August - An Idea for Every Day - Week 4

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

Do you ever feel as though you’re fighting an uphill battle? One step forward, then pulled back? I don’t know about you, but for me, things haven’t felt “normal” since February, and in the upcoming days all I continue to see is uncertainty. As an individual who plans her planning, uncertainty frightens me. So how do we keep going?

For me, it’s not me. It’s God. In the face of all this uncertainty, I cling to my Rock – the one who has been and always will be certain. I trust He’ll guide me through with His gentle hand and will restore peace in my soul, both in daily snippets and eventually as a season. What about you? How do you get through your uphill battles, your seasons of uncertainty? We’d love to hear your method, if you’d care to share. Comment below, email us (mr OR mrs@wolfestew.com) or connect with us on social media (buttons at the bottom of post).

Please know, that if you, too, find yourself amid an uphill battle or season of uncertainty, you’re not alone. We’re right there with you and we’re pulling for you to get through it; just as we trust you’re likewise rooting for us!

In this post we hope you’ll find a foothold to help pull you up and out of your battle in the form of an idea for every day of August’s fourth week to use with your preschool to sixth grade learner. In choosing daily holidays and pairing them with learning ideas from around the ‘net, we hope to bring engagement and joy into your learning day. For August 16th to 22nd, we’ve chosen the following holidays (followed by a brief listing of practiced skills or activities).

  1. Daffodil Day (8.23.20) Crafts for learners and leaders, history
  2. Strange Music Day (8.24.20) Music (developing preferences, analyzing, eras, world music, genres); Math (bar graphs; interpreting data) 
  3. Banana Split Day (8.25.20) History (inventions); Oral Communication (debate); Literacy (supporting opinions with textual details; following directions); Cooking; Art (communicate ideas); Math (measurement, counting, number recognition)
  4. Toilet Paper Day (8.26.20) Social Studies (traditions, cultural perspective, tools, inventions, current events); Technology (meme generation, graphic design tools); Writing (informational, graphic features)
  5. World Rock, Paper, Scissors Day (8.27.20) Reading (following directions); Social Studies (traditions, cultures); Writing (informational)
  6. Power Rangers Day (8.28.20) Reading (answering questions, comprehension, drawing conclusions); Physical Fitness (exercise plan, exercise videos, nutrition planning) Writing (descriptions, character creation)
  7. Speak Kind Words Saturday (8.29.20) Biblical and secular activities and articles to encourage kindness in leaders and learners.

And, we’ve been stewing on complementary ideas for you. Look at all the ways we’re plating those stewed-upon ideas:

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


Sunday, August 23, 2020 – Daffodil Day

Learning resources for preschool to sixth grade.
Daffodil image by David Jakab via Pexels

Yellow, white, pink or orange, daffodils are a cheerful flower. While commonly celebrated in spring, we think they’re worthy of a day in late summer too, especially considering their tendency to spread good cheer. So, whether you buy a bouquet, check out pictures online, or complete one of our stewed-upon activities, we do hope today your daffodil display adds cheer to your life.

If you’re interested in the evolution of the daffodil from its wildflower predecessor, visit American Meadows. It begins with the tulip’s story and progresses into the story of the daffodil. Use the headings to skip to daffodils if you find tulips less interesting or if you are keen on keeping with the integrity of this day. We especially enjoyed learning the origin story of the daffodil’s scientific name: narcissus.

To bring daffodil cheer into your home, consider crafting one. We discovered three variations in increasing levels of difficulty.

The simplest, a potato stamped 3D daffodil, resides at I Heart Arts and Crafts and corresponds well with last week’s potato day (post at Wolfe Stew). Combine the two days for enhanced learning opportunities or make this daffodil artwork to hang on your wall post haste. Unlike last week’s potato stamping, this activity requires no carving – only cutting.  In addition to a potato and knife, you’ll need an egg carton, scissors, yellow and green paint, card stock, a paint brush, and these directions from I Heart Arts and Crafts. Jackie Cravener, the author, guides you step-by-step and picture-by-picture through the process. We’re confident entrusting you to her more than capable hands.

Or, make an egg carton daffodil bouquet with Itsy Bitsy Fun. These daffodils are slightly more challenging than the previous ones; they require punching holes in the egg cartons. But, once finished, the cheer exuded by the daffodil bouquet will make your efforts feel worthwhile. You’ll need an egg carton, green flexible drinking straws, yellow and orange paint (preferable but other coloring media will also work), glue, scissors, toilet paper roll, colored paper and a decorative strip (ribbon, or you could add your own design) and the directions from Itsy Bitsy Fun. Be sure to read to the end where a helpful tip is offered.

