Here’s a fun graphing game printable that is perfect for an insect unit or to use when students are learning to graph. Students move around the game board, collect bugs on their hunt, and graph their results!
- Going on a Bug Hunt game board
- game pieces (buttons, coins, etc.)
- paper clip
- bug hunt graph
- Print out the “Going on a Bug Hunt” game board and directions sheet onto heavy cardstock paper. Laminate for durability. The game board and directions sheet also fit perfectly inside a file folder to create a file folder math game. These are great for math centers!
- Print out the bug hunt graph, one per student.
- Players put a game piece on “Start”. I use buttons or coins for game pieces, but you can use whatever is handy.
- A player puts a paper clip on the center of the spinner, holds it in place with the tip of a pencil, and spins the paper clip.
- The player moves their game piece the number of places on the spinner. *I provided two different spinners: one that says “Go back one space” and one that says “Spin again”. The “Go back one space” spinner makes for a longer game and larger numbers to graph. For a shorter game and less numbers to graph, use the directions with the spinner that says “Spin again”.
- The player fills in a space on their graph to show the bug he/she landed on. For example, if they land on a ladybug, they will color in one space on the graph for a ladybug.
- Players take turns spinning, moving, and recording the bugs they find on their bug hunt on their graph until they reach the end.
- The player with the most bugs at the end is the winner.
- Students answer the questions on their graph.
This game is a fun addition to my week long insects unit. If you’re in need of a cross-curricular insect unit with detailed daily lesson plans, click on the picture below to hop over to my TPT store and take a look!
The weather is finally warming up, flowers are blooming, and we’re all abuzz about insects! I’ve just wrapped up a huge insect unit. As part of the unit, we learned why insects are important, with a particular focus on bees. Bees are so critical for the pollination of our fruits and vegetables. They also provide us with honey and beeswax that is used to make candles, soaps, crayons, and many other items.
After learning about bees, we made this adorable torn paper bee craft and wrote something about what we learned. The torn paper gives it a great texture like a fuzzy little bumble bee. Here’s how we made it:
- Bee body templates
- yellow and black construction paper
- black pipe cleaners (2 per bee)
- paper towels
- clear tape
- stick glue
Print and cut out all of the bee body templates.
Tear the yellow construction paper into small 1 to 2 inch square pieces. Glue the yellow squares onto the bee body and head templates, overlapping the squares to completely cover the templates.
Tear the black construction paper into 1 inch wide strips to make the bee’s stripes. Glue the stripes on and tear off the excess strips at the edges.
Cut a small black triangle out of the construction paper and glue on for the stinger.
Glue the eyes onto the head. Draw on a wide smile and then glue the head onto the body.
Tape the black pipe cleaners onto the back of the head in the center above the eyes.
Lay the wing template onto a paper towel. Trace the template and cut it out. Glue or tape the paper towel wing onto the template to create a textured wing. (Be sure to use glue that dries clear or it will show through the paper towel.) Glue the wing onto the body.
Print out the “You Won’t Bee-lieve This” writing template. Have students write something they learned or an interesting fact about bees on the template.
Cut out the template and attach it to the bottom of the torn paper bee.
These make an adorable hallway display! Another cute display option is to hang all of the honeycomb shaped writing templates together to create one large honeycomb. Hang the bees around it and add the title “You Won’t Bee-lieve This” over the display.
This bee craft is just one of the many projects in my insect unit in my TPT store. The week-long unit for kindergarten and first grade includes daily detailed lesson plans, literature suggestions, literacy, science, math, handwriting, music, and art. There are also links to YouTube videos that fit in perfectly as well. Click on the picture below to take a look!
I’m so excited to share this post with you because this activity was such a huge hit in our house! My kids love playing with playdough even at the ages of seven and ten. While playdough mats are usually used in preschool and kindergarten classrooms, I thought I’d create some just for fun and see what my kiddos thought. I had no idea how much they’d love these weather playdough mats!
I picked up this Play-Doh Rainbow Starter Pack to use for this activity. It comes with eight cans of playdough. Each can is the mini size, but the amount of playdough was really perfect for these mats. They each had plenty to work with on their picture.
I created six weather playdough mats. Each mat has a picture of a different type of weather and asks them to add something to the picture.
