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

 

Reading Comprehension Strategies

Learning to read is a huge accomplishment for students. Going from needing help with books to being able to read it by themselves is a big deal! Sometimes, however, actually comprehending what they are reading can be a little more challenging. 

It is important to know how to read, but it is even more important for them to understand what they are reading. It is not only an absolutely necessary  life skill, but it can open up a whole new world and encourage a love of reading. 

Here are some strategies that you can use to help your students achieve reading comprehension and fluency. 

  • Find books your students will love. Finding the right book can make all the difference when students are learning to read. Books that they will enjoy will inspire them to put in the work and understand the words they are reading. 
  • Read aloud. Encouraging students to read out loud can get them plenty of practice reading and it can also help you identify where they might be struggling. 
  • Use metacognitive strategies. These can be great for increasing reading comprehension. For instance, pausing while reading aloud to ask the student to vocalize their thoughts can help them to understand what they are trying to comprehend. 
  • Reread sections that are confusing. Making sure to revisit difficult sections until they understand is important. It can help better identify where they are struggling and work together to understand. 
  • Use a ruler or finger to follow along. Helping students stay on track while reading can help them follow along with the story and decrease the risk of confusion. 
  • Write down words you don’t know. Writing it down and working on it will help them better remember it in the future. 
  • Discuss what the child has just read. Having a discussion can help the student think through what they just read and also help you point out areas they might be struggling in. 
  • Recap and summarize the main points. This will be great practice for students working on their comprehension. 
  • Reading passages and answering questions. Find some fun and engaging reading comprehension activities for your students to practice with. 

Great news, I created some fun activities to help with this!

These reading comprehension activities are perfect for helping students get more practice and achieve fluency. They are set up through Google Classroom so they are distance learning friendly. These include written instructions, listening options, drag to complete the sentence activities, word families, and 20 reading comprehension passages and questions. 

This option is perfect for Kindergarten and 1st grade. 

This option is perfect for 1st and 2nd grade.

 

Reading Comprehension Activities

 

Want more information on reading comprehension? Check out my post here to learn more about my strategies. 

 

Do you have any strategies for helping your students with reading comprehension? I would love to hear in the comments!

 

Read Across America, Book Tastings and MARCH Lesson Plans

Hello Teacher Brains!

I hope you all have ready for some March fun with your students!  My dad would say, “Work hard and play hard.”  So, before you hit Spring Break, let’s talk about a lot of work that has gone into helping to ease your workload, but still makes you look like you have been laboring 24/7!

No More Seuss?

Next week is Read Across America Week.  Did you know that they are rebranding?  The week is no longer limited to Dr. Seuss for the celebration.  They even have a new logo that appeals to students of all ages, backgrounds and will celebrate a nation of diverse readers.  Of course, who doesn’t enjoy dressing up like Dr. Seuss characters and serving green eggs and ham, but now the new theme is opening ideas for more activities and resources to encourage reading!

This brings me to my NEW baby! Okay, it’s not a human baby, but I birthed it! Lol

Book Tasting Escape Room

I loved the idea of doing a Book Tasting for the celebration, but I also love doing Escape Rooms.  So, I made a resource to include both! Check it out!  You just add books, plates and tablecloths to the celebration while students discover a challenge and work to beat the clock by “tasting” different book genres.  The genres include non-fiction, fiction, biographies and poetry.  There is a fun video to use at the beginning to HOOK your students.  You can decorate your room simple with adding plates and table clothes or go all out making it a Harry Potter theme or Pizza restaurant.  The sky’s the limit!

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon too! This is one of my favorite weeks with leprechaun footprints, glitter and messy rooms.  Here are some of my favorite resources:

St. Patrick’s Day Escape the Room K-3

St. Patrick's Day Escape Room

Leprechaun Headband (hilarious!  The kids love this one!)

Rainbow Craft

How to Catch a Leprechaun Writing

The Paper Leprechaun Activity

Lucky Charms Sorting and Graphing

Leprechaun Unit with Writing and Crafts

Color by Sight Word St. Patrick’s Day Edition

NEW *****NEW****** NEW ******NEW ********NEW

If you Give a STEM Challenge!  This is my new series of STEM activities that relate to Laura Numberoff  books.  She is one of my favorite authors.  I was even LUCKY enough to meet her one time when I first began teaching.  She inspired me to be a writer.  I have two completed.

If you Give a Mouse a Cookie has students reading the story and building a mouse house!  This one is good for primary and intermediate students with different activities to differentiate in a SNAP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Give a Pig A Pancake has student reading the story and building a treehouse for the pig’s brother. So much fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you need editable word wall templates?  Well, I have you covered with this download.  Just type your words in the text boxes provided, pick your favorite fonts and colors to match your room!

Editable Word Wall Templates

FIRST GRADE TEACHERS,

Check out the 120th Day of School Mystery Escape Room!

I hope you all have a fantastic month! Make sure you are subscribe to my website newsletter so you can keep up with new releases, teacher-author courses and giveaways.

Sprinkling Lucky Fairy Dust on YOU so you can have a great month!

-Cindy

Strategies for Teaching Comprehension

As if teaching the basics of reading is not enough, you are responsible for teaching the most important skill of reading… comprehension.  So your students can read.  GREAT! But, if they can’t understand what they read… Huston, we have a problem.  I always wondered when I would see posts that say, “If you can read this, thank a teacher” how many people can’t read it?  How many can read it, but still don’t understand what it means?  While looking at ways to improve your literacy instruction, try these 5 strategies to improve reading comprehension.

  1.  Activate Prior Knowledge
  2.  Questioning
  3. Analyzing Text Stucture
  4. Visualization
  5. Summarizing

When you use these five strategies, students will begin to comprehend naturally.  Activating prior knowledge is one of my favorite ways to engage students in reading.  Research has shown that comprehension improves when students are engaged.  What better way to engage students than to bridge their old knowledge with new knowledge? For example, if we are going to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, I might ask students to share stories of when they saw a caterpillar or when they felt really hungry.  You will notice that when one student shares a story, they usually all do.  That should not irritate you.  When students are all wanting to share their prior knowledge, YOU GOT THEM!

Of course improving vocabulary skills, fluency, phonics and phonemic awareness are ALL pieces to the puzzle when it comes to comprehension.  Teaching reading can be complex with all the skills needed to be competent readers. Using the five strategies suggested is a great way to ensure students are comprehending what they read.

Narrative, History, Dream, Tell, Fairy Tales, Book

Here are some free reading passages with questions for you to enjoy.