Substitute Teacher Kit
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Science – Animal Groups
Materials: magazines, craft paper
|•||Explain that we can put animals into different groups. For first graders, you might use the following groups: animals with fur, animals with scales, animals with feathers. For second graders, you might want to use some or all of the following: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects.|
|•||Tape a piece of craft paper to the wall. Write the name of each animal group you choose in large letters on the paper.|
|•||Invite students to find and cut out pictures of animals in magazines.|
|•||Encourage the class to decide in which group each animal belongs. Then tape the picture under the correct heading.|
|•||After students identify all of the pictures, discuss each animal group with the class. Ask questions such as "What animals are in this group?" or "How are these animals alike?"|
Reading/Language Arts – Animals A to Z
Materials: 26 large pieces of paper, each labeled with one letter of the alphabet; pencils; crayons
|•||Divide students into pairs or small groups. Explain that they are going to write and illustrate entries for a class zoo dictionary.|
|•||Before students begin work, make a few sample entries. For example: On the T page, draw a picture of a tiger, label it, and write a simple descriptive sentence below it, such as, "A tiger is a big cat."|
|•||Give each group one letter of the alphabet and ask them to brainstorm animals whose names begin with that letter. Then encourage them to work together to draw a picture and write a descriptive sentence for each animal.|
|•||When students have finished the dictionary, have a volunteer design a cover. Then display the book in the classroom.|
Art – Our Own Zoo
Materials: craft paper, markers, crayons, magazines, glue
|•||Invite students to work together to make a zoo collage.|
|•||If necessary, help students brainstorm a list of animals that they might include in their zoo.|
|•||Encourage students to use crayons and markers to create realistic animal areas. Then have them draw or paste animals into the areas.|
|•||Display the zoo collage on a classroom wall or bulletin board.|
Social Studies – Making a Zoo Map
Materials: simple maps, craft paper, crayons
|•||Ask students to imagine they have just entered an unfamiliar zoo. Have them think about how they will find the animals they want to see.|
|•||Distribute simple maps for students to view. Review basic map features such as symbols and map keys.|
|•||Students can work in pairs or small groups to create zoo maps. Before they begin work, make a list of the features that each map should include, such as specific animal areas, a petting zoo, and restrooms.|
|•||Encourage students to think practically. How might they arrange the areas? What animals should they include?|
|•||When students have finished their maps, have each group share their work with the class.|
Physical Education – The Zookeeper Says...
|•||Take the class outside or to a large, open room to play a game modeled on Simon Says.|
|•||Explain that you will be giving the students instructions. If you say "The zookeeper says..." students should do as you say. But if you do not use those words, students should stand still.|
|•||Use simple instructions to prompt students to behave like different zoo animals. For example: hop like a bunny; swim like a dolphin; run like a zebra; walk like a bear.|
|•||If a child reacts to an instruction that doesn't begin with the words "The zookeeper says..." he or she should sit down. Continue to give instructions until only one child is left standing.|
Encourage students to tell what they've learned about zoo animals. Write their ideas on chart paper. Then help students make a list of questions they still have about zoo animals. Challenge individuals to find the answers to these questions and to share this information with the class.
Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month! Don't overlook this opportunity to study and enjoy activities about the history and culture of Asian-Pacific American communities.
The recent rash of tornadoes in Oklahoma, which killed at least two dozen people, may have your students wondering why such natural disasters occur, how they may be affected by them, and what they can do to help. Use these resources to teach the geography of Oklahoma and the Southwestern United States, to explain tornadoes, and to discuss the resulting crises with your class.
Top 10 Galleries
Explore our most popular Top 10 galleries, from Top 10 Behavior Management Tips for the Classroom and Top 10 Classroom Organization Tips from Veteran Teachers to Top 10 Free (& Cheap) Rewards for Students and Top 10 Things Every Teacher Needs in the Classroom. We'll help you get organized and prepared for every classroom situation, holiday, and more! Check out all of our galleries today.
May Calendar of Events
May is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Backyard Games Week (5/23-29) and Memorial Day (5/27). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Clean Air Month, and Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.