Start by downloading and printing the mouse folding instructions. This fully illustrated, step-by-step instruction sheet allows students to work independently to create an adorable mouse pal. We have also created a step-by-step video for visual learners:
These adorable mouse pals can serve as take-home art projects in and of themselves. However, if you want to extend the activity, challenge students to use their mice to recreate a favorite scene from their favorite mouse book! Our Set the Scene! Diorama Boxes are an excellent tool for this project. Some great books to use for this project include:
With second graders, this activity can be individual, done in small groups OR done as a class. If you are structuring this activity individually or in small groups, first download the instruction sheet (Click on the link under “You’ll Need”), and print off copies for each student or group of students. The fully illustrated and easy to follow instruction sheets allow students to problem-solve and work independently to create an adorable finished product. If students get stuck, direct them to the video tutorials.
Our first project today is the penguin.
Once students have successfully folded their penguins, there are some great options for books to pair their animals with! One of my favorite books was read to me by my teacher during our lunch break, and it has penguins galore. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater is a fantastic book to pair with penguin pals. Other great books about penguins include:
Once everyone has their folded swans, pair them with a book! Hans Christian Anderson was a big fan of swans, and he wrote fairy tales that have been adapted into picture books including familiar titles like The Ugly Duckling and Wild Swans. Other excellent titles featuring swans include:
If you structure this activity as a small group or individual project, start by downloading and printing the fully illustrated instruction sheet for your students. The easy to follow instruction sheets allow students to independently work to create an adorable pig pal. If they get stumped, however, direct them to the video:
The completed pig pals can serve as a take-home project in and of themselves, but if you want to extend the activity, challenge your students to use diorama boxes to recreate their favorite scene from their favorite pig-themed book! Some of those books might include:
We’ll start with the fish today. Under “You’ll Need” is the instruction sheet, with step-by-step instructions and illustrations for students who want to experiment on their own. I have also created an instruction video for you:
Once your fish is all folded up, give him eyes and a smile! The fish will lay flat, so you can also extend the exercise by decorating your fish. Use small pieces of tinfoil or glitter, and students will have their own rainbow fish! The picture book The Rainbow Fish is one of my favorites, and it’s an excellent book to use with this project. Some of my other favorite fish-themed books are:
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
If fish don’t fit your curriculum, fold up a fabulous fox! Under “You’ll Need” is the instruction sheet, with step-by-step instructions and illustrations for students who want to experiment on their own. I have also created an instruction video for you:
I love how cute the finished fox is! And your fox is a perfect companion for many different books. A great lunchtime read for the whole class and their fox friends is Roald Dhal’s Fantastic Mr. Fox! Some of my favorite picture books with foxes include:
Start by choosing a sheet of the double-sided origami paper. Here is the video tutorial for folding the elephant:
Once you have folded your elephant, use a glue stick to put google eyes on him! You can also use washable marker.
Once all the kids have their elephants, the question is, what book do you pair your elephant with? For very young readers, picture books read with reading buddies are a great option. Independent learners might also enjoy exploring the images in an elephant reference book on their own! Some of my favorite elephant books include:
Welcome back to 2015! We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break. We are excited to kick off the New Year with a feature post on our Educational Light Cube! Here’s a cool idea: use it as a soft glowing lamp for your classroom reading fort!
We first started building our fort using Straws and Connectors. Here, Ed is separating the Connectors from each other.
We taught the campers how to connect the Connectors together with the Straws. This was the starting point for building the reading fort. The diagram for building this reading fort can be found here!
We all worked together to build the fort, starting with the base and working our way up.
The best part is guessing what the final sculpture will look like! It’s one thing to see it on paper but another to see it in real life. Suddenly, we all got excited and started building faster.
After we built the base, we joined the roof together with a point at the top.
The Straws and Connectors pack comes with a large blue veil that can be draped on top of the Straws and Connectors structure to make it enclosed. Ed got excited to put the veil on top of the structure but he soon realized he needed some help!
This is what teamwork is all about! Here comes Sierra to help Ed out.
Almost finished…! Now to turn on the Light Cube to complete our reading fort.
The soft glow of the Light Cube made reading enjoyable and calming at the same time. Both of the campers became so immersed in their reading, they forgot about all the crafting going on outside. This is a perfect project for your classroom that your students will love to build, and later, use for themselves. The reading fort is also a great place to store the Light Cube when not in use for sensory explorations or when you would like to center excitable students’ attention on quieter projects.
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