Friday, September 20, 2013

Plant and Animal Needs

We learned about the basic needs of plants and animals this week.  We first brainstormed and created graphic organizers for the true basic needs. 
 
 
Next, students used a little foldable to record and draw the 4 basic needs of plants.  It is still early in the school year so I found it very informative to see which students were able to follow the folding directions!

 
 
Finally, to wrap up the unit, I had each student choose an animal.  We listed them on the board as students made their decisions so there were no repeats!  Students had to scrap art the animal.  Scrap art is one of my favorite art activities - students must use only construction paper, scissors, and glue to make their creation.  No pencils allowed!  After creating the animals, I gave each student a large piece of white paper and told them to draw a background that included each of the animal's basic needs (air, water, space, shelter, and food).  I was amazed at the creativity from some of the children!

I just love the mice this little girl drew as food for the snake!
 
How cute is that baby turtle following the mama turtle?
 

The worms sticking out the ground made me smile!



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Teaching Color Words

Each year, I normally spend some time on the color words in the first few weeks of school.  Most children come to first grade knowing all the colors but only being able to read  few acolor words.  I spend a lot of time having kids practice reading all the color words through a variety of activities.  Worksheets where the children color by color word is always a popular activity, and I like that everyone can be successful--even if you can't read the color word by yourself, you can look at the color word wall to help yourself!  
 
 
We read "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Bill Martin and then the children "scrap art" the animals.  This is the first time in the school year that I introduce "scrap art" and it can be very difficult for some children to get used to.  When you "scrap art", you are only allowed to use a scissors and glue-no pencils, crayons, markers, etc!  Students need to learn to visualize the final product to be able to cut it out without first drawing it.  After the animals have been created, we interactive write the color words and the animals as a class, paying attention to proper letter formation. 

You can purchase the chevron color words on TPT here: Chevron Color Words

How do you teach color words in your classroom?