Continue reading: Happy Easter 2021 – readilearn
Easter Delivery is a story about Bilby twins Benny and Belinda who are excited to be old enough to make their first Easter delivery on their own. Before they are allowed to go out, they must prove to Mother and Father Bilby that they are capable of following instructions and delivering just the right number of Easter eggs for each family.
This video provides a brief introduction to the story.
The story encourages children to join in helping Benny and Belinda work out the number of Easter eggs required for each family and choosing which boxes or packs of eggs to leave. It is most suited for use on an interactive whiteboard with a small group or class of children, or on a computer with one or two children.
It can also be used interactively with children if teaching over Zoom as explained in this video.
In this next video, I read the story for you and your children to enjoy.
Continue reading: A Story Reading for Easter – Readilearn
With Easter just a few weeks away, I thought I’d remind you of the readilearn Easter-themed lessons and activities suitable for use with 5-7 year-old children, at school or at home. The Easter collection can be found in Cultural Studies here.
Easter in the classroom — some thoughts
When considering whether to include Easter activities in the classroom, it is important to realise that Easter may not be celebrated by all children and, even if it is, the importance and focus of the celebration may differ from family to family.
If you have already investigated Family traditions and celebrations, you will know which children celebrate Easter and which do not.
If you haven’t, you could use the Yes/No survey, Do you celebrate Easter? to find out.
For children who don’t celebrate Easter, be sensitive to the expectations their families may have for their participation. Depending on the number, you may choose to avoid Easter activities or use the time to investigate other festivals celebrated by your families. However, unless you are in a religious school, most Easter activities will focus on eggs and bunnies or bilbies rather than religion, as do our readilearn resources. If you are in a religious school, then parents were aware of the focus when enrolling their children.
The lessons and activities mentioned in this post assume you have decided to include Easter in your program and are focusing on the secular celebration. While many of the Easter traditions focus on the new birth of spring, in the Southern Hemisphere, Easter occurs in autumn. Our readilearn Easter resources avoid focusing on the seasons for this reason.
How families celebrate Easter
The way of celebrating Easter will vary from family to family. Some go away for the weekend. Some stay at home. Some are visited by a bunny, some by a bilby. Some put out carrots for the bunny, some put out baskets for the bunny to put eggs in, some search for eggs in an Easter egg hunt.
It is always interesting to hear about different ways of celebrating so it is useful to begin with some discussion and writing.
Talking and Writing
Recounts and personal experiences
Wishing you hope and joy
The situation for us at Easter this year is very different from any we’ve experienced before and, hopefully, are unlikely to experience again. Wherever you are, I hope you are able to find some joy in the traditional Easter message of hope.
I have uploaded three new resources this week to add to the readilearn Easter collection. As my Easter gift to you, I have made these three new resources available free until the end of April. Many other free resources are also available in the collection. Please enjoy!
Continue reading: Happy Easter from readilearn 2020 – readilearn
Today, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Yvonne Mes and her delightful new picture book Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt.
About Yvonne Mes
Yvonne Mes is a children’s author and illustrator from Brisbane. Her latest picture book is Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt. Other picture books by Yvonne are Oliver’s Grumbles (Yellow Brick Books) and Meet Sidney Nolan (Penguin Random House).
Yvonne coordinates Brisbane based writers’ group, Write Links, reviews children’s book for KBR (Kids’ Book Review) and runs No Nonsense Critiques. She buys more books than she can read, comes up with more ideas than she can write or illustrate and has more children than she can manage. But she does try very hard, and best of all, she is NEVER bored.
About Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt
Near bush and scrub and oceanfront, they tiptoe on their Easter hunt . . .
A group of baby bilbies are on an Easter egg hunt. They find all kinds of eggs – a kookaburra’s egg, a turtle’s egg, a cassowary’s egg – before the little bilbies finally find what they’ve been looking for: Easter eggs to share with all their friends.
This colourfully illustrated picture book showcases the diversity of Australia’s egg-laying animals. Each spread reveals an egg in its natural environment and asks the question ‘Whose egg could this be?’. After turning the page, the egg is matched with the animal it belongs to.
Why I like this book
Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt, gorgeously illustrated by Jody Pratt, is a fun story that is sure to delight young children as they go on an Easter egg hunt with Little Bilby, finding eggs that belong to others before they find the eggs that they can share.
