March 30, 2012

If Ever a Wiz There Was...

Well, people? I'm back. I know you've been waiting on pins and needles to hear what's been going on in Ms. Ridings' class. (Yeah, right.) Here's what's been  going on: The Wizard of Oz!!!

Let me go ahead right now and confess my undying love for The Wizard of Oz. It's hands down my favorite movie of all time. I love it. I sing the songs. I know all the words. I have Pinterest boards devoted to it. Not even kidding.

Oh, and the kids I tutor after school two days a week? They're putting on a play. The Wizard of Oz. So, we've been practicing it ALOT.

I've been reading my kids the chapter book since about October. Yeah, that was a long time ago. But, give me a break. It's hard for me to find time to just read without an agenda in my day. But, the kids were ENTHRALLED with the book. They could not get enough. Personally, I think the book is a little weird. But, to each their own...

Since this week was the week before Spring Break, a few teachers on my team and I decided to go full-on Wizard of Oz. We purchased Abby Mullins' awesome unit on TPT and we also came up with some great activities on our own.

Monday, we read the picture book and watched the movie. The kids were so excited they could hardly even contain their little selves. It certainly didn't help that we gave them popcorn with "munchkin treats" in it. Oh, and we worked on our character booklets. I made them all a book with some blank pages where they could draw each of the six main characters and write what they are thinking in a speech bubble. Here's what those looked like:

The front cover

We had lots of good invented spelling of "courage" this week! Ha!

Tuesday, we did some of the math activities from Abby's unit. They loved graphing their favorite characters and doing some of the math journal prompts. We also did a Venn diagram to compare/contrast Glenda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch.

Wednesday, things got pretty exciting! In writing, we did the ruby slipper activity from Abby's unit. They turned out soooo cute! We even added some doilies to Dorothy's socks.

Pretty adorable, huh?

Also on Wednesday, we worked on a class mural. I had pre-made a yellow brick road on a big piece of butcher paper and labeled it with the places Dorothy went throughout the book/movie. The kids were so curious about it all week. They kept asking when we were going to work on it.

I basically just split them up into teams of three or four and gave them all a location. I had typed out some ideas of things they could make and encouraged them to brainstorm with their teams. I set out about a bazillion pieces of scrapbook paper and just let them go to town. Ya'll? I am shocked at what they came up with and what a great job they did! They were so into it and so creative! I must admit I helped them outline the Emerald City and the Witch's Castle... but, they did EVERYTHING else!

Here it is!!!

Close up of Kansas and Munchkinland

I typed out quotes from the movie and we added them to our mural, too.

The Cornfield, Forest and Field of Poppies

The Emerald City and the Witch's Castle

As we went through and retold the story using the mural, I had some of the kids write each part of Dorothy's journey on index cards and we glued those on, too.

The winged monkeys are my favorite, ha!

Dorothy, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. And, Toto too.

I really never predicted that this would be such a great activity. I'd say it's maybe my favorite thing we've done this year.

As luck would have it, Mrs. Carroll over at The First Grade Parade posted this right in the middle of the week! So, we took full advantage and my kids got a great opportunity to use the mural to retell the story.

Poo. I just realized that the other pics of these that I took had some last names on them... so, I'm not going to post them on here. But, you can go get this awesome freebie at The First Grade Parade.

Thursday, I let the kids create their favorite character. All I did was cut out the circles for the faces so that the kids wouldn't make them too small. That's all I did. And, let me tell you. It was painful. I kept debating about whether I should cut out witch's hats and magic wands and Dorothy's hair, etc. But, I just decided no. It's okay if their artwork doesn't look perfect. They're kids. I just dumped out the scrapbook paper and let them go to town. I did give them some pics of the characters from the internet as a refernce point. But, I let them work in their teams and make them all on their own. I had to take a few deep breaths when all the Dorothy's came out looking like pigs. But, I'm so happy I let it go and just let them have fun. And, I think they turned out adorable.

Glenda and Wicked Witch
(You can click on the pictures to make them bigger if you want to read their writing.)

Tinman, Dorothy and the Lion

These friends right here were having a race to see who could write the most. Normally, I would stress quality over quantity. But, the day before Spring Break? Race on, friends!

That Dorothy looks totally like a pig, right?

I hung them out on the wall... along with our mural. And, they're going to stay there for a while because they make me happy.

We will FOR SURE be doing The Wizard of Oz every year from now on. My kids had so much fun... and, I may have had even more fun than them!

Now, I'm off to get my Spring Break started! Hopefully, I'll be able to blog some this week. Although, not about school. I'm not even thinking about school after I push the "publish" button to this post.



Sarah Paul said...

These are all adorable!!
Sarah's First Grade Snippets

krazy4writing (Heidi) said...

I love Love Love the ruby slippers! I am definitely gonna do this next year!

I am a writing specials teacher k-4. I know it's an odd position title, but it has been a lot of fun and very enlightening. Come check it out!

I am your newest follower!