Fall Crafts That Tie In With Literature

Fall is such a wonderful time of the year- especially in the classroom. It’s right after we start the new year and our students are focused and excited. I love bringing the elements of the fall season into our day to day activities and lessons. With all of the colors and activities available, there are so many ways to use fall themes in your lesson plans. 

One of my favorite ways to do that is to look for books with fall or Halloween themes. Finding a good book to read to your class and then doing a corresponding activity is a great way to explore the story more in depth with your students and make a text to self connection. Text to self connections teach your students valuable skills they will need in school and in life. Your students will learn to make the connection between what they are reading and themselves and explore empathy.

My Where’s My Mummy Craft is a fantastic option if you are looking for a Halloween themed activity that is both engaging and fun. 

 

fall crafts

Included in this activity you will get:

  • Mummy craft printable
  • Text to self connection printable
  • “I Want My Mummy” bulletin board display

Start by reading the book “Where’s My Mummy” by Carolyn Crimi to your class. Have your students use the Mummy Craft printable to glue on toilet paper and googly eyes to make their own adorable little mummy. 

This activity focuses on making a text to self connection. Here are questions you can ask your students to get the conversation going: 

  • How do you think the mummy felt in the story?
  • How would you feel if you couldn’t find your parent? 
  • How would you feel when you did find them?

A huge bonus when you do this craft is that it makes great Halloween classroom decor!

fall crafts

Want more fun Halloween activities for your class? Check out my Halloween Bats Escape Room here!

fall crafts

 

Why Escape Rooms Are Great For Elementary

You probably already know that escape rooms have become hugely popular in primary grades recently. They’re exciting, unique, engaging, and make your students think! What’s not to love? They’re perfect for any grade in elementary.

If you haven’t heard of this before, you may be wondering what escape rooms are. 

An escape room is an escape game where your students have to work together in real life to discover clues, solve puzzles, and complete tasks in order to escape. But how do you do an escape room with 5 and 6 year old kindergarten students? 

It may seem obvious, but you don’t actually  need to have expensive locks, fancy boxes, or big prizes. My escape rooms meet standards, don’t need locks, encourage 100% engagement, and get kids to work together in teams to help each other open any box and escape their room. The activities and puzzles are grade level appropriate so they will be just challenging enough to be fun. 

My escape rooms have 3 to 5 tasks for students to solve in order to get their next clue.  They also have video hooks to build anticipation. You can make it fun by letting them escape the room and go to recess, the library, or really get the excitement up with a cookie party!

Escape rooms make a GREAT Halloween activity, especially. The Halloween theme will add a spooky and fun twist. 

This Halloween Escape Room is for kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students. It includes step-by-step instructions that will guarantee student engagement while your students work together to find the missing classroom pumpkin that was stolen by the werewolf.

escape rooms

Check out this escape room Halloween Mystery video to hook them in! 

 

Want to see this Halloween Escape Room in action? Check out this fun video from The Magical Teacher to see how she used in her classroom for a thrilling Halloween mystery. 

 

 

Do you use escape rooms in your classroom? Let me know in the comments!

escape rooms

Looking for more Halloween activities, check out my post here for Halloween crafts and center ideas! 

Johnny Appleseed Activities for Kids

Hi Teacher Brains!
Can you believe tomorrow is the first day of fall???? In some ways this year is going by fast.  In other ways it is dragging on forever. Education is happening and teachers are heroes for so many students and families who need some kind of normalcy for them to keep the faith that we will get through these difficult times.  I hope you and your family are well!

September 26th is Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday.  This was my favorite time to teach about apples and make homemade applesauce.  The easiest recipe is to use a crockpot, add your peeled and cubed apples with a 1/2 cup of cinnamon red hots! (Yes, the candy!) It adds the sugar and cinnamon.

Interesting FACT about Johnny Appleseed

Did you know that the part we leave out when we teach about his life to young children is that the apples were not ones for eating.  They were bitter, so we used them to make hard apple cider.

I want to make your workload lighter, so let me share some Johnny Appleseed resources that can help!

APPLES Activities

Johnny Appleseed Escape Room (see video example below)

Apple Math Activities
Apples Glasses
Johnny Appleseed UNIT (30+ Pages)

Johnny Appleseed Activities Hat Printable


FREEBIE ALERT ——->>>>>> Halloween Sticker Story AND Reading Comprehension Passages

Follow my TpT Store to always be first to know about 1/2 off items and sales! CLICK HERE

Check out my other blog post with more Apple Activities!

Remember, the more you KNOW, the more you GROW!

All my best,

Cindy

Teaching Forms of Energy

Energy is the ability to do work. We know this, and we appreciate the ways we use energy in our everyday lives. For our students however, this is not necessarily something they would think much about. Our kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade students may not even know a lot about the energy they use every day like sunlight, food, and electricity. They also may not think of light, sound, and heat as types of energy. This is a very important topic for students to understand. 

Something that is important is to know your students’ misconceptions. Most likely, they don’t know what energy looks like. They may think that light can’t move through objects. They may have never thought about vibration creating sound. Teaching these concepts can be really fun with a little prep work!  

Here are some tips for teaching energy forms to your students. 

  • Take it slow. It can be a challenging concept for younger students to grasp at first. You don’t want to overwhelm them right from the start. Plan it out ahead of time and take it one step at a time. 
  • Explain what energy is first, and then start offering examples of energy (sound, heat, and light). Breaking it down will make a difference in student comprehension. 
  • Try reading some books about energy forms. Usually, books are a great way to learn more about subjects from a different source, which can be a great thing for the trickier topics. 
  • Do a variety of activities to get lots of practice. You can do fun science experiments if you want, or you can keep it simple and straightforward. Tell your students that they are the scientists and their job is to understand forms of energy. 

This Forms of Energy Activities resource for kindergarten and first grade would be a great addition to your forms of energy lesson plans. It covers sound, heat, and light with a 3 week plan including 3 inquiry lessons, data notebook, rubric, home project, and more. forms of energy

Here’s some more information on what is included in this Forms of Energy resource:

Lesson Plan (What is a Scientist?) WEEK 1

Lesson Plan (Science Tools) WEEK 2

Lesson Plan (Scientific Method) WEEK 3

Act It Out (Teacher calls out the energy word, students act it out)

Draw or List forms of energy

Forms of Energy Writing and Drawing Printable

Forms of Energy – Heat, Light, Sound Interactive Notebook Page

Energy Mini-Book

Venn Diagram – compare fire and the sun

Ask a Friend – Practice collecting data, predicting and collecting evidence

I SPY Sound Items

Draw what you think sound looks like

Interactive Notebook pages for making a pocket full of things that make sound

Sound Energy Mini-Book

Venn Diagram compare the soft sound of the beach to the loud sound of the music room at school

Writing Page about Sound Energy

Draw 3 forms of energy in the circle.

Inquiry Lesson Light Experiment with various Items to see if light passes through

Inquiry Student Page to collect

Hear and See Sound Experiment

Hear and See Sound by showing vibration

Melting Ice Teacher Instructions for Inquiry Lesson

Student page to collect data on melting ice experiment

Fun Science Hat/Headband 

What is energy? Poster

Vocabulary Posters (sound, soft, vibrate, loud, heat, light)

Energy Notebook Journal with Rubric

Forms of Energy

 

What activities do you like to do to help your students understand forms of energy? Let me know in the comments below!

forms of energy
For more science activities and lessons, check out my post here!