Wild West Theme Ideas You Can't Pass Up


Well how-dy-doo partners! If you haven't guessed from the title and first sentence, today's theme is Wild, Wild West, and you better saddle up for all the fun we're about the exchange. Today's theme is honestly that...all about fun, and fun equals motivation. We know how important motivation is to life-long learning, don't we? If we can get our kids motivated to read and read some more, then we've established routines and routines grow our readers. 

So today, I'll be sharing a collection of book choices, curriculum options for reading, math, writing, and social studies, as well as art and technology finds. With this theme, there are also great classroom decor ideas, so I believe I'll share some of those ideas too. For starters, here's a little quote...ready to "Get Dirty"?  Let's do this then! 
Armadillo Rodeo by Jan BrettIn my opinion, you can not have a Wild West theme without using the book, Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett. She has such a great way of weaving in rich vocabulary and a plot that truly grabs you in. The main character, Harmony Jean, has some shiny red boots that need breaking in, but an unfortunate armadillo (that can't see) thinks they are a family member and so the armadillo follows Harmony Jean on her adventures as she "roughs up" those new boots.

Celebrate the cowboys and cowgirls in your classroom with this Wild West theme. Check out this post for suggestions of books, activities, technology and FREEBIES.

Another book that works very well with a Wild West theme is the book, Bad Day at Riverbend by Chris Van Allsburg. I used this with a tutoring student who loved cowboys and horses, and it was a perfect fit.  {This set} by Jami Bicknell offers an organizer for making inferences with Bad Day at Riverbend.


Other favorite books you don't want to leave out include Pecos Bill, The Gingerbread Cowboy and B is for Buckaroo. Your kids will really enjoy them.
B is for Buckaroo: A Cowboy Alphabet (Sports)   

There are so many great options for a Wild West theme, and most likely, you'll have to pick and choose which you like best. Below, is the Pinterest board I've set up for the activities shared this week as well as others I liked. (more about them later).


I pinned several cowboy boot art projects, so be sure to check them out if you're interested in including a little art with this theme, but I love that this set from Liz Kinsinger. It is a real time saver since it includes all the patterns you'll need.  You can print them off and be ready to go. She tied this project to Armadillo Rodeo, but I think any cowboy book would work for a boot decorating project.

CowboysKids love Reader's Theater (and I do too). This freebie from Today in Second Grade is just adorable. Your students will love "heading down to the farm" to act out this play for eight voices.

Finally, I thought I'd share this last freebie from my friend, Susan at First Grade Friendly Froggies. Many of my readers use a Daily Five schedule for the ELA block, and I love these Western Themed Daily Five cards.
Daily Five Western Anchor Charts
This will be great later in the year when my fifth graders study the wild west. portrait project for made in america:
Before I move on to Tech resources, there is one last art project I have to share. I think these self portraits are just so cool, and I can see pairing them with a descriptive paper about the qualities of a great student. You could then post the Wanted Sign with the projects and papers. Like??
Here are a few video links to the stories I mentioned. Sometimes, it's nice to have the clips if the books are not readily available.  
Armadillo Rodeo


The Gingerbread Cowboy


I hope you have a rootin-tootin' good time this week, and be sure to come back next week for Native American week.  

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Celebrate the cowboys and cowgirls in your classroom with this Wild West theme. Check out this post for suggestions of books, activities, technology and FREEBIES.




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