July - An Idea for Every Day - Week 4

As we near the end of July and the days get shorter, we realize our time for summer is coming to an end too. Likely, thoughts of school are buzzing through your head: "How's it going to be different this year? What can I do to make my learner feel safe and secure? How long will this last?" These questions zoom through my head too, leader. And we need to muster our courage and lead with confidence knowing God goes before us and walks alongside us. We are never alone. Standing in the love and grace of God, we lead with confidence knowing that because God is fearless, we can be fearless too! We will face this next school year, with all of it's uncertainty and unfamiliarity, with confidence - because we lean on Our Rock who never changes. Taking confidence in God as a cue, our learners will bloom. He knows the plans He has for us, and we trust in that. Period.

In an effort to aid you in finding encouragement for each passing day, we've paired activities (academic, social emotional or entertaining) with daily holidays. Check out the upcoming holidays ranging from July 19, 2020 to July 25, 2020 (click the link to "jump" to the correlating day's description).

  1. Ice Cream Day - In-the-bag and machine made ice cream recipes.
  2. Moon Day  - Reading, creativity building, speaking skills, longitude and latitude, science (geology and astronomy), following directions, and impact craters.
  3. Junk Food Day- Nutrition, informational and narrative writing, alphabetic knowledge, fiction reading, debating, decision making, and collaborating.
  4. Hammock Day - Four varieties from which to choose - following directions, weaving, art, organization, problem-solving, and engineering.
  5. Gorgeous Grandma Day - Noticing details, drawing, writing, and social skills.
  6. Amelia Earhart Day - Biographies, character traits, and timeline creation.
  7. Merry-Go-Round Day - Encouragement to get out and play. Plus a link to a virtual carousel.

And check out all the different ways we're plating them for you.
  •  July Calendar – Ideas at a glance with clickable links for you advanced planners. And, it's completely finished.  Take a peek.
National holidays paired with academic (social emotional and fun) ideas for EVERY day in July.
Above is only a graphic. Get your copy when you click here!
And now, without further ado, check out all the ideas we've been stewing on for you.

Sunday, July 19, 2020 - Ice Cream Day 

Machine required and in-the-bag options.
Ice Cream photo by Lukas via Pexels

"There is nothing better for people to do than to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in their work. I saw that even this comes from the hand of God.Ecclesiastes 2:24 (GW)
We think indulging in ice cream after a long day's work in the heat of summer is an especially joyous way to "find satisfaction in your work." And to help you find that satisfaction, we've been stewing on a few recipes for you.

In-the-Bag Ice Cream

  1. For chocolate-flavored ice cream without a machine, visit In the Kids Kitchen. With only four ingredients and some common supplies, your kids will shake up ice cream in no time. What's even better, In the Kids Kitchen explores the science behind ice cream making magic.
  2. Find vanilla ice cream at Kidstir. It's a similar recipe, without the science lesson, and with, well, vanilla.

Machine Ice Cream

  1. Baker Bettie claims the best ice cream is made with a custard base, and when you try her recipe, she'll take the time to prove it to you.  She'll discuss the benefits of machine-made versus no-churn methods, share tips before starting, detail every step of custard creation, explain why you should chill the mixture, tell you what to expect while churning, guide you through the finishing process and suggest ice cream variations. As you can see, you're in dedicated hands with Baker Bettie.
  2. For an easier option, visit Barefeet in the Kitchen for a Philadelphia-style ice cream. She'll talk to you about mix-in options, pairing ideas, why she favors this recipe, how to make it and variations to it. 
No matter what recipe you try, we're thinking you'll find ways to put your own spin on them. When you do, we'd love to hear the combinations you tried. I could always go for some fresh fruit mixed in; what about you? We're curious: which type of ice cream is your go-to treat? And if not ice cream, in what type of food do you find satisfaction?


Monday, July 20, 2020 - Moon Day

Academic activities for moon day.
Moon image by Pixabay via Pexels
To Him who made great lights,
For His mercy endures forever - 
The sun to rule by day,
For His mercy endures forever; 
The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His mercy endures forever.
As a child, when we drove at night and passed the moon, I'd always pray "I see the moon and the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me." The moon surely is a "great light." Take the time to consider it with your learner.

With your Preschool to Second Grade learner, we recommend reading Regards to the Man in the Moon and we don't think you'll regret it (links to a YouTube read aloud). In Keat's book, one of our nephew's favorites, learners are gently cautioned against judging, while boldly encouraging them to "use your own imagination." Fueled with the book characters' ingenuity, have the learners work together to make their own rocket ship out of recycled materials with this lesson plan from EzraJackKeats.org. Next, they'll plan then share a story of their adventure through space.

