First Friday Freebie: A World of Pure Imagination

I love using visual prompts with my writing students. Pictures help to spark their imagination and get the creative juices flowing.

This month’s freebie is a visual prompt I was inspired to create as I saw a rainbow while driving home one day.

rainbow prompt

In addition to creating my own, I have also found the Write About site to be a wonderful resource for visual writing prompts, especially for free-writing and journaling purposes. There are so many categories to choose from (such as Adventure & Fantasy, Culture, Hobbies & Fun, Places, Seasonal, and Technology) that I can almost always find something that fits my purpose. Prompts can easily be sorted by category and grade, and many offer an added auditory option as well.

I would love to hear about other sources for visual writing prompts. Do you ever have your students create these or take/find their own pictures to write about? That could be a fun part of the creative process too!

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Lift Off to Literacy: to the ISS and Beyond

Happy International Literacy Day! 🙂

How do you plan on adding an extra minute of literacy today?

What about tweeting an astronaut?  You can connect with them here (astronauts in space now) and here (NASA astronauts).

Your students just might…

twitterpic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • or get one of their own questions answered!

Plus learning to communicate in 140 characters or less could lead to some lessons in creativity and clarity.

The sky really isn’t the limit with this as students read and send messages to the ISS and beyond. 😉

 

Exploring the World from Our Classrooms

One of my new favorite picture books is Because You Are My Teacher written by Sherry North and illustrated by Marcellus Hall.

In addition to the catchy lines and beautiful illustrations which kids love, this story shares a great message of what true learning is all about.

When we bring creativity and opportunities for observation, imagination, and “destinations” into the classroom, our students’ learning is enhanced through curiosity and deepened engagement.

So let them…

What creative things have enhanced your students’ learning because you are their teacher?

We Had No Idea What Alexander Graham Bell Sounded Like. Until NowRead more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/we-had-no-idea-what-alexander-graham-bell-sounded-like-until-now-37585123/#yzIiwRdP47QWQjyq.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
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We Had No Idea What Alexander Graham Bell Sounded Like. Until NowRead more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/we-had-no-idea-what-alexander-graham-bell-sounded-like-until-now-37585123/#yzIiwRdP47QWQjyq.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter
We Had No Idea What Alexander Graham Bell Sounded Like. Until NowRead more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/we-had-no-idea-what-alexander-graham-bell-sounded-like-until-now-37585123/#yzIiwRdP47QWQjyq.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

First Friday Freebie: Oh the Places You’ll Go…

with GeoGuessr! (or try its newest version here)

This fun geography game has you guessing world-wide locations using clues from photographs. You can scroll and zoom to look for signs, view the landscape, explore the skyline, travel down the road, and more.

Each game is made up of five rounds. The closer your guess is to the actual location, the more points you earn. Maps are also provided during the rounds to help you see how close (or far off!) your guess is.

As you can expect, some places are easier to guess than others, depending upon your knowledge of the various climates, landscapes, languages, building styles, and such around the world.

This month’s freebie is a two-page GeoGuessr Record Sheet.WhereInTheWorld

Your students can use it to record their observations, guesses, and points to compare and track the growth of their critical thinking skills and geography knowledge.

For a fun challenge, they could also see if they can beat me! 🙂 Click here for my game results.

First Friday Freebie #8: Whether Far or Near, Friends are Dear

Building friendships and community is a big focus at the beginning of the school year as classes are formed and begin the year-long journey of learning together. A story that shares a unique perspective of friendship is Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams. This book, based upon a true story, tells about two girls in a refugee camp who decide to share a pair of sandals even after their lives take them in very different directions. Bonding over shared experiences as well as footwear provides a foundation for a deep and lasting friendship.

How do your students define the word “friends”? This month’s First Friday Freebie provides an opportunity for them to brainstorm how friends should act towards each other.

Get the free graphic organizer here.

friends

 

For more ideas, check out Williams Writes, author Karen Lynn Williams’ website, where you can find a teacher’s guide for this story, see a picture of the sandals that inspired the book, and learn more about the author.

The World is So Full of a Number of Things

If you haven’t seen the “Earth As Art” ebook yet, take time to check it out. The pictures are amazing and offer unique perspectives of views both well-known and as yet undiscovered for many of us. You can learn more about this project here: “Earth as Art” info and resources.

Earth As Art

ideas for use in the classroom:

  • see if students can identify each place from its “artistic view”
  • locate each place on a map/globe
  • compare and contrast the “artistic view” with another photo of the place
  • identify elements and principles of art used in each photograph
  • discuss tone(s) and feelings associated with each photo

additional resources:

What have you helped your students see from a different perspective lately?

First Friday Freebie #3: weather here or there

On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World's Weather, by Marilyn Singer

On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s Weather, by Marilyn Singer is another one of my favorite books. It can help broaden students’ perspectives as they “journey” around the world exploring the various types of weather and events that can all occur on the same day. It is amazing how varied that one day can be, depending upon where you are on the globe.

To give your students an opportunity to explore this same concept, use the interactive map I put together (click here for pdf file).

MarchMap

By following the links embedded in the map, your students can go on their own adventure around the world to compare the weather in various places on the same day in March.

Create a chart of the findings and/or have students use the data from the webcams to illustrate their own pages of a book based on Singer’s text.

additional resources:

 

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I’ve also added another set of Daily Visual Challenges to my TpT store. First person to contact me gets a free copy. Happy almost spring! 🙂

DVC: March