This week is the Great Backyard Bird Count! Thanks to my Facebook subscribers for reminding me a couple weeks ago. I thought that since there is a big focus on birds this month, that I would love to incorporate the theme into our homeschool somehow. After reading a series about writing centers on the WriteShop blog, I knew that I was going to create our first-ever writing center. Using mostly printer-ink and supplies I had on hand, I set up a simple bird-theme writing station at home.
I tried to provide materials for all age-levels in my home— 1yr to 13yrs. old. I have the station set up by a window so that they will hopefully be inspired by any winged creatures they see outside too.
— various bird-theme lined paper for writing (see below for details)
— bird fact cards (see below for details)
— bird booklet for my little girls
— letter B plus Birds writing paper for my little girls
(You can follow my bird Pinterest board for even more ideas)
I have a whole set of bird photo cards that I picked up a couple years ago from the Dollar Tree. There are writing prompts listed on the back. I figure my younger children can look at the photos and then tell me about what they see. My older children will have the option of using the prompts on the back or not.
In the green bins are writing prompt cards from WriteShop. I printed out StoryBuilders: World of Animal cards for some creative writing inspiration. Each card is color-coded and students pick 1 of each color and use them to write their story:
Character Cards – Blue
Character Trait Cards – Yellow
Setting Cards – Green
Plot Cards – Lavender
The download contains printable cards plus instructions for different ways to play this writing game. I am excited to see how my kids use this component this week. I think this will help with the “Mom, I don’t know what to write,” reply I hear when they are asked to write.
I also printed out bird cards and placed them in our table-top pocket chart. My 5yr. old daughter has been the first to explore this activity. She helped me place the names of the birds we already knew on the bird photos.
If you follow SpellOutloud on Facebook, you can access this download on my page. Just look to the left for the Only Likers box and click.