art · story

If you’re a Monster…

Today let’s listen to the story/song: If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca and Ed Emberley. This is to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know it, but with a twist.

The illustrations in this story are very bold and on black. This is a great opportunity to create some paper art. In school, I keep a crate of construction paper scraps and we use them all the time for these projects. At home, just keep the larger scraps from art projects in a bin or bag and put them out whenever you want your child to cut up paper to do an art project… reduce, reuse, recycle.

Encourage your child to add the elements in the story on their monster so they can then retell the story with their monster!

teachers pay teacher

Monster Letters

I just uploaded a new kit to my Teachers Pay Teachers store! Letter Monsters! This kit includes capital and lowercase letters AND a picture card to match the letter sound. Many of the images are Halloween based. Perfect for this week’s monster fun as well as next week for Halloween.

And… as an added bonus, today is the last day in my sale. Everything in my store is still 10% off today… yes including this new kit, which retails for $2.50.

Click on any of the images to be taken to this new product!

family activity · STEAM · story

Monster Trap!

Today listen to the stories “How to Catch a Monster” by Michael Yu and “How to Catch a Monster” by Adam Wallace. While both these stories have the same title they are actually very different. In the first book, the child is excited to play with his monster as he gets ready for bed. In the second, the child wants to overcome his fear of monsters. But I decided that thinking Thursday is a great day to design a monster trap!

This becomes a great STEAM project! You can use anything, yes anything in your house to build a monster trap. So… let your kiddo get creative. I would encourage him/her devise a plan. Let’s draw out what you think a monster trap should look like. What resources will you need? How will you lure the monster into the trap? Where will you set it up.

Now get working… let your child be creative and provide limited support in this adventure. Your roll is to be the scribe (lots of writing for this one), ask questions!, and encourage creativity. How does the monster…? What happens next? Why will that happen? How do you… ? How else can you…?

This is a great project to work on over a few days or at least a few chunks of time. In school we would probably devise the plan on one day and make the traps another. For younger children (3/4) I would have him/her make the trap and then draw the plan. For older children (kindergarten and up) I would have them make the plan and then make the trap. You are flipping the purpose of the plan in this case.

But remember, the main purpose it to have fun!

art · phonemic awareness · story

Monsters Puppets Love Words

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley. This story will quickly become a favorite. I would encourage you to listen to it once and then the second time have your child create big green monster while listening to the story. It is a great story for retelling!

Today lets make monster puppets. For my sample I used both markers and construction paper. I love encouraging children to use mixed media. You could also add other items such as yarn, buttons, googly eyes etc… the key is creativity!

For Words Wednesday we are going to work on blending onset and rime. Onset is the first sound you hear in a word and the rime is the rest of the word.

One way to help your child see the pattern is to either work with word family words or words groups (animals, names, foods or other familiar groups of words)

Here is a simple chant to use with your child(ren)

  • It starts with a /__/,
  • And it ends with /___/
  • Put it together,
  • and you say __________. (your child needs to say the word)

It starts with a /c/ and ends with /at/. Put it together and you say “cat”

It starts with a /h/ and ends with /orse/. Put it together and you say “horse”

If your child is struggling still, I would provide visual clues. Provide a group of pictures or toys or other items and use words represented there, this helps the visual learner make the auditory connections.

It stars with a /c/ and it ends with /ar/. Put it together and you say “car”.

It starts with a /d/ and it ends with /oll/. Put it together and you say “doll”.

When your child gets good at this, switch the rolls. Have your child say the first part of the rhyme and you finish it with the answer.

art · topic · writing

Monster’s Underpants!

When we are nervous about life we are told to picture others in their underpants… maybe this helps children too if they think about monsters in underpants? Children love monsters… and they think underpants are too funny. So put monsters in their underpants and there is nothing that will bring more smiles, giggles and funny images!

Today listen to the story Monsters Love Underpants by Claire Freedman & Ben Cort.

Time to draw, paint… create a monster of your own!

