August - An Idea for Every Day - Week 3

 Welcome, leaders, to Wolfe Stew. We are SO glad you’re here.

Since the last post, we have been stewing on activities for you to use with your preschool to sixth grade learners for every day of August’s third (yikes) week. We chose daily holidays and paired them with learning ideas from around the ‘net in an effort to bring engagement into your learning day. Check out the chosen holidays along with a brief description of practiced skills for the week spanning August 16th to 22nd. (Click the link to go directly to the described day.)

  1. Tell a Joke Day (8.16.20)  Resources and tips for leaders and learners
  2. I Love My Feet Day (8.17.20) Health science (personal hygiene, foot anatomy); Art (painting, following directions, planning, imagining, making connections)
  3. Mail Order Catalog Day (8.18.20) Research Skills, Writing (opinion and persuasive)
  4. Potato Day (8.19.20) Science (plants, culinary, energy); Art (carving & printmaking); Physical Education (throwing and catching, aim, speed)
  5. Mosquito Day (8.20.20) Reading (folktales); STEM (insects, problem-solving, engineering solutions) 
  6. Poet’s Day (8.21.20) Reading (poetry); Speaking and Listening (recitation); History (changes in poetry across time, notable poets)
  7. Eat a Peach Day (8.22.20) Types and eating suggestions

Good list, right? And, I think we’ve stewed on some pretty good ideas for you. Look at all the ways we’re plating them up for you:

And now, without further ado, check out all the ideas we've been stewing on for you:

Sunday, August 16, 2020 – Tell a Joke Day

Resources and tips for adults and children
Girl Laughing image by Andrea Pacquadio via Pexels

Knock. Knock. 

Who’s there?

Interrupting cow.

Interrupting co…

Bok, bok, bok, bok, bok, bok-bok-bok-b-o-o-o-o-k.

It still makes me laugh, typing it now. Perhaps it’s due to the ridiculousness of hearing the absolute wrong answer, or maybe it’s because it was told to me by my niece (5 at the time) and therefore a combination of the unexpected answer and the cuteness of her personality embeds it deeper in my laughter sensors. It remains my favorite joke to this day because of the memory. What’s yours?

Well, lucky you, today you get to tell all your favorite, and maybe some new, jokes. It’s Tell a Joke Day. If your joke-telling skills are a little rusty, or you’ve run out of good quality material, have no fear, we’ve been stewing on joke-telling ideas for you.

First, you need some joke telling tips. Leah Green offers some at The Guardian. If you want to cut to the chase, scroll about halfway down the article and you’ll find the heading “What I Learned,” in boldface type. Here you’ll find five concise joke-telling tips. We need to work most on tip five: Relax. What about you? Which of the five tips do you most need to work on?

With your list of tips in hand, you now need some material to practice them on. We’ve uncovered some joke finding resources for you and your learner in both online and print options:

Learners

  • Online Option Funology. Choose from categories of animal, bird, bug and insect, holiday, knock knock, mix & match, outer space, riddles, seasonal, and other. One we found that made us chuckle: “Why did Mozart sell his chickens? Because they kept saying ‘bach bach!’” Hmm…. I’m beginning to notice that apparently I think chicken jokes are funny.
  • Print Options joke books suggested by We Are Teachers with recommended age groups.  For each age group, we’d choose the following:

Leaders

  • Online Option Jokes of the Day. Not only can you view and vote on the jokes of the day, but you can also browse their archives. Archive categories include: short, policeman, lawyer, Christmas, Friday, beer, blonde, doctor, Thanksgiving, Monday, April Fool’s Day, Halloween, or you can browse by date. The favorite joke of the day when we browsed: “A sweater I bought was picking up static electricity, so I returned it to the store. They gave me another one, free of charge.”
  • Print Options suggested and categorized by Spy. Each joke book selection was intentionally made for men, women, children and gifting (among others). The joke book these authors named the funniest: The Comedy Thesaurus (links to Goodreads) featuring a variety of artists and alphabetically arranged to ease your search for specific topics. 

We’re dying to read your best (kid-friendly) joke. Go on. Leave it in the comments, email it to us (mr OR mrs@wolfestew), or connect with us on social media (buttons at the bottom). 


Monday, August 17, 2020 – I Love My Feet Day

Complementary preschool to sixth grade resources at Wolfe Stew
Feet in the Rain image by Alicai Zinn via Pexels

Honestly, I don’t love my feet. I’m ashamed to say that. I hardly ever see them; I stuff them in socks all day long. I remember a time when flipflops reigned and tennis shoes only appeared prior to strenuous activity. But today, it’s quite the opposite. Indeed, a pair of flipflops I don’t even own. Perhaps activities done today will help me reconnect with my feet. If you need to reconnect with yours, or you’d like to inspire your learner to love their feet, then you’d love to see these activities we’ve been stewing on for you.

