Paper Plate Angel Craft

We have been getting our house ready for Christmas with lots of pretty lights. We're not quite ready to put up the tree but no doubt by December 1st our children will be busting to decide 'who gets to put the angel up'. It is a task that is receptively shared each year - to put the final piece in its treetop position - and if I recall correctly we may have snapped a photo of the moment last year to avoid any blurred memories and 'it's myyyyyyyy turn' squabbles this year.

Stay tuned.

We did however, this weekend, partake in some Christmas craft and made a pretty paper plate angel. We also un-boxed all our Christmas themed story books and returned them to the home library shelf. I find packing these away each year, reserving them for Nov-Dec only, makes them extra special.

We re-read The Christmas Angel  (Amazon Affiliate Link) - one of my daughter's first Christmas picture books and one that is lovely for school if you are in the position to teach the Christian holiday. 

Comprehension Questions while/after Reading

After and during the reading of this story, ask your little learners some questions to encourage a deeper comprehension of the text.
  • p.3 - The angels were excited - recall a time when you felt excited. 
  • p.5 - The little angel wanted to make the baby a present. What might he give? Make a prediction. 
  • p.7 - The little angel was warned not to go too close to the edge of the clouds. Why?
  • p.7 - What does the word 'journey' mean?
  • p.14 - The angel fell into the branch of an old tree. What caused this? 
  • p.16 - Who do you think these 3 men are? Why?
  • p.20 - Identify the simile on this page. What would be another simile to describe being tumbled about.
  • p.25 - What is a 'staff'? What is a 'manger'?
If you would like to make an angel like ours, here's how we did it:

How to Make a Paper Plate Angel

You will need:
  • small paper plate
  • yellow paint or crayon
  • 2 small paper doilies, each folded in half
  • small circle of card stock for the face
  • wool / yarn for the hair
  • a few sequins
  • craft glue / PVA glue
  • stapler (optional)

To make:
  1. Color or paint the paper plate yellow
  2. Fold the paper plate sides in at a slight angle - so they just overlap and form the angel's gown. Secure with a dab of glue (or staple)
  3. Glue the folded wings behind the gown.
  4. Glue the face onto the top of the dress.
  5. Create the hair by looping a medium length of yarn around 3 fingers and then tying in the middle with a short piece. 
  6. Glue the hair to the top of the face.
  7. Decorate with a sweet face and sequins on the gown.

Printable Paper Craft Angel

If you are a Pond VIP you will find an exclusive 'one page craft' angel ready and waiting in the library. This is an easy- prep way for your students to make an angel after reading.

Thanks so much for stopping by, we do hope to bring you some fun new crafts and activities in the coming weeks!

Story Map - Gingerbread Man

We have read a few different versions of The Gingerbread Man (Amazon Affiliate Link) this week. This version with lively illustrations by Karen Schmidt, has been our favorite, 

The appeal of The Gingerbread Man Story

Little learners always treasure this story. I think its endearing appeal lies in the combination of thoughts of the sweet treat itself, the adorable visual appeal of a gingerbread man shape, his cheeky character and the engaging catchy repetition of "Run, run, as fast as you can..." within the text.

The story tells of the gingerbread man escaping the oven and cottage, and encountering a few problems along his way. The repetition within the text allows for joyful and enthusiastic joint collaborative reading (get ready for the chanting)!

After reading The Gingerbread Man

This story is just perfect for 'retelling'. It has a familiar and memorable structure and students are always eager to recall what has happened in the story. 

I've always found it perfect for 'mapping out' with readers as an introduction to a more formal look at text structure. Discuss, note down on chart paper and illustrate the elements of the story as well as the stages that give its structure - beginning/middle/end (or for older students, introduction, complication, resolution, conclusion). 

Story Map and Worksheet for The Gingerbread Man

I've made a story map poster visual that you could use after any read-aloud to ignite a discussion about the structure of the story you have read.

It includes a look at who, when, where and what with the story elements and structure. 

