Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Celebrating Summer in the Classroom

What exactly can you do when the scorching heat of the sun finally invades your classroom? How do you make your children enjoy summer without making them cringe from the heat it brings? These are a few of the questions that challenge even the best of teachers when summer starts to lurk around the corner. Well, teachers need not hurry to search for some good creative activities to alleviate the feeling that summers only can bring. Here are some ways you may want to look into that may encourage enthusiasm among your children toward summer.

Choose what is appropriate for your class level and interest: First of all, have a change of decors in the classroom. Make the sun as the center of interest. You could decorate your bulletin boards with a big sun with sunglasses on. Make it friendly looking with a nice funny caption such as: Here Comes Sunny! Summer is Fun! Be Cool! Summer Is Here!

Have some sunflowers around, a drawing of sailboats, the beach with big umbrellas and beach balls, and anything that may suggest summer is fun!Have a discussion about what are the best things that happen in summer: baseball games, surfing, beach ball game, swimming, camping, barbecue parties, parties in the park, sailing, fishing, beach volley ball, skate boarding, etc.

Look for stories about summer appropriate for the age of your students. Read them the stories such as the, The Sun and the Wind. Have the children dramatize this story, illustrate, and write a short summary of it. Put up their stories in the bulletin board. Have the children draw their favorite summer activities (for the lower grades) and let them talk about it. Ask them to share the summer activities : what do they do with their families? A family cruise, a beach party, family camping, etc.

Teach them art about summer. Show them how to build a kite that they can fly on the beach. Buy the girls colorful fabrics, and let them make short bandanas. Have the children decorate hats with flowers, and or teach them flower arrangements. Teach them how to make their own kaleidoscopes and glass paintings.

There are many art projects there that you may want your children to engage in such as water color blowing, finger painting, and sand painting that will suggest summer.Have the children gather rocks and sea shells and let them start their own collection. Have them classify their rocks and let them talk about them, where they found them and what do they know about them.

Have the children research what brings about the season of summer. Discuss about the revolution of the earth around the sun and its tilting on its axis. Talk about the sun and its features, what is it made of, its size, its distance from the earth. Talk about solar energy. Have a discussion of the uses of solar energy. Have the children construct solar ovens, and have them bring them outside the classroom and actually let them cook potatoes in them. Teach them the scientific method of experiment, so they learn to observe what is happening to the potatoes that they are cooking, and or let them explain how their solar ovens work.

Set up a contest in the class about the group that can come up with the best art about summer, the best pair that can come up with the best essay about summer, or the person with best poem about summer. Let them write essays about summer. First, make a list of main ideas about summer, and later on they can work in groups to give details for their main ideas about summer.Teach them poems about summer or better still encourage them to compose poems about the summer and award the children who can come up with the best work with sun shades, caps, scarves.

Put up their work on the bulletin board with their own illustrations of their work. Have a Beach Day in school! Allow the students to bring their shades, hats, umbrellas, beach towels, and beach balls. Let them play with water with very close supervision. Have the sprinklers on. Serve the children some popcicles, ice cream, fruit juices, and cotton candies. Let them play tossing of balloons filled up with water, tag war, and relays, etc. Later on, have them write essays what was the best in the Beach Day in School.

Have a volleyball tournament between students and teachers, and serve the children who cheer for their fellow students or their teachers be served with drinks, ice cream, popcicles, fruit juices, etc. Let them put on their sun shades, big buri hats, caps, etc. Show them a few dance steps to celebrate summer such as square dancing, limbo rock, and rock and roll.

Have the children bring ingredients for making lemonade and come up with different ways to make good lemonade. Serve it with side dish of cookies, mini brownies, and plates of sliced fruit. Show some videos of the most amazing sand castles ever made and amazing summer adventures- deep sea fishing, sail boating across the oceans, mountain climbing, etc.

Don't forget to provide the children with a list of good books to catch up on with their reading during the summer. Have a great summer! Don't let the heat dampen your spirit of adventure and creativity, fun in your classroom.

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