If they are not already drawn in by the sparkles on the front cover, children will love the rhythm and rhyme and join in with the repetitive text as they seek and find eggs belonging to Aussie egg-laying animals, kookaburra, turtle and cassowary.
Easter is coming in 2020 along with school holidays, school closures and lockdowns. While readilearn lessons and activities are designed with teachers of the first three years of school in mind, perhaps, in these challenging times, parents may also find them useful in supporting their children’s learning while they are out of school.
The collection now numbers over 400 resources and more than 70 of these are interactive lessons and stories. All resources can be accessed with a small annual subscription or purchased individually. Many of the resources are free.
While teachers would normally use the interactive lessons on the interactive whiteboard with the whole class or small group, parents access them on their home computers. Just as teachers would discuss the resources when using them with a class, so too, parents discuss them with their children as they work through them together. The most benefit for children comes from the discussion. They are not designed for children to use independently.
Lessons and activities with an Easter focus
Lessons and activities in the readilearn collection cover a range of topics and curriculum areas. However, the focus of this post is on those with an Easter theme and how they can be used to keep the children thinking and learning while having fun. (Note: All readilearn Easter-themed resources can be found here.)
Teachers! Save time and money with readilearn K–2 teaching resources
readilearn teaching resources for the first three years of school save teachers time and money with lessons ready to teach. More than just worksheets to keep kids busy, readilearn lessons and activities are designed to progress children’s learning.
Now available to purchase individually
Over the past few weeks, we have been working to make it easier for you to access readilearn teaching resources. All readilearn resources are now priced for individual purchase, many with a $0.00 price tag. While a subscription is still the best value for money, being able to purchase resources individually means you can purchase what you want when you want to use it.
Resources across the curriculum
Resources are available across curriculum areas and include lessons in character development such as confidence and friendship skills. Many integrate learning from different subjects. Child-focused, engaging and connecting with experiences familiar to children, the resources develop language and thinking skills alongside learning in other subject areas.
Easy to use
Browse through the resources. When you see a lesson that’s just right for you and your class, add it to the cart and continue shopping or proceed to the checkout. Complete your details and, as a registered user, a record of your purchases will always be available on your accounts page.
Children love to create artworks using pencils, crayons, paints and anything they can stick to a surface using glue. With access to a variety of materials, they can be absorbed for hours creating their masterpieces.
While they might select from the materials offered, I found the one thing that few children could resist was glitter—and the more of it, the better.
There is nothing like glitter to add a bit of sparkle to the day. The only trouble is, glitter is so light and so small, that it goes everywhere—on the artwork, on the table, on the chair and on the floor. It sticks to the hands and is smeared on the face and takes forever to remove from the hair. But everyone loves it nonetheless, and it adds a little brightness to the day.
Smiles are like glitter in that they also spread easily and brighten the day. However, they are not nearly so messy, cost nothing, and require no cleaning up at all.
I think smiles are the glitter we should add to the artwork that is everyday life. And if there’s one thing about smiles, the more you give, the more you receive. Smiles come from a bottomless well, from a source that never dries up. A sprinkle of smiles will make anyone’s day sparkle, and who knows what difference a smile can make to another’s life.
I often think of The Ripple Effect, written by Tony Ryan, and its inspirational stories. I especially enjoy this quote by Bette Reese included in the book: “If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.”
One of Tony’s stories describes the following scenario:
“As you enter the freeway, you discover that the traffic is heavier than usual, and is moving quite slowly. You then notice that the young driver in the car beside you is trying to enter your lane, because her exit is coming up. No-one is letting her in, and she is becoming tense and upset.”
Tony then describes the turning point in her day:
“You stop, and wave her in front of you with a flourish and a smile.”
and the ripple effect:
- “she returns your smile, acknowledges your thoughtful action, and drives on
- her tension dissipates, and she arrives at her company office feeling buoyed by your little effort
- as the main receptionist, she is the first to greet the hundreds of people who enter the office each day
- with her positive greeting, she decides to brighten up the life of every person she meets throughout that day
- because of her efforts, many others in the business district are inspired to focus on their own positive efforts.”
Like glitter, we can never know how far the effects of our smiles might travel. There can never be too many smiles in any one day, especially in a classroom filled with children.