They wanted to each try making three different mats. They worked so intently and spent a lot of time creating each one.
My son wanted added some hail, too!
I just love the boy my son made holding the kite string! He worked really hard on it.
My daughter tore tiny pieces of playdough apart and dropped them onto the mat to make her small snowflakes.
You know your kids had fun when they ask you if you’ll make some more! They gave me some terrific suggestions that I’ll try to create soon.
These weather playdough mats would be a fun complement to a weather unit study for young learners. They would be perfect for a center activity or early finishers. I simply put the printed sheets into a page protector and that worked fine, but I suggest laminating them for long term use. You can download these FREE weather playdough mats by clicking on the link below.
I hope your little ones enjoy them as much as mine did!
*This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small compensation from Amazon for purchases made through this link.
We’re smack dab in the middle of a weather unit and I wanted to share with you the weather videos for kids I’ve put together. I’m a huge fan of incorporating videos into whatever unit we’re studying. Sometimes I use them to introduce a topic or review material we’ve already covered. It’s just a great way to help meet the needs of visual and auditory learners. I hope you’ll find them helpful as you teach your students about weather!
What is Weather?
This video provides a very helpful explanation of the difference between weather and climate.
A real meteorologist defines what weather is, all the different aspects that go into predicting the weather, and gives a behind-the-scene look at being a meteorologist on TV.
You really can’t talk about precipitation with talking about the water cycle. This Crash Course Kids video walks students through the water cycle. It includes a discussion on what precipitation is and shows you an experiment you can perform to make it rain.
SciShow for Kids explains how snowflakes are formed and what their different shapes are called in this three-and-a-half minute video.
Some kids might have a hard time understanding the difference between sleet and snow, but they won’t after watching this short video. It does a great job explaining the difference!
Another Met Office animated video that shows kids how hail and hailstones are formed.
We watched all three of these videos last week when we studied clouds. They really helped my kids to understand how clouds are formed.
This video talks about the water cycle and how clouds form. It also provides information about the different types of clouds.
Another terrific SciShow for Kids video that begins with a brief discussion of the three states of matter. It also touches on how scientists classify clouds and the different cloud types. Their videos are high quality and packed with information.
This was actually a question my daughter asked me: “How do the clouds stay up in the sky? Why don’t they just fall down?” This video does a fantastic job explaining the answer. It also gives some other really interesting facts about clouds. We really enjoyed this one!
The following videos take a closer look at types of extreme weather such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
These videos are just a few that can be found in my Weather Videos for Kids playlist on YouTube. I’ve put together a collection of over FIFTY WEATHER VIDEOS FOR KIDS that covers many different weather topics. Use them for introducing a concept, for review, for centers, or even early finishers. Your students will love them!
We just started our unit on weather and this week we learned about clouds. Here’s a peek at what all we did. I hope these cloud activities for kids will be a helpful resource to you as you teach about weather!
Let’s Read-and-Find-Out Science books are great beginning science books. This book explains how clouds are formed and the different types of clouds. It also includes an experiment in the back for how to make a cloud in a jar.
Beloved children’s author, Tomie de Paola’s fun book about clouds covers a lot of ground. It describes the different types of clouds, along with stories and myths about them.
A nice introduction to clouds for students in PreK to first grade. Lots of real pictures paired with simple text on each page make this a great book for young learners.
We also had a few books about weather in general that had information about clouds in them that we read. A great one is National Geographic Kids: Everything Weather. My oldest has been reading a book from our local library called “Weather and Climate” by John Bassett. (I can’t find it on Amazon.) It’s a fantastic weather resource for older elementary students.
This video explains how clouds form, why clouds appear white, and all about the different types of clouds. I like that it tells what each cloud name means. Did you know that cumulus in Latin means “heap”? Me either!
SciShow for Kids explains what clouds are made of and a little about the types of clouds in this three-and-a-half minute video.
This was actually a question that my daughter had: How do clouds stay up in the air? Why don’t they just fall down? This six-and-a-half minute video does a terrific job explaining the answer, along with some other interesting facts about clouds.
After learning about how clouds are made, we focused on learning about the different types of clouds. The three main types of clouds are cumulus, stratus, and cirrus. All other clouds are some form or combination of these three types. We also talked a lot about cumulonimbus clouds because those are fascinating!
