Free!

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Free Learning Guide for DisneyNature’s Bears

This free learning guide for DisneyNature’s Bears comes with so many activities and printables, you can easily turn this into a mini theme unit!  Designed for grades 2-6, this 23 page activity book is yours for the taking.  Just click the image below!

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In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure “Bears” showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run—while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf. “Bears” captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses—Alaska!  Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Earth,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee”) and Keith Scholey (“African Cats”), and narrated by John C. Reilly, “Bears” arrives in theaters April 18, 2014, to celebrate Earth Day.

For more information about Disneynature, like them on Facebook: facebook.com/Disneynature and follow them on Twitter: twitter.com/Disneynature.

True Story Lesson Plan

Free Lesson Plans: The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

True Story Lesson Plan
3 Little PigsTitle: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
Author: Jon Scieska
Illustrator: Lane Smith
Ages: 5-8 years
Description (from Amazon): “There has obviously been some kind of mistake,” writes Alexander T. Wolf from the pig penitentiary where he’s doing time for his alleged crimes of 10 years ago. Here is the “real” story of the three little pigs whose houses are huffed and puffed to smithereens… from the wolf’s perspective. This poor, much maligned wolf has gotten a bad rap. He just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, with a sneezy cold, innocently trying to borrow a cup of sugar to make his granny a cake. Is it his fault those ham dinners–rather, pigs–build such flimsy homes? Sheesh.

This 10th-anniversary edition of Jon Scieszka’s New York Times Best Book of the Year, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, includes a special, impassioned letter from prisoner A. Wolf himself and a snappy new jacket by Caldecott Honor artist Lane Smith, whose quirky perspectives still color the illustrations throughout. As with The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, the collaborators take a classic story and send it through the wisecracker machine, much to the glee of kids young and old. (Ages 4 to 8 or much, much older) –Emilie Coulter –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Overview:

You may think you know the story of the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, but this story will make you think otherwise.  As told by A. Wolf, this is a delight for all ages.

Discussion Points:

Ask your student the following questions:

    • Before reading the story, ask your student(s) if he or she remembers the story of the Three Little Pigs and have them tell it to you.
    • Have a discussion about point of view; talk about how the original story is written from the pigs’ point of view and this one is written from the wolf’s point of view.
    • After reading the story, compare what elements were the same and which were different.  (you can use this free printable venn diagram)
      • After comparing the elements of the two versions, ask your child(ren) what conclusions can they come to about which parts were true?
    • Can you remember a time where two different people had a different view of what happened?
    • In this story, the wolf eats a lot (and he’s baking a cake!).  Talk about what a wolf in the wild really eats (you can find out here).

Activities:

  • Learn more about writing point of view
  • Pretend you are a newspaper reporter and write your own story about the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf
  • In this story, A. Wolf was trying to make a cake for his grandmother.  Try this easy recipe and make your own cake.
  • Can you really build a house from straw?  Watch this video to find out!
  • Create your own version of the story and act it out with friends & family.  Watch the video below for ideas!

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Free Writing Journal Prompts

Free Writing Journal Prompts

Free_Writing_Journal_PromptsKeeping a writing journal is a fun, easy way to add some creativity, free thinking and problem solving skills to your homeschool routine.

Simply print out some free writing paper (or use your own paper), read the prompts with your child(ren) and let them freely write about that day’s topic.  When they have completed the assignment, let them read their writing to you and then file it into a binder.

Some of the journal prompts lend themselves quite nicely to drawing as well.  If you have the time and your child is inspired, we encourage you to allow them the extra creative freedom to illustrate his or her journal entry too.

At the end of your school year, children will have fun reading through their previous journal entries and you’ll be able to see their writing progress.

We recommend reading the finished entries together, but not correcting or grading them.  This should be fun activity!

All of these writing prompts can be adapted for younger or older students.  Where it is a good fit, we have included  Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced journal assignments.

We’ll be adding more writing journal prompt through the year.  Be sure to book mark this page and check back often!

Name that Kid!

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When you were born, you were given a name.  It might not sound very special to you because it’s the only name you’ve ever known, but it is special because it was chosen by somebody that loves you.

Did you know that every name also has a meaning?  You can look up the meaning of the name you were given here.  What does it mean?

What if you could give yourself a new name?  What would it be?  What does it mean?

Beginner: Write about your new name and why you chose it.

Intermediate: Write about your new name, what it means and why you chose it.

Advanced: Write about the name you have now and why you were given that name.  Then, write about your new name and why you chose it.

Goody, Goody Gumdrops

gumdropsHave you ever heard the term “Goody, goody gumdrops!”?  It’s usually used to express excitement or delight.  We don’t know, for certain, when this phrase came about, but the first known publication appeared in a comic strip by Carl Ed in 1936.

