Wednesday, August 24, 2016

For the HEALTH of it! Back to School

This back to school season,  teach your students about germs, diseases, and how to stay well with these 3 health lessons. Perfect for 4th and 5th grade classrooms.



Well, next week I officially report back to work.  It has been a great summer, but I am excited to get my classroom in order, turn all of those ideas I've been pinning and planning into reality, and finally meet my new bunch of fourth graders.  I love back to school time!

What I don't love about a new school year is being bombarded by germs... coughing, sneezing, dirty hands, nose picking, viruses, bacteria...  OH MY!  I can feel my throat start to scratch and my sinuses start to drain just thinking about it.  

In my school district, we teach about communicable and non-communicable diseases, pathogens, and heatlhy habits as part of our health curriculum.  I always start the year with these valuable lessons that we refer to all year long.  Because of a packed schedule, I only teach health once a week, so I need to make that lesson count!  

I've just finished the first three in a HUGE series of health lessons I plan on creating throughout the school year. 

This back to school season,  teach your students about germs, diseases, and how to stay well with these 3 health lessons. Perfect for 4th and 5th grade classrooms.
Here's a little bit about each one of the lessons:
This back to school season,  teach your students about germs, diseases, and how to stay well with these 3 health lessons. Perfect for 4th and 5th grade classrooms.

In lesson #1 students learn what communicable and non-communicable diseases are, examples of each and ways to protect against contagious illness.  As a closing activity they play a "I have, who has" game as a class to review the vocabulary and concepts in the lesson.  

This back to school season,  teach your students about germs, diseases, and how to stay well with these 3 health lessons. Perfect for 4th and 5th grade classrooms.
I'm FREE!  Click to download!
 Lesson #2 goes into more depth about what causes communicable diseases, specifically viruses and bacteria.  The informational brochure talks about the immune system and how it helps defend against these unwanted intruders.  As part of the lesson, students design a germ and create a wanted poster sharing details from what they learned from their health brochure.
This back to school season,  teach your students about germs, diseases, and how to stay well with these 3 health lessons. Perfect for 4th and 5th grade classrooms.
Click to go to TpT.

Lesson #3 teaches students about 8 healthy habits for staying well.  This connect to both of the previous lessons, but goes into more details about how to keep well.  As an opening activity, students participate in an easy to science experiment to discover where the most germs are in the classroom. 

This back to school season,  teach your students about germs, diseases, and how to stay well with these 3 health lessons. Perfect for 4th and 5th grade classrooms.


Each of these lessons includes detailed lesson plans, lesson objectives for posting, an opening activity, main lesson including a non-fiction text in brochure format, and a closing activity.   If you buy the MINI-BUNDLE of all three lessons,  I've also included a grade book page with all of the objectives listed and an assessment covering all three lessons. 

This back to school season,  teach your students about germs, diseases, and how to stay well with these 3 health lessons. Perfect for 4th and 5th grade classrooms.


If you already have a health curriculum, the health brochures are also a great way to revisit the concepts in a literacy center or as a take home assignment.  They include vocabulary, quick before reading activity, close reading/code the text key, and after reading vocabulary task and comprehension questions related to the lesson objectives.  

video

My next set of For the HEALTH of It! lessons will be focusing on HYGIENE!  If you are interested in getting notification of when these lessons are completed, please follow Literacy Loves Company on TpT!  All new resources are 50% off for the first 48 hours...  that equals big savings.  

*NOTE...  as I use these lessons in class, I'll update this blog post with photos of the lessons and activities.  If you are interested, follow my blog by e-mail or on blog lovin!  

Thanks for visiting Literacy Loves Company Blog!  I hope you stay germ free and have a great Back to School season! 


Attribution for the dirty hands photograph in the video:




Monday, August 15, 2016

You're Hired! Building Community with Classroom Jobs




No matter how long you have been teaching, whether this is your first year or you've been teaching for a dozen, one of the most important things you can do to support classroom management and help your school year go smoothly is to build a strong rapport with your students and a sense of community in your classroom.  There are a hundred different things you can do to accomplish this such as holding class meetings, spending time on get-to-know-you activities the first week of school, and having clear expectations and consequences.

