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Van Gogh Kindergarten children

21 Jan

I have realized the time has just flown by over the holiday break and it is well and truly time to put some more posts on my blog! When I look at other people’s blogs I realize I have been seriously napping!!! This story bag has a special meaning to me. On my first ever prac at a school I was blessed to be placed with the  most amazing teacher. She allowed me to fly with my ideas and then she wrapped all of my ideas up and helped me present them in a great way! I will always be grateful to her!

The children in the class were Kindergarten age and they had been looking at different artists over the term. I decided to look at Vincent van Gogh as they had talked about this artist and his work. Okay I will be back in a minute!

I’m back! I found a large easel at Uni and pushed it into my Getz! Then I found a print of the painting ‘Bedroom at Arles’. My son did TEE art so he had paintbrushes, paint, a pallet and a canvas. I offered all sorts of bribes and he agreed to draw an outline of the painting onto the canvas! I was thinking how you could draw it yourself if you didn’t have someone who is talented in that area! After searching the net, I found that you can trace on to canvas using graphite paper! Sorry I am off again! I will be back shortly!!!

1. The all important story bag!

2. I took the easel into school, with some paints, a pallet, some brushes and the canvas with the drawing. We talked about why artists use easels and how this gives them the freedom to draw and paint inside and outside. We discussed the way the artists mixed their own colours, and sketched their plans and ideas onto the canvas. We then looked at the picture and talked about what was in the room and what their room looked like at home. We provided paper and pastels for the children to recreate their bedroom with all the different features that made their room special.

Thanks to the talents of my son! I did confess to the children that my son had sketched the drawing!

3. I found this book in a sale, but after some investigation I have finally found where you can buy it! It is produced in France and there are a few more in the series.

This book is lovely as it is written in a diary style through the eyes of the artist.I used this book as a guide, as it provided lots of ideas and thought provoking questions. When I was looking for the book, I noticed the publishers have added some wonderful activities and teaching resources that I must share with you as they are excellent.

4. I created a word document with the bedroom walls and the floor. I then applied colour, printed  and enlarged it to A3. I photocopied and enlarged a print of the room, cut out some of the objects in the room and laminated everything! I placed velco dots on the objects and on the layout, for children to recreate the room.

I also made a puzzle, just for fun!

I found this colouring book in a $2 store. I have to say I am not really into colouring in but just sometimes it is quite relaxing for children. The book is filled with colouring sheets from the old masters including 2 from The Bedroom at Arles.

Some websites that offer lessons and teaching resources:

Younger children—spaces-lesson-plan/

Older children

Catch you real soon! I hope to move this blog to Word Press in the near future. I will keep you posted!!

I found some examples of the children’s art. I loved them!


Pirate story bag

21 Jan

Here I am back again with my story bags! When I was on a prac at a primary school in my second year of Uni the Kindergarten children showed a great deal of interest in pirates. So I found the book ‘Tough Boris’ by my favourite author, Mem Fox and set to work to plan an outdoor  pirate activity, that would of course, incorporate math language(following the treasure map directions) and society and environment learning outcomes and themes (history and past times).

1. First of course the story bag! I have realized now, looking back, that I cannot remember where I found the image of the pirate map (apologies to the creator of the map, I will keep looking and add the info).

2. As I have young men in the house, their boots, which we had used on a trip to Europe, were taken out of the cupboard,  traced around onto black paper and laminated! ( I will explain!!)

3.This is the strange part I have to admit! I decided to do the whole dressing up and the talk like a pirate thing! I am not given to dressing up but I have found I do things out of my comfort zone when children are involved! I had a long black coat, a pirate hat from a toy store, a stripey black and white tshirt and a red scarf!

4 I had taken a photo of the outside play area and having an artistic son he drew all  the recognizable landmarks. He was keen to burn the edges of the map to make it look authentic! He was saying, “this is so cool I remember doing this with you years ago”. He got a bit carried away and burnt a rather large section, ah well! We did the whole coffee bag thing and voila our map!

5. I found an old wooden box and decorated it with pirate stickers. The $2 dollar stores are so handy for jewels! I found some chocolate gold coins (enough for everyone) this can be an issue (allergies) so I also had gold coin cut outs just in case.

6. I had paced out how many steps it would take to reach the treasure (bearing in mind they would be small steps!)The treasure  had been placed in an old rowing boat in the sandpit ! I lay  ’dress up clothes’ strategically around the boat and hid the treasure box out of sight! The scene was set!

I came inside and using my good old pirate voice I called the children outside to see if we could find the treasure before Captain Long John Silver came back!

We had a wonderful time, and as the Kindergarten had two groups we got to do it again the next day!


A treasure box made with felt with the poem:

‘Pirate Pirate on the ship’

‘How many pieces did you get?’

The children counted out the pieces as I lay them in the box. They then played  with them with a friend.

We played pirate tic tac toe with these wooden toys I found in Paddy’s markets in Sydney! ( Just start the virtual tour and turn a little to the right and there is the shop!

Books :

I wish I had a pirate suit (Pamela Allen)

The great pirate activity book (Deri Robins/George Buchanan)

Pirate things to make and do (Usborne Activites) This is where I found my stickers for the treasure box.

Websites: This blog has a wonderful array of creative ideas (you will need to use the translate option as it is in french!)

Story bags

21 Jan

You might say strange name for a blog! I remember watching The Barchester Chronicles and in the story there was a man named Mr Quiver-full. He was so named as he had a great many children and was considered blessed to have been endowed with such a big family! I feel that as I have collected and stored away so many ideas, strategies and resources I should share my quiver-full with others!

So I decided to start a blog. I guess the thing that inspired me came from the movie Julie and Julia! I love the way Julie started her blog, just writing about what she loved. In her case cooking. In my case teaching ideas.

Having recently graduated from  Uni as a K-3 teacher I started thinking about the kind of blogs I visit and revisit. They are always ones where teachers have kindly put up great resource ideas, or lessons, or planning anything that can help the newbie teacher make sense of the teaching world.

I thought I would start with an idea I adapted from a resource I saw some years ago, namely story or literacy bags. I started with Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne.

1. First the bag

I purchased some linen bags (about $1.50) from linen and craft stores. Then I decided to put a label on either depicting a book or a theme.  I guess you could keep it all in a snazzy plastic tub, but there is something about a bag and the mystery you can create when you bring out the resources in a story session!

2. I know what you are thinking. Copyright. Well I thought about that and as the bags are for my personal use I figured I could photocopy one illustration from the book.

3. I decided to put both Eileen Browne’s books in, Handa’s Surprise and Handa’s Hen as they are both about the same two girls, Handa and Akeyo. I purchased the books from The Book Depository as their prices are excellent. I have since moved to for slightly cheaper products with free delivery (in Australia).

4. I found some amazing activities that were free to download to accompany the story. The most comprehensive activities were from Sparklebox. As this is a controversial website for educators, I have added other excellent websites that provide wonderful activities

I printed,cut and laminated these masks. I found the long wooden sticks at $2 stores.

These cards are great for a variety of language games. I printed 2 sets for memory and fish games. They are great for finding initial sounds of words and syllabification.

I adapted this resource to incorporate sequencing of the story, ie what fruit did the animals take first, second etc. I attached velcro to the board and the individual pictures. You could use this as a small group activity or enlarge the picture to A3 for a whole class group discussion.

Helpful websites:

I have recently been invited to submit a review of Handa’s Surprise to ‘The Book Chook’   When this has been posted I will attach the link for further resource ideas.