With March Comes Spring

… and the end of the Winter Wonderland project though I still have some completed activities to share. Some of the participants are asking if we have anything planned for spring. At this point there isn’t anything organized for spring (at least nothing I am involved with or know about) but there are lots of ideas out there on the Internet so I thought I’d blog about a few and challenge any participants from the Winter Wonderland project to comment on this post and add their own ideas and/or to pick some of these or adapt them for their classes and to share them on their own blog, wiki or web site.

JenuineTech.com’s St. Patrick’s Day 2009
A 3-Day Project for Preschool-3rd Grade Students. Check out the Activities page – the computer skills section has some great ideas. And, you can extend these yourself – for example any of the writing options would be great in the lab. Have them write that poem and create an original illustration to go with it.  Publish those in a class book using Mixbook. Join this one now!

National Poetry Month
Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Using that as a theme, have your students write poems in specific genres and create a class book. Or, how about teaching older elementary students how to create greeting cards in Word or Publisher or even just in a Paint program. They can write a poem for their card and create spring art work to go with it. Tie this in to Easter by having them write Easter poems or create Easter cards. For younger students, read a poem to them and have them illustrate it. Use the poetry tools at ReadWriteThink for a different way to create their poem.

Earth Day
April 22nd is Earth Day and a perfect opportunity to raise awareness in your school for environmental issues. Last year I used Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax as my theme for Earth Day in the computer lab. Each grade was either read the book or watched the video of The Lorax. Kindergarten-2nd Grade then drew their own picture of what they thought the environment would look like if the boy planted the seed he was given.

Grades 3-5 wrote an If I Were In Charge of The World poem about the environment and what they would do about it if they were in charge after viewing the video and listening to Judith Viorst’s poem. This ties together Earth Day and National Poetry Month. Students can use Write An Instant I’m In Charge of the World Poem. My Middle School students created a one page newspaper which included a Feature Article about what happened in The Lorax, a letter to the editor from the Lorax and an ad to sell Thneeds.

There are many sites online that have wonderful ideas and games related to Earth Day, the environment, our carbon footprints, etc. I think I’m going to use EekoWorld for Kindergarten – 3rd or 4th Grade somehow this year. The nice thing about this site is that they have a Teacher’s Guide with lots of ideas that I can use or adapt.

Find or create a Webquest about Easter. This is fun to do on the last day before spring break if your break is right before Easter. I have done these for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas in the past and I think I might do one for Easter this year. Here are a few I found online that look fun – I don’t know if all the links work on them or not but they’ll give you some ideas:

Adapt Winter Wonderland Ideas
I challenge you to take some of the Winter Wonderland project activities and make them your own for spring:

  • Change the Penguin Math Books to Easter Egg or Flower or Caterpillar & Butterfly Math Books. I’ve done these for Halloween and am currently doing one with dinosaurs.
  • Instead of winter pictures and a winter song, draw a spring picture and sing a spring song and make a video.

Use your imagination and the technology you have available to bring spring alive for your students:

  • Do you have cameras available? Take your students out for a walk around the campus and take pictures of what’s in bloom. Let each student take a picture and then upload them to a VoiceThread and let them talk about their picture.
  • April Showers Bring May Flowers – create some projects about rain or flowers or both!

Now, it’s your turn. What are you doing with your students in the computer lab (or using technology in your classroom) to celebrate spring? If you have some great ideas for the computer lab, you should think about posting them to the Computer Lab Activities wiki.