Teach your learners how to care for their feet  with this post at Kids’ Health. There, they’ll learn about foot anatomy, cleaning, problems, problem prevention and facts. We learned that wearing open-toed shoes as much as possible helps prevent ingrowing toenails. So, perhaps I need to buy a pair of flipflops after all!

So, while inside, shed those shoes. And, since you’re already barefoot, why not make art with your lovely feet. We’ve gathered up some ideas for you and put them on our Pinterest board. When we clicked the link, however, it took us to the August page instead of the “I Love My Feet Day” section specifically. If it does the same to you, just scroll down until you see the “I Love My Feet Day” heading. Otherwise, Google more foot art options, or go with the ones we feature below.

Preschool to First Graders plant their foot on a plate to make this adorable baby shark (pin uploaded by Robin Daniels via Pinterest) craft. It looks to us as though you’d have your learner follow these steps: 1) Use blue paint to make the ocean. 2) Let it dry. 3) Let your leader paint your foot gray, then carefully step on the middle of the plate with your wet foot. 4) Allow the paint to dry while you clean your foot. 5) Decorate the baby shark with googly eyes and permanent marker. 6) Carefully title your art with Baby Shark or (name of learner) Shark. Of course, the whole time you’re working, you’d be missing out on an opportunity if you didn’t listen to Baby Shark (links to YouTube video by gongbearcute) and practice the dance moves during drying times.

Get your Second to Third Grade learners ready for back to school with this foot pencil craft uploaded by Philly Mean Mugs on Pinterest. Learners this age are likely ready to see the end product and devise a plan to get there. You are more than welcome to try it out this way. Display the picture and ask your learner the steps they’ll take to achieve the desired end product. If you’d like, turn it into a procedural text writing opportunity. If you like using templates with your learner, we like Jacinta H.’s procedural writing template via Teachers Pay Teachers. It contains all necessary components (title, goal, materials/ingredients, steps and conclusion) in a simple design. If, however, you’d rather jump in feet first, we’d suggest the following procedure: 1) Paint your feet yellow 2) Carefully step onto the middle of a piece of paper with your wet foot 3) Clean your foot while the paint dries. 4) Draw and color in a dark gray rectangle topped by a pink rectangle above the toes of your painted foot impression. This will represent the eraser and the metal piece that attaches the eraser to the pencil. 5) Use a yellow marker and ruler to draw diagonal lines from the sides of your foot to make the pencil point at the intersection. 6) Draw a horizontal line that connects with the two diagonal lines to separate the lead from the wood. 7) Color or paint the wood with tan and the lead in black.

Let creativity guide your Fourth to Sixth Grade learners in this open-ended art activity. Begin by having them paint their foot (any color) and make a footprint on a piece of paper. Next, have them determine what to make out of their footprint. The book, It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Green Shaw (via Open Library), might be good inspiration here. Once they “see” something in their footprint and have planned how to bring it out, let them get to work. Here is one example of what they might create – a footprint T Rex (uploaded by Courtney Gawel to Pinterest). If you’d like to limit their choices, give them a theme; it could even involve a current topic of study - plants, animals, geographical features, book related, famous people from history etc.

If you want to share your foot art, we’d love to see. Email us a picture (mr OR mrs@wolfestew.com) or contact us on social media (buttons below). 


Tuesday, August 18, 2020 – Mail Order Catalog Day

Complementary Preschool to Sixth Grade resources at Wolfe Stew
Catalog image by Micheile Henderson via Unsplash

Do you get any? We get Oriental Trading, MindWare, and Lakeshore Learning. I think that’s it; although I’m likely missing a few. Do you remember getting any as kids? I don’t know if Scholastic counts, but I remember Scholastic, the BMG music club, and Olympic Sales Club. Well, if you don’t already get mail order catalogs for your learners, I have to tell you our learner loves looking through our Oriental Trading catalog. He’ll circle every item of interest to him and some that he thinks we will find useful for varying reasons. You know, we’ve found a few ways to turn Mail Order Catalog Day into a learning opportunity. Check out these Mail Order Catalog learning activities we’ve been stewing on for you.

Have your learner browse Catalogs.com’s children’ssection and choose a catalog that interests them. To make the selection process easier, preselect options for them - opening a separate tab for each magazine of consideration. You know your learner best, so choose a number of options they can handle. We’d suggest fewer options (3-5) for younger learners and more for older (7-10).

