12.16.2012

Free Holiday Bookmarks

It's well known among my family and friends that a gift from me is really likely to be a book.  Most people don't need a bunch of junk filling up their space, but everyone can use a book, right?  I think of them as consumable gifts -- once you've read the book, you can pass it on to a friend or sell it at the used bookstore.

If you are giving books as gifts this year or just trying to promote holiday reading, check out these free printable holiday bookmarks.  You can give them out as prizes or gifts for students, include them along with book gifts, stuff them into stockings, use them as gift tags, or have them delivered by your resident elf.

Visit It's Written on the Wall to get these and nine other holiday-themed bookmarks.

Students can decorate these Christmas bookmarks from Activity Village.  This printable would be perfect for a library activity center.

If your students love telling corny jokes as much as mine do, you'll want to hop over to Nyla's Crafty Teaching to get this (and 11 more) cute, holiday joke bookmarks.
The punchline for these bookmarks appears on the back once you print, cut, and fold.

If you're looking for more, try these four free Christmas bookmarks I found last year or these holiday character bookmarks that can also stand in as tree ornaments or stick puppets.

12.12.2012

Snow Globe Learning Theme

Since the early 1800s, adults and children have been mesmerized by the tiny worlds encapsulated within snow globes. The captivating collectibles push people to imagine life in far away places, and for us warm climate folks, they create a window into the world of wintery weather.  Their appeal among both young and old makes snow globes a fun theme for reading and learning.

Begin by reading The Snow Globe Family.
In this book by Jane O'Conner, a snow globe is home to a family of real, living, itty-bitty people.  The full-sized family of people who own the snow globe are all oblivious to their tiny companions -- all except the baby who is just too small to reach the snow globe and help the little family enjoy another snow storm.  This story is great for teaching kids about perspective.  Plus, students enjoy the element of repetition in this book that allows them to "guess" what's going to happen next.

After reading, let students imagine what it would be like to live in a snow globe.

Get this free printable writing prompt from Ginger Snaps Treats for Teachers.  After writing, allow students to illustrate their snow globe scene on a circular piece of paper.  Use the writing template as a base for students' globe pictures in order to create a bulletin-board-worthy student work display.  Older students can be pushed to write an entire story just by giving them a bigger piece of paper.  In a science class, you could ask students to describe a biome that experiences snowy weather.

Be sure to add a snowy effect to the illustrations.  You can use spray glitter to quickly add sparkly snow, or allow students to glue on dots from the hole puncher or stamp white paint using a pencil eraser to fill the scene with snowfall like in these globes from Through the Eyes of a Dreamer.

Students can make a more interactive snow globe using disposable plates.
This version was created years ago for our blizzard-themed book fair.
  1.  Let students draw characters and scenery for their globes.
  2.  Have them glue their drawings onto a dark blue plate.
  3.  Add some fake snow.
  4.  Then glue a clear plate on top to encapsulate everything.
  5.  Attach a piece of construction paper to form the base of the globe.
  6.  Shake, shake, shake and enjoy!
Snow globes crafts can be created using many unexpected, recycled materials.  Visit Our Best Bites to learn how to use food jars to make these personalized photo snow globes, which are sure to provide endless entertainment both during and after crafting.

 Clear ornament balls can easily be converted into adorable snow globe tree ornaments that students can proudly take home as a holiday gift for their parents.
Get the full tutorial for this simple yet delightful project at Cook Love Craft.

Another idea uses small, spherical coke bottles to create snow globe cupcakes.
Cake afficianado, Bakerella invented these amazing snow globe snacks, and you can get the instructions at her blog.  The biggest problem with this treat might be locating the special edition round bottles which most people seem to find at my least favorite big box store (sounds like shawl kart).  If you aren't able to find the bottles, you can try this cake, which uses a glass bowl to form the snow globe.

Learn how to make your own at Todera.

12.09.2012

Free Printable Elf

If you're looking for an elf for your shelf that won't break the bank, head over to Disney's Spoonful site where you can get this printable, foldable elf puppet who will surely report to Santa as well as any $30 doll.