Today I want to talk to you about another classroom routine that not only builds a sense of teamwork in your classroom, but also helps you, the teacher, keep your classroom organized and clean.

I'm talking about classroom jobs.  Classroom jobs are a great way to help your students develop a sense of community and teamwork.  When all your students have one small task to complete each day, they begin to see that when everyone puts in that little bit of effort the class runs more smoothly, stays organized, is more conducive to learning, and is a more pleasant place to spend their day.  As students complete their jobs and are recognized for their effort it builds self esteem and helps to establish a strong work ethic.
A closer look at how to use classroom jobs to build community this back to school season.  Great tips for getting the most from your classroom jobs!

The key here is to make sure that every one of yours students has a classroom job that they are interested in, proud of, and are capable of completing successfully.

A closer look at how to use classroom jobs to build community this back to school season.  Great tips for getting the most from your classroom jobs!

Try to phrase your job titles in ways that make them sound interesting and important.  For example, Recycling Manager sounds much more important that just recycler.  Light Monitor more esteemed than light person.  And Class Botanist more official than gardener.  You want students to be proud of their positions and giving them powerful job titles is one way to do that.

A closer look at how to use classroom jobs to build community this back to school season.  Great tips for getting the most from your classroom jobs!

Giving students choices is important to building relationships and community.   Rather than just assigning jobs to students randomly, it is a good idea to give students a chance to choose which jobs they would like to do.  Classified ads are a great way to give your students some information about each of the jobs.  Each job has a short description so that students understand what will be expected of them if they get hired for that position.  I plan on making several copies of these classified ads and give students time to read through them and circle jobs that are interesting to them.  I also plan on keeping a clean copy on display near my job chart so that the descriptions are easily available for reference throughout the year.

Undoubtably,  there will be some jobs that everyone wants and a few that nobody is interested in. This is when having an Employment Application will come in handy.  In the past, I've written all of the job titles on a large sheet of butcher paper and students wrote their names under the three job titles that they were interested in.  I'd go through and choose a person for each job.  This year,  I want my students to give more thought into what skills they have that would make them the best person for the job that they want.  I plan on asking each of my students to fill out the application with their top two choices.  This will not only give me some information about my students while I am hiring, but it will also give my kiddos practice with the real world task of filling out forms.

A closer look at how to use classroom jobs to build community this back to school season.  Great tips for getting the most from your classroom jobs!
Click on the image to get a free download of the Classroom Employment Application

Hold students accountable for their jobs.  In my class, I have two students who are my "Job Supervisors".  These two students check off  workers as they complete their jobs each day.  This is important because we have a classroom economy and students get paychecks each month for their clean-up jobs.  To help keep track of student positions and to help hold students accountable for their responsibilities, this chart is vital.
A closer look at how to use classroom jobs to build community this back to school season.  Great tips for getting the most from your classroom jobs!

I will be writing another blog post on our classroom economy, but for now I will say that I have found rewarding students for their hard work is an important part of this learning experience.  As adults, we get paid for our work.  I look forward to my paycheck and I enjoy spending my hard earned money.  The same can be said for our students.  They should be recognized for their efforts.  You don't have to have a classroom economy.  There are a lot of different ways you can show appreciation.  You can have lunch in the classroom, indoor recess, a board game party, and the list goes on.  It is just important to let students know that their contribution to keeping the class clean and running smoothly is appreciated.


Classroom jobs may look differently depending on the grade level you teach, but no matter what age your students are, a small task for each student can be beneficial for all involved, including the teacher.  I teach 4th grade and the help my students give me helps me keep my sanity!  My students collect papers, deliver mail, change the daily schedule, make sure the calendar is up to date, sweep the floor, take out the trash, make sure absent students get missing work, make sure the lights are on and off...  and the list goes on.  All of these things I'd have to do myself if it wasn't for their help.  And because every student is helping, our clean-up time is only about 5-10 minutes each day!

If you aren't fully using the power of classroom jobs in with your students, I hope you will consider it.  Like I mentioned above, it might look differently in your class than in mine, but hiring each of your students for one small task a day will not only keep your classroom clean and organized, but it will also have many positive benefits for your students.

If you have more ideas, different suggestions, or questions about how I run classroom jobs with my students, please feel free to use the comment section below!  I'd love to hear from you.

If you'd like to know more about my Classroom Jobs Starter Pack, click on the image below to open a new window to the product description on TeachersPayTeachers.com .

A closer look at how to use classroom jobs to build community this back to school season.  Great tips for getting the most from your classroom jobs!
Classroom Jobs Starter Pack {Editable}
Thank you so much for reading my post!  For more great Back-to-School management and organizational tips, hop on to the next blog post by Teacher Erica.




Don't forget to enter to win some great prizes!  One lucky and deserving teacher will win a $50 gift certificate to TpT!  
Another, equally deserving teacher will win TpT resources from 30, YES THIRTY, different sellers!  What a treasure trove of materials to get you started this school year!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Best Year Ever Sale and Giveaway!


I know some of us are already back in the classroom and some of us still have weeks of summer left, but it's always the PERFECT time for a BACK TO SCHOOL SALE AND GIVEAWAY, right?!

The prizes are ones that any teacher can appreciate: a $10 TpT gift certificate, a $10 Starbucks gift certificate, and up to $20 in resources from my TpT store!  That's $40 worth of goodies!

To share the love with all my followers on the blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, I'm giving people a chance to enter on each platform...  so, if you have a minute, HOP on over to each of my little social media homes and look for the image above.

To enter, you'll be asked to do something simple, like make a comment or answer a question.  You'll never be forced to follow me to enter, but if you choose to follow me that would be wonderful! Please enter only once at each destination.

TpT followers will find a bonus entry in their inbox, so check your TpT mail!

Click on the image to be taken to TpT!

Each time you enter, your name will be entered into a random name picker. One lucky winner will be chosen on Monday, August 1st at noon (pacific time).  I will announce the winner's name on my Facebook page and on my Instagram account.  The winner will be asked to e-mail me with the items he/she wants from my store and I will email back a link to those items and the gift certificate codes to the winner!  Easy Peasy!

Before you jet off to do some hopping, don't forgot about the HUGE TpT sale that's starting on Monday!  Its the BEST YEAR EVER sale and most sellers have their entire stores marked down 20%!  On top of that, enter the code BestYear and get an additional 10% off!  BONANZA!  I've been filling up my wish list and it's time to move some of those GREAT resources to my cart.  How about you?


Back to the Giveaway!
TO ENTER here on the blog, comment below with the date you were/are officially back in the classroom.  Me, I've got 4 weeks left.  I officially return to work August 29th so I'm still trying to soak it all up!

After you've left your comment, head on over to my FACEBOOK page for another chance to enter! From there you'll be linked to the next stop of 4 stops and 4 CHANCES to ENTER!!  Don't forget the bonus entry for my TpT followers!   I'll be sending out the note this afternoon!

Best of luck to you on the giveaway, back to school, and TpT shopping!


Here are just a few of the resources I've created and added to my store this summer:









Saturday, July 9, 2016

8 Clever Classroom Uses for Paper Bags

Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.

We don't really think about them much...  kids bring their lunches in them, we put groceries in them, and sometimes they carry our last minute take-out meal.  Paper bags.  Paper bags have been around since the mid 1800s and, according to what I have read, haven't changed much in all these year.  Why mess with a good thing, I guess.

Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year:



Ask your students to think outside the box, or should I say "inside the bag" for classroom projects. Creating an art piece and then filling the bag with items connected to the subject is a great way to connect art and content.  Students could:

  • draw a self portrait  and fill the bag with items about themselves.
  • draw an animal in its habitat and fill with items related to the animal studied.
  • do a book report by drawing a scene or a character on the bag and then fill it with items the character might have or need in the story.
  • do a historical research project. Students could draw a historical figures and fill the bag with "artifacts" related to the person or time period. 
I'm sure there are more ideas.  If you think of any, please share them with us in the comment section. 
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.
This project was inspired by a pin on Pinterest.  You can find it HERE.
 Another way that I integrate art into our study of Native Americans of the Northwest is to make Chilkat Blankets.
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.



