I'm Thankful for Activities Like

Today over at the BlogHoppin’ We Are Thankful for Linky Party, everyone is linking up classroom activities they are thankful for. In the spirt of fall, thanksgiving and parent-teacher conference season, I have a few activities I enjoy doing with my third graders this time of year.
BlogHoppin' We Are Thankful Linky Party Header

Fall Activity

Every year around this time, my students design their very own leaf creature! First, they do a leaf hunt in their backyard or along their walk to school and bring their leaf collection to class. The classroom buzzes with laughter and excitement as they sift through their collection and pick out a few favorite leaves which they arrange into a “creature“. Googley eyes and other unique features are added before the students mount their creature on cardstock to be displayed on the wall.
Leaf Creatures Project Cover, leaf collecting photo, creature photo. This wall of creatures becomes a game board. Everyone writes a diamante poem describing their creature (a fun way to review of parts of speech). These poems are then compiled into our class “I Spy A Leaf Creature” book. The students flip through the poems and try to guess which creature matches each poem. They can check the accuracy of their guess by peeking at the number on the back of each poem which correlates one of the leaf creature numbers.
A wall of leaf creatures created by third graders.

I think of this activity as a trifecta of fall learning fun – art, poetry and a fun classroom reading game.


Thanksgiving Activity

My students get in the Thanksgiving spirt by taking time to reflect on the things, people and moments in their lives they are thankful for. Most third graders have a tendency to think immediately of material goods as what they are most thankful for (video games, sports gear, tickets to an event or trip) so I guide them through an activity that helps them think beyond what can be bought with money.

Students brainstorming reasons why they are thankful.
I am always impressed by the sweet notes that are produced by this writing project and get many warm emails and notes from parents about how grateful they are to receive such an unexpected Thanksgiving gift.

Student writing her letter of thanks.

Supplies needed for letters of thanks craftivity - construction paoer, glue, scissors, googley eyes

Letters of Thanksgiving Writing Activity Turkey

You can grab my Letters of Thanks Thanksgiving Writing Project and Craftivity over at my TPT store. Enjoy!

Letter of Thanks Thanksgiving Writing Project and Craftivity Cover


Conference Activity

In preparation for parent-teacher conferences, my students reflect on their progress thus far in the year. Each student completes a Personal Reflection which guides them through a reflection about their work habits, behavior, and learning preferences. At this point in the year, the report card is fairly basic compared to the more detailed open-ended reflection they complete for spring conferences when they are a little older.
These report cards are a great reference as students update their school goals for the new calendar year.

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I’m Laura Santos

I’ve been an elementary teacher for ten years, and love sharing tips and resources that make differentiated learning more manageable for you. Thank you for visiting.

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