Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Digging into The Legend of the Poinsettia with Art

Do you have a favorite holiday book that you can't help but read year after year? I love this time of year so much, I have book after book about the Christmas season and other December holidays, but the book with a special place in my heart is The Legend of the Poinsettia

We read The Legend of the Poinsettia as a whole class. It isn't very often that I do this since my class is full of many different reading levels, but I wanted all my students to experience reading this book vs. me reading the book aloud to them. 

While reading the book, I would pause and have students turn-and-talk to discuss the book's story elements. Students used post-its to write their reading responses on and we put them together to create this anchor chart. We took a picture walk to find evidence of the story elements and of the theme. I'm all about having evidence!

The next day, we dove deeper into the theme of the book. We discussed that the theme of the book was that any gift is a great gift if it is given from the heart. This was a great transition into making poinsettias for our families. 

This is the third year I've made these, and they always turn out amazing! Kids love that they are 3-D! 

To make them, I printed this pattern of a pinwheel on red construction paper. All students need to do is cut on the dotted lines, then fold each large triangle segment in half so that the dots in the corner meet the dot in the center circle. The ends are glued together and this is repeated so that each student makes two pinwheels. 

Students them glued both pinwheels together, glued it to the black paper, and added green leaves. To create the flowers in the center of the red poinsettia leaves, we made a dot of glue and filled it with gold glitter. 

I'm sure my students' parents will love these! Each and every one of them are unique! 

I must say, I am not strict on student-created artwork. There are times when this philosophy doesn't work as planned and students created some pretty interesting creations (to say the least) but there are other times when students create an art project in a way I never thought of! 

Today, we made a stocking craft. I had my high school student helpers cut-out a quick stocking pattern I drew and had them punch holes along the sides. 

My students were very excited to "sew" their stockings together. They really thought they were sewing! 

Once the stockings were done, we filled them with compliment cards. Click {HERE} for the compliment card freebie. I didn't let my students look at their compliments yet, although I took a peak to make sure they were appropriate (every once in awhile some interesting things pop-up when we do activities like this). 

I'll have these stockings around the classroom for the rest of the week for students to put compliments in. On Friday, the kids will be able to take these home. I'm hoping they'll wait till Christmas to open them up and read the notes their classmates gave them! 

Two more days! These next couple of days, my plan is to just keep my kids busy! I know buys doesn't mean their engaged, but I'm focusing on keeping my sanity before the break! The busier they are, the less chance they'll be bouncing off the walls with energy! 

I made this worksheet to practice and reinforce the concept of regrouping with addition and subtraction. Feel free to snag this FREEBIE and use it in your classroom to keep your second graders out of trouble :)

Hang in there teachers! We've almost made it!

What is your favorite holiday book you share year after year?

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