Category Archives: Learning Opportunities

This Is Me | Poetry Contest

‘This is Me’ Poetry Contest

It’s your time to shine!  YoungWriters is sponsoring a poetry contest and you have the  opportunity to explore and celebrate who you are and express yourself through poetry.  You can write about your dreams for the future or about someone that inspires you.  You can write about your emotions and even create an acrostic (using your name or a word that describes you).

Check out the link below for some free resources including a video, example poems, and a word bank to help you as you write your ‘This Is Me’ poem.

DEADLINE:  February 11, 2022

https://youngwritersusa.com/contest/elementary/me

Westside Community Schools does not sponsor or endorse the organization or activity described in this material. The distribution of this material is provided as a community service.

#87: Palindrome Week

Some times we have a Palindrome “Week”

December 1-9  in 2021 formed a palindrome when the month is written as 12 and the year is written as 21.  So…

December 1 was 12-1-21
December 2 was 12-2-21
December 3 was 12-3-21
12-11-21 and 12-22-21 were also palindrome dates in Dec. 2021.
The date reads the same forward as it does backwards.  This doesn’t happen often!

To earn this mini-spark,

  • Check out these palindromes for kids: https://kids.kiddle.co/Palindrome pay special attention to any words that are new to you and phrases that are palindromes. These items should all be included in your final note taking page.
  • Watch the video about palindromes https://youtu.be/1QC20PBvunI and pause the video as needed to record any new words/phrases that are palindromes.
  • Share your work with your teacher and/or EY Coordinators to earn this mini spark.

Where can you find 🅿🅰🅻🅸🅽🅳🆁🅾🅼🅴🆂?

Leave a comment and/or send a picture of a palindrome you discovered.

Language Arts Mini Spark #66: How to use a the semicolon

It may seem like the semicolon is struggling with an identity crisis. It looks like a comma combined with a period. Maybe that’s why we toss these punctuation marks around like grammatical confetti; we’re confused about how to use them properly. This lesson offers some clarity and best practices for using the semicolon.

  1. Watch the video. Pause the video as needed to record notes. Pay special attention to any words that are new to you, rules, specific examples and sample sentences. These items should all be included in your final note taking page.
  2. Write two sentences of your own and include them on the note taking page.
  3. Share this work with your teacher to earn this mini spark.

Lesson video by Emma Bryce, animation by Karrot Entertainment.

Early Enrichment #57: Halloween Candy Sorting!

Halloween only comes once a year.  It is sad, except that you probably have a lot of candy at home to cheer you up for a few weeks!

My son and I like to sort our Halloween candy in different ways!

You could sort them by size:

Or, by wrapper color!

If you want to try sorting your candy these ways, click here for the labels!

Or, try sorting by type of candy and fill in a graph like this!

How did you sort your candy? Comment below!

Social Studies Spark #47: A 2,500-year-old shipwreck!

In 2017, researchers off the Bulgarian coast discovered the oldest intact shipwreck ever found! This ancient Greek vessel was not only nearly 2,500 years old, but was just one of 65 shipwrecks found at the bottom of the Black Sea in remarkable condition. So, why does the Black Sea contain so many well-preserved shipwrecks? Helen Farr and Jon Adams dive into the depths of the unique body of water.

Click below to watch the video!

Once you’ve watched the video, click here to take a quiz!

Feel free to comment with your score below!

Language Arts Mini Spark #65: Spelling Bee Prep

Let’s get ready for spelling bee season. Watch this video, pause to take notes, and work along with the teacher to practice words that are spelled wrong over and over.
Spend at least 3 minutes taking notes. If you are a spelling PRO, spend more time watching!!

*This is a great word list to use as a practice session!

*Make sure you know how to pronounce all of the words from this list. You can use the internet to help you with this. Type in the word and the word “pronounce” and it will pop up for you.