In my class, I don't send student artwork home with students until Open House in the spring.  Instead, I share pictures of the artwork on our class Facebook group and display the originals in the halls at school.  When the artwork is taken down, we put our artwork in the portfolios.  Every year I purchase poster board for students to make art portfolios with.  While looking for ideas for this post I came across a pin on Pinterest about making art portfolios.  You can find the pin HERE.  
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.

Using large grocery bags to make the portfolios is mind-blowing for me!  First, I love to recycle and reuse as much as possible.  This is a perfect example of that.  Second, paper bags are strong and with a little duct tape, you have a sturdy, attractive art portfolio for students to house their artwork all year long.  As an added bonus,  a lot of grocery bags have handles already built in (The ones I used in the picture didn't so I made my own.) which makes carrying the portfolios easy.  

Interactive Notebooks are all the rage...  and great teaching tools to boot!  Use small lunch bags to create pockets for storing small items such as vocabulary cards, index cards, and other items that need to keep contained.


Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.
 One lunch bag can make two pockets.  The pocket you see on the top opens up for easy access.
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.
 The second pocket, used with the bottom of the bag, folds behind the flap to keep items contained and more secure.
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.


Paper bags make great little interactive books.  Because they have pockets, they can hold slide-out cards, photographs, and other memorabilia.
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.
 I made this book using three lunch bags.
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.
 There are a lot of clever things about this little book.  The first is that it has larger pockets for photographs, cards, etc. to slide in and out.  I made little tape tabs for my cards to make them easy to pull out.
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.
 When using lunch bags, you get blank pages to write on or down items.
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.
The third things are these great little side pockets made with the ends of the bag.  

I love these little books and have been thinking about how they could be used in the classroom.  My first thought is as poetry books.  there is a lot of space to house poems and creatively illustrate student writing.  

Another idea would be to make a personal journal/keepsake/scrap book from another person's point of view.  As with the paper bag art above, students could use book characters or historical figures.  This would take some critical thinking on the part of the student and would be a wonderful end of novel or unit project.  Hmmm... Very interesting...  

Another great use for paper bags is to use them for journal covers.  I wrote a whole blog post on how to make these pioneer journals.  You can read it HERE.  
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.


Everyone loves getting goodie bags, students and teachers alike!  Paper bags make cute little holders for any holiday or event.  For back-to-school consider making little packages for your students to welcome them your class.  Another great idea is to make packages for your colleagues with items teachers love.
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.




Kids of all ages LOVE puppets!  Paper bag puppets are a great way to engage your students and get them thinking creatively.  Even with older students, puppets are a meaningful way to apply learning and show understanding of concepts.

Just like some ideas mentioned above, puppets can be used for traditional reports on historical figures, book characters, and animals reports.  But take a moment to ask your students to think a bit more abstractly.  What would a puppet of the cell look like?  What would it say?  How about a stomach, a germ, or even a volcano?  Think about the concepts you are teaching and challenge your students to come up with puppets and scripts to present what they have learned to the class.  This would be a wonderful alternative to the traditional exam or report!

It's summer and I don't have any puppets hanging out there at home, but I did find a lot of ideas for paper bag puppets on Pinterest.  here are just a couple: 

 



I'm awful at remembering birthdays.  Even my own family's.  One year I totally forgot my husband's birthday, which is in September... bad timing with back-to-school and all!  Eventually he forgave me, but because I am so bad with dates, I have to do everything I can to help myself remember these special occasions.
  
Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.

In the classroom I've helped myself by displaying students' birthday goody bags by month on one of the classroom walls.  It doesn't take up much room and saves me a ton of time.  Checking the birthday display now and then I get a quick peek at the birthdays for the month and have a birthday bag all prepared for each student.  No more scrambling to find those "Happy Birthday" pencils and stickers...  they are already packaged and ready to go! 

Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.

Paper bags are an easy answer for this display.  The personalized bag tags dress them up and they hang nicely when stapled to the wall.  

Birthday Display and Gift Pack is a great way to work smarter not harder in the classroom this school year!

This summer I've worked on designing a brand new Birthday Display pack I'll be using in my own classroom.  I'm very excited to get it up on my wall this fall!  It includes editable bag tags and birthday book marks, 6 different birthday coupons, pencil flags, month headers, birthday crown, and "Happy Birthday" bulletin board letters.  This will make my year so much easier!
Birthday Display and Gift Pack is a great way to work smarter not harder in the classroom this school year!

