I thrive off creating new and interesting activities for my students to participate in. Hopefully, I'll inspire my students to develop a passion for history. But even if I don't, I hope they never forget the fun things we have done!

March 16, 2012

Today we had so much fun in the classroom studying the Age of Discovery. We focused on the new world explorers in the 1400s and 1500s. I divided the students into small groups and assigned each on an explorer and a punching balloon. The balloons were supposed to be "globes". My students drew a map of the area their explorer sailed and mapped out his route. On the blank side, they listed where he ended up and what he found there. When they finished, we hung them in the area of the room their explorer "founded". In the end, the ceiling looked awesome and it was all done with student work!

Next we did my "Columbian Spice Trade Activity". Basically, Columbus began the global exchange of goods when he brought back plants, animals, veggies and fruit to Spain in 1493. When the Spaniards got a look at what the New World had, they decided to send over about 1,200 settlers. Thus we have the beginning of world-wide trade! To help my students understand that spices and some produce originated all over the world and have spread because of trade, I put "unknown" spices in 10 cups. They were only allowed to look at the spice or smell it to identify it. We had so much fun!

Later, I pulled out produce and had the students guess what area of the world it originated. They were surprised to learn a lot of the fruits and veggies they eat all the time came from South America!

If you would ever like a copy of a lesson plan, just e-mail me! I love to share!

February 4, 2012

At my school there are many different cultures and it is often extremely hard for them to mesh well with one another in the classroom. It makes me think about racial issues and multiculturalism all the time. I'm always looking for new ideas to help my students understand that we are all equals and should love on one another. At the beginning of the semester I always give a little speech about how we are a family when we are in the classroom and how we should watch what we say and think about how it will affect a person before we say it.

I found this saying on Pinterest and it now hangs in my classroom. My students think its cute and I hear them telling each other to read it all the time. Hopefully, they'll take it with them outside of the classroom too.

January 30, 2012

Semester after semester the classroom supplies I have provided keep disappearing. Markers, pencils, pens, scissors, glue, computer paper and more seems to keep walking right out of my room! So I wanted to come up with a fun way to get students to bring supplies in!

I saw a similar idea on another blog and took it a step further. I painted a tree on a piece of poster board, dye cut apples out of red paper, and painted the leaves green. Then I printed out just a few supplies my classroom desperately needs.

Open House was disappointing. I had just a handful of parents come and none take an apple from my Giving Tree. Well let me tell you this.... I am so thankful for this season of sickness in my classroom! Suddenly, my students are realizing the need for tissues and other supplies. Slowly but surely, I have seen more and more apples disappearing and more and more supplies appearing. I am so thankful for the goodness some people have in their hearts! ❤

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