Have your students draw or jot down some ideas about the beginning, middle and end of The Gingerbread Man using this printable worksheet. It would look wonderful colored and on display on a bulletin board as well.

Find these free printables in Google Drive - The Gingerbread Man Story Map and Worksheet

If you love all the resources I make for you, consider becoming a Pond VIP. We add at least one fresh new premium printable from our collection to the VIP Library each and every week! We would love to spoil you, so pop over and sign up today.

Winter Addition Game

If you are looking for a fun, engaging and no prep addition game for your little learners this winter, hop over to TpT and find one of our favorites - Snowman Makes Ten!

Winter Addition Game Snowman

Simply print the game boards you need, add dice and cotton wool and you are all set! Instead of cotton wool you could alternatively use counters. 

Winter Addition Game Snowman

Winter Addition Game Snowman

If you have this game already, you may like to re-download for the bonus additions. We've added:
  • a 'Snowman Makes Six' version for younger students
  • a numbered version for both 10 and 6
  • 2 new game board cuties for each version
And best yet - it is still FREE!
Winter Addition Game Snowman
The aim is to get exactly ten snowballs and record (on the provided worksheet) the combination of numbers that made ten! This game will provide students with the opportunity to explore numbers that will combine to form ten.

I do hope your little learners love playing Snowman Makes Ten as much as my little ones always have. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter so I can treat you to secret freebies throughout the year.

Gingerbread Screen Wallpaper

I just love having something sweet, fresh and new on my screen every week. It truly makes me excited to get my work done, to settle down at my desk and get all. the. things. done. 

This week, I've made a super sweet gingerbread man screen wallpaper design. I would absolutely  love to share it with you too. Pop it on your home and classroom electronic boards, iPads, computers and phones.

Simply download the images from google drive from the links below. Store them on your camera roll and choose them for your screen saver and/or wallpaper!

Find the Computer Screensaver HERE
and the Phone Screensaver HERE

{These are for your personal use only and cannot be redistributed or shared}

We also added some gingerbread themed activities for 'addition to ten' to our store over the weekend. Take a peek - Gingerbread Man Addition Pack

We do hope you have a wonderful week and can't wait to bring you some more gingerbread ideas later this week!

Easy Santa Craft for Kids

Your little learners will absolutely love making crafts to celebrate Christmas. Although it is still quite a few weeks off, some schools here in Australia are in the final weeks of school days for the year and a few seasonal activities will begin to get planned.

This cute little Santa craft can be used for decoration, as a decorative pennant banner, gift tags or even as a Christmas tree decoration.

To make this craft Santa, you need:

  • small paper doily
  • triangle of red card stock
  • 2 googly eyes
  • small red pom-pom
  • medium colored pom-pom
  • cotton face / makeup wipe
  • scissors
  • craft / white PVA glue

How to Make this craft Santa

  1. First cut the moustache - simply fold the wipe in half and cut (see shape below). Cut along the fold line also - this will produce 2 moustaches. 
  2. Fold the to third of the paper doily back. Glue to triangle.
  3. Glue eyes, moustache and pom-poms into position.

The Santas look fantastic clipped to a line as a banner. Add a loop of string to make tree decorations or tags for gifts!

If you would prefer something printable, head over to my TpT store for this sweet triangle-Santa  craftivity!

Gingerbread Directed Drawing

Gingerbread Man Drawing Project

Run, run, as fast as you can, you can't catch me.... ahhhh, I have vivid memories of having this story read to me at preschool. I remember the smell of the tasty treats we baked, the sweet taste of their currant eyes and crispy, slightly burnt edges and the short little play we acted out for our parents on the final day of the year. 

It has been a favorite for many of the students I have read it too as well. Stay tuned later this week for a blog post that includes reading response activities. 

Gingerbread Man Directed Drawing

Today we did some drawing and painting here in our creative space and I'd love to show you how to draw a cute little gingerbread man too.

