July - An Idea for Every Day - Week 3

If you're looking for ways to celebrate every day with your learner, we've been stewing on some ideas for you. We've chosen holidays for every day this third week of July and paired them with academic, social emotional and just plain fun activities for you and your learner.  

We'd love to hear from you! If you find an activity you really enjoy, let us know. Perhaps you make an adaptation that added depth, variety or fun, we'd love it if you'd share. Did one of these activities just not work? Or perhaps you found a better one. We'd like to hear about it so we might make our list even better. After all, a stew improves with variety of ingredients and depth of flavor. The flavor you have to add is what our stew is lacking. To get in touch with us - find us on social media (buttons at the bottom of post), email us (contact form below or mr@wolfestew.com or mrs@wolfestew.com) or leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

Here's a list of the daily holidays ranging July 12, 2020 to July 18, 2020 (click the link to "jump" to the correlating day's description).
  1. Simplicity Day - Resources to inspire simple living.
  2. International Town Crier Day - History, reading descriptions, following directions, writing, rehearsing, performing.
  3. Cow Appreciation Day - Reading, empathy, recognizing positive attributes, critiquing, advertising effectiveness, evaluating, creating advertisements, art, writing, decision making.
  4. Give Something Away Day - Family challenge ideas.
  5. World Snake Day - Reading informational text, taking notes, informational writing, art, following directions, fine motor development, patterning.
  6. World Emoji Day - Acting, problem solving, communication, summarizing.
  7. World Listening Day - Ideas to improve your listening skills.

And check out all the different ways we're plating them for you.
And now, without further ado, check out all the ideas we've been stewing on for you.

Sunday, July 12, 2020 - Simplicity Day

Resources for living a simple life.

Succulent by Scott Webb via Unsplash

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out." I Timothy 6:6-7 (DRA)
An iconic example of this verse in the flesh is doubtlessly found in Henry David Thoreau who experimented with simplicity for two years, two months and two days at Walden Pond. There, his goal was “deliberate living” on only the “essentials” to learn what this type of living had to teach (American Society of Authors and Writers). 

The idea of this day is to embrace simplicity in life. For inspiration, we point you to Thoreau’s Walden (via Open Library), Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (links to a Medium post about the book by Dan Silvestre; alternatively, consider the Netflix show, “Tidying Up”), or Joyce Meyer’s 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life (Open Library).

“In short, I am convinced, both by faith and experience, that to maintain one’s self on this earth is not a hardship but a pastime, if we will live simply and wisely… It is not necessary that a man should earn his living by the sweat of his brow...”—Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Monday, July 13, 2020 - International Town Crier Day

Related learning activities for your preschool - sixth grade learner.

Town Crier image by Birmingham Museums Trust via Unsplash

It is our job as believers to be town criers, of sorts. We are to spread the good news:

"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? even as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!" Romans 10:14-15 (ASV)
We are called to bring "glad tidings of good things," and that's one honor town criers faithfully fulfill.  What is a town crier, you may ask. A town crier is an announcer, an old-fashioned loudspeaker, if you will. If you had a message you wanted all to know, a town crier would be your delivery portal. Of course (unlike us), they didn't get the liberty of only announcing the good news; news of every type they were expected to report: deaths, tax increases, hangings, etc. 

Invite your learners to read all about them at Historic UK (the same place we did). Then, head over to YouTube to show them a town crier in action.  Next, they'll need to know the specific requirements to become one, which they'll learn at Do It Properly. Your town crier will need a message to announce, and they'll need to write it themselves. Luckily, this PDF document provides town crier announcement writing advice. Your learner must now practice message delivery according to Do It Properly's requirements. Once satisfied, have your town crier deliver their announcement to the intended audience.

Aren't you glad you were called to be a bearer of only the good news? While I'll likely not follow the same rules of a historical town crier, I'm overjoyed God entrusted me to speak His truth and life to any and all who care to listen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - Cow Appreciation Day

Cow learning activities for preschool to sixth grade learners.
Eat Mor Chikin licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

Just how do you appreciate a cow? Well, the Chik-Fil-A cows have an idea for you: "Eat Mor Chikin."  Invite your learners to appreciate cows (and chicken) by engaging in some of these ideas we've been stewing on for you.  

Your Preschool to Third Grade Learners will likely identify with Marjorie the cow's struggle with insecurity in the book, The Cow that Laid an Egg by Andy Cutbill (links to a YouTube read aloud by Auntie Lee Reads). When the book ends, discuss positive attributes of a cow. Then, have your learner record their favorite attribute(s) on this cow coloring page from Coloring Home. Vary the amount of writing required, the specificity of attributes and aesthetic expectations to the needs of your learner.

Explore previous Chik-Fil-A campaigns with your Fourth and Sixth Grade Learners. Choose two or three favorites and discuss what makes them effective. Then, head over to Cascade Business News for their top ten advertising tips. As you read each tip, discuss attributes of the learner-selected Chik-Fil-A ads that demonstrate its usage. Equipped with the knowledge of effective advertising techniques, charge your learner with creating an original, "Eat More Chikin," campaign targeted toward an audience of their choosing. 

While we had a lot of fun putting together the above activities for you, I'd like to ask you to stop for a moment and envision a life with no cows. No milk or dairy products. No steak, ice cream or butter. There's a verse in Habakkuk that reminds us that should there come a time when there are no cows, we are called to exult the Lord anyway:
Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 

Next time you see a cow, take a moment to exult the Lord who remains steadfast in His provision.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - Give Something Away Day 

Family challenge idea.