We decided to display our new knowledge about cloud types in an art project.
First, we folded a piece of heavy cardstock in half lengthwise. We used a pencil to lightly draw lines across one side to divide it into four equal sections.
Using a white crayon, we drew an example of a cloud type in each section. For the cumulonimbus cloud, we used gray and white crayons.
Next, we painted over the entire paper with blue watercolor paint to reveal the clouds we drew. A little watercolor goes a long way here. It’s best to water down the paint quite a bit. We also used a napkin to wipe off the excess paint on the crayon before it dried.
We let out paper dry and then we glued another piece of blank cardstock on the back. We folded the papers in half lengthwise again, and cut along our pencil lines we had drawn earlier to create four flaps.
Under each flap, we wrote information about the cloud type.
“Cirrus means in Latin “curls of hair”. They bring good weather and they are ice crystals.”
We tried both of these experiments to make a cloud.
This one was the easiest and turned out the best! My kids were completely mesmerized and did it three different times. It really helped them understand how clouds are made.
We had so-so results with this one. We tried at least eight times and never got it to work as good as he does in the video. I’m guessing it had something to do with our pump and/or opening that we couldn’t get sealed good enough. It looks really cool in the video, though, and is worth a try!
We also spent time observing the clouds each day. We would name each cloud type we saw. They came to see that weather and clouds are constantly changing; We might have stratus clouds in the morning, but cumulus clouds in the afternoon!
We read It Looked Like Spilt Milk and made our own cloud pictures.
I had them draw a shape of an object on a white piece of cardstock. Then, they tore out the shape with their fingers to make it resemble how the shapes looked in the book. We took turns guessing what each cloud picture was and they LOVED it!
Now that they’ve learned about cloud types and how they form, next week we’re moving on to everything that falls from them: precipitation!
*This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission from Amazon from purchases made through the links.
Learning to add money, make change, and compare money amounts are skills that are coming up in our money unit. I’ve been working on putting together lots of fun games and engaging opportunities to practice. Here are some money activities for second grade that I’ll be using. These activities will have your students learning about money without even realizing it!
Don’t Break the Bank
- Don’t Break the Bank game board
- real or fake pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters
- paper clip
How to Play:
- Students place a paper clip onto the center of the spinner and hold it in place with the tip of a pencil.
- They spin the paper clip and place the coin they land on onto the piggy bank. They keep spinning and adding coins to the piggy bank.
- Watch out for the hammer! If students land on the hammer three times, it breaks the bank! The game is over and students count up to see how much money they collected.
Students may like to play the game more than once to try to see if they can get more money into the bank before it breaks again. They can also play with a partner or group. The person in the group who gets the most money into their bank wins the game.
You might explain to students that long ago some people stored their money in ceramic piggy banks. These banks did not have a removable plug like the ones today. The only way to get the money out of the bank was to literally break the piggy bank. Today, the phrase “Break the Bank” means to spend all of your money or that something is too expensive. It’s a great way to throw in a little mini-lesson on idioms!
More Money Activities
- Play “What’s in My Wallet?” This is a fun game that your students will love. Tell students the number of coins and/or bills that’s in your imaginary wallet and have them try to guess the amount. For example, you might say “I have one bill that is under ten dollars and two coins. What’s in my wallet?” Then students try to guess the bills/coins and amount. You might provide younger students with more clues: “I have one dollar bill and two coins that are less than ten cents.”
- Money Scavenger Hunt: Hide a certain amount of coins and/or bills around the room. Tell students how many coins and/or bills are hidden and let them go find them. After finding all of the coins and/or bills, they add up the amount.
- Shopping Trip: Give students store sale ads. Tell them they have a certain amount of pretend money and let them go shopping! Have them draw and write about what they were able to purchase, how much money they spent, and how much change they had left.
- Money Videos: Watch videos and learn songs about money using YouTube. I’ve put together a collection of videos I think are perfect for this here.
Here are a few of the other money games and activities that I’ll be incorporating into our unit:
This quick, print-and-go game has students roll a die and add the money amounts together until they get to $1.00. I also created a Five Dollar Dash, too, where students race to add up to $5.00.
