Combating Spring Fever with Kid Friendly Themes that ...HOOK...THEM...IN

Having a room full of students on task, happy, and learning is a teacher's dream, but then spring hits, and ... Bam! Those plans seems to fly out the open window into the spring breeze, but there are ways to combat spring fever. Using kid friendly themes to engage and spark motivation will hook even the most distracted student. Read on to see which themes might work for you.
Combat Spring Fever with these Engaging and Motivating Kid Friendly Themes.

Icky bugs for Big Kids AND LITTLE KIDS
Gross can be intriguing, but guess what? Pull out a few rubber bugs and have a little fun. "Eek!" they'll scream, but then you know you have them in the palm of your hand. Now, you can pull in research skills, nonfiction comprehension skills, math problem solving, and many life science standards with a study of icky bugs, can't you? Last week, I shared a PBL project idea in my post over on Adventures in Literacy Land you might consider. Project Based Learning has been proven to be very motivating, so this is one direction you could go with an Icky Bug theme. Here are a few book choices to get you started:
If you dig into this theme, you might find these resources helpful in your planning. 
Bug Hunt Observation Journal  Bug Observation Freebie  STEM Activity Challenge Jumping Bugs K-2nd Grade
ooey gooey messy science
Kids LOVE to get messy (at least most kids do). One of my students' favorite activities is to use shaving cream on our desks for cleaning. I can work in word study or fluency work with the shaving cream AND clean desks at the same time, and many of you have seen or made Gak which kids love. You know how excited they get feeling it in their hands.  If you'd like to explore this theme, here are a few books to get you started, but your library is sure to have a few "slimey" books too.
If you decide that this would be a fun directions to go, you might work in opportunities for cooking, chemistry, matter, and body systems. You can research famous scientists and/or ooey gooey substances in our environment. Here is the recipe for GAK.
Ooey- Gooey Homemade Gak (chemistry experiment for little hands)
Make Spring Weather work for you
The weather can be somewhat unpredictable during the spring, so why not use the unpredictability work for you by studying storms. Storms can make all of us a bit uneasy, and yet, this uneasiness can lead to curiosity too. Kids want to understand how storms form, what kind of damage they can do, and how we can remain safe through them. [THIS POST] that I wrote for Virginia is for Teachers includes a long list of recommended book titles, resources, tech links, and more.
Make your kids WILD about learning with these Wild about Weather ideas on Virginia is for Teachers.
Our fourth grade students learn about storms, cloud types, weather tools, and such. The close reading set below was created to work on some of these skills AND comprehension of nonfiction.
Weather Close Reading Bundle

Combat Spring Fever with these Engaging and Motivating Kid Friendly Themes. Use this booklist to help you prepare for a Gardening Theme.Go Green with Gardening
Like the Ooey Gooey section above, this theme takes advantage of kids need to get messy. Why not get them out in the fresh air and digging in the dirt. Kids can learn a lot from gardening, and tapping into that interest in the classroom with books about plants can lead to more meaningful reading. Your kids will have a purpose for reading if they're learning how to make their garden produce. My school put together a garden area for our families, and believe it or not, most of the plants and seeds were donated. Parents came in to help with planting, and during the summer, many of our families came to enjoy the fruits of the kids labor.

In addition to these book ideas, I have a few book companion sets in my store that could tie in to a gardening theme.

The first is one I listed in the book list, by Eve Bunting. Several of Bunting's books work beautifully during the spring, so I'm also going to share the 3 book bundle that includes Sunflower House and two others,

Sunflower House by Eve Bunting Someday a Tree by Eve Bunting Eve Bunting Author Study
Mrs. Spitzer's Garden 
Forensic science offers a great opportunity to do a variety of scientific tests in one fun science project.:
Not long ago, I came across this pin on Pinterest. It got me thinking about how much upper elementary aged kids would enjoy a series of Who Done It lessons, and since making inferences is so challenging, what better way to weave in that skills! Well, the wheels have been turning on this, and I've now built up a decent board on Pinterest. I was surprised how many great resources are out there for mysteries. Just look at all of these great book titles.
Combat Spring Fever with these Engaging and Motivating Kid Friendly Themes.

In addition to these attention grabbing titles, there are also many great lesson options on TPT. My friend, Melissa at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late has a great series of mystery products that are so much fun, and let's face it, drawing conclusions is a challenging skill. Check out this freebie from her store to try out with your kids. If you like them, she's developed a series that you could add on.

I also loved this this mystery genre study idea that integrates technology. Tech with Jen. Jen has set up the mystery in a confidential file, supplied all of the ingredients to the mystery, and even integrated tech into it. You have to check it out.

For other fun detective ideas, check out the Pinterest board below.

Well, I hope these ideas will give you ways to keep spring fever at bay and your kids engaged and motivated. There is certainly a lot of learning ahead.  

Have a great day and one last reminder that our Growing Readers and Writers giveaway ends tomorrow morning. Did you enter?  If not, click [HERE] to do so tonight.

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