Author Archives: bmkirby

About bmkirby

I am a college student finding awesome activities for you to bring to your classroom!

help a fellow student out.



Activity: This is a great way to get your students and maybe family into reading. Everyone knows the that old saying – “never judge a book by its cover” – right? Well, I think too many people really do judge books by their cover. This is a way to get your students to share about books they have read.

The students will get a note card and write their name on it, they will write down the author, title, number of pages, a quick summary and any other information you want them to – maybe have them cite it to learn about the different formats and such of citing your resources.

Citing things is one of the hardest things for me to remember to do, and I am going to be a junior in college. I think it is because it was not a make or break thing growing up, when it should be. EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW HOW TO CITE THE BOOKS THEY ARE READING. But……. That is just my opinion.

This activity will help students learn, not only how to summarize and cite, but how to become a great reader. They will be able to share their likes and dislikes about different books and who they think may like to read them.

What to do: In your classroom – or house, where ever you are doing this – set up one of your bulletin boards. Set it up so there are two halves.

One half will be focused on what the students read, with the summary and all that good stuff on the note card.

On the other half they will be able to write to a specific person in the classroom. They will use their writing skills to explain to a classmate – or family member – why they think this would be a perfect read about the book.

Yes, I get this is a little different from the picture, but you always have to put your own spin on the things you do. You are the one who knows your students best, which way would interest them most?

This will get the students involved in each others reading and hopefully get them to read more.

Where to go: You can either do this with your in-class library, your school library, or even the public library! Public libraries are a wonderful resource. It shows the students there are so many more places to get information than just the internet.

Age level: This can go for any age level, you can always use that “sixth grade buddy” and they can do it with different partners.

EX: “Dear Chico and Sammy, we think you guys would love this book, it is about the history of baseball. We really liked the part about blah blah blah. Sincerely, Franky and Don-Don.” I think you get the gist of it.

My extra thoughts: First and foremost — You NEED to make sure you are putting your spin on everything you do! Bring out your creativity — The reason you became a teacher to begin with (hopefully).

Where I found this idea:


quick announcement.


Hello all! I am going to start trying something a little different. I will still post a picture and explain how to make/do the activities I find on so many different blogs, but I also want to go more in depth about how I would integrate this into my future classroom. There are so many useful resources out there, and I want to be another great resource for all of you. Feel free to let me know what you think, or give other insight. I love it all, and am always looking for more ways to improve and make my posts more helpful to you.

recycled tree art.



Here is a great Earth Day activity for you! Make a tree out of recycled materials! It is fun and everyone’s art will turn out differently and be individual to that specific child or student. What a great way to teach about other ways to recycle things outside the ordinary way of plastics, glass, cardboard, paper, etc. Have fun with this, really try to make it your own and put your own spin on it.

Materials Needed (to make one tree):

One paper towel roll (empty of course)

Recycled greens – cut out of magazines, you could also use real leaves

Paper bag



Cardboard (cut out like a presentation board)

Blue paint and a paint brush


You first start by painting the cardboard (picture has blue, but you can use any color). Then, using your paper towel roll and brown paper bags construct your tree. While that is drying (may want to let it dry over night) find what you are going to use as leaves, whether they are real or just green areas from old magazines. Add quotes to the bottom if you so choose. Let it dry and each student will have their very own tree.

Appropriate Age Level:

This would be a fun activity for 3rd or 4th graders, but you could also use this as a “buddy” project (join with an older or younger class and have them work together) to create art for your school!

Found at:

homemade puffy paint.



Homemade puffy paint! This would be a fun activity to do when you are talking about the rainbow. You could even incorporate Roy G. Biv (from Reading Rainbow – if you remember that from school). If you are doing a unit on the rain cycle, you could use this activity when you get to what causes a rainbow, or just for fun!


One squeeze bottle for each color – old ketchup bottles would work just perfectly

One Cup Salt

One Cup Flour

One Cup Water

Food Coloring – Tempra Paints works well too

Construction Paper – or whatever paper you would like to use your puffy paint on


Put the salt, flour, water and a good squirt of food coloring into the squeeze bottle. Shake the bottle to mix ingredients, and have fun! I would advise to make this before class, rather than having the class make their own.

Appropriate Age Level:

I think this would be fun to do by myself, but in a school I would say to do it in the middle levels. It would be really fun to with a first or second grade level to do a unit on the rain cycle, then paint one with the puffy paint.

Found At:!%29

q-tip tree.



This would be a fun activity for fall when the leaves are changing, but you could also do this for spring when trees are blooming. You can do a whole unit on trees or just nature in general. Have your students make up a story about someone with this tree (kind of like The Giving Tree – although this book as been said to be sexist, use discretion).


Enough 8 1/2 by 11 paper (or bigger if you would like)

Paints (I would suggest regular acrylic paint – ask the Art teacher if you don’t have in your classroom)

Lots and Lots of Q-Tips for them to paint the leaves on with

Paint Brush


You can do this one of two possible ways. If you are working with younger students you can paint the tree trunk and outline where the leaves are supposed to go. Or, if you are working with older students you can just let them free hand their tree trunk. Then you take your q-tips, dip in the different colors and let your trees bloom.

Appropriate Age Level:

In my opinion – which is really the only one you get while reading my blog – I would keep this within the lower levels and possibly the middle grades. This could also be a really fun activity in a special education classroom.

Found At:

under the sea.



Oh hey, you are doing a unit on sea animals! I have the perfect art activity for you. Have the students make their very own underwater aquarium. It is very easy and looks great on your windows! This could be fun even to do at home to decorate a large window or the back door.

Materials Needed:

Printed/Colorable sea animals, plants, and anything else from the sea

Black Construction Paper

Blue Transparency Paper

Kid-Friendly Scissors

Markers, Crayons, or Colored Pencils

Glue Sticks


The aquariums I saw were about 15in. x 12in. After you get the blue transparency paper cut, cut out small strips of black construction paper (about one inch wide) and glue them around the sides. Have the students color in their under the sea creatures, then cut them out. Make sure when they are gluing the creatures to their aquariums they put the glue on the colored side. This way they will be able to see them the right way when you hang them on the windows.

Appropriate Age Level:

This could be fun for any age level. I actually found this idea at one of the special education rooms I work in. The only thing I would recommend for the younger levels is that you put the aquariums together, this is less cutting for them, but they still get to practice using a scissors.

Found At:

I found this activity in one of the special education I do a practicum in. For her class, she prepared the aquariums ahead of time.

Diversity Lesson.



This is a diversity activity. It will show the students that besides the color of your skin, people are the same. We all came into this world in the same, but that is for a different day. 🙂 This activity would be great while talking about Martin Luther King Jr. It proves exactly what he was getting at during his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.

Materials Needed:

1 White Egg

1 Brown Egg

1 Paper Plate


Talk to your students, children, or campers, tell them about diversity and that it is okay to have different color skin. It is okay to be friends with people who do not look anything like you, everyone needs friends, yada, yada, yada. Show them the eggs and ask them what the differences and similarities are between the them. The only obvious big one will be the color. Turn around, or go to a part of the room where the children cannot see you, crack the eggs open on the paper plate. Go back to your students and ask which one is which. OH MY GOSH, you cannot tell. Proving everyone is the same on the inside, with different color outsides.

You could also do this with M&Ms, Skittles, or even Tootsie Pops. Anything that has the same inside, but different colored outsides.

Appropriate Age Level:

Honestly, you could probably do this activity with anyone. I think it would make the most impact in the middle level students (2nd – 4th grades). But, no matter who you show this too it should make some sort of indent in their mindset.

Found At: