Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring, Bluebonnets, and Poetry

Spring Has Sprung!  FINALLY!

At least in Texas it has.  Don't get me wrong - that doesn't mean our temperatures are set at a beautiful 75 degrees.  Any Texan can tell you we cannot count on the same weather two days in a row these days, but we are seeing the signs.  Birds are tweeting, trees are budding, grass is growing, and so are the weeds...  But the best thing about Texas this time of year for many of us is driving along the roads and highways and seeing blankets of bluebonnets, the state flower of Texas.
Our beautiful daughter years ago in a field of bluebonnets.
There are many potential projects, so I thought I would share a few ideas with you.  Maybe these will inspire you to create a few of your own.

One project involved one of my not so pretty, yet authentic anchor charts our class created, which listed reasons we like living in Texas.  The class generated the ideas during a brainstorming session, I recorded them on the chart, then they used these and other ideas to write their own paragraphs about why they like living in Texas.
This week I read aloud The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie dePaola..  We discussed the genre of "legend," and talked about the bluebonnet being our state flower.  There is so much rich vocabulary in this book and the illustrations are beautiful.

It is important to stress that this activity integrated the subjects of Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Science, and Art! We are learning about plants and plant parts in Science, and we have been discussing Texas and its symbols in Social Studies.  I love integrated teaching!

After reading and discussing this book - the students loved it, by the way - it was time for a little art.  I didn't find exactly what I was looking for on Pinterest, though I got some ideas and of course I loved looking. :)

So, I decided to be brave, which is not exactly like me when it comes to art...  I have found it is more authentic to ask my students to take risks and try things, if I show them I will do the same.

 Now if you know me at all, you know I am a tiny bit of a control freak in some ways.  Just the tiniest bit ;)  Those who are like me have a little bit  lot of trouble with things like GLITTER and PAINT... YIKES!  That is what makes this next part pretty AWESOME!!  Well that, and the adorable projects my students made - I was giddy with excitement!  They had so much fun!

The class took a look at some images of bluebonnets, along with a silk one from the craft store.
We started with plain old white and green construction paper.  I cut some strips of green for stems and they were responsible for cutting out a few leaves on their own.  This was more difficult for some than others.  I just praised whatever they came up with for leaves. Then we each got a bit of paint and painted our bluebonnet with - Q-tips!  So simple, almost mess free, and so much fun.  I modeled first (scarey...) and let them create.  Every one of the bluebonnets turned out different (you can imagine some did not exactly look like a bluebonnet) and I loved them! (more pictures coming soon)

Since April is Poetry Month - YEA - I have created two different Acrostic Poem frames to be used in conjunction with this project.  Both are listed in my TPT store found HERE:      

The first one is a TEXAS Acrostic Poem and can be found HERE::
Texas Acrostic Poem
And for those non-Texans or those just wanting to celebrate the new season, a SPRING Acrostic Poem can be found HERE:
Spring Acrostic Poem
I hope something here inspires celebrate the new life of Spring, whether it's Texas Spring or a snow-capped Spring in your "neck of the woods."

Keep writing,

1 comment:

  1. Some great ideas here. I'm interested in home-schooling my kids so it's nice to see what classroom teachers are doing.