Expose your Third to Sixth Grade learner to reporting locations using longitude and latitude and making geological interpretations with this Apollo Landing Sites lesson from NASA. To complete this lesson successfully, you'll also need access to a lunar sample disk (links to pictures at NASA) and a moon globe (links to Google Moon, which also marks the landing sites). 

For a hands-on activity, make impact craters with your Third to Sixth Grade learner and this NASA lesson.  Round up small objects to represent meteorites (marbles, golf balls, ball bearings, etc.); a large, plastic tote; dry, powdery material in various colors (dry tempera paint, powdered drink mix, etc.); a ruler; a food scale; and surface-protecting material and use them in impact crater creation and measurement with this NASA lesson plan. You learner will carefully record measurements before and after dropping impactors from specified heights and graph the results to record the data.

From now on, when you see the moon, may you really see it. See it as a sign that God's mercy endures forever. Rest in that. Then, when you're ready, thank God for the blessing of the moon and the blessing of His enduring mercy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - Junk Food Day

Related academic activities
Donuts photo by Sharon McCutcheon via Pexels

Some of you say, "We can do anything we want to." But I tell you that not everything is good for us. So I refuse to let anything have power over me. I Corinthians 6:12 (CEV)

Junk food is an object that easily claims power over us. We reach for it when we're happy, sad, socializing, tired or bored. It serves to comfort us. We hope these ideas we've been stewing on help you approach the topic of junk food in a fun and nonconfrontational way. 

Your Preschool to First Grade learners will find Little Pea, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, hilarious. It's about a pea who has to eat candy every day for dinner and DOES NOT like it. They'll laugh out loud when they see what his dessert is when he finally eats the candy. Deborah Moran is ready to guide you through Little Pea before, during, and after activities at Better Lesson. You'll start with modeling clay and end with a healthy ABC book.

Gregory the Terrible Eaterby Mitchell Sharmat and illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey, is a fun book about a goat who frustrates his parents by eating human food instead of junk, and we think it's ideal for your Second to Third Grade learner. Open this PDF file for Wolf Creek's lesson plan for healthy eating instruction. We suggest using this My Plate coloring page (PDF) for gluing on pictures of their choices in the described activity. Integrate writing by having learners add a scene that describes Gregory eating their plate.

What exactly is "junk food" anyway? Gather your Fourth to Sixth Grade learners and have them answer that question. Without using any resources, other than the power of their own mind, learners draft a definition of junk food (Lexico's definition as a model), elaborating with examples and nonexamples. Next, propose the idea that "junk food" is an outdated, ambiguous term and task them with choosing a better one. After groups settle on alternate "junk food" names, have them prepare to defend their proposal. Noisy Classroom outlines five detailed steps in debate preparation that your learner might find helpful.  We especially like the suggestion that each argument should be named with a title no longer than three words. After learner debates, determine which alternate "junk food" name wins based on the strength of the team's debate. 

In the end, we all realize it's not as much about staying away from the junk food as it is limiting it's power. It really is okay to eat, just don't let it overtake you.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - Hammock Day

Three hammock making ideas plus a STEM challenge
Hammock image by freestocks.org via Pexels

But so many people were coming and going that Jesus and the apostles did not even have a chance to eat. Then Jesus said, "Let's go to a place where we can be alone and get some rest." Mark 6:31 (CEV)
Even if hammocks aren't pictured in the scene where you go alone to rest, you're likely to agree that many do find hammocks relaxing - a gentle swaying between two trees. Sounds nice, doesn't it? Sway into engaging hammock learning with these ideas we've been stewing on for you.

  1. Make a table hammock with Just a Mum New Zealand, a Queen-sized sheet and a strong, sturdy table. 
  2. Weave a hammock for your learner's toys with Tinker Lab, paper plates, yarn, scissors, and Popsicle sticks or chopsticks.
  3. Organize your locker with a locker hammock and PBS's Design Squad.
  4. Design your own hammock in this STEM Challenge from The Secret Life of Homeschoolers. Using only natural materials, your learner will build a hammock that can hold an Barbie-doll sized figure.
To be honest, I've never been in a hammock. We bring them with us when we go camping and the kids spend a good deal of their time playing in them. But, for me, the image of getting stuck in one prevents me from enjoying the gentle swaying between two trees. Who knows, perhaps one day I'll shove that fearful thought to the side and find them to be "a place where I can be alone and get some rest."