Once they’ve chosen their catalog, have them formulate an opinion statement (PreK-1st Grade template by 1st Grade is WienerFUL via Teachers Pay Teachers), opinion paragraph (2nd-3rd Grade OREO template by Scholastic) or persuasive paragraph (4th-6th Grade persuasive writing templates via Daily Teaching tools – click the link for persuasive and expository essays) about what makes it the best choice.

We’d love to read your learner’s opinions or persuasive writing pieces. Send us a copy via email (mr or mrs@wolfestew.com) and we’ll be sure to get back to you!


Wednesday, August 19, 2020 – Potato Day

Complementary Preschool to Sixth Grade Resources at Wolfe Stew
Potato image by Lars Blankers via Unsplash

Po-ta-to. Say it with me. I know it gets a bad rap, and we’re not just talking aluminum foil, but poor potato really is not as evil as it’s made out to be. If you want to read more on the potato, head over to our post, “10 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know about the Potato.” If you’re already team potato and ready to smash potato learning, check out these fun activities we’ve been stewing on for you.

Potato Experiments

Everyone loves a good experiment, and we’ve rounded up three smashing suggestions for varying age groups.  

Let your little sprouts (Preschool to First Grade learners) grow their own sprouts in this Science Buddies activity. You’ll need a knife, peeler, cutting board, sweet potato, measuring tape, toothpicks, cups, a warm, sunny window and ten weeks’ time. Every third day, you’ll make potato observations on peeled and unpeeled halves. Then, after ten weeks you’ll decide whether peeled or unpeeled potatoes grow the most sprouts. Science Buddies’ resources include background information, a materials list, a thorough procedure guide with a data collection sheet, variation suggestions and additional potato learning opportunities.

We think your Second and Third Grade learner would like to know how to make a crispy French fry. And with this experiment at Science Buddies, that’s exactly what they’ll figure out. You’ll need potatoes, some common kitchen utensils and ingredients, a lab notebook and 2-5 days’ time. The variable you’re testing: soaking the potatoes. Science Buddies’ resources include background information, a materials list, a thorough procedure guide with a data collection sheet, variation suggestions and additional potato learning opportunities.

Power up your Fourth to Sixth Grade learner’s understanding of energy with Teach Engineering’s Potato Power lesson plan. Using pennies; nails; wires with alligator clips; a low-current, light emitting diode clock; potatoes and an included worksheet, learners will power a clock using their potato. Teach Engineering hosts a video demonstrating the process; a summary; engineering connection description; listed learning objectives and educational standards; a detailed materials list (including an option to buy a kit from Amazon); downloadable worksheets; an introduction; background information; procedure explanation; related vocabulary with definitions; pre, during and post activity assessment opportunities; troubleshooting tips; extension activities; and scaling suggestions.

Potato Art

Put your mark on your art when you use potato prints. Fun Stuff to Do will walk you through this addicting art activity. She starts with an explanation of how to use a cookie cutter (PreK-2nd Grade) as your stencil for making your stamp and ends with open-ended inspirational ideas (3rd-6th Grade), including what to do with your potato prints. From creating pictures to making wrapping paper to decorating fabrics, there’s no doubt about it, Fun Stuff to Do knows their way around potato prints.

Potato Fitness

When it comes to thinking of potatoes and kids, the game hot potato always comes to mind! Visit Care.com for the classic and variations.  We like the “Take a Step Back,” variation. In this game, suitable for small groups, each player takes one step back at the end of each successful round of play. Successful meaning the “potato” was never dropped.

 As you see, a potato really is useful in more than just your stew. Although we’ll admit, it’s good there too!


Thursday, August 20, 2020 – Mosquito Day

Complementary Preschool to Sixth Grade Resources at Wolfe Stew
Mosquito image by Egor Kamelev via Pexels

Bzzzz. Smack. You missed again. Those mosquitoes are annoying! Anyone else the one who ends up with 10 times the bites of everyone else around them? Find out some reasons why, and engineer mosquito repelling solutions with the help of this literacy unit and Mystery Doug investigation we’ve stewed on (and taste-tested) for you.

Have your Preschool to Second Grade learner discover why mosquitoes buzz with this folktale unit from As We Walk Along the Road that features activities to support the book Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema. We suggest, before you read the book or dive into the activities, that you ask your learner why they think mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears. Have a conversation about their thinking. Write their ideas down. Expand on them. Then, when you’re ready, pull out the book and read it together. Finally, choose from the activities provided and suggested at As You Walk Along the Road. Her activity pack includes vocabulary practice and story sequencing cards, a cause and effect worksheet, pages to narrate a retelling and an onomatopoeia activity.  We’d choose the narration, but opt to have our learner write a story to support their own explanation for why mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears.

