Category Archives: FREE!

Thanksgiving Freebie!

Need some quick and easy literacy activities for centers or seatwork?

Grab my FREE Sample from my Turkey Time Literacy and Writing Activities for 1st or 2nd.  It’s no prep – just print and go!

Click here or on the cover below to download.

FREE Turkey Time Cover

These printables are included in the above freebie:


Turkey Time Free pages

Happy Thanksgiving!

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First Post…. Bats!

Hi there! I’m Emily, and I’m so excited to be teaming up with Laura on this blog! Laura was my mentor teacher for my first two years of teaching first grade. She taught first grade for her whole career and therefore taught me all the important stuff that you need to know. For example, how to use a Smart Board (her technology skills are AWESOME), how to assess reading skills, how to work with parents, how to sing a song for every part of first grade, and how to solve MANY mysteries in the boys’ bathroom….. Ha! I am in my sixth year teaching first grade, and when I think back on those first two years, it is crazy to think how I ever survived! Laura is such an inspiration and I’m so thankful for her guidance when I was just starting out!

Anyways, my first post is about bats! Do you like bats? I always thought they were pretty terrifying until I started teaching a bat unit every October. Now I think they are really neat! This week, we went bat-crazy. We researched bats using some great resources, like bat nonfiction books and a Scholastic News issue. If you do not subscribe to Scholastic News, I would highly recommend it! Great informational text, and the online component is awesome! You can just throw it right up on an interactive whiteboard. Each issue is available online with a little video, vocabulary words, and a game!

We also dove into this great book! It is loaded with fascinating facts about bats and really great photographs, too.


Next, we compiled our research onto this cute graphic organizer. I love are/can/have charts. They make research so simple for the kids.



We used these graphic organizers to write bat reports. They came out beautifully! Check out the bat drawings. I love kid art! The bats don’t look so scary, do they?

We integrated lots more bat activities this week. We compared fiction to nonfiction text features using the classic book, Stellaluna, tied in math with some graphing, sorted true and false bat facts, wrote about what life would be like if WE were bats, and lots more!

Grab this bat writing paper for free below, or check out my Fantastic Bats mini unit in my TpT store! Everything is printable and ready to go! I hope your class goes as batty for bats as mine does!   Emily MG

Bat Writing Paper

Fantastic Bats Unit




Constitution Day: Five Ideas including a Freebie!

Federal law mandates that all schools receiving federal funding, pre-K through college, hold an educational program on the U.S. Constitution on September 17th, also know as, Constitution Day.    Helping first graders understand the importance of the Constitution in a meaningful way can be a challenge.

Here are some ideas to help your plan for Constitution Day:

1.  Read aloud and discuss the book We the Kids by David Catrow.  We the Kids cover

This picture book provides a fun and easy introduction to the Preamble of the Constitution!


2.  Participate in Annual Constitution Day Poster Contest Constitution Day Poster Contest

Have your students design a poster to show how they have benefitted from the freedoms provided by the U.S. Constitution.  This Constitution Day Poster contest is sponsored by for students in grades K-12, including homeschoolers!  Follow this link or click on the image for details and an entry form.  You’ll find more information on the Constitution on this website too!

3.  Watch and discuss Schoolhouse Rock “We the People Video”

First graders enjoy watching this classic song and cartoon video of the preamble of the Constitution!  The video is just 2:45 minutes long, but I found that my first graders enjoyed repeated viewings. Click here to go to the video webpage on YouTube.

4.  Wear Red, White, and Blue on September 17 – FREE Printable

A simple way to celebrate this day in first grade is to wear red, white, and blue.  Here is the coloring sheet that I sent home the day the day before Constitution Day to remind them of what to wear.  Click here or on the image below for your FREE PDF copy:

Click for PDF

Click for PDF

5. Constitution Day PowerPoint Lesson

Want something “no prep” and ready-to-use?  Check out my best-selling Constitution Day PowerPoint lesson!  It includes a 24-slide PowerPoint lesson that explains the U.S. Constitution and its history in first grade language. At the end of the PowerPoint, there is a link to view the Schoolhouse Rock “We the People” video on the WatchKnowLearn website.  The lesson includes a lesson plan, as well as the wear red, white, and blue coloring sheet above and a follow-up worksheet.
Constitution Day Cover
Constitution Day PPT





Hope these ideas help make your job a little easier as you prep for Constitution Day!

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