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Showing posts with label crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crafts. Show all posts

Life Cycle Ideas and Activities for Hands-on Learning Fun!

Do you teach about life cycles? 

Here is a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Why is it important to teach about life cycles?

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Teaching young people about life cycles is a great way to help them understand the world around them. It helps them connect with nature, and develop a sense of life patterns. 

 I typically start any unit with plenty of books on the topic, and here are some of my favorites! (Can you tell who my favorite children's non-fiction author is?) Each image is an affiliate link to Amazon.

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You can find more books on life cycles HERE! (Also affiliate links!) In my classroom, I'll read a few, then leave several different life cycle related books out for them to read on their own. (The librarian/ media specialist is your best friend!)

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Start with something small, with just a few parts to the life cycle. Flowering plants, such as sunflowers or daisies are a great place to start, since these life cycles are very basic. After going over one or two simple life cycles, advance to something else children enjoy and know something about like apples or chickens!

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Then do a few more together. Advance to something more complex and fun, like the butterfly or the frog!

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

There are so many plants and animals out there, each child can have plenty of options for exploring on their own!

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Then assign research. More advanced students can do all the research on their own. Average students can do some research on their own. Some students will need extra guidance. I highly recommend using the text pages from these collections:

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!
 Spring Life Cycle Bundle: 9 different plants and animals (dandelions, cherry trees, bees, Monarch butterflies, chickens, robins, salmon, earthworms, and rabbits)

Summer Life Cycle Bundle: 9 different plants and animals (watermelons, daisies, strawberries, tomatoes, frogs, praying mantises, sea turtles, ants, and ladybugs)

Fall Life Cycle Bundle: 8 different plants and animals (apple trees, corn, pumpkins, sunflowers, owls, spiders, bats, and wild turkeys)

Winter Life Cycle Bundle: 9 different plants and animals (orange trees, cocoa trees, pine trees, deer, groundhogs, harp seal, penguin, polar bear, and puffins)

Why are these sorted by season? Well, because it's more fun! I'm sure you know how excited the kiddos get about special events and holidays! Use that excitement in your classroom! Let them explore pumpkins and bats near Halloween! Let them explore pine trees and deer around Christmas!

All these life cycle sets are sold separately, but the bundles are at a huge discount. Plus, all bundles include these two extra resources: 

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!
Reader's theater about life cycles: What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg? This is a great way for students to share what they've learned and culminate the unit! Plus, there's a song for performers to sing as a finale!
Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Digital fun! Life Cycle Fun Facts! This resource (hosted on the popular Boom Learning platform) includes facts and questions about a plethora of plant and animal life cycles! This deck has 40 different questions, and no child will know all the answers! One of the features I love about Boom Learning resources, is that they can play the deck over and over, and because of the immediate feedback, they can learn something every time they play! Teachers can easily check their scores to make sure they are showing growth! (If they aren't, there's a conversation that needs to take place!)

There are many ways to differentiate the learning of life cycles!

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!
Whether they're working alone, with a partner, a small group, or the whole group, this is important:

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Get them talking and thinking! Get them comparing different life cycles, looking for similarities and differences. Have them predict a life cycle of a plant or animal before researching it. Encourage them to sort life cycles that are alike! Most of all, get them talking about what they  are learning! Those conversations deepen the learning!

All life cycle resources include these 7 pages:

Choice is essential!

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

All of these resources are included in The Life Cycles Collection. This massive bundle includes 35 different plant and animal life cycles as well as the Reader's Theater:
What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?  and the digital resource: Life Cycle Fun Facts! Have I mentioned that bundles come with big discounts?

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Most important, give opportunities to share their learning. Although some might be shy about sharing information in front of the class, that's what makes it so memorable! The memory is powerful when strong emotions are involved. Not only will they remember what they shared, they'll remember what life cycles their classmates shared as well! 

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

A special day to celebrate all the learning is a necessity! Have a Life Cycle Festival! Have children share their presentations on what they learned! Invite parents, administration, friends, other classes, etc! I'll bet you can think of plenty of life cycle related foods to serve! Be sure to have someone videotape it all!

What ideas do you have for learning and celebrating life cycles?

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!


An Educational Winter Art Project

I love a craft that ties into something educational.  

I also love a craft that allows room for individual creativity.  

An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!

This time of year, we have to pull all the stops out to get them enthusiastic about learning, so we did this art project.

The kiddos made snow people with snowballs for each of the letters in their names. They made a math equation to represent their names, then decorated the snow people. 
 
An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!

Sorry, I had to cover the last names. Middle names were optional, but several wanted to include them. 

An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!

Look closely at this one: the third snow person is sad because the wind blew away his hat!

An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!

Here's another, aren't these adorable?
An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!


One thing I really like about these: I can hang them in the hallway now, and I can keep them up until January!


An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!


Resources to Celebrate Mexico!

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day. 

Resources to celebrate Mexico: Whether you're celebrating cinco de mayo or just learning about Mexico, you'll find something here for your primary classroom including books, videos, and a freebie!

 (That is celebrated on September 16th.)  Cinco de Mayo does celebrate a Mexican battle.  It dates back to May 5, 1862, and I imagine if I were Mexican, I'd know more about it.  I've shown this video in the past. The content is a little above the heads of my second graders, but it gives the kids a taste Mexican history with a cute sombrero wearing chili character and a catchy tune.


Those of us who live in the USA think of Mexico as our "neighbors to the south." It's also a lovely place to visit when the winter is cold and bitter. (Winter sure gets nasty here in New Hampshire!)


Many of us like to think of Cinco de Mayo as a day to celebrate our Mexican neighbors.


Here's another Youtube video that gives the kids a taste of Mexico. It's filled with Mariachi music and pictures that are classically Mexican!




A couple more You Tube videos that give kids a "taste" of Mexico:






Or... it's not too late to order some of your own Mariachi music. Check out these CDs available on Amazon. 
 
    
Resources to celebrate Mexico: Whether you're celebrating cinco de mayo or just learning about Mexico, you'll find something here for your primary classroom including books, videos, and a freebie!      Resources to celebrate Mexico: Whether you're celebrating cinco de mayo or just learning about Mexico, you'll find something here for your primary classroom including books, videos, and a freebie!
I prefer to have loads of literature when I teach about anything, particularly another country. Here are some of my favorite informational books about Mexico!
 
 
 Resources to celebrate Mexico: Whether you're celebrating cinco de mayo or just learning about Mexico, you'll find something here for your primary classroom including books, videos, and a freebie!Resources to celebrate Mexico: Whether you're celebrating cinco de mayo or just learning about Mexico, you'll find something here for your primary classroom including books, videos, and a freebie! 
Resources to celebrate Mexico: Whether you're celebrating cinco de mayo or just learning about Mexico, you'll find something here for your primary classroom including books, videos, and a freebie! Resources to celebrate Mexico: Whether you're celebrating cinco de mayo or just learning about Mexico, you'll find something here for your primary classroom including books, videos, and a freebie! 
 
Of course, after learning about Mexico through books and videos, I'd have my kids write about the country. Here's some paper with a Mexico theme, and it's free! You can find it here: Mexico Themed Writing Paper Freebie
 
Explore this image to grab this freebie!
 
What good is a celebration of Mexico without a little Mexican food and a craft?  Tortilla chips with salsa are easy and popular, so I imagine they'll make an appearance. If you're daring, bring in some hot salsa!

Here are a couple more Mexico resources your students might enjoy:




Resources to celebrate Mexico: Whether you're celebrating cinco de mayo or just learning about Mexico, you'll find something here for your primary classroom including books, videos, and a freebie!

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