What’s in Piggy’s Bank?
Another no-prep game that has students roll a die, graph the coins they land on, and then total up all the coins to see how much money is in the piggy bank.
Take It to the Bank
Students roll and move around the game board, adding money amounts as they go. The student that collects the most money by the end of the game wins.
Farmer’s Market Task Cards
This will be my first time using task cards and I couldn’t be more excited! Students use a picture of a girl at a Farmer’s Market with different fruits and vegetables for sale to complete the 24 different task cards. Four of the task cards have open-ended questions that require students to give a longer written response.
Piggy’s Bank Write-the-Room
Write-the-Room is always a favorite of my kiddos. 20 numbered piggy banks are placed around the room. Students search for the banks, count the coins on each one, and record their answers on the recording sheet.
Spin and Spend
Spin and Spend is another easy, no prep game. Student spin the spinner and subtract the amount they land on from the amount on a piggy bank. I also made a version that uses dollar amounts.
My kids have actually played this one already and they LOVED it. As soon as they finished, they asked, “Can we play this again?” “Of course!” I said. So they sat back down and played another round. I loved hearing them chant “1, 2, 3, 4, let’s have a coin war!”
Played like the card game War, students each turn over a card from their pile. They count the coins on their card. The student with the highest amount keeps both cards. They keep playing until all their cards have been turned over. The student with the most cards at the end wins.
I hope these games and activities are helpful to you when you’re teaching money. You can download the first game “Don’t Break the Bank” for FREE by clicking the link below.
A black and white version is also included in the download if you’re concerned about using colored ink. Students might enjoy coloring it.
All of the other games can be found in my Money: Centers, Games, and Task Cards product in my TPT store. It comes with all of the directions and templates you’ll need to create these activities, plus ideas for how to differentiate each game for special needs learners and above level students.
We’re fast approaching a big unit on money. We learned coin names and amounts last year, but this year we’re adding, subtracting, and comparing money amounts. As always, I’ve been scouring YouTube to find videos to incorporate into our unit. Here are some of the best money videos for second grade I found:
Coin Names and Values
I highly recommend this video if your students need a review of coin values. It does one of the BEST jobs I’ve seen of explaining coin values to kids. It begins by comparing a diamond ring and a rock. Even though the diamond ring is smaller than the rock, it has more value. Size does not equal value. This principle is then applied to coins. I also love how the video uses small base ten pieces above each coin so students get a visual of the amount. GREAT video!
Again, if your students need a quick refresher on coin names and values, they’ll LOVE this catchy rhyme from Teacher Tipster! I’ve been singing it all day!
This is another super cute song that helps students remember coin names and values.
There’s a good bit of other songs and videos on YouTube that teach coin names and amounts. You can see the others I’ve found in my Money Videos for Kids playlist.
Using a racing game format, this video does a nice job of walking students through the steps of counting and adding coins together.
There weren’t many videos that I found about making change. However, these videos below offer two FANTASTIC strategies that I can’t wait to use.
This teacher shares how to use the counting up strategy for making change. She uses a number line as a visual, which is a great idea for those students who need to see the process step-by-step.
The penny trick is a fast and simple way for students to subtract from whole dollar amounts without having to borrow and regroup.
Other Interesting Money Videos for Second Grade
Reading Rainbow takes students on a field trip to see how money is made. I think this is a fun video to tie into a money unit!
Do you have any super curious students who want to learn more about money itself? This five-minute economics videos for kids explains what money is and how we came to use it as a form of payment. I think it does an excellent job of making the concept understandable for students.
I hope these videos are a great addition to your unit on money! If you need an engaging math center about money, head on over to my TPT store and download these Ten FREE Money Puzzles. Students match money amounts in numbers, coins, and words. It also comes with two extension activities!
I’m so excited to share with you my newest TPT product! I’ll be teaching a human body class this upcoming semester at our local co-op. I needed a human body project for kids in my class that will allow them to organize and store the information we learn. I came up with this file folder project that does just that!
Using either color or black and white templates, students design the outside of the folder to look like themselves. The folder opens to reveal a numbered diagram of the human torso and the head lifts up to show the brain. The labels on each side of the diagram provide summary information about the fourteen labeled body parts.