Thursday, July 23, 2020 - Gorgeous Grandma Day

Ways to honor Grandma.
Grandma photo by Edu Carvalho via Pexels

I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and now, I am convinced, is in you also. 2 Timothy 1:4-6 (CSB)
Likely, your grandmother's name is not Lois, nor your mother's Eunice, but think about the significance behind these words; your strong and honorable qualities likely appear in you because of your upbringing, and those traits were learned from previous generations. It is worthwhile to take the time to enjoy, recognize and communicate the gorgeous qualities of a grandma in your life.

Have a gorgeous grandma fashion show with your Preschool to First Grade learners, drawing on tips from Coolest Homemade Costumes. Encourage your learner to reflect the gorgeous qualities of their gorgeous grandma when designing their outfit.

Equip Second to Third Grade learners to draw a picture that honors their gorgeous grandma. Practice with this "How to Draw a Grandma" tutorial from How to Draw Funny Cartoons. Then, choose details to add or replace that fit the gorgeous grandma in your life. Combine the two - basic grandma drawing and specific details - to make your own gorgeous grandma drawing. As the purpose behind this activity is to showcase the gorgeous grandma in your life, make sure your learner's work is at its finest.

Commemorate your gorgeous grandma by having your Fourth to Sixth Grade Learner write a page to add to Anne Sawan's and Sernur Isik's book What Can Your Grandma Do? (links to a description of the book at Celebrate Picture Books). In What Can Your Grandma Do? Jeremy struggles to find his grandma's talent to display at a school talent show. We think your learner won't struggle nearly as hard as Jeremy when they choose what talent their gorgeous grandma would share at a talent show.

Gorgeous Grandmas are also sure to appreciate a letter from any age learner. Use this template (from Scholastic) to help with the wording or write your own. 

In a culture that tends to favor youth, it's important to remind our loved ones how beautiful they are to us, inside and out.

 

Friday, July 24, 2020 - Amelia Earhart Day

Related academic activities.
Amelia Earhart photo licensed under CC BY-NC-ND
 Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies, because the 
Lord your God is the one who marches with you. He won’t let you down, and He won’t abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (CEB) 
I wonder if Amelia Earhart ever clung to this verse. Doubtless this woman faced impossible odds, fierce critics and dangerous undertakings. Yet, she overcame. Discuss personality traits that helped Amelia succeed with these activities we've been stewing on for your learner.

To share Earhart's story with your learners, choose a book from this We Are Teachers' booklist. We found the following resources digitally:

Preschool to First Grade

Second to Third Grade

Fourth to Sixth Grade

After familiarizing your learners with Earhart's story, make a list of positive personality traits that Earhart exemplifies with your Preschool to First Grade learners and the help of this character trait list from Teacher Vision. The list is divided by value traits, physical/emotional traits, and personality traits. Of course, if your learner thinks of traits not on the list, they are welcome to; we just wanted to help you get started. After identifying several of Earhart's personality traits, distribute this Amelia Earhart coloring page from PBS. Learners write personality traits of Earhart's that they personally admire in the white space then carefully color in Amelia.

For Second to Sixth Grade learners, a timeline serves as an efficient summary for Amelia's life. Simply have them note key events in her life, with the date, and place them in chronological order on one side of this Eduplace timeline. Then, draw a small sketch to represent the event on the other side. Alternatively, you can always have your learner make their own timeline. A quick (and we think fun) way to do this: put masking (or painter's) tape on the wall. As you read through her story, note significant life events each on a separate sticky note, making sure to prominently feature the date. When the story ends, order the events chronologically and stick them to the wall. Finish it up by drawing illustrations to accompany each life event.

With a model like Amelia, it's encouraging to believe that with strength and fearlessness we can persevere and achieve! Especially with a God like ours marching by our side.

Saturday, July 25, 2020 - Merry-Go-Round Day

Get out and play!
Merry-Go-Round photo by scross2601 via Pixabay
And boys and girls will fill the public parks, laughing and playing—a good city to grow up in.  Zechariah 8:5 (MSG)
The merry-go-round, a favorite childhood piece of playground equipment, is now difficult to find. If you can find one in your area, and you're able, head outdoors and "fill the public parks with laughing and playing."

If you can't then here's a virtual option for you courtesy of Bob Gurr via Facebook. Perhaps see if you and your learner can mimic a makeshift merry-go-round with materials from home. Of course, ring around the rosie is always a viable alternative. 

Before You Go

We'd love to know:
  1. Which of these days are you most anticipating? 
  2. The name of a "Gorgeous Grandma" in your life.
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.

Comments

  1. Wow, great ideas. I'll be incorporating them on my blog and IG page soon :)

    COT | Changeoftomorrow.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Talk about uplifting our spirits. We'll be sure to come visit your corner of the 'net soon!

      Delete

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