I’ve been working on this for a while and I’m SUPER excited to share it with you!
I’ve discovered a new book series that is focused on character building. It’s called, Connor the Courageous Cutter. So far, there are 3 books in the series, but I’m hoping they’ll make more!
The first book is called Saving Sarah. I’ve recently become friends with one of the authors. Here’s his summary of the book:
Join Connor the Courageous Cutter in his first adventure in beautiful Serendipity Sound. When Sarah the Schooner gets caught in a storm, panic riddles the sound. Who will heed the Harbor Master’s call and save her?
This book is just exploding with character building/morality topics! I just HAD to make a discussion guide for you. Here are some of the topics I found in the story:
acceptance of others/diversity
obeying the rules
what makes someone valuable
…and the list goes on (I even found ideas for a more inspirational discussion if you want!)
Grab a copy of the books for yourself by clicking the pictures below:
There’s also a free coloring page (CLICK HERE!) you can grab from the author’s website. I’ve also started following the Courageous Crew on Facebook and Twitter.
P.S. If you’re wondering what a “cutter” is, here’s your answer: United States Coast Guard Cutter is the term used by the U.S. Coast Guard for its commissioned vessels that are longer than 65 feet and have a permanently assigned crew with accommodations aboard. For more kid-friendly info about the Coast Guard, check out this free downloadable coloring book I found a few months ago!
I’m obsessed with kids books… especially picture books. I have heard about Fancy Nancy (by Jane O’Connor) for a few years now, but I recently “tested them out” and read through a few of them.
OH. MY. WORD.
They’re awesome! Not only are the illustrations adorable, but the voice in them is full of fun personality, AAAAAND she uses awesome vocabulary! So, now my toddler has been going around calling purple “fuchsia” and cupcakes “delectable”. (Yeah, what kid under 3 has THAT kind of vocabulary?! Thank you, Fancy Nancy!) Here’s an example:
Most of the beginning reader books have a page of “fancy words” in them. My toddler insists on reading this page too (because it has a cute illustration?) so we get a vocab review at the end of the story and I don’t even have to ask for it! WIN WIN!
Click here to grab a copy for your classroom (and get started expanding your students’ vocabulary without even trying!):
I’m pretty fond of this new Don’t Eat Pete board (updating my collection here!). I think it turned out nicely, so I wanted to share with you! Perfect for any St. Patrick’s Day party, this would work perfect with Lucky Charm cereal or rainbow Skittles for the treats!
3 – 10 kids sit around the game board. The adult or moderator puts a small treat (M & M, chocolate chip, Cheerio, or whatever) on each number. The “guesser” leaves the area so they can’t see or hear what’s going on. Another person points to a number to choose “Pete”. The “guesser” comes back and starts taking the M & M’s (or whatever) off the board and gets to eat them. When the guesser touches “Pete”, everyone yells, “Don’t Eat Pete!!” and the guesser’s turn is over. The guesser eats the last one he got called out on to keep it sanitary!
This is a quick worksheet I have used with my third graders for a review of adjectives. I use this as one of my quick reviews when my kids come in from lunch or special area classes to help them quickly focus and be ready for our next activity. I put it on their desk before they come back in the classroom, so they know to quickly get to work. I’ve put two copies on a page so you can use half the paper.
This game has been a classic in my classroom, so it’s worth talking about again. I have used Don’t Eat Pete for holiday parties for years. I change the “game board” to fit the holiday with stickers or cutouts. It takes about 5 minutes to make. Get a colored piece of paper. Mentally divide the paper in 9 squares – 3 rows and 3 columns. Put a sticker or cutout in each “square”. Number the stickers or cutouts 1 to 9. Laminate it if you want it to last, or put it in a sheet protector. Now you are ready to play. 3 – 10 kids sit around the game board. The adult or moderator puts an M & M, chocolate chip, Cheerio, or whatever on each sticker. the “guesser” leaves the area. Another person points to a number. That number is “Pete”. The “guesser” comes back and starts taking the M & M’s (or Cheerios, or whatever) off the board and gets to eat them. When the guesser touches “Pete”, everyone yells, “Don’t Eat Pete” and the guesser’s turn is over. The guesser eats the last one he got called out on to keep it sanitary! My kids request this activity every party! My own kids at home have loved this too!
Here’s a photo of the Valentine’s Day one I have. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be crazy fancy or “Pinterest worthy” to be super fun.
Maybe I’ll try and make you some printable Don’t Eat Pete boards…
The “paper plate wreath” as an art project has been around for decades. I found these directions in my mom’s teaching files from when she taught second grade thirty years ago (even before the internet and Pinterest!) These easy to follow directions can be posted at a center when kids are done with work as incentive. Happy Valentine’s Day!
I love Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of peace. It is a huge overwhelming goal, but when each of us makes an effort to be kinder, we will see results. Use this page as a springboard to start a class discussion about making the world a better place in the areas we each have influence.
This one is a full sheet for upper grades and middle school. We don’t often get to discuss behavior on social media (and many youth don’t get this discussion at home), so take this opportunity! Click here to download: I Have a Dream – Full Sheet
I’ve also done some anti-bullying activities! Click here to see my post about an awesome one!