Sunday, April 19, 2015

Paint, Glitter, and Egypt, Oh My!: An Introduction to Ancient Egypt

My students thought it was the best day ever when they saw that we'd be using paint and glitter. It all started when I came across a map of Africa that was in my drawer from a previous teacher (originally from our gifted specialist). This was not just any map though...there was sand, easter grass, and paint on it! I didn't have all of those materials handy but improvised with paint, glitter, and yarn and knew this would be a perfect way to start our unit on ancient Egypt developing a foundation of the environment and geography of Africa.

The next day I started this activity by giving my students a look at Africa on Google Maps. I asked the students: What can you tell from looking at Africa? What kinds of habitats cover Africa? Where is Africa located in relation to the other continents? After this brief inquiry session, I shared some fun facts with them about Egypt and Africa including the importance of the Nile River. 

Then came the most fun part….paint and glitter! I had already precut Africa and outlined Egypt for my students so they started by glueing Africa to their blue paper, writing their title, map key, and compass rose. While they were setting up their map, I simultaneously squirted paint on the appropriate sections of their map to represent the different habitats. They used q—tips to spread the paint and glued red yarn for the equator. To complete their maps, they used blue glitter for the Nile River and added gold glitter to the desert area. For accountability, my students completed the exit ticket, which I counted for a grade. If you're interested in my exit ticket, it's available for purchase in my TpT Store. 

Happy painting! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Favorite Things Linky: Must-Have Picture Books + eBooks

Read Alouds...I. LOVE. THEM. and STUDENTS. LOVE. THEM. You do too, right?! Not only do I love the magic of sharing a book with my kids but I also love listening to others read too! One of my favorite moments of each week is on Friday mornings when my class goes to visit our librarian. We call them Book Talks. Our librarian selects some books and reads a few pages aloud to the class from each book. She does such an amazing job taking on the roles of the characters...using different voices, raising and lowering her voice, slowing and quickening the pace all depending on the context...the students (and myself!) are hooked and excited to explore and check out books that we may not have noticed otherwise. This story leads me to do a Book Talk of my own for you as part of Teaching Trio's Linky Party: A Few of My Favorite Things! Below are a few of my favorite books that I have recently read to my students.

In addition to having a love for picture books and read alouds, I am beginning to become a fan of eBooks as more familiar titles are made available. Check out Storyline Online and Epic! Storyline Online has well-known actors reading aloud popular children's books while Get Epic! has a range of recognizable fiction (think Scaredy Squirrel!) and nonfiction (that's kid friendly for young readers!) ebooks available to be read on the iPad or computer (another tip from our wonderful librarian!). Both are free! 

Happy Reading!

Visit Teaching Trio to link up and/or see more favorite things! 

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