#1 Start with the first five words.
#2 Whisper spell each one 5 times.
#3 Now practice spelling one word one at a time.
*Look at one word quickly.
*Close your eyes and spell the word using the strategy that works for you.
*Open your eyes and check your spelling from the list.
*Keep practicing until you can spell all 5 correctly.
#4 Repeat with the next 5 on the list.

Try more practice words

Find the list that is right for you
grade 3  grade 4   grade 5   grade 6   grade 7  grade 8
To earn credit for this mini spark, choose 10 words from the grade level that suits you.  Create a study guide. Have a teacher, parent, or peer give you a spelling test over the 10 words you choose. Submit your results and the study guide to your teacher or EY coordinator.
Happy Spelling!

Language Arts Mini Spark #64 Modifiers: What are they? Where do they go?

Modifiers are words, phrases, and clauses that add information about other parts of a sentence—which is usually helpful. But when modifiers aren’t linked clearly enough to the words they’re actually referring to, they can create unintentional ambiguity.

Incorrectly placed modifier: Perched up high on a tree branch, I yelled at the cat to leave the sparrow alone.

Meaning: I don’t tangle with a tabby unless I am perched 10 feet up in the air.

Correctly placed modifier: Seeing a sparrow perched up high on a tree branch, I yelled at the cat to leave him alone.

Meaning: ohhhh….the sparrow is up in the tree. Watch out little sparrow!

#1 Read this teaching page to look over some modifier examples.

#2 Watch this TED Ed video and take detailed notes about modifiers and their placement and navigate the sticky world of misplaced, dangling and squinting modifiers.

#3  Make a visual explaining modifiers with examples of how they are used. Also include your own sentence with a misplaced modifier and then correct the sentence so that the reader understands the meaning.

Challenge:  Do more research about misplaced, dangling and squinting modifiers. Include what you learned in your visual.

Language Arts Mini Spark #63 – All About Axolotls

Do you love Axolotls? Learn more about the amazing Axolotl with this fun mini spark!

Step One: Read the Species Profile and answer these Reflection Questions. Axolotl Reading (Pages 1-2).

Step Two: Research. Find out even more by doing your own research. Use the sheet below as a guide (Description, Habitat, Diet, Lifespan, Conservation).

Step Three: Create! Show us what you learned about Axolotls in a creative way. Choose from one of the following options.

  1. Social Media Post – Using these templates, create Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter posts from the perspective of an Axolotl. Turn in your completed post(s) to your EY Coordinator.
  2. Minecraft Habitat – Design an ideal habitat or underwater playground for the Axolotl using Minecraft. You will need to complete this option at home. Take a photo or screenshot and send to your EY Coordinator.
  3. Regeneration Pic Collage – Did you learn that Axolotls have an incredible ability to regenerate? Watch the video below to learn more! What other Amphibians have this ability? Create a PicCollage that shows us what you discovered.

Language Arts Mini Spark #62 – Simile Me

What is a Simile? The official definition of a simile is a noun that means: “a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid.”

Step One: Watch this Brain Pop Jr. video about Similes 

and this word girl video

Step Two: Look at the Simile list below. Whisper read a scenario for each one

Example: as sly as a fox

Hillary was ______________________ , as she to gingerly placed the fruit bat into her backpack.

  • Easy as ABC
  • Like two peas in a pod
  • Straight as an arrow
  • Wise as an owl

Step Three: Watch and listen to the book, “My Dog Is As Smelly As Dirty Socks”. Click book image below.

Step Four: Write a “Simile Me”.

  • First, jot down five words you would use to describe yourself.
  • Use your five words and make comparisons to something else, writing your own version of a “Simile Me”

Here is my example:

1 – busy                                                                                                                                 

2 – creative

3 – hardworking

4 – happy

5 – sleepy

I’m as busy as a timer,

As creative as a stained glass window,

As hardworking as an elephant,

As happy as a well-loved dog,

And as sleepy as a pillow.

Step Five: Use an app of your choice to create a fun illustration/visual of your “Simile Me”

Step Six: Send your “Simile Me” and illustration/visual to your EY Coordinator!