Task your Third to Sixth Grade learner with devising a plan to get rid of them with the help of this Mystery Science investigation. During at-home learning last spring, my nephew and I worked our way through this investigation and learned a lot from it! If you have yet to discover Mystery Doug and his Mystery Science investigations, I am thrilled to introduce him to you.

Mystery Doug creates free weekly videos that seek to answer an audience-generated question, a question that every viewer gets to vote on the previous week. These videos, typically five minutes or less, easily fit into any routine, are highly engaging and informative. We highly recommend them to every leader of every learner. Sign up here to receive a weekly Mystery Doug delivery to your inbox.

Mystery Doug is also the creator of Mystery Science. When I homeschooled three students in three grade levels, these Mystery Science investigations were my science curriculum. The lessons range from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade, follow an inquiry-based model, meet Next Generation Science Standards, are easy-to-prep, have teacher-friendly instructions, are high interest, include several extension opportunities and offer assessment options. At that time, I was able to secure a free membership to most of the lessons. Right now, it looks like they are currently offering a limited number of free memberships weekly. So, if you teach science, and are searching for a curriculum, we recommend you head over there pronto and sign up today.

Now, this mosquito investigation that my nephew and I completed is one of their free lessons, and trust me, it does not disappoint. This lesson was offered as part of their do-it-from-home, print-only-resources-required lesson packs offered during the COVID-19 stay-at-home spring learning period. During the investigation, you’ll learn about a town plagued with mosquitoes. You’ll hear from experts in various fields and engineer a mosquito repelling plan to prevent problems at various locations throughout the town. For extension activities, you’ll find additional reading opportunities, videos, activities and an assessment. The ones we chose: Bugged (via hoopla, epic!); 46-Million-Year-Old Mosquito (via YouTube); and Mosquito Metamorphosis Wheel (via Bug Out BVI).

Who knows? Perhaps after all this mosquito learning, the next time you hear or encounter one, maybe you’ll find them interesting as well as annoying.


Friday, August 21, 2020 – Poet’s Day

Complementary Preschool to Sixth Grade Resources at Wolfe Stew
Rose in Book Image by congerdesign via pixabay


You’re a poet, and you didn’t know it. Trite, I know, but true. There’s a poet in all of us, it just reveals itself more readily in some than others. While the poet learning activities are limitless, the ones we’ve stewed on for you this week focus mostly on experiencing and reciting established poet’s poetry. So open that mic and polish up those pieces, then prepare for a poem performance that pleases.

Choose Your Poem

Explore online (with The Children’s Poetry Archive) or in books (Book Riot booklist) for a poem that excites.

The Children’s Poetry Archive is an ideal site when searching for kids’ poetry because all poems are age appropriate; you can search by type, poet, theme, age range or open query, and all poems have audio recordings. We enjoyed “Please do not feed the animals…” by Robert Hull.

Book Riot recommends 50 poetry books for kids sorted by age bracket. From each bracket, we’d check the following out first:

Explore poetry across time by having learners choose preferred poets to feature on a timeline (search Poetry Foundation by school/period – make sure to select the “suitable for children” tag on the side). After choosing and recording a poet from each period, take a moment to discuss what they notice about the change in poetry over time. Then, have them select their absolute favorite poet from the timeline. Finally, instruct them to select a poem from their preferred poet’s complete work to bring into the recitation stage.

 Practice Recitation

After poem selection, it’s time to prepare for recitation. Get your learner ready using these tips from Poetry 4 Kids. Kenn Nesbitt, the owner of Poetry 4 Kids, provides many recitation suggestions, but the one we love most is to have fun doing it. After all, if you’re not having fun, your audience will know it.


Saturday, August 22, 2020 – Eat a Peach Day

Identify by type and ways to enjoy them at Wolfe Stew.
Peach Basket image by u111116 via pixabay

Juicy, soft, fuzzy flavor sliding down your chin. Now this is a day to literally sink your teeth in. Whether fresh and raw or prepared with love, peaches and resulting dishes are something we think of. If you’re in search of peachy inspiration, then check out these preparations we’ve stewed on for you.

You likely know there are different types of peaches, but do you know which type is best for eating, how to ripen them, or which type to cook? To answer these questions and more, check out this Good Housekeeping article.

Now that you know more about types of peaches, it’s time to discover new ways to eat them. We like Butter with a Side of Bread’s list because it’s simple, yet full of variety, with raw and cooked options available. One we’d like to try: peach ice cream.

 

Before You Go

We’d love to know:

  1. Would you rather perform poetry or tell a joke?
  2. What positive event from last week are you carrying with you into next week?

That wraps up this week’s ideas for every day, leaders. Thank you for choosing to spend part of your day with us. Until next week, we sincerely hope you find the JOY in every day.

At Your Service,

Free PreK-6th Grade Educational Resources!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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