Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Are You as Lucky as a Leprechaun?

Did you ever stop to think how lucky you are? You might, but your students may not. Here's a fun freebie for St. Patrick's Day or Dr. Seuss's birthday, March 2nd.

Ask your students if they think they are lucky, and allow time for sharing. If anyone says that they are NOT lucky, it's time to read aloud one of Dr. Seuss's classics, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? By the end of the book, everyone will be giggling, and it will be easy to discuss just how lucky we really are!

Next, give students the Lucky as a Leprechaun activity page and ask them to fill up the pot of gold by writing things that make them feel lucky. How about caring friends, a warm place to sleep at night, and the skills they’ve learned? Be sure to provide time for students to share what they wrote with team members or with classmates.

You can download this freebie from my Seasonal page on Teaching Resources or directly from this page. Never forget how lucky you are!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gallon Robot Freebie!

Who can remember how many cups are in a gallon and how many pints are in a quart? I have to admit that I used to have to look this information up every time I needed it. The amounts are so arbitrary and random that I couldn't seem to memorize them. That all changed when I met Mr. Gallon, whom I affectionately renamed with the gender-free term Gallon Robot.

Variations of Mr. Gallon are all over the Internet, and I'm not sure if anyone knows exactly who dreamed up the concept. I first heard about it when my older daughter Wendy was in 3rd grade. Her teacher, Sue Simon, introduced her students to this visual aid so they could easily remember the conversions between gallons, quarts, cups, and pints. The large rectangle in the middle represents one gallon, the four pink rectangles represent four quarts, the green rectangles represent pints, and the small orange rectangles represent cups. When you look at the model, it's easy to see that there are 8 pints in a gallon, 2 pints in a quart, and so on. As soon as I met Mr. Gallon, I never had to look up those amounts again! I immediately taught the model to my 5th graders and began sharing the technique with teachers.

To  download the Gallon Robot Patterns freebie, visit the Measurement page in my Math File Cabinet or download it from my TpT store. The patterns are black and white outlines, and I suggest duplicating each part on a different color paper.

So what's new with Gallon Robot? 
A few months ago I started working on a packet of teaching materials to go along with the basic patterns, and it turned into a 50-page comprehensive resource for teaching and reviewing customary units of capacity. Gallon Robot to the Rescue is now available on my website and on TeachersPayTeachers. It includes cooperative learning activities, math center games, word problems, printables, teacher demonstration pages, and more! You can preview the entire ebook by visiting my Measurement page on Teaching Resources. If you teach customary units of capacity, you owe it to yourself to take a look at this time-saving resource. But even if you don't purchase the book, I hope you'll use  the free patterns so that Gallon Robot can come to your students' rescue!

By the way, if you are looking for more great measurement freebies, check out the Measurement Mania Freebie Collection below. Each freebie is from a different blogger and you can hop from blog to blog by clicking on the links below. I hope you enjoy them!









Sunday, February 26, 2012

Leap Into Savings on February 29th!

Leap Year only comes once every 4 years, so it's the perfect time for a special sale! I'm excited to be participating in a sale sponsored by TeachersPayTeachers. I'm currently offering 20% off all the products in my TeachersPayTeachers store, and you don't need a code to cash in on that offer. Then on February 29th, TpT will take off another 10% when you enter the promo code L2P9Y.

Why wait? You can actually start shopping now and add items to your cart right away. Then on the 29th simply sign on, add the code, and check out. What could be easier? In fact, it would be a good idea to do your shopping ahead of time because the system may run really slow on that day. We expect the sale to be huge, and having loads of people on the site will naturally slow it down.

If you subscribe to Candler's Classroom Connections and prefer to purchase materials from me there, I'll be offering a similar sale on my site. Subscribers always get 20% off, and they will receive a total of 29% off on Leap Day using the code provided in the newsletter. I'll be activating that code sometime on February 28th to be fair to folks in all time zones.  Check last week's newsletter for details, or sign up and follow the directions in the welcome email to get into the archives. Enjoy this special deal now because it won't be back until 2016!



Saturday, February 25, 2012

Studying with a Buddy Makes Test Prep Fun!

Buddy Test Prep Freebie

I've never been one to spend months teaching test prep strategies, but I also feel we're doing kids a disservice if we don't prepare them in some way for state testing. A teacher once told me that she considers testing to be a genre, just like fables, science fiction, or poetry. That's just how she presented it to her students, too. She shares strategies to put her students at ease so they feel confident and competent about being able to "show what they know."

