New Unit Plan for Sale


This unit plan includes two big books, a shape book, a pattern book, and a finger play poem with language and art activities. This unit is language based, and includes lesson on reading, writing, singing, fingerplays and art. There are basic vocabulary lessons for Fall, Thanksgiving, and colours. There’s 35 pages of instructions and blackline masters.

Click on the photo above, or click here to get your own copy.

In Remembrance...


Friday, November 11, is Remembrance Day here in Canada.  Like Vetran's Day, in the United States, it is a day to remember those who have fought for their country.  Poppies are the symbol of remembrance for many countries.


In our class we made two art projects this week.

Both of these ideas came from Gail, at That Artist Woman.  She is a Canadian, and an Art Teacher in a primary school.  Her work is fabulous.  She's so creative.  Click here to hop on over and check out her blog.

During World War I, a Canadian Soldier, and Doctor, named John McRae, wrote a poem about the devestation he was witnessing.  His poem, In Flander's Fields, has become an essential part of teaching about |Remembrance Day.  Children all over Canada memorize and recite it on the days leading up to November 11, every year.

When I saw this idea on Gail's blog, I knew I wanted to whip out the watercolours, but I decided to simplify it for my Grade 2's.  First the children watercoloured the field with green paint, and the sky with blue.  The children made the smaller crosses by drawing them and cutting them out, but they were having so much difficulty with this, that I altered the activity.  I cut out thin strips of white paper and had the children snip them to a long and a small length, and then glue them together like a cross.  

As a Teacher in the public school system, I am always a bit leery of crosses or other religious symbols in my lessons.  BUT, seeing as the poem specifically talks about the white crosses on Flander's Fields, I knew it would be OK in this context.

The 'poppies' were made with a punch - I need a better poppy shape for next year - and the title was one I made in MS Word, and copied on to yellow paper.  The children cut them out and glued them on. 

Next we made these large poppies.  The background is a mixed media collage.  The children 'painted' on some white glue and attached ripped pieces of black paper and newspaper.  When the paper was covered, they then painted over the entire thing with white glue again.  When it dried it had a nice shiny texture with no loose ends.
The poppies themselves are about 7 inches across.  I made some tracers for them when I used to teach kindergarten, many, many years ago.  I decided that the Grade 2's could use a bit more of a challenge than simply tracing and cutting.  So first they sponged over a 8 x 8 piece of purple construction paper.  They used mostly red, with a bit of white.  I love how this gives texture to their work.

When it was all dried, the added the title in the same manner as the Flander's Fields activity.

When it was all done, I hung them out in the hallway. 
I'm so proud of them, they did a great job don't you think??

New product - and it's FREE!!!!


Here's my latest project for your.  I have just posted this up on my Teachers-Pay-Teachers webpage for you to download - and it's FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!   Click on the photo above or click here to download.  Just in time for Remembrance Day (or Vetran's Day or Armistace Day depending on where you live)  Hop on over and download it now so you can use it next week.  I don't know about you, but I always find that teaching Remembrance Day is such a difficult time.  There's such a time-crunch because it's so close to Halloween. 

Tomorrow we are doing a whole morning of easy Art activities to fill up my bulletin boards for next week.  All of these Art activities are not my own idea so I haven't included them in my unit above, but don't worry, I'll post up some photos for you next week.

You may be wondering why most of my products on Teachers-Pay-Teachers are free, but I haven't finished any of the larger projects I've been working on.  These little units are just ideas that I love to share.  Pretty soon I'll post some major units.  I have so many ideas and time-tested lessons, but I need to pretty them up to post them online, and that takes time.  Check out in the future for a multi-level Story Writing unit for all primary grades, a mini Christmas Musical, a multi subject Winter Holidays unit, and more...   My head is buzzing.

I hope you enjoy this new unit and I'd love to read your comments and see what you think of it.


A Great Lesson About Bullying

I stumbled upon this great story on bullying and I want to share it with all of you teachers out there.

A teacher was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stomp on it and really mess it up but to not rip it.
Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how wrinkled and dirty it was.

She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it.

That is what happens when a child bully’s another child, they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her the message hit home.

Here is the link from where I found this idea.

Wild Things!!!


I'm sure you all know the story Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.  It was always one of my favourite stories as a child.   Remember I told you that I work in an amazing school?  Well yesterday, I walked out of my classroom to find this amazing bulletin board.  It was put together by my colleague Tina Tome and her Grade One class.

After reading the story, Tina decided to use it as a starting point for some descriptive writing.  She had these great foam monster stickers and she gave each child one.  Then each child wrote descriptive sentences about their sticker. 
Next the children drew their wild thing on a piece of black paper with a pencil.  Then they traced and coloured it with chalk pastels.

Below you will find some close-ups.   These guys are totally adorable, dont you think?


Halloween Hungover????

I hope all of you had a fabulous Halloween yesterday.  And I hope that your classroom isn't suffering from the Sugar Hangover too badly!   Somthing happened today in our classroom that really started me I decided to share, and I'd love to hear what your thoughts are about this...

I have really mixed feelings about this issues around Nut allergies.  As a parent whose child is NOT allergic to nuts, I somtimes resent the fact that when I am packing his lunch, I need to steer away from things he loves (like peanut butter) and find nut-free alternatives, as there is a child in his class who has a severe nut allergy. 

However, as a teacher, I often work with children who have severe nut allergies.  So I am aware of the consequences that a reaction can have.  And I am careful to keep my classroom nut-free. 

This morning, one of my students came to me with his Halloween candy.  I mean, ALL of his Halloween candy.  He wanted to share it with the class.  It was full of chocolate that contains nuts.  What would you do???   I decided that I would throw it all out.  This might seem very severe, but I could not let him keep it in his backpack.  There was sooooo much of it, that I was worried about the allergic child reacting to the smell (I've seen this happen, so it's not a myth).  I couldn't keep behind my desk as the children often come up to my desk for help, and the allergic child could be exposed.  So where else was I supposed to put it???

I teach in an inner city community where most of my students do not speak English at home.  It's very difficult to get the message across about nuts, especially when there are cultures that use a lot of nuts and nut oils in their cooking.  It's not like I could call home and tell the parents that they needed to come and pick up their child's Halloween candy.  Finding an interpreter is not easy.   Most of the parents in my school speak some English, but I knew that this child's parents did not speak it well enough for me to communicate over the phone.  So I threw the candy out.

Fortunately, the child who brought the candy, understands English well enough that I could explain to him that I was going to make sure that he got more candy to take home.  He didn't seem too upset about it, but you never know if some kids are simply putting on a brave face.  My plan is to run down to the drug store at lunch and hopefully find some candy on sale. 


Anyway, on to a happier topic.  I hope you all enjoyed your Halloween last night.  If you have small children, I hope that they are recovering from the sugar overdose from yesterday.  (I know that mine are)  Here are some photos from my neighbourhood last night.

Does anyone know how to make one of these????  My neighbour told me that she bought it at a craft fair.

Some of my favourite Jack's from last night.  Connor (my son) named them all.

Here is Jack-O-Mad!!! 

 Here is Jack-O-Kitty

Here are Jack-O-BIG-and-SMALL.