Share daffodil cheer with your neighbors when you hang this daffodil wreath (from There’s Good in Store) on your front door. To craft the wreath, you’ll gather white and yellow paper, cotton swabs (Q-tips), food coloring, scissors a Styrofoam wreath and the directions from There’s Good in Store. As you read through the directions, you’ll discover the parts her kids most enjoyed and what happened when they decided the wreath was complete, but she didn’t agree. Also, if you’d rather not make a wreath, she suggests an alternate display toward the end of the post.  

Wouldn’t it be fun to add this William Wordsworth quote somewhere on your daffodil art?

Then my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils.

If you make one of these daffodil crafts, send a little cheer our way, won’t you? We’d love to see your finished product! Email us a picture (mr OR mrs@wolfestew.com) or message us on social media (buttons at bottom).

   

Monday, August 24, 2020 – Strange Music Day

Related learning resources for preschool to sixth grade
Headphones image by Kabomaics via Pexels

What’s strange to one is not necessarily strange to another; “strange” is a relative term. And that’s the learning objective in these ideas we’ve been stewing on for you.

You’ll begin by exploring music from various genres, cultures or eras. Consider using the following musical organization systems to explore:

  • World Music at All Around this World. The link brings you to All Around this World’s “Listen” page where you’re invited to explore music sorted in lists by geographic region or displayed on an interactive map (which invites you to discuss the relative location of the music’s origin). This really is a treasure trove of resources. Each region has at least ten full length songs with videos (sometimes Jay; sometimes regional performers and sometimes both) that sometimes are accompanied actions, lyrics and possibly additional lesson plans, but are always accompanied by a description. Check out this “Senzenina” page (from South Africa) as an example which has ALL of the above options available. While there are MANY free resources, Jay (the page owner) also offers an online class and livecasts. Even if you don’t want to engage in Strange Music Day, we HIGHLY recommend that if you’re teaching music to your kids at all, you check this site out!
  • Eras of Music at Classics for Kids. At this link, you’ll find a musical timeline with a brief description of each musical era. Click the desired musical era link to learn more about the era, discover prominent era musicians, and (when available) listen to era music.
  • Genres of Music at DK Find Out. DK Find Out offers an introduction to basic music genres including African Music, Blues, Celtic, Classical, Country, Dance, Gospel, Indian, Jazz, Pop, Reggae and Rock. You’ll learn when the genre emerged, a description of its distinct qualities, influences on the genre and iconic genre musicians. Unfortunately, DK Find Out does not provide listening samples. We suggest browsing Pandora, Spotify or YouTube for each genre. The only trick here, is making sure they are child appropriate. To be on the safe side, consider selecting a few options in each genre beforehand.

You’ve chosen the way you’ll browse music (by location, era or genre). Now, it’s time to start the exploration! Before listening to each song, write the title on a post-it note. Then, after listening, categorize the piece (based on your opinion) as “strange” or “not strange” by stacking sticky notes above the corresponding label to make a bar graph (how-to explained by Post-It.com). Discuss the qualities that justified the placement. Lead a discussion to help learners conclude that the exact qualities that make music “strange” to one might endear it to another.

We’d love to know what music you found “strange” along with your rationale for labeling it strange. We’ll give your chosen tune a listen and give you our honest opinion of whether we’d label it strange or not also. Comment below, email us (mr or mrs@wolfestew) or message us on social media (buttons at bottom).

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” - Rumi

 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 – Banana Split Day

Preschool to sixth grade learning resources.
Banana split image via pxfuel

I love banana splits. Okay, that probably goes without saying because I’m the one who chooses the focus days and I chose banana split day. But regardless, I love them. And, while we have the proper dishes for them and all, we really don’t eat them all too often. However, that just means when we do eat them, I enjoy them that much more. What about you? Do you enjoy banana splits? If so, then share your love with your learner and these ideas we’ve been stewing on for you.

First, learn the history with American Profile. Did you know there is actually a rivalry over who actually invented it? Neither did we. Learn about it in this article. Consider having your learners choose a side and debate or select details from the text that support their choice.

The expected activity, of course, would be making a banana split. And, you could go the traditional route of three sundaes nestled between bananas, or you could try a new recipe with Brit Co’s round up of 15 ways to try the banana split before the end of summer. And, as summer ends in less than a month, you better get to making. How to decide which ones to make?