It's a brand new upload to my TpT store, so I'm selling it for 50% off through July!  Click on the product cover to take a look at it.  



And now, because you stuck around through all 7 of the ideas above...  Here is #8 and a FREEBIE for Back to School! 

Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.

About Me Bags are a great way to get to know your students at the beginning of the school year.  Glue these tags to the front of your brown paper bags and hand out the first week of school.  Don't forget to fill your own bags so students learn a little bit about you.  This is also a great opportunity to model for your class how to present their bags to the class.  As an added extension, use the bags as a writing prompt to learn about how to write a great paragraph or a longer 5 paragraph essay! 

Click HERE to get your free download of About Me Bags Tags!  

So there you have it!  8 Creative and clever uses for using paper bags in the classroom!  I hope that this post has inspired you to try at least one of these ideas this coming school year!  I know that I've inspired myself and I can't wait to see what other great ideas you all have for using this everyday item in new and interesting ways!

Paper bags have always been there to hold our "stuff" but it's time to give the paper bag the glory it deserves!  Here are 8 clever classroom uses that'll make you want to "brown bag" it this school year.
Please pin me.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you all have a GREAT Back to school!



Sunday, May 29, 2016

Classroom DIY: Pioneer Journals

Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!

If you are anything like me, you are always in search of ways to keep your writers writing.  When I can integrate writing with another subject area, it is a win-win!  During our study of pioneer and The Oregon Trail, pioneer journals are fun way for students to use their creative brains, practice their narrative writing, and share what they are learning with others!
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
Every year, the fourth graders at my school participate in an Oregon Trail simulation.  Students are grouped in wagon trains groups, select a wagon master to lead them on their journey to Oregon, and buy supplies.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!

Wagon trains earn points which help them move along the trail.  As they move across the Oregon Trail map, they learn about the landforms, native people, and the dangers pioneers faced as they made the treacherous journey.

One of the ways students document their trials and tribulations along the trail is by writing in their pioneer journals.  This is a great way for students to practice narrative writing while learning about a history!

Before my students make their journals, we talk about how important the journals of the pioneers are to preserving history.  Much of what we know about pioneer life and the trip west we know because of these primary documents.   After that introduction, we get busy making our journals!


The materials you will need for making the journals are pretty easy to come by.

Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
You will need a large paper bag for each student.  I just had students bring them from home.  You will also need yarn or twine, masking tape, a heavy duty hole punch.  An electric hole punch would work the best, but I have a two hole punch at school that I used.  It is heavy duty and works great!  My three hole punch works well too.  You'll see a picture of it a bit later.  The one shown above DOES NOT work well.  I'm not sure why I added it to the photo.  :)   For the journals you will also need either lined or unlined paper.  I gave my students a choice.  Each student will need 10 - 15 pages.

At some point, you will need your students' pioneer portraits.  On the day my class was building their journals, we held our photo shoot.  I photo edited (more on how to do this later in the post) and had the photos printed over the weekend so that we could finish our journals the next week.

The first thing your students will need to do is cut the bottom out of their bag.  Using a good pair of scissors, model for them how to cut down one corner crease and then around the bottom section of the bag.  When you are done, you will have one large section.  If your bags have handles, they can be used for a latch which I'll explain later.  

Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
 Now for the fun (and LOUD) part!  In order to soften up the paper and make it easer to work with (and make it look and feel more like real rawhide) students will need to work their paper.  This means they will need to crinkle it up and smooth it out over and over and over and over and over again!  The more they work their paper, the more it breaks down the paper fibers and it gets softer and softer. This gets noisy!  I suggest having students carefully roll it up and then step on it, putting as much weight as possible.  They will need to be careful though.  The paper will rip pretty easily.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
Once students are happy with the feel of their paper (or when you can't take the noise anymore) have students carefully smooth out their paper as much as they can.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
Now students can either measure how big their covers will need to be or, how we did it, eyeball it!  
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
The paper should wrap around both the front and the back to make both covers.  In the end, the cover should be be one continuous piece that just gets folded.  This could be a great math lesson!  Students will need to trip their paper so that it isn't too much bigger than the paper it will hold.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
When the covers have been trimmed, you will now need to hole punch them.  I suggest punching 4 - 5 holes.   
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!