My monster is wearing plaid underwear

Not sure how to get started or can’t think of a monster on your own? check out Art for Kit Hub’s paint a monster as inspiration… But, make sure to add underpants to your monster!

This is a great opportunity to encourage your child to write!! I guarantee your child has a story in his/her head about this underwear loving monster. You can provide words like monster, underpants, but encourage him/her to sound out the words the best they can. The purpose of children writing is not for them to spell every word correctly … it is for them to see him/herself as a writer. To put down their thoughts on paper. To see the connection between sounding out words to read and write. So encourage your child to write. Have them read what they wrote and praise the attempt, not criticize the imperfection.

art · math · STEAM · teachers pay teacher

Monster Math!

This week is all about MONSTERS! This is such a fun topic for children as they can be both fun and scary. But we will focus on the fun side! Today’s story Monster Math by Anne Miranda… read by Anne Miranda! This is a story about a Monster’s birthday and how many monsters join the fun!

Shape Monster created by Adam Ray Daniels’ Cartoons for my TPT store kits

So … it’s time for a favorite activity and character: Shape Monster! Shape Monster Shape Monster munch, munch, munch? How about about a (color) (shape) for your lunch! This is a common kindergarten shape activity, but can so easily be adapted!

I’ll share with you a few ideas on how you can use the shape monster today.

Create simple shape monsters (or complex if you want). Put them onto bags or onto empty boxes to make the shape monster’s lunch bag/box. Label each monster with a shape. (circle monster, square monster, rectangle monster etc…). Have your child find items around they can put into the shape monster’s lunch bag.

Provide your child with construction paper, either already cut into shapes or have your child cut his/her own shapes. Use the shapes to create a monster out of shapes… a shape monster! Or if you do not have construction paper, they can just draw a monster out of shapes!

Want more shape monster fun? I have two kits in my store that use Shape Monster!

Show preview image 3

Shape Monster’s 2D lunch time mini book ($2)… Help shape monster find the shapes he wants to for lunch. Each page focuses on one shape and provides a color for each shape. And, Shape Monster himself describes the shapes attributes.

Shape Graphing with Shape Monster ($1)… This kit has your child(ren) sorting and graphing shapes. The kit includes four different graphing pages (spin and graph, color and graph, grab and graph and find and graph)

art · story · topic

Jack O’Lantern Art

It’s Friday!! Did you have fun learning about pumpkins this week? You will have to let me know which activities you tried and which types you’d like to see more of in the weeks to come!

Today’s stories:

Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell– Tim carved the best pumpkin and named him Jack. He puts the pumpkin out into the garden as it begins to rot. Tim watches Jack change over time. Watch to see what becomes of Jack over the days, weeks and months.

Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson — in this informational text you follow the life cycle from seed to seed of a pumpkin. Story written in flowing and bouncy verse to match beautiful and vivid photographs.

Here is a fun song to learn and sing together.

Little Jack O’Lantern (sung to the Battle Hymn of the Republic)

  • Little Jack O’Lantern had a candle lit inside
  • Little Jack O’Lantern had a candle lit inside
  • Little Jack O’Lantern had a candle lit inside
  • Till somebody blew it out. (then blow out the “candle”)

Now let’s make a Jack O’Lantern!

For this activity in school I would typically give the children the option of drawing and cutting out their own pumpkin shape or using a tracer. At home, you can either let them create their own or trace something to make the basic shape (plate, bowl, or other roundish item).

  1. Determine if you want your pumpkin to be tall and skinny or short and plump.
  2. Trace/draw the outline of your pumpkin onto an orange sheet of paper… or make it a green pumpkin, or a white pumpkin… you pick!
  3. Does your pumpkin have a stem or is it a “stumpkin”?
  4. now cut out the pumpkin… only cut the outside (trust me say this as some will cut ALL the lines they drew!)
  5. Now design the face of your pumpkin.- you can either cut pieces out of yellow, white or black paper and glue it onto the pumpkin or cut the pieces out of the orange paper. I show the children how to bend the paper to start cutting into where you want the openings.
  6. Use markers or crayons to add the pumpkin lines, color in the steam, and add more details
  7. If you cut out the eyes, you can either leave them or back the pumpkin in yellow or black paper to see the depth.
STEAM · topic · writing

Pumpkins Can, Have, Need, Are

Today we will think about pumpkins! Today’s story is Little Boo by Stephen Wunderli. I hope you enjoy this story!

