Scholastic Magazines

Scholastic Magazines are probably one of my favorite things to add to a lesson or activity! They are perfect in so many different ways. The can also be used in all different subject areas – language arts, science, or social studies! And they are also perfect for an extra activity in a sub plan. Below are different ways I use the Scholastic Magazines: Let’s Find Out in my kindergarten classroom.

Whole Group – The most obvious way to use them is as a whole group activity. Each student

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One of the videos we watch was MLK Jr.’s speech

gets their own magazine to look at, and you can use the interactive resources online to pull up the magazine (if you have a smartboard). I usually call on one student at a time to read to the class from the magazine. Then on the back they have an independent activity to check for understanding.

Another great part about doing these activities whole group is the videos and games. The scholastic website has videos and interactive games that coincide with the magazine. It is a great wrap up to the lesson.

 

Small Group – I often have parent helpers come in to scholastic 1work with my students during language arts centers. (Be sure to check out my language arts centers blog post!) One of my favorite ways to use the Scholastic Magazines is to put it in the science center. I then have a parent helper read through it with the students. The small group reading allows for every student to have an opportunity to read, unlike the whole group lesson.

The scholastic website also has printable resources that coincide with the magazines. Rather than watch the video with the magazine, I have the parent help students complete the written activity instead. It switches things up, but the students still love it!scholastic 2

Reading Groups – Every month, the Scholastic Magazines include a rebus reader! I often use these during my small group reading. This really helps individualize my instruction and helps students to have more confidence when reading independently! And it creates a way to connect science and social studies to language arts!

 

Holidays Around the World

In the month of December, for my social studies unit, I take my kindergarteners on the trip of a lifetime where we learn about the holidays around the world!

IMG_7287Now we don’t actually get on an airplane, but this gives the students a look into a map of the world and a variety of cultures. In the beginning of the unit, each student creates a passport that they will use on their travels. For each country, I have created a powerpoint presentation. It has a map of the country, as well as their flag. I then give details about the December traditions in that country, with pictures from that country as well.

In total, we travel to six different countries. We then end the unit back in the United States where we discuss our own family’s traditions. After they visit each country, they add a picture into their passport that relates to their “travels”.

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Our “wooden” shoes

Holland – When we travel to Holland, I teach the tradition of St. Nicholas’ Day and the story of Sinterklaas. Students learn to compare and contrast the different holidays and traditions. We make “wooden shoes” that we leave for Sinterklaas to fill later in the day (or overnight). The students are filled with joy when they return and their wooden shoes are filled with all sorts of goodies!

Mexico – When we travel to Mexico, students learn aboutIMG_7302 Los Posadas. We learn about the parades and celebrations that take place the week leading up to Christmas in Mexico. Of course, we play the song Feliz Navidad, which many students recognize. Then, we create our very own poinsettias, a symbol of the holiday season in Mexico.

IMG_2511England – In England, we learn that many of the traditions are similar to those we have here. This helps us make the connections to our lessons on Thanksgiving and the pilgrims’ voyage from England. Students learn that stockings originated from England, so as a craft we make our own mini stockings. We also sing carols, which is a common tradition in England. Wreaths are another tradition that originated in England, so as a class we make a handprint wreath to hang on our door.

China – China’s most important holiday is actually Chinese New Year, not Christmas. And I often teach a mini lesson about Chinese New Year in January. But during our holidays around the world unit we touch on common holiday traditions in China during Christmas time. The most common decoration is paper lanterns, so as a class we make our own Chinese paper lanterns.

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Students playing Dreidel

Israel – This is always a unique experience for students who celebrate Christmas, because they have not heard of Hanukkah. We learn about how many of the people who live in Israel are Jewish, so they celebrate a different holiday. I teach them about the eight nights of Hanukkah, the menorah, traditional foods such as latkes, and dreidel. The students love learning to play dreidel, and it is a great way to connect social studies and math. And of course, who doesn’t love trying to win chocolate coins?!

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Roll a Christmas Tree in Germany

Germany – Germany is another country that has similar holiday traditions to the United States, so the focus is more on traditions that originated in Germany. The two main traditions we focus on is the Christmas tree. I once again connect social studies and math by playing “Roll a Christmas Tree” while in Germany. And for an extra sweet treat, we also make gingerbread houses. Both are traditions that originated in Germany!

 

 

The culminating project for this unit is a class book about the holidays around the world. Each student choses one of the countries to write about and we put the pages together into a book.