Chinese New Year – Animal of the Year Graphic Organizer

I like using projects year after year. It makes my life easier. This is especially true with holiday projects. There are so many other things to do and update each year, that it’s impossible to keep up. My friend, who teaches kindergarten, recently shared this idea:

Dragons - Chinese New Year

In the spirit of working smarter (not harder), I created this graphic organizer to be used year after year, no matter what animal is the animal of the year for Chinese New Year! After talking about what Chinese New Year is, have the kids draw a picture of that year’s animal, and then write ideas about what that animal can do, has and is (see my friend’s example above). Chinese New Year - Animal of the Year

Click here to download the free PDF: Chinese New Year – Animal of the Year

Christmas Craft Projects for Kids

Ok, one more collection of fun and easy Christmas/holiday crafts for kids and then I’m done for the week! (It’s almost Christmas!!! Finally!). Check out these Pinterest (follow me!) gems:

Mitten Snowmen (source)

Paper Plate Snowman (source)

Pipe Cleaner Candy Canes (source)

Paper Punch Christmas Tree (source)

How Was Your Winter Break? (Report Writing Page)

Winter break report

Another break away from school means kids have a lot to tell you and their friends! Help them share their fun news with this free Winter Break report printable. It’s a quick, easy way to capture memories of their holidays while doing some writing! Win-win!

Click here for the free PDF: Winter Break Write Up

Hand Print Paper Wreath Craft

hand print wreath

This idea was submitted by a second grade teacher (Thank you!). She’s been making them with her class for years, and says it’s one of her favorite holiday crafts for kids. You’ll need:

  • lots of green construction paper
  • some red construction paper
  • 1 paper plate per child
  • scissors
  • glue

The paper plate is the base for the craft. Cut out the center of the plate (have students write their name on the back of the paper plate at this point). Then have students trace their hands on green paper and cut the hand prints out. Glue these on the paper plate, curling the fingers in a bit by rolling them. After you’ve layered the green hands to your preference, use the red construction paper to make berries and a bow (click here for the bows & berries template). There you have it!

This craft can be fun at family parties and other gatherings where you have guests of varying ages. Having different sized-hands on the wreath adds some variety. This can also be a fun craft for grandparents to do with their grandkids, etc. Merry Christmas!

Halloween Creatures Crafts & Writing Project for Kids

I was browsing some teacher blogs recently and came across these adorable pictures of Bride of Frankenstein and Frankenstein (source), paper plate monster and witch:


(Students used green construction paper to make the head and legs (folded strips). They added black construction paper for hair (big hair with a white stripe for Bride), then added googley eyes, white for the screws coming out and some scars with markers/crayons. (Click the images below for the original post.)


And I started thinking of how you could use these crafts (or any Halloween creatures crafts) as a base for a writing project (not just the page in some of the picture)! How fun would it be to do a character “sketch” (description) for your spooky new friend?! So here’s the planning sheet I made to do after you finish making the craft. Have your students put at least 1 thing in each box. Click here for the PDF: Halloween Character Sketch graphic organizer

Creepy Character Sketch sticker

Once you’ve got it all planned out on the graphic organizer, put it into a paragraph. For older kids, challenge them to do multiple paragraphs. Maybe assign a 5 paragraph essay (choose 3 boxes to turn into body paragraphs). Then post the finished crafts and writing on a super spooky bulletin board to showcase your students’ work! Happy Halloween!