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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.