Gingerbread Man Drawing Project

1. Start with a nice round head.

Directed Drawing For Kids

2. Curve down and loop around for the left arm.

Winter Activities For The Classroom

3. Continue with a short line down.

Gingerbread Man Drawing Art Project

4. Take your pen over to the other side and draw his other arm. Check to keep it in balance with the first arm.

5. Down again for his tummy. Back over to the left and draw a line to start his leg.

6. Out and loop around for the foot. 

7. Draw a line up to complete the leg, swing out with a curved line to start the right leg. 

8. Loop around to make his other foot.

9. Add lots of lovely details to complete your gingerbread man drawing!

Gingerbread Man Story Activities

We do hope you get a chance to do some gingerbread man drawings too. 

If you are a Pond VIP, take a peek in the 'exclusive' section of the library for printable pages to match this project. 

If you have a copy of The Gingerbread Man story, get it out in readiness for some other fun projects we have ready for you this week. 

Mouse Screen Wallpaper

We've read the book Amos and Boris a few times over the last few weeks - a lovely story about the unlikely friendship between a mouse and whale. A mouse seemed the perfect fit for this week's screen wallpaper. 

We 'd love to share this happy new design with you, for your home and classroom electronic boards, iPads, computers and phones.

Simply download the images from google drive from the links below. Store them on your camera roll and choose them for your screen saver and/or wallpaper!

Find the Computer Screensaver HERE
and the Phone Screensaver HERE

{These are for your personal use only and cannot be redistributed or shared}

We do hope you have a wonderful week - if you are subscribed to the newsletter, stay tuned, we have a fun new update coming for you very soon.

Compare and Contrast with Amos and Boris

Amos and Boris by William Steig (Amazon link) has been a long term favorite read of mine and now ranks high on Sam's go-to list. Over the years, I've read it with children as young as kindergarten and as high as third grade - and there is always a mountain of post-read discussion and learning possibilities.

The story tells of a small and adventurous mouse named Amos who develops a friendship with Boris, a huge whale. Amos the mouse becomes lost at sea and Boris saves his life. They learn from one another, and their special friendship helps them see things they would never have noticed on their own.

Some tips for reading this text in the classroom

  • It is a fairly lengthy read. Some young learners may need to have it read over a few different sessions with a break in between.
  • Keep a chart paper and marker handy - there are some delightfully different words used. As you read, jot them down to come back to and discuss. Phosphorescent, luminous, mackerel, and frazzle and some of my favorites. 

After reading Amos and Boris

This text provides a great opportunity for students to work on their ability to compare and contrast.

When students compare and contrast while reading they are engaging in critical thinking. 
  • Comparing involves looking at similarities (and sometimes difference). 
  • Contrasting focuses only on differences.

I made you some fun posters to introduce compare/contrast with your students, using this book. Give some examples using experiences, situations, texts or people familiar to your students. 

After a second read, have your students suggest ways that Amos and Boris are similar. Also have them describe ways they are different. Record them on the worksheet.

Find our free printable in google drive - Compare and Contrast Posters and Worksheet

We hope you love this book as much as we do!

Whale wh words

Why not make a whale with your little learners, while you are learning the consonant digraph 'wh'. Use the nice big and clear printable whale template we have created for extra scissor skills practice or alternatively, have your students attempt to draw a nice big whale.

Some easy-to-sound-out words for little ones to learn when learning 'wh' include:
  • when
  • wheel
  • whisper
  • whip
  • wheat
  • whether
  • which
  • while
  • whisker
  • wham
  • white
  • whimper
  • whoosh
  • why
  • whisk
Make a large whale shaped chart and record these words. Play some memory games with them too.

You can copy this whale template on nice bright paper or onto white and have your students paint them before writing. 

We also included a blank whale that you may like to use during an ocean or sea themed unit. 

Find this free printable in google drive here - Wh Whale Printable. Thanks so much for stopping by, we are looking forward to sharing a whale themed book with you tomorrow - see you then!