fiction) by Dan Gutman and Tim Bowers via Hoopla (YouTube read aloud by Julie Conca)
- Two Little Aliens (Fiction) by Sam Lloyd via Open Library
- Dr. Xargle’s Book of Earthlets by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross via Hoopla (YouTube read aloud by Mrs. Bee)
Second – Third Grade
- Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the U.F.O. (Fiction) by David A. Adler a YouTube read aloud by Hilary Veth
- UFO: Unidentified Floating Object Spongebob Squarepants (Fiction) by Adam Beechen via Open Library
- Arthur and the Comet Crisis (Fiction) by Marc Brown via Open Library
- UFO’s (Nonficiton) by Nadia Higgins via Hoopla
- Company’s Going by Arthur Yorinks via Open Library
Fourth – Sixth Grade
- UFO’s Alien Abduction and Close Encounters (Graphic Mysteries) (Nonfiction) by Gary Jeffrey via Open Library
- UFO’s (Nonfiction) Jacqueline Laks Gorman via Open Library
- UFO’s (Nonfiction) by Emily O’Keefe via Hoopla
- UFOs (The Unexplained) (Nonfiction) by Terri Sievert via Open Library
- Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret UFO’s (Fiction) by Donald J. Sobol via Open Library
Let your 5th-6th design their own on graph paperAfter enjoying a book from the list above, they might improve on a design, compile several ideas to make a unique design, or make a completely new design. Or, they can head over to National Geographic, and get ideas from a graphic of numerous UFO’s available in their “Storming of Area-51,” post. When they are ready to draw ideas on paper, we like Math-Aids printable graph paper. You can choose from scales varying from 1/10 of an inch to a centimeter.
Perhaps as inspiration, or a resource, you could also read to your learner the following Bible verse that depicts an unidentifiable object:
As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud with a fire enveloping it and flashing continually; a brightness was about it and out of the midst of it there seemed to glow amber metal, out of the midst of the fire. Ezekiel 1:4 (AMPC)
“All You Need is Love,” “Imagine,” “Hey, Jude.” What’s your favorite Beatles song? Take this opportunity to (re)introduce your learners to the Beatles today. It’s easy:
Play, sing and dance to someBeatles music, choose your favorite and write about it.
We chose three “kid-friendly” Beatles songs from the list compiled by Fatherly to get your toes tapping and your spirits soaring. Find even more at the Fatherly post.
“She Loves You”
“I Want to Hold Your Hand”
“Twist and Shout”
After you’ve thoroughly enjoyed the music, have your learner choose a favorite and write about it using this template from First Grade is WienerFUL via Teacher Pay Teacher.
My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Psalm 57:7 (NIV)
We know it’s important. It improves our health, our relationships and our personal mental health. But sometimes forgiveness is really hard. Maybe, just maybe, if we teach them how and why to forgive while they’re young it will be easier as an adult. And who knows, maybe we’ll even learn something in the process.
At Mindful.org, you’ll find tips on “How to Teach Kids Forgiveness Skills
BibleWise houses a plethora of well-organized Christian-based forgiveness activities for you and your learner. If we were choosing, we’d first have our learner read the story of Esau and Jacob. You know, the one where Jacob steals Esau’s birthright? BibleWise offers the story in varying levels for: younger kids, older kids, and teens. Next, have them complete the birthright stew maze. (Okay, we’re probably biased in choosing this one, but we’re allowed.) The maze is ideal for younger learners. You might consider having older learners make their own maze, turn the story into a play, or discuss who needed to choose forgiveness in this story and what steps they might take to achieve it. For teens, we also recommend reading and discussing this post on “The Power of Forgiveness” by Marjorie F. Eddington.
Finally, show your learners the science of forgiveness with the aid of the Reader’s Digest article, “14 Things Science Can Teach You About Forgiveness,” by Melissa Dahl. A few that piqued our interest: cats refuse to forgive, you can’t jump as high when holding a grudge, and extroverts tend to be better at forgiveness than introverts.
And we’ll close the discussion of forgiveness with this notable verse from Ephesians:
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV).
Camp, because the Lord commands it:
At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed on; they kept their obligation to the Lord, in accordance with the command of the through Moses. Numbers 9:23 (AMP)
Joking aside, we glanced through this interesting blog at Children’s Bible Ministries about how God uses camping to prepare His followers to serve Him. Knowing it might be a way for God to speak to us, we feel even more inclined to open our hearts, eyes, ears, and mind to Him the next time we go camping.
Before packing for your next camping trip, we think you might find it handy to check out Camping Tips for Everyone. And, we mean EVERYONE. With categories of RV Camping, Tent Camping, Cabin Camping, Car Camping, and Glamping, we can’t think of a type they left out. From each category we found the following tips helpful:
- RV Camping Organization is everything.
- Tent Camping Test your gear before you go camping, including setting up your tent.
- Cabin Camping Make sure you have an accurate picture as to the amenities available in the cabin – (cooking, cleaning, hygiene, water, etc.).
- Car Camping Pack everything in several clear plastic bins for convenient organization.
- Glamping Clearly understand what your glamping experience includes (i.e. cookstove, bathroom, linens) and prepare for the things it doesn’t.
There are many more tips at Camping Tips for Everyone, so make sure you go check them out. Then, go camping! And, yes, backyards count.
Before You Go
We’d love to know:
- Do you love camping? If so, what type of camping is your preference? If not, why not?
- What is your favorite Beatles song?
That wraps up this week’s round up of ideas for every day. Until next week, leaders, we’re sincerely hoping you find the JOY in every day.
At Your Service,