 This Swingline hole punch is adjustable with a little effort and I was able to punch 5 holes.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
 In class, we used yarn that I had on hand to bind our books.  You could also use twine.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
After journals are bound, have students title their journals.  Each of my students have pioneer names to go with their pioneer identities.  Students used Sharpie markers to write on their journals.  The Sharpie bled through the covers, so next year, I'm going to have to remember to plan for that.  

If you are adding Pioneer Portraits, each student will need to leave a large space in the middle of their journal for their picture.  
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
As a fun added element, students could put "latches" on their journals.  Some of our bags had handles and one of my students creatively came up with this ingenious way to keep her journal closed!
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
Using the handle pieces, she glued a small part in the front to make a loop.  and a larger piece in the back that wrapped around the side of the book and tucked through the loop on the front.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
 I was pretty impressed!  This may become a regular addition to the pioneer journals in the future!
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!


Now that the journals are done, let's talk about the Pioneer Portraits!

This year, I tried something a little different for our journals.  I included a Pioneer Portrait of each student.  They turned out amazing and were very easy to do.  All I used was my iPhone and a photo editing app called Snapseed.  

On our journal making day, I asked all students to bring clothing and props that we could use as part of our photo shoot.  Students brought hats, bonnets, vests, scarves, aprons, and more.  I put up a brown piece of butcher paper on the wall and each student stood in front of it as I took their photograph.  While I took the photographs, the rest of the students were working on their journals or getting dressed in their pioneer garb.

Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
Once I had all of the photographs, and later that night, I sat down with my phone and worked on the photo editing.  Like I said, this was my first time doing this and I am no photo editing expert!  I'm going to share how I did it.  If you know of tricks and tips that would make the process better, please share them in the comments.  Actually, editing the photos wasn't painful at all.  Once I figured out the filters I wanted to use, it was just a matter of repeating the steps over and over again 28 times.

The first thing I did was open up the app Snapseed on my iPhone.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
I opened a photo of one of my students...
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
 then I clicked on "FILTERS".
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
The first filter I chose was "BLACK & WHITE" and picked the "film" option.  This gave the photo a bit of a grainy look to it.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
 The second filter I chose was "GRAINY FILM".  This added a bit more graininess to the photo.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
The third filter I used was "VINTAGE".   This filter made the photo more brown, which is what I was wanting.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
 The next step was "LENS BLUR".  This filter blurred out the edges of the photograph.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
Finally, I opened the tools and chose "VIGNETTE".  
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
 This tool darkens the area around the subject of the photograph.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
When it was all said and done, this is the beautiful photograph I ended up with.  It makes my heart happy!
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!


When I was done editing all of the photographs, I sent them to Costco for printing.  They cost me about 17¢ each to print.  Well worth it!

The next week, I had a wonderful parent volunteer cut ovals in the front covers of all of my journals.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
 We used this oval cutter by Fiskars, purchased specifically for this project!
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
Once the ovals were cut, the photos were added.  
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
 It was as simple as using masking tape and taping the portraits on the inside cover of each journal.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
And here are the final results!  They turned out great and the students love them.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
I think this would be a great project for any history class.  Almost any time period would make great material for a personal journal!  I can imagine Civil War and Revolutionary War diaries, Lewis and Clark journals, Civil Rights diaries (just to name a few)!

Since the events and language need to be historically accurate in the writing, journals and diaries written from the perspective of a historical figure or an imaginary person during an important time in history is a meaningful way for students to construct a deeper understanding of the past and share that understanding with others.
Are you looking for a meaningful way to integrate writing in your social studies classroom?  Try historical journals!  A great way to integrate narrative writing and history!
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If you are interested in more things "Pioneer", click HERE for my post on our annual Pioneer Day!  It's a day full of pioneer activities, crafts, food, and fun!

Thank you for visiting Literacy Loves Company!  If you have any questions about the project or ideas that would enhance it, please share in the comment section!  I'd love to hear from you.