Today for our activity we will create a chart of facts about pumpkins. First, I encourage you to watch Dissect a Pumpkin from SciShow Kids. Watch Jessi and Squeeks learn more about pumpkins.

After learning a a bit more about pumpkins, lets chart some of our knowledge! In this example I created a four box page to collect information on what pumpkins can, have, need and are. You could also limit this to two or three concepts. The purpose of charts like this is to begin writing informative sentences: Pumpkins can rot. Pumpkins have seeds. Pumpkins need space to grow. Pumpkins are fruits.

In my Teachers Pay Teachers store, you will find a collection of Can, Are, Have charts for fall. In this kit, Fall Graphic Organizers, you will also find circle maps, writing pages and venn diagrams. Topics covered: apples, pumpkins, spiders, bats and owls.

phonemic awareness · word work

Word Family Pumpkins

Here are two more great Pumpkin stories: Christopher Pumpkin by Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet and Stumpkin by Lucy Ruth Cummins. Both these stories talk about pumpkins that don’t quite fit in, but stand out all the same.

For Words Wednesday we will work on short “a” word families. Word families is a great way to work on sounding out words, for those ready for this skill, but it is also a great way to work on rhyming words. I will explain how you can alter these activities based on what skill your child is ready for at this time.

For the first activity, have your child draw 2-4 pumpkins on the page. Make sure they are big enough to draw inside. Label each pumpkin with an “a” word family (-ab, -ack, -ad, -ag, -am, -an, -ap, -at). Brainstorm with your child words that could fit in that word family. I typically ask the children if they can come up with one on their own, if they can… go from there. If they can’t then I will give an example or two and then see if they get the concept and can move on. For children who are working on this skill strictly as a phonemic awareness skill, they will just draw pictures of the words. For children who are working on reading and writing these CVC, CVCC words, they will illustrate and write the word. Continue to do to the same for each pumpkin on your page.

The second activity is real vs nonsense words. Children love playing with nonsense words. They love to create words that just sound funny. So… why not play with nonsense words with word families. Pick a word family, see list above. Divide a sheet of paper in half, and write real words on one side and nonsense words on the other side. Now work the same concepts. Put different beginning sounds on to the rime and see if the word is real or nonsense. Using magnetic letter or other letter tiles helps with this skill as children often struggle to go through the alphabet to find more words. You can do this totally orally as a phonemic awareness skill or write it on paper as a phonics activity.

STEAM · story · topic

Pumpkin Life Cycle

Today we will focus on the life cycle of a pumpkin. Here are a few youtube links to help your child see this process.

It’s Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall— a family plants a pumpkin patch and watches it grow from seed to jack o’lantern.

How Do Pumpkins Grow by Inspired by Kinder— an easy reader about the life cycle of a pumpkin.

A Pumpkin Grows by Scholastic— great visuals of a pumpkin life cycle

Time Lapse of pumpkin growing: a pumpkin life, pumpkin time lapse (up close)

So now you have seen how a pumpkin grows! Let’s put it down on paper.

Typical steps stages focused on: seed, sprout, vine, flower/blossom, green pumpkin, orange pumpkin

I made a paper pumpkin and drew the life cycle on the pumpkin. You can do this or vary it many different ways…

Have your child make a pumpkin and print out the stages having your child glue them in order on the pumpkin

Draw/color the steps on green leaves and glue them onto a green piece of yarn to represent a pumpkin vine

Draw/color out the steps and place them on a long strip of paper such as a sentence strip

Draw/color each of the steps on small pumpkins and make a pumpkin patch

Or any other representation you want!