Do you have a favorite expression you like to use when you’re excited?  What is it?

Beginner: Make up a new expression of excitement or delight.

Intermediate & Advanced: Make up a new expression of excitement or delight and write why you chose those words.

Random Acts of Kindness

437_3031147A “Random Act of Kindness” is when someone does something nice for another person, for no apparent reason at all.  Simply for the sake of doing something nice.

Have you ever done something nice for someone without expecting anything in return?  Have you ever experienced a Random Act of Kindness?

Beginner: In your journal, write about a time someone did something nice for you just to do something nice.

Intermediate: Write about a time you were the recipient of a Random Act of Kindness and also write about a time you did something nice for someone else.

Advanced: In addition to writing about a time you benefited from a Random Act of Kindness and a time you did a kindness, write about something you could do today that would be considered a Random Act of Kindness.

Bonus: Why not plan to do a few Random Acts of Kindness and shower those around you with surprise and delight?!?

Once Upon A Time

859_4304181You’ve probably heard a lot of stories that began with the words, “Once upon a time.”  It’s likely most of these were fairy tales.  Some favorite fairy tales are Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Jack & the Beanstalk.

The dictionary says that a fairy tale is “a children’s story about magical beings and lands.”  But, have you ever noticed that fairy tales have a lot more in common that just being about magical beings and lands?

Almost every fairy tale has at least one good character, one “evil” character, a problem to overcome and a happy ending. More importantly, fairy tales have a moral, or teaches an important lesson.

In your journal, write your very own fairy tale complete with a hero (good character), villain (evil character), happy ending and moral.

Tip: You may want to allow 2-3 days for the completion of this writing journal entry.

Bonus: Try illustrating your story too!

Leap Year

773_3930255The calendar we use every day is based on how long it takes for the Earth to rotate on it’s axis and how long it takes to travel around the sun.  Every time the Earth makes a complete trip around the sun it marks a year on our calendar.

You may know that we have 365 days in our calendar year.  Knowing that 1 year on our calendar is how long it takes for Earth to travel around the sun, you would think that it takes the Earth 365 to make that long trip.  Well, not exactly.  It actually takes the Earth 365 and 1/4 days.  We can’t really add a 1/4 day to our calendar, though.

Instead, every 4 years, we add an extra day.  This day is called “Leap Day” and is the last day of February.  The next Leap Day will be February 29, 2016.

Think of that!  An entire extra day!  What would you do if you found yourself with an extra day in the calendar year?  Would you relax?  Have a party?  Get caught up (or ahead) on your school work?

In your journal, write about what you would do with that extra day.

Put Me in the Zoo!

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Zoos have been around for over 3,000 years.  There is archeological evidence of zoos in ancient Egypt!  To this day, there are over 750,000 animals in U. S. zoos that people go to visit every day.

Have you been to the zoo?  What was your favorite animal to visit?  What were they doing?

In your journal, imagine that zoos were opposite of what they really are.  Write about a zoo where animals come to see the people.

I Scream, You Scream!

605_4382997Almost every loves ice cream and seems like it’s always been around.  While it hasn’t always been around, it was invented a very long time ago.  One of the earliest references to ice cream way by the Roman Emperor, Nero (A. D. 37-68).

When Nero had ice cream made, they used ice and fruit.  The ice cream we know, today, is much different, usually made with cream, sugar and other ingredients to make our favorite flavors.  Some people like simple flavors like vanilla, strawberry or chocolate but there are some super-crazy flavors too, like Honey Jalapeño Pickle!

In your writing journal, create your own ice cream flavor.  Describe what your ice cream looks like, it’s ingredients and what it tastes like.

Bonus: Try making your own ice cream in a bag.

It’s A Holiday!

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Do you know that there really is a “Make Up Your Own Holiday Day?”  It’s true!  According to Holiday Insights, “Make Up Your Own Holiday Day” happens on March 26.

If you could make up your own holiday, what would you celebrate?  In your writing journal, describe your holiday.  What is it about?  Do you prepare special foods?  Is there a special song or dance?  Have fun – it’s your day to celebrate whatever you want!

 

 

I Want to Be a Millionaire

436_3129818Have you ever met a millionaire?  Maybe you have and you didn’t even know it.  Anyone can be a millionaire (even you!), but it takes hard work and not giving up.  Unless you win the lottery, of course, but your chances of winning aren’t very good (1 in 175.2 million, to be exact).  Imagine you’ve worked hard, made smart decisions and you now find you’ve earned and saved a million dollars!