When I was teaching, I felt the same way. I wanted to be sure that my students were ready to tackle any test and give it their best. So I came up with a strategy that I call Buddy Test Prep that's both fun for students as well as highly effective. I only used it for a week or two before our state tests, but it definitely produced results!

For the Buddy Test Prep activity, students follow a specific set of steps, first working alone, then with a partner, and finally with the class. They use a special color-coding system to show whether each answer is their own work or was arrived at with the help of a partner. To make the 3 steps easy to follow, I created a set of student directions (below) that you can display with a computer and a projector. I also included a half-sheet recording form for your convenience.


Download this free Buddy Test Prep activity packet from my Teaching Resources store on TeachersPayTeachers.com or by clicking one of the links in this blog post. If you are going to spend a week or more practicing test prep strategies, why not make it fun for you and your students?




Friday, February 24, 2012

Story Hat Map for March 2nd

Even upper elementary and middle school teachers enjoy an occasional holiday activity if they can connect it to their teaching objectives. This Story Hat Map is perfect for March 2nd, a day when many classrooms celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss's birthday. Why not read one of Dr. Seuss's more advanced books aloud such as Yertle the Turtle, and use it to teach story elements like characters, setting, conflict, resolution, and theme? Then allow your students to select from a collection of other Dr. Seuss books to read and map out on their own. You can download this freebie from the Seasonal page on Teaching Resources during March or any time of the year from my TeachersPayTeachers store.

If you like this hat map but would like a blank template to create your own, you can find it in my March Activities Mini Pack. You'll find lots of other great graphic organizers in my newest book, Graphic Organizers for Reading: Teaching Tools Aligned with the Common Core.

By the way, one reason I love this graphic organizer is that my daughter Wendy drew it for me. I have to say, it's wonderful having an artist in the family!






Win with Spelling City!

If you love SpellingCity.com, you'll want to read this blog post to learn about a fun cooperative learning freebie and a chance to win a premium membership there! If you don't know about Spelling City, prepare to be amazed!

Spelling City has tons of terrific free resources, but I'll bet you don't know about all they have to offer! Yes, the program is set up to allow you to enter your own words for students to practice and use in games, but there's so much more available on the site as well! In fact, this year the site was officially renamed VocabularySpellingCity.com to show the full range of their features and services.

Cooperative Learning Meets Technology! (Freebie)
Many teachers are already aware of the free spelling activities, but did you know that they have a sentence-writing activity, too? This feature allows your students to use your own spelling words to create  sentences and paragraphs online. I thought this activity was such a nice feature that I created a cooperative learning lesson to use as a prewriting activity before your students get on the computer. We've all experienced temporary brain freeze when sitting in front of a blank computer screen. The Spell & Write Sentences activity combats this problem by having them create sentences orally with a cooperative learning team before they ever sit down to type. The packet includes step-by-step directions for the computer part of the activity, too, so you can use it in a literacy center. The directions are different depending on whether or not you have a free account or a premium account, so I created two different sets of directions accordingly. Download this activity packet from my Spelling and Vocabulary page on Teaching Resources.

Premium Accounts on Spelling City
Speaking of their premium account, you might want to check out all the features they have to offer. Teachers can set up passwords so that students log in under their own names and the system tracks their data for you to access later. You can see who is practicing at home and how they are scoring on tests. Spelling City has graciously allowed me to give away one of their premium memberships here on Corkboard Connections, and the directions for entering are below.

Premium Membership Contest ($49.99 Value)
Are you ready to enter the Spelling City Premium Membership contest? Here's all you need to do:
  1. Follow the Corkboard Connections blog by RSS feed or by email. I'll announce the winner here, so you'll need to follow this blog to know if you win!
  2. Leave a comment below in which you share the word or words that are most frequently misspelled or misused in writing by your students.
Easy, right?  The contest will end on Leap Day, February 29th, at 8 p.m. EST. Don't miss out on your chance to win! If you don't win, you can take a look at a list of options for funding sources on the Spelling City site. Also, if you sign up for a premium account now and use code LCCC, you'll have your subscription extended through June 30, 2013. That's 4 extra months free! You can't beat that!


Do You Have Permission to Pin?


Note: Since I wrote the original blog post a month ago, Pinterest has changed their Terms of Service. I have chosen to leave much of my original blog post below intact because it appears that the new terms still say that we own the rights to whatever we are pinning, but some of the information below is no longer relevant. 