The best part about this project is that the labels are editable! I included a Microsoft Word version of the labels that can be edited. This allows teachers to customize the labels for their students.
Here are a few suggestions for editing the labels:
- Print the labels as-is from the PDF file. Each label provides a short summary paragraph about the function of each body part.
- Completely change the wording of the labels to what you want your students to know and remember about each body part.
- Edit the labels by leaving out words in each paragraph. Insert blanks for students to fill in the missing information.
- Remove the numbers and text. Have students identify the body parts by writing the correct number it matches on the label. They also write their own summary information.
- Completely remove the text to make blank labels. Have students write their own summary paragraph about each body part or copy a summary you provide.
There are two sets of labels: small labels and large labels that overlap. The large labels provide a bit more room for writing.
See the Product in Action!
I made a short video showing how to make this project. I hope it also gives you a better look at the product itself.
You can find this engaging human body project for kids in my TPT store by clicking here!
Brr!!! It’s a chilly start to our new year. While we don’t have any snow on the ground (yet!), my kids are already dreaming of snowflakes and snowmen. For now, though, we’re settling for making super cute snowmen indoors until we can make some outside. Here’s the suncatcher snowman craft we recently made as we await the real thing!
Suncatcher Snowman Craft Materials
- Suncatcher Snowman Craft templates
- heavy white cardstock
- colored construction paper
- clear contact paper
- white tissue paper
- hole punch
- stick glue
Print out the suncatcher snowman craft templates onto heavy cardstock. Cut out the snowman template.
Cut out a piece of clear contact paper that is a bit larger than the snowman. Stick the front side of the snowman onto the contact paper. Cut around the snowman to remove the excess contact paper.
Cut out the eyes, nose, and button templates. Trace them onto colored construction paper and cut out. Punch holes in a piece of construction paper to make small circles for the mouth. Place the eyes, nose, mouth and buttons on the snowman. The sticky contact paper will hold them in place.
*Here’s a tip to make tracing and cutting out the templates easier: for items that have multiple of the same shape (eyes, buttons, arms, earmuffs), trace the template once and then fold extra construction paper behind the template so you can cut out more than one shape at a time.
Cut out the scarf template. To make a striped scarf, glue small strips of construction paper onto the scarf. Trim off the excess paper around the scarf. Fray the end of the scarf by cutting small snips in the paper.
Here’s the finished product! Isn’t he the cutest? These suncatchers really brighten up the room!
You can print about the free templates to make your own suncatcher snowman craft by clicking on the link in the supplies list.
Oh, and Happy New Year! I hope 2016 brings lots of fun and adventures in learning!
Christmas is a great time to study other countries and cultures. Learning about holiday traditions around the world gives kids a peek into others’ lives. Here are a few Christmas Around the World videos that I think kids will enjoy. I’ve also included a few ideas for how to use these videos with your students.
Christmas Around the World Interactive Videos
These videos are great! This first one contains links at the end for seven different countries. Each link takes you to another video which describes that country’s Christmas traditions.
Christmas Traditions Around the World
This video explains the Christmas traditions of Germany, France, and Australia.
Christmas Traditions Around the Globe
A description of the Christmas traditions in Australia, England, and Italy is given in this Clubhouse News clip.
Holidays Around the World
I love how this video begins! It shows children all across the world singing about Christmas. It also tells about many other holiday traditions celebrated in several countries.
Ideas for Using These Christmas Around the World Videos
- Group students and assign them a country. Students create a poster about the country’s Christmas traditions. They can present it to the rest of the class.
- Create an Instagram picture showing something another country does for Christmas.
- Create a Christmas ornament for each country. Decorate them with pictures to show something about the country’s celebration.
- Create a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting students’ Christmas traditions with those of another country.
- Students write about what Christmas traditions in other countries they wish they could do.
- Create a comic strip showing a child celebrating Christmas in a specific country.
- Create a Christmas brochure for a country by describing its traditions.
- Print out a blank world map. Find and color in the countries on the map.
(Be sure to click on the links above for free printables!)
You can check out my Christmas Around the World Videos for Kids playlist on YouTube for more videos. It has over 20 videos about Christmas traditions in other countries.
I hope these videos are a wonderful complement to your Christmas Around the World studies!