  1. You decide. Executive decision, and sometimes, leaders, you deserve to choose.
  2. Select one based on ingredients you have on hand.
  3. Let your learners choose their favorite and vote. If you have a large group, consider forming teams to craft arguments for their selection.
  4. Go with our choice. Our executive decision: the Banana Split Crepe Burritos courtesy of My Modern Cookery. Although, if I’m being honest, I’d totally be up for trying out all 15 of them.

After choosing the type of banana split you’ll make, have learners submit their order by coloring. If you went the traditional route, this may be as simple as coloring the ice cream and toppings according to their liking. If you’re fashioning a new recipe, do your best to represent it using the coloring sheet as a template. To amp up the creativity, start with a blank page and let your learner draw a plan to invent a completely unique banana split creation.

Wrap up by crafting and enjoying their planned banana split, featuring that gentle curving smile of a fruit.

 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 – Toilet Paper Day

Preschool to sixth grade learning activities.
Toilet Paper image via pxfuel

I really hope it’s not too soon, but given our current history, I simply could not pass up on featuring Toilet Paper Day. While we sincerely hope your toilet paper is in good supply, we thought now would be a good time to encapsulate current history with your learners through these ideas we’ve been stewing on for you.

To document the recent role of toilet paper in a culturally relevant way, have Preschool to Third Grade learners create a meme and Fourth to Sixth Grade learners design an infographic that narrates its role in the time of COVID. Here are some resources you might find helpful in achieving this goal:

  1. Mental Floss Article – tells the history of toilet paper. Don’t judge; it’s interesting! We’re willing to bet you’ll even learn a thing (or two) about it. One (cringe-worthy) thing we learned: Romans used sponges and salt water. This fact certainly helps us appreciate toilet paper all the more.
  2. CNN Article – summarizes the toilet paper role in the time of COVID, for the learners who are unaware or need more details. While their work should include personal history, exposure to broader perspectives provides a deeper understanding of a topic. The article offers conjectures as to the cause of the toilet paper crisis, almost certainly a source of interesting infographic details.
  3. Imgflip – an online meme generation tool with a library of pictures from which your learners may choose. You choose the picture, write the text, then generate your meme. Meme generation is a fun way to implement technology for your younger learners! Just make sure to sit with them through the process, some images might be questionable. We didn't find any questionable ones when we tested it out, but they likely exist. If you'd rather error on the side of caution, explain what a meme is, show them a few samples and have them draw their own. 
  4. Canva – an online graphic design tool with many free resources. This links you directly to their infographic maker. Choose a template, then customize each text box. We’d recommend having learners complete a rough draft on paper before opening Canva, as it’s easy to lose sight of your goals with all the options Canva offers. When on Canva, have learners first focus on inputting the information, then altering customization.

Here’s to hoping this post finds you with both a well-stocked supply of toilet paper and knowledge regarding the relatively modern yet not globally accepted invention. And, as always, if you’d like to share, we’d love to see. Send your learner generated memes or infographics our way through email (mr or mrs@wolfestew.com) or social media (buttons below).

 

Thursday, August 27, 2020 – World Rock, Paper, Scissors Day

Preschool to Sixth grade learning activities
Rock Paper Scissors image licensed under CC BY-SA-NC

Which is your go-to choice: rock, paper or scissors? Did you know there is an actual strategy to winning this game? I didn’t either! Naïve me thought it was a game of chance. However, admittedly, one I rarely chose because it did seem as though the results always tilted in someone’s favor – due to timing issues or predictability. Regardless, Rock, Paper, Scissors is a long-standing, worldwide hand game with Japanese origins; inevitably one your learner already knows. But if not, it’s time to introduce it to them. And, if they are already familiar with the game, then they’re ready to learn more with these ideas we’ve been stewing on for you.

Because rock, paper, scissors is a widely known and played game, the first thing you’ll want to do is settle any disputes on how it’s played. Begin by eliciting learner input: “How do you play rock, paper, scissors? What variations do you know?” Then, show them the official rules (from World Rock Paper Scissors Association) and inform them that today, these are the rules all will follow.

And of course, there’s always the history (also from the World Rock Paper Scissors Association) to talk about too, and an interesting history it is. The World Rock Paper Scissors association organized the information by headings and features a timeline at the bottom of their post. Have learners discuss the history in pairs while playing rock, paper, scissors; each time someone wins, they get to contribute a new fact. Then, have them write to share their learning with others.

  • Preschool to First Graders can draw a picture and write a description (with this template crafted for you by Wolfe Stew) to represent the fact they want to share.
  • Second to Third Graders choose three related facts to write a complete paragraph about rock, paper, scissors. Print off your Wolfe Stew crafted draw and write paper here, if you’d like.
  • Fourth to Sixth Graders challenge what you thought you already knew about rock paper scissors in a blog post, news video or social media post.