***********

Do you have permission to pin? Or maybe the more important question is, "Did you know that you need permission to pin?" If you're on Pinterest, you need to read this blog post!

Recently, I read a disturbing article, Pinterest Users Need to Read the Fine Print, and I learned that when we signed up for Pinterest, we actually agreed to the following terms:
  • We own the rights to images we are pinning. 
  • We grant full rights to Pinterest to use those images in any fashion! 
Seems like a site that's set up for sharing and collaborating would make these terms more obvious when someone signs up. Am I going to take down all my Pinterest boards? No way! But because I'm now aware of these terms, I have changed how I'm going to use Pinterest. I'm no longer going to pin images directly from someone's site or blog unless I have permission. If you have a blog, be sure to read the whole article to find out how you can give me and others permission to pin. ,

Permission to Pin Granted!
Yes, you have my permission to pin! You may pin any image from Corkboard Connections, from Teaching Resources, or from my TeachersPayTeachers.com store. Please follow my Pinterest boards and repin anything you like to your own boards!

Unless you are a blogger or site owner, that's all you need to know! Just pin away to your heart's content! But if you are a blogger, keep reading ....

 
Information for Bloggers and Educational Site Owners Only

As I said earlier, I'm no longer going to pin from anyone else's site without permission. So I invite you to post a message somewhere on your blog that clearly specifies what you will permit when it comes to pinning. Make sure that visitors can find your permissions easily so they don't have to contact you to ask. Feel free to place the badge above on your blog to show people that they have permission to pin, and you may link it back to this blog post if you would like. Here's the code you can use to add it to the HTML code in your sidebar:
<center><a href="http://corkboardconnections.blogspot.com/2012/02/do-you-have-permission-to-pin.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.lauracandler.com/images/pinRed.jpg" border="0" /></a></center>

By the way, the Link Up below is closed, but these sites have all given permission to pin, so visit them and pin away to your heart's content!





P.S. A few thanks are in order ... Last year I signed up for a course called Teaching Blog Traffic School that consists of 30 social marketing videos for teachers, and we have a super online support group. Thanks to Angela Watson of The Cornerstone for Teachers for sharing the Technorati article with the group. Thanks to Charity Preston of the Organized Classroom Blog who created the course! Finally, thanks to Denise Boehm of Sunny Days in Second Grade for her help with designing the Permission to Pin badge above. If you're interested in learning about the course, you can read about it on my Teacherpreneur page.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Find Pinteresting Blogs and Win Big!

Who doesn't love Amazon.com? I'm not in the classroom anymore, but I still spend far too much money there on children's books! That's one reason I'm thrilled to announce an exciting new contest on Pinterest in which you could win one of two $200 gift cards to Amazon.com!

Charity Preston of the Organized Classroom Blog is the mastermind behind this very special event which is sponsored by Marygrove College and eleven teacher blogs.

Here's how to enter:
  1. Click to go to Charity's Pinteresting Teacher Blog board where you'll find 12 "Pinteresting" teacher blogs. 
  2. Create a board on your own Pinterest account titled "Pinteresting Teacher Blogs" and repin all 13 images from Charity's board onto your own board. Be sure to pin the pink and white contest badge in addition to the teacher blogs so that your followers will have access to the contest rules. Note: By the time this blog post goes live, there will be at least 50 other boards with the same name. Make sure you pin the 13 required items from Charity's Pinteresting Teacher Blog board!
  3. Complete the entry process by filling out and submitting this Google Doc form before 10 p.m. EST on February 26th.
That's it!  Follow those three steps and you'll be entered to win a $200 gift card! Amazon.com and great teacher blogs - what a winning combination!

By the way, while you're in your Pinterest account, why not follow my Pinterest boards? All of my boards are on educational themes, and you'll find lots of great free resources there!

What would you do with $200? Start dreaming, because YOU could be one of the winners! Even if you don't win one of the gift cards, you'll still have a collection of great teaching blogs to explore!





P. S. Thanks to all the blogs who joined with me to sponsor this event including Marygrove College MAT blog, Sunny Days in Second Grade, Technically Invisible, Sub Hub, Teaching Resources by Shelley Gray, Cooperative Learning 365, The Organized Classroom Blog, 3rd Grade Gridiron, The Lesson Plan Diva, Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies, and The Cornerstone for Teachers!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

And the Winner of Power Reading Workshop is...