What would you do if you had a million dollars?  Would you have a party?  Give some to charity?  Buy a big house for your family?  In your writing journal, tell us what your life would be like if you had a million dollars.

Bonus: If you haven’t read it yet, The Toothpaste Millionaire is a really great book about an 8th grade boy who works hard and makes a million dollars.

 

 He Said What?!?!

0520027Do you have a pet or know someone that does?  How can you tell what your dog (or cat, or bird, or hamster–or whatever pet you have) wants?  Dog primarily communicate by barking and with body language.  You can get a pretty good idea what he wants by the kind of bark he’s using.

Your dog might use a sharp, high-pitched bark when he wants your attention to play or he might use a low, rumbling growl to tell others “stay away!”  You can read the top ten ways dogs communicate in this article at Yahoo.

What if your dog (or other pet) could actually talk using human words?  What would he say to you and to other dogs?

Beginner: In your journal, write a few things your pet would say to you.

Intermediate & Advanced: In your writing journal, write about a day in the life of your talking pet!

Bonus: For fun, watch “Look Who’s Talking Now,” [PG-13] a movie about talking pets! 

 

Don’t forget to check back often, we’re going to keep adding fun new writing journal prompts!

Download your free beginner & intermediate writing paper here.

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st. patricks day crafts

5 Fun & Easy St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

fun and easy st patricks day crafts

Are you ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?  The whole family help get into the theme of thing with these 5 fun and easy St. Patrick’s Day crafts!

easy st patricks towel

 

Proving that crafting doesn’t need to cost and arm & a leg, these cute towels started life at a dollar store.

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Turn a simple houseplant into a fun St. Patrick’s Day centerpiece for your table.

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Every time I look at these jars, they just put a smile on my face! They are just so full of vibrant color and whimsy, your day is sure to be a little brighter.

leprechaun trap
How do you catch a leprechaun? Set a trap, of course!

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Looking for a treat to share? Why not try these Twisted Pretzel Shamrocks?

Free Muppets Activity Sheets

Free Muppets Most Wanted Printable Activity Sheets

I’ll admit it, I’m over 40 and I’m just mad about the Muppets!  If your kids love the Muppets too, download these completely free, printable activity sheets that cover art and science!

Click the arrows to see the next printable.

How to Draw Animal

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How to Draw Beaker 


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How to Draw Fozzie Bear

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How to Draw Kermit the Frog

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How to Draw Miss Piggy

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How to Send Invisible Notes

How to Send Invisible Notes

Free Printable Muppets Post Card!

Free Printable Muppets Postcard

Like The Muppets on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Muppets

 

Follow The Muppets on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheMuppets

 

Follow Miss Piggy on Twitter: @RealMissPiggy

 

Follow The Muppets on Tumblr: http://themuppets.tumblr.com

 

Follow The Muppets on Instagram: @TheMuppets

 

Visit the Official Site: http://disney.com/muppets

 

MUPPETS MOST WANTED opens in theaters everywhere on March 21st!

 

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Black History Month Learning Activities

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February is Black History Month, an opportunity to talk with children about race and civil rights, as well as the heritage, accomplishments, and culture of African Americans.

Join Little Passports’ Sam and Sofia as they explore these 3 ways to celebrate and learn!

1. Read a Book
Spark a conversation by reading children’s books that highlight our nation’s African American heroes and their achievements. Here are a few inspiring selections:

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., By Doreen Rappaport
An introduction to Dr. King’s life and message, this picture book pairs age-appropriate educational material with beautiful images.

The Story of Ruby Bridges, By Robert Coles
The inspiring story of a courageous 6-year old girl who helped shape US history by being the first African American child to go to an all-white school.

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, By Kadir Nelson
This gorgeously illustrated book tells the story of the African American baseball league and the challenges they overcame to pursue their passion.

2. Play a Game
Sam and Sofia learned to play Mancala, a counting game that originated in Africa and is now popular all over the world!
DIY Activity: It’s easy to make your own Mancala board! Simply get an empty egg carton with 12 small “pits,” trim off the sides, and decorate it with markers or paint. Get two containers (such as bowls) and place one at each end of the egg carton as the “banks,” where players collect their winnings. For the “stones,” you can use small items, such as marbles, beans, or even candy! For detailed rules on how to play, click here: How to Play Mancala

3. Take a Trip
Visit a landmark, attraction, or museum, celebrating black history. An interactive and engaging field trip is a great way to capture a child’s interest! Here are some ideas:
• Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial (Washington, D.C.)
• Booker T. Washington National Monument (Franklin County, Virginia)
• Tuskegee Airmen National Museum (Detroit, MI)
• Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience (Permanent exhibition at the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY)


For more hands-on activities celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr., check out the Little Passports Pinterest board.

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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