This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about man glisten. It was a fun term coined by two men with glitter in their beards. What more could it embrace? Look to the unexpected and embrace a playful approach. Go where the prompt leads.
I’d only come across the word “glisten” before in the Christmas carol, Walking in a Winter Wonderland.
But Charli’s prompt reminded me of an incident in my childhood that had absolutely nothing to do with glitter or glisten (I don’t even remember glitter in my childhood) but loads to do with smiles. I’ve rewritten the incident to include glitter and other alternative facts. I hope it gives you a smile.
Glitter smiles glisten
Relentless rain meant no beach for the country cousins. They spent eternity on the verandah, making artworks, playing games, and bickering.
On the last day, when Mum said to clear space for their mattresses, they fought over who’d do what. Toys and games ended up in a haphazard tower with the glitter bucket balanced on top.
When Dad bent for goodnight kisses, he stumbled and demolished the tower. Glitter went everywhere—including all over Dad. The children gasped.
“Your hair glistens, Dad,” smiled the littlest.
Dad smiled too, then everybody laughed.
Dad wore a hat to work that week.
I previously wrote about this incident for inclusion in a Writing Skills Homework Book published by Pascal Press. Workbooks such as this are very different from the teaching resources I now share on readilearn, but: it was paid work.
This version is closer to the truth.
Strike Me Pink!
Because we lived near the beach, our cousins visited one Easter. Unfortunately, it rained all weekend. Just imagine eight children under ten years old and four adults cooped up in one tiny cottage. Everyone’s patience was wearing thin. We children were starting to whinge and niggle each other. The adults were trying to keep cool and prevent us from hurting each other.
One night when it was all too much, the children were sent to bed early. Four of us were on mattresses on the floor. The line for drying washing, strung across the room overhead, held only one item: my pink dressing gown. I had carelessly tossed it there out of the way.
When Dad came in for a goodnight kiss he thought we looked like a row of toy soldiers in a box. Bending down he exclaimed, “Strike me pink!” And he was! The dressing gown fell from the line and draped over his shoulders like a cloak. What mirth erupted at the sight of my father looking like a pink general. The tensions eased and smiles returned to everyone’s faces.
The next morning was fine as our cousins left for home. We hadn’t been to the beach, but we did have a story to share that would bring a smile to our faces for many years to come.
Note: I don’t know how many others used the term, but my Dad often said, “Strike me pink” to express surprise.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.
While a classroom is filled with a group of unique individuals, it can be easy sometimes to get caught up in treating them as one, with one set of needs, expectations and rules. Everybody do this, everybody do that—a bit like Simon Says but not always as much fun.
It is useful to pause sometimes and celebrate the uniqueness of individuals in your class.
International Children’s Book Day and Hans Christian Andersen‘s birthday on 2 April provide excellent excuses for reading and celebrating children’s literature, as if we needed any. We can also find stories that help us celebrate individuality.
Hans Christian Andersen was a prolific writer of fairy tales, many of which are well-known and have been made into movies. One of my favourite films as a child was about Hans Christian Anderson with Danny Kaye in the lead role. I was particularly touched by the story of The Ugly Duckling which Andersen told to a sad young boy whom no one would play with. You can watch the scene here.
The story is a great starting point for discussing individual differences,
The celebration of special occasions such as Easter may bring interruptions to the usual class program with preparation for special events and performances such as Easter Hat Parades. It may also signal time to inject some fun into the program. But involving children in Easter activities doesn’t mean the learning has to stop.
In this post, I explain how using readilearn early childhood teaching resources keeps the children thinking and learning while having fun with Easter-themed resources across curriculum areas. (Note: All readilearn Easter-themed resources can be found here.)
An inclusive classroom acknowledges all traditions celebrated by its children.
Find out whether Easter is one of the traditions celebrated by the families of children in the class and discuss how it is celebrated.
If you have already investigated Family traditions and celebrations, you will know which children celebrate Easter and which do not.
For children who don’t celebrate Easter, be sensitive to the expectations their families may have for their participation.
My personal view is that it is beneficial for children to learn about the traditions of others but that they can opt out of activities and celebrations if families wish. In my experience, few families have Continue reading: #readilearn – Learning literacy and mathematics with Easter classroom activities