1st Winner: Jen Runde  #4
2nd Winner: Jen B  #22

Thanks to everyone who entered my blog giveaway for an autographed copy of Power Reading Workshop! I ended the contest  yesterday and selected a winner, but then realized that the contest is supposed to end today, Wednesday, the 22nd of February! So the only fair thing to do was to choose another winner today!

I had about 55 entries yesterday when I selected the first winner, so I entered that number into Random.org and asked it to choose the magic number! You can see that it picked #4, so congratulations to Jen of  Runde's Room who was the 4th person to share a book title (not counting my comment).

Today the random number generator picked #22 which coincidentally was another Jen! It was Jen B who posted about Owl Moon. 

I've already heard from Jen Runde, so Jen B, please email me at lauracandler@att.net to let me know where to send your copy of Power Reading Workshop!

I think it's a good thing this contest is over because I'm spending far too much time checking out all the great book titles. Amazon.com is doing well this week, thanks to me! :-)




Monday, February 20, 2012

Create Easy Reading Mini Lessons

Did you know that you can create a mini lesson for just about any reading skill by using a simple 3-step process? All you need is a short read aloud text and a graphic organizer. On Sunday evening, I was interviewed by Charity Preston on Blog Talk Radio about my new Graphic Organizers for Reading book, and I shared how easy it is to create reading mini lessons with this method. In my example, I used the children's book Teacher from the Black Lagoon and the Cause & Effect Rockets graphic organizer my daughter Wendy helped me create. (She's the artistic one!) This is one of the graphic organizers in the book, but since I described it in the sample lesson, I wanted to be sure you could download your own copy. I also embedded the 15-minute recording of the Blog Talk Radio show below in case you'd like to listen to it.


You can find more information about Graphic Organizers for Reading on my Teaching Resources website. Enjoy the show!




Picture Perfect Teaching with Children's Books

By Debbie Clement, Guest Blogger

What a joy to share with you today from my perspective as a previous Elementary School Art teacher evolved now into an author/illustrator of picture books. My most successful author visits to schools unfold when teachers have directed their students to respond to my work prior to my arrival. It is a thrill to see the excitement of students who have ‘studied’ my style and are eager to share their efforts.

I believe that the correct picture book can address and illuminate all manner of educational learning standards and goals. The language arts may be the most obvious connection for the study of picture books by mature readers, yet the appropriate picture book may also easily direct studies of math, science, history, social studies and geography as well.

How can you find the right picture book? Here are some suggestions:
  • Select books based on the strength of their artistic style. In my art-room era, I selected picture books with strong graphics and design as well as those with vivid color, all of which lent themselves to study and interpretation by my students. The dramatic simplicity of Gerald McDermott’s art was always a hit with my upper elementary students. 
  • Search for picture books with a possibility of launching student discussion and creating writing exercises. 
  • Select picture books with an eye toward suitability/universality of subject matter comparing good vs. evil, right vs. wrong. These would make excellent source material to consider issues of bullying and diversity.
Take a look at this work created by third graders for my recent visit to their building in response to my INDIE Award of Excellence picture book winner, Red, White and Blue. Since all of my books' texts are based on original songs I’ve written and recorded, their guitars echoing notes on the staff were especially ingenious.

I’ll never forget the teacher who purchased my picture book, You’re Wonderful, for her eighth grade class. When I raised my eyebrow at the suitability of a picture book for mature junior high students, she quickly responded, “There is no shelf-life for issues of self-esteem. If ever there was a message I want my tween-agers to hear it is the text of your book.”

She went on to explain to me how in her role as math teacher she would have her students examine the geometry in my quilted illustrations. She shared scads of exciting projects that were unfurling in her mind as we shared possibilities. That’s when I realized the power of an enthusiastic teacher. There is potential everywhere.

Whether you infuse your week with the work of household names such as Patricia Polacco and Jane Yolen or reach for the work of Lynn Cherry, Paul Goble, Margaret Hodges, Jerdine Nolen, Joyce Carol Thomas or the lesser known Debbie Clement, you have the opportunity to infuse your ‘academic’ subjects with the Arts. Weaving together lessons to engage all learning styles and intelligence strengths will be certain to fortify the fabric of your classroom.


