Monday, December 14, 2015

The Polar Express Figurative Language Activities {Must Read Mentor Text}

All aboard the Polar Express!!! This is always one of my favorite books to read with my students in December. And I think they love it as much as I do!
This week's Must Read Mentor Text is The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. It's a Christmas classic!

There are endless possibilities for using this book in your classroom! I usually spend one to two weeks close reading and analyzing the story and author's craft with my students. And it's fun to watch the movie adaptation at the end of our unit, so we can compare and contrast.
One skill that I love teaching with this text is figurative language! I love focusing on all the figurative language and incredible word choice that Chris Van Allsburg uses to bring this story to life. Before reading the story, I review different forms of figurative language with my students. We sometimes make an anchor chart or, we look back in our reading notebooks at the notes we've taken or examples we've recorded. Click HERE to download our FREE figurative language mini book- great for note taking!
As I read the story, I ask my students to listen out for figurative language. I give each student sticky notes to record the figurative language they hear. Then, I let the students share the figurative language they've recorded. We either put our sticky notes onto a class chart or we stick then right in our reader's notebooks to refer back to later.
After you have discussed the figurative language in the story, you can have your students make figurative language posters. I let the students pick one of the figurative language examples from the book, and I give them large white paper or chart paper to illustrate the figurative language. On the poster they have to include: the type of figurative language (simile, personification, etc.), a definition of it, the example sentence from the book, and an illustration depicting the example they've chosen. Then, I put the students in small groups to share their posters and review the figurative language.  :)
I'm sorry I don't have any poster pictures....

What activities do you like to do with The Polar Express? I'd love to hear your ideas!!!  :)

I hope you enjoy this Must Read Mentor Text! Have a great week!

*We will not be posting Must Read Mentor Texts over the holidays- Monday, Decemeber 21st and Monday, December 28th but we will be back on Monday January 4th with a new text!

If you didn't enter our Merry and Bright Holiday Giveaway, please click the image below to read all about it in yesterday's post- there's still time to enter!  :)

Thanks so much for visiting us!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Huge Winter Prize Bundle and Teacher Tips to keep you feeling Merry and Bright through the Holidays!

We can't believe that the holidays are so close! We are linking up with our blogging friends from Teach 3-4-5 to share Tips and a HUGE Winter Prize Bundle to keep you and your students feeling merry and bright through the holidays! These last few days before break are always tough!

Are you singing the song with us?  "May your days be merry and bright..."  :)

So, first we are sharing a tip for this crazy time of year!
Our tip is to integrate holiday themed games into your Math time! 
We love using games during Math time, and we also love celebrating the holidays with our students, so we put the two together! There are so many important Math skills that you can review with games, and there are tons of Christmas and Winter themed Math games out there that you can use. Check out a few multiplication games we've used by clicking the pictures below. We use them during Math Workshop rotations, centers, partner work, early finisher work, and even morning work sometimes. The kids love them!

Now on to the HUGE prize pack! Yay for Winter Giveaways!!! We are all giving away a winter product that you can use now or after winter break! 
You can win a Winter Prize Bundle from the amazing bloggers above! Just enter the Rafflecopter below!

And be sure to check out all of the amazing tips linked up by clicking on the Blog Buttons below.

Have fun! And we hope you have a VERY MERRY HOLIDAY!  Good Luck these last few days! :)

Thanks for stopping by! 
Come back tomorrow to check out Monday's Must Read Mentor Text! 
Have a great Sunday!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Gingerbread Friends {A Must Read Mentor Text}

Happy Monday, Friends! Today's Must Read Mentor Text is a sweet book perfect for December!
It's Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett. I've always loved reading gingerbread stories with my students, and this is a cute twist on the classic tale. It's actually the sequel to Jan Brett's Gingerbread Baby. I usually start by reading a classic version of the Gingerbread Man and then I read Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Friends. It's fun to compare and contrast all of the stories, and students love hearing different versions.
In Gingerbread Friends, the Gingerbread Baby longs so badly for a friend to play with. He sets out an adventure to find a perfect friend, but ends getting chased by a fox, a dog, a cat and other animals before he makes it back home. But, at home, Mattie (the boy) has made him a big surprise- lots of gingerbread friends!
There are so many ways to use this mentor text. You can focus on reading skills such as making predictions, compare and contrast, sequencing, theme, summarizing, and story elements. 
We created two FREE compare and contrast resources for you to use while you read this book with your students! 
Click HERE or click the image above for FREE Compare and Contrast Printables that you can use with any Gingerbread books! Compare different versions of the story or different characters. There is a Venn Diagram and an interactive notebook flip book. 
The last page folds out to show the huge world of gingerbread friends that Mattie has created!

I hope you and your students enjoy this book! It's so cute and a lot of fun! 
Have a great week!

Friday, December 4, 2015

12 Days of Winter FREEBIES Galore!!!

Happy Friday, Friends! We are blogging over at the Primary Peach today sharing day 9 of our 12 Days of Winter Countdown! There are so many amazing Freebies, Activities, and Ideas to check out!

Today's post is 9 Grammar Freebies- Yep! 9 Freebies to just click and download. Perfect for the Winter Months! Click on the image below to go see them!

And be sure to look back at Day 12 filled with so many amazing read alouds- you know how much we LOVE books- this is like Christmas morning!!! There are so many books that are now on my Must Read List!

And Day 11 is filled with 11 FREE Winter Math Activities and Day 10 has 10 FREE Winter Reading Activities! It's like opening a present each day!

Tomorrow is Day 8 with Amazing Winter Homework Freebies....
Hope you find some helpful ideas and activities! Have a great weekend!

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