Sunday, March 23, 2014

What if YOU Had Animal Teeth? Hair?

It's Sunday, which means I SHOULD be cleaning house... or laundry...or getting stuff ready for school tomorrow, but instead, I've got the windows open (after taking my Zyrtex) and I'm watching a Twilight movie on TV. Don't judge. I can't help myself.  I guess I'll eventually have to get to that "other" stuff, but for now, I'm just being lazy.

In my laziness, I wanted to blog about the cutest activities we did this week. We have been working on opinion writing, which normally makes me want to bang my head against the wall and run away screaming, but these activities actually made it fun! Mind you, we still have lots of work to do, but it was a great way to really dive into it.

Have you used these books before??
 I'm sure you have, or at least read them to your class, but in my search for activities to do to help my kids with opinion writing, I came upon some amazing ideas using these two books.

We started the week with What If You Had Animal Teeth.  My firsties absolutely loved this one. They laughed so loud as we read it, we actually had to shut the door! Before I read it, I set the purpose by asking them to think about what teeth THEY would choose if they were going to wake up tomorrow with the mouth of an animal. Their choices and reasons were hilarious!

I found this awesome graphic organizer and the teeth templates from Oceans of First Grade ...

 Then, we moved on to our actual opinion writing.  The kids had to state at least 3 reasons why they would choose those teeth.

 Our biggest problem right now is to get them to think past "because I like it".... "because they're cool"... and the like. I really want them to start thinking about the actual REASONS. 

Anyway, they wrote their opinion pieces and made the cutest craftivities. The face patterns and ideas came from First Grade Wow and the different teeth were made by Oceans of First Grade. 

And the best part?? The templates are FREE from these two amazing bloggers!! :)

So cute, right??!!  The kids thought they were hilarious & it really got them excited about writing. I let them make their own hair, which made these little guys even funnier. 

In total, this took two days. 
Then, we moved on to What If You Had Animal Hair?
I just got this book last week at our book fair, and I couldn't wait to read it.
It is so stinkin' funny.  AND, it has so many interesting facts in it, too.

We did a mini lesson on fact vs. opinion, and moved back into our opinion writing.

The Dirt Road Teacher has this amazing pack on her TpT site that goes with this book, and I got the graphic organizer from that. It's awesome - you should check it out!

Anyway, with the writing process, we started with our ideas and the graphic organizer.
 I love how she provided space for THREE reasons.
 It really provided the kids with a great "jumping off" point for their writing.

Then, as with our teeth writing, we wrote our opinion pieces and made our crafts!
 I love how this little guy drew braces on his "self".  Cute!
This little girl asked me how many "baby teeth" we have, and proceeded to make all the little teeth for her person.  I let them all make different teeth for their craft, and I loved how they all turned out.

I had to make the hair templates a little bigger to fit our "heads", so I hand-drew them and ran the copies on construction paper. I didn't do all the animals in the book - just the 7 most popular that the kids picked...
porcupine, zebra, lion, polar bear, musk ox, reindeer, & pangolin.  

If you want the hair templates FREEBIE, just click {here}.
It's a ZIP file with PDFs of each hair type.
*They are hand-drawn and nothing fancy, but I sure hope you can use them!

I just love how they all turned out, but the best part was their writing improved..their IDEAS improved...and they were actually excited and having fun with it!
 We've got lots more work to do, that's for sure.

This week, we're continuing our opinion writing unit with some more fun books, and working on those ACTUAL reasons...

I've got to get them to think past " I like...."

Does anyone else have this problem or tips to help my firsties with this??

So, that's it, friends! Go check out First Grade Wow, Dirt Road Teacher,and Oceans of First Grade for their fabulous ideas...and let me know how it turns out for you! 

I guess I need to go clean house... or do laundry...or wait, is that another cheesy movie coming on?? Hmm...decisions, decisions....

Happy Sunday, and as always, thanks for stopping by!


  1. Love the way you are using these books! Just found your blog over at Mr. Elementary Math. Can't wait to read more!

    The Math Maniac

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! I've never seen these books and am SOOOO sad that we have already finished out animal unit!!! Guess I'll have to save for next year!! The kids did a really great job!!

  3. Snagged the animal hair book on the last Scholastic order. Guess I know how I am using it now! Great post!

    A Rocky Top Teacher

  4. Love these ideas! I'm filing them away fir next year when I'm backing first grade. Last year for opinion writing I had my students brainstorm things they wanted to do at school and they had to write a letter to me to convince me to do it.

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  6. Sooo...cute! I love how you used these books and the craftivities are adorable!

  7. I need this template I tried both those places and I can not get a hold of the templates. Can you send me a link please!!! Thank you!

  8. I bought the packet from Dirt Road Teacher and the graphic organizer was not in there. Do you have another way I can access it?


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