Debbie Clement is a former elementary school art teacher who now writes books and tours the country for speaking engagements, conferences, and author visits to schools. You can learn more about her books and materials on her Rainbows Within Reach blog. Debbie is an avid Pinterest fan with over 3,000 followers.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

That Was Easy!

photo of Easy Button
Do you have an Easy Button in your classroom? The other day I was digging through some boxes of school materials, and suddenly I heard a voice announce, "That was easy!" I laughed out loud, and those three words brought back so many memories! I could clearly picture the big red Easy Button perched on the file cabinet at the back of my classroom a few years ago.

I remembered how I used the button as an incentive to motivate and reward students for doing their best work on Accelerated Math assignments. AM is an individualized system of math practice worksheets that students complete and score on their own. After working the problems, they carefully bubble in their answers on a scan card, and slide it through the machine. Students who scored a 95% or higher on their AM worksheet were allowed to tap the Easy Button which would promptly announce to the room, "That was easy!" The kids loved it, and I know it encouraged them to bubble in their scan cards more carefully.

You can still purchase an Easy Button from Staples, and I saw that they donate the proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club of America. It's just $5.99 with batteries includes - a bargain, to be sure!

I know I'm not the only teacher to have an Easy Button. If you have one, how do you use it? If you don't have one but hope to get one, how do you plan use it? I look forward to reading your ideas!





Laura Candler ~ Teaching Resources

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chatting with Charity about Graphic Organizers

I feel like a celebrity! Charity Preston of the Organized Classroom Blog has invited me to chat with her LIVE on Blog Talk Radio! Our topic will be Graphic Organizer Greatness, and we'll be discussing easy and effective strategies for creating reading mini-lessons from graphic organizers. The radio show will take place on February 19th at 8 p.m. EST and it only last about 15 minutes. Just return to this page a few minutes before the show starts, click the image or the Blog Talk Radio link, and wait for the show to start. That's it!

If you'd like an email reminder of the event, complete this online registration form with your name and email address, and I'll send you a quick message a few hours before the session. As an extra bonus, when you register I'll also sign you up for Candler's Classroom Connections, my weekly newsletter of freebies and teaching strategies.

Charity and I hope you'll join us this Sunday evening as we chat about effective strategies for using graphic organizers in the classroom!

 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book Lovers Blog Giveaway!

What's your favorite short book to read aloud and use in a mini-lesson? Answering that question could win you an autographed copy* of Power Reading Workshop: A Step-by-Step Guide!

The idea for a giveaway came to mind because I need some ideas for a list of short books that can be read aloud and used to teach a reading skill. I decided to ask for help and give away a copy of my book at the same time. If you win and you already have Power Reading Workshop, you may request Graphic Organizers for Reading or another book from my website.   

I should also share that one purpose for the giveaway is to let people know about my Corkboard Connections blog. I've been told by teachers that they follow me on Facebook or receive my newsletters, but they didn't even know I had a blog! I started Corkboard Connections last fall as a place to share some of my favorite strategies as well as to learn from others. So please share this blog post and help me spread the word!

How do you enter the contest?
Entering is easy! You only have to do two things:
  • Follow my Corkboard Connections blog by email, RSS feed, or by using the Google Friend Connect link. Personally, I like to follow my favorite blogs by email because the blog posts come right to my inbox. But some people prefer to use Google Feed Reader or other methods, so that's fine, too. 
  • Leave a comment below in which you share the title of a short read aloud (15 to 20 minutes max) along with the skill you teach with the book. Your comment could be as simple as saying that you use Jack and the Beanstalk to teach character motives. Or you could leave a more detailed comment with specific information about your lesson.
How will a winner be selected? 
The contest will end on Wednesday, February 22nd, at 8 p.m. EST. I'll use a random number generator to choose from all eligible entries, and then I'll post the name of the winner in a new blog message. It will not be announced on Facebook or in my newsletter - be sure you are following Corkboard Connections so that you'll receive that special blog post if you win!

I'm looking forward to reading about your favorite books for teaching reading strategies and skills. I know I'll discover some great children's books as a result of the sharing and collaborating here!





Laura Candler ~ Teaching Resources

*Note: The autographed copy offer is only good in the United States and Canada. If you live outside of those areas, you will be sent the digital version instead.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fraction Spinners Freebie


Yesterday I asked a question on Facebook about what teachers need right now, and several responded by asking for fraction activities. Fortunately, I have a whole page on my website devoted to fractions, and most items are free! This Fraction Spinner set is one freebie you'll find there. It doesn't come with directions, so I decided to post a few ideas here and ask others to share their suggestions. There are actually 2 variations of the spinner; one has different denominators and the  other spinner has twelfths as the denominator for all fractions. I changed the image and heading on each spinner slightly so that if you use both of them, your students won't get mixed up.