Tomato Garden image by Elaine Casap via Unsplash

Challenge your family to go through their personal belongings with the purpose of choosing an agreed upon number of items to donate.  Or, have each member choose a special item from their personal belongings that they think another person (friend or family member) will appreciate, and give that item away to that person. Remembering that: 

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

Thursday, July 16, 2020 - World Snake Day

Snake learning activities for preschool to sixth grade.

Rattlesnake Rodeo image by Carol M. Highsmith via rawpixel.

Ssssso, you want to sssstudy ssssnakesssss. 

Start by learning the basics with DK Find Out. Record what they learned using one of these ways:
  • Preschool to First Grade Use this snake coloring page from Mom Junction to record short phrases, new vocabulary or wonder questions as takeaways from their reading. To make a class book, have learners write a complete sentence along the bottom, color in the snake and compile. 
  • Second and Third Grade Kid Zone created a mini snake book template for your learner featuring a charming cover and pages reflecting a KWL chart: What I know/want to know/learned about snakes. Simply have your learner complete the relevant pages before (know and want to know) and after (learned) exploring the DK Find Out site.
  • Fourth to Sixth Grade If an open-ended option is your quest, Kid Zone also created this snake shape book that we believe will match your query. Your learner may fill the empty snake shaped pages with whatever type of snake script they desire or you require.
A snake book list is also featured at the Kid Zone snake shape book page. Of the mentioned books, we found the following digital options for you:

Fiction Books

Nonfiction Books

Then, get their creative juices flowing with one of these snake crafts:
  • Preschool to First Grade Learners develop fine motor and patterning skills when they create these pipe cleaner bead crafts with Artsy Craftsy Mom.
  • Second to Third Grade Learners fold paper back and forth accordion style to make these silly snakes featured at Easy Peasy and Fun (A favorite of mine since childhood, especially with "throw-away" edges from the old-fashioned printer paper. Anyone else?)
  • Fourth to Sixth Grade Learners get the opportunity to showcase their artistry, direction-following ability and attention to detail with this slithery snake craft from Super Simple. 
Perhaps following your sssstudy of ssssnakessss you'll learn from their cunning. The Bible does ask you to afterall:
“I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. So be as cunning as snakes but as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16 GW

Friday, July 17, 2020 - World Emoji Day

Do you speak frequent emoji? Or does the thought of them leave you frustrated? Regardless of your feelings, I have a feeling emojis are here to stay. And if you see them as modern day hieroglyphics, you’ll have to admit, they've been around a lot longer than you or I. So, considering that they’re an enduring form of communication, I'd say they're worth looking into. To help you in your emoji education endeavor, we've been stewing on a few ideas for you:

Our first idea was for you to play Emoji Charades with your learners. And then, much to our surprise, we discovered there's an app for that. Download Emoji Charades! (on the app store or Google Play) for the digital version. You create emoji strings which serve as clues to aid your teammates in guessing the answer. To play the game in print format, visit Paper Trail Design, print and prep the emoji faces, and use clues from Get Charades Ideas (or generate your own).

Likely, after playing emoji charades, your learner is more comfortable in emoji communication. So, it's time to take the learning up a notch. Enter emoji story-telling. Introduce the idea by asking learners to identify common book titles from provided emoji strands (PreK-2 and 3-6). Next, put your learner to the test! Using a string of emojis, have them craft their own story summary for others to interpret.

Throughout your emoji education endeavors, when you're choosing which emojis to use, just remember that:

Kind 🗣️are like 🍯.
    They are 🍬to the 👻 and bring 🩹to the 🦴 

Proverbs 16:24 (NIRV) *emoji emphasis mine*


Saturday, July 18, 2020 - World Listening Day

Resources that develop listening skills.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19 (NIV)
I feel like I could just stop there. Yet, I know how difficult being quick to listen and slow to speak can be sometimes. Especially when you're angry. So, to aid you in your quest at becoming a better listener, might I point you in the following directions?

If you're looking for a quick read with easy-to-follow directions, this Forbes article lays out ten steps to becoming a better listener. The step I most need to work on is "Step 7: Ask questions only to ensure understanding." What about you? Of the 10 steps, which provides you with the most opportunity for growth?

Perhaps you want a more interactive, indirect and alternative approach to listening skills. A mindful one. If so, then you might try going on a sound walk. On a sound walk, you stroll without talking while observing the sound atmosphere around you. Hildegard Westerkamp further defines and provides sound walking tips. Our favorite tip: listen with your eyes closed as much as possible. 

Want to try sound walking with your kids? Buggy and Buddy created a sound checklist to help your learner explore their sound atmosphere. You could also create your own by predicting what sounds they think they'll hear, recording these predictions, and checking them off as they hear them. Or, simply provide them with paper, pencil, and clipboard. While on the sound walk, they'll jot down as many sounds as they can. Do it with them and compare at the end, if you'd like. 

With practice, better listening is possible. It starts with acceptance of needed improvement, followed by intentional steps toward that end. And, trust me, it's not an easy process. Yet, with resolution and an overabundance of grace it can happen. I'm cheering you on, dear leader! And, please, cheer me on in return (it's truly a never-ending process of growth).

Before You Go

We'd love to know
  1. Which of these days are you most anticipating?
  2. Do you find more need for personal growth in living simply or listening better?
Until next week leaders, we're sincerely hoping you find the JOY in every 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.  


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