Did you know that this game, played worldwide, likely originated between 206BC and 220AD? So, when you play rock, paper, scissors, you’re engaging in a long-standing tradition. We’d love to know, are you a rock, paper, scissors playing purist? Or do you deviate from the rules?

 

Friday, August 28, 2020 – Power Rangers Day

Preschool to sixth grade learning activities.
Power rangers image licensed under CC BY-NC

I actually am not a Power Rangers fan (shhh). In fact, I’m wondering right now why I included it on this list. Perhaps it was more enticing than other days, or maybe I thought little learners might like it? I don’t know. Regardless, we did find some complementary Power Rangers learning activities to stew on for you, and we hope you like them. Who knows, maybe I’ll give them another chance?

Which one are you? Find out in about five minutes with this quiz at Zoo.com. Older learners should be able to complete it independently, while little learners may need a little help. The only question we struggled with regarded the villains of the show, and it’s likely because we’re not fans. If you could use a refresher (or introduction) to the Power Ranger’s nemeses, this Fandom site has a comprehensive list.

Or better yet, why not create your own Power Ranger. Start by writing a description (the template on page 3 of this Capstone Kids PDF will help organize your learner’s thoughts) of your Power Ranger including personality, suit color, likes and dislikes. For inspiration, base your Power Ranger off your own personality traits, likes, dislikes and favorite color. Or, if you’d rather not base it off yourself, choose someone close to you, a favorite character, or make your own. Finally, select a Power Ranger coloring page (from Coloring-Book.info) or draw your own, designing it to suit your Ranger’s story.

It’s morphin’ time! Now that you know your Power Ranger color, suit up and Train hard with your Preschool to Third Grade learner when you undertake this 10 day empower challenge from Young Minds Inspired. With Power Ranger graphics and encouragement throughout, your mini ranger will encounter a variety of physical health topics including nutrition and exercise. Also, train like the rangers as each one shows you their favorite move, like the crab crawl. And, check out even more videos on the Power Rangers EmPower YouTube page. Have Fourth to Sixth Grade learners create their own workout and meal plan using a combination of the resources on the page.

Did you take the Power Ranger’s Quiz, leader? If so, we’d love to know: which Power Ranger are you? I’m the Blue Ranger and the Mr. is the Black Ranger.

  

Saturday, August 29, 2020 – Speak Kind Words Saturday

Learning resources and activities for leaders and learners
Be Kind image by Randalyn Hill via Unsplash


When given the choice between hearing a kind or harsh word spoken about you, the obvious choice is the kind one. The Bible says, “Kind words are like honey – sweet to the taste and good for your health" (Proverbs 16:24). Yet, if we’re honest, kind words spoken about others are often ones we have to choose to speak. They tend to be intentional rather than instinctive. Today, let’s do something about that; let’s actively choose to speak kind words. If you’re in need of motivation, check out these resources we’ve stewed on for you.

This quick read at Michael Hyatt will guide you through “Harnessing the Power of the Tongue.” We like how he focuses on the enormous power our words have and how to use our words in an encouragingly productive way by defining three characteristics of wholesome speech. The characteristic giving us the most food for thought: Wholesome words are timely.

For Biblical encouragement, consider reading Wolfe Stew’s very own "Lent Challenge" post. Yes, we realize it’s not lent. However, the challenge to which I subjected myself was speaking kind words. We hope this blog is useful to you as it provides actionable steps, verses, support and questions to ponder if you’re ready to actively choose to speak life-giving words. And you know what? I’m right there on the journey with you!

For learners, we direct you to Ministry for Children. Even if you’re searching for non-Biblical motivation, the activities (mentioned at this paragraph's end) here presented are effective and suitable for ANY environment. The lesson titled “Using Words to Encourage,” is based on verses found in Proverbs 12. With a memory verse, Bible reading, two activities, review and conclusion, this lesson guides your learners to understanding the weightiness of their words. The activities, you’ll likely find familiar: writing a positive statement on a separate page for each kid and playing telephone.

All in all, I think the lesson to learn here is: the more kind words you speak the more good you’ll do. And with this sentiment, the Bible agrees:

 “A good person’s words will benefit many people, but you can kill yourself with stupidity." Proverbs 10:21

Go on, leaders, let’s choose today to speak life.

  

Before You Go

We’d love to know:

  1. How you top your banana split.
  2. How you cope amid an uphill battle or season of uncertainty.

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,

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