Click to download these two spinners or go directly to the Fraction File Cabinet page to find them and other fraction freebies. Just print the spinner that's right for your class and use a paper clip and a pencil as shown on the directions.

Fraction Spinner Game Suggestions
What would you do with one of these fraction spinners? They're perfect for creating fraction center games or cooperative learning activities. I suggest having students play with a partner rather than in teams so they'll be more actively involved. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  • Simplifying Fractions Game (Same Denominator Spinner) - Have students take turns spinning the spinner and recording the fraction. If it's already in lowest term, they score one point. If it needs to be simplified and they do it correctly, they score two points. If they think it's in lowest terms but it's not, they lose a point.
  • Adding or Subtracting Fractions Game - Students spin twice and record each fraction. They also flip a coin. If the coin lands on heads, they add the fractions and simplify. If the coin lands on tails, they subtract the smaller one from the larger one. Students score a point for each correct answer. Because there's no answer key, both players will have to work the problem or one can check with a calculator that handles fractions.
  • Comparing Fractions Game - Each student spins the spinner once and records his or her fraction. Players compare fractions and decide who has the larger fraction. The person with the larger fraction for that round wins a point. They continue playing until one person scores 10 points.
  • Ordering Fractions Game - Students spin the spinner 3 times and record all 3 fractions. They rearrange the fractions so that they are in order from least to greatest. If the other player agrees on the arrangement, the player scores a point. Continue playing until one person scores 10 points.
I love how easy it is to take a simple item like a fraction spinner and create lots of different math games. How would you use these spinners in your math class?




Teaching Resources 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Simple Steps to Classroom Book Publishing


Note: The free webinar referred to in this blog post has already taken place. You can view the recording on the Studentreasures page.

Did you know that you can have your class publish a book for free? Here's one that my class did a few years ago, and it's something that I will always treasure. So it's only fitting that the company that published our book is called Studentreasures! Each student created a page for the book and we mailed it off to be bound as a book. Parents have the option of ordering a copy, and those sales keep the project free for teachers. You can get more information and sign up to participate by visiting the Studentreasures website.

I love this project so much that I've offered to do a free webinar next month to share this information and take the mystery out of book publishing. I'll walk you through the entire process and show you just how easy it is to get involved. I'll also be joined by several other teachers who will be sharing their own tips. At the end of webinar we'll do a drawing for three $50 gift cards to Scholastic!

Simple Steps to Classroom Book Publishing will be held March 6th at 8 p.m. EST. Visit the registration page to sign up, even if you aren't sure you can attend the live session. We'll send you the recording if you miss it. However, you must be present if you hope to win one of the $50 gift cards! Registering for the webinar will also sign you up for my Candler's Classroom Connections newsletter, so you'll get an extra bonus if you aren't already receiving it! If you are interested in the class book publishing project, there's no need to wait for the webinar to get started. You can go straight to their website and sign up right now!



Laura Candler
Teaching Resources

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bio Poems for President's Day

Fun Writing Activity and Freebie!

President's Day will be celebrated soon, and having your students write Bio Poems would be a wonderful activity to celebrate this special day!

Even though my Bio Poems Made Easy lesson was originally designed for students to write bio poems about themselves, it can easily be adapted and used as an alternative to the traditional "research and write a report" assignment.

To begin this President's Day research activity, write the names of well-known presidents on slips of paper and ask each student to draw out a name. Then have them use both print and online resources to research information about that president according to the eight categories on the Bio Poem Planning form for presidents or leaders shown above (page 8 in the packet).

In order to complete the graphic organizer, students will have to gather information and then analyze what they've learned to decide where to write their facts. They'll be looking for what the president....
  • dreamed of
  • said (famous quotes)
  • was detemined to do
  • refused to do
  • how he made a difference
  • what he's remembered for

Completing the graphic organizer might be a bit of a challenge for some kids, so you may want to let your students work in partners. They can each conduct their own research and then collaborate to complete the form and write the poem. After students complete their poems, they can also create "word clouds" to display with their poetry. Be sure to allow time for students to share with the class!

Bio Poems Made Easy Freebie
You can download this freebie from my Poetry Page on Teaching Resources or from my TeachersPayTeachers.com store. I hope you enjoy it!




To find more February Freebies, be sure to visit my February Freebies Link Up! Over 2 dozen freebies are linked up and more are being added each day!
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