As teachers we all know the constant struggle with our kiddos being HOOKED to their electronics. Every time we ask them to give us a sentence with their vocabulary word, they just have to relate it to the latest video game. #TheStruggleisReal Today I’m sharing a great way to motivate students to play outside AND how I use this motivator as part of several activities to teach theme.
Motivating Our students to Play outside
The makers of OFF!® Repellents have launched “The Never Starting Tales”— a collection of reinterpreted fairy tales that get kids thinking about how moving the story setting from outside to inside stops the adventure altogether. These FREE online storybooks help children understand the importance of detaching from their electronics and taking the fun to their backyard.
The full-color digital storybooks are aimed at kindergarten through third grade students. However, they can be used across grade levels to get their true message across. Students can watch and listen to the e-books online, complete with “turn the page” animation. The books can also be downloaded as PDF files to devices, which can be added to digital libraries.
Never Starting Tales during Digital Learning
The best part about the Never Starting Tales is that they can be incorporated during our virtual learning! My students look forward to hearing a new story every week during our Zoom morning meetings! The OFF!® Never Starting Tales website offers FREE ELA and STEAM lesson plans to correspond with the books. These lesson plans are perfect for virtual learning and can be easily used by teachers and parents.
This week, we’ll be reading “The Never Starting Tale of The Three Little Pigs” through our online learning platform. The students will be taking part in their first virtual STEM! They will head to their backyard to find twigs, leaves, rocks, and anything else they can find! Then, they’re going to create a house out of the materials they found. They will test their houses by pouring “weather” over the roofs. (water, ice, etc.)
Activities to Teach Theme Using The Never Starting Tales
Teachers: The Never Starting Tales are the perfect stories to help us reinforce theme! Each story has a lesson at the end— the character misses out on all of the adventure because he/she decides to play indoors.
When we were in the classroom back in March, I decided to use ‘The Never Starting Tale of Hercules’ to analyze the lesson the character learns at the end of the story. As we listened to the story, the students wrote down three important events. At the end, we discussed how these events tied into each other.
Turn & Talk
The students turned to a partner and came up with some possible themes or lessons that were learned from the story.
Turn & Talk Using Virtual Breakout Rooms
Since we’ve currently moved on to digital learning, I’ve been using breakout rooms on our virtual platform to allow students the opportunity to work in groups and have discussions.
Persuasive Writing Prompt
Afterwards, we discussed different superpowers that might be great to have when we are playing in the backyard. Invisibility to help us during Hide and Seek? Super speed when we’re playing Tag?
The students worked with a partner to brainstorm how these superpowers might be useful or important. They wrote a short piece explaining why their superpower was the best kind. Once we were all done, they shared their powers with the class. Since we are working on improving our sentences and overall structure of a paragraph— this was perfect! The students had so much fun coming up with their own superpowers!
I shared the link to the Never Starting Tales with my classroom parents via our messaging app. Students were assigned to listen to “The Never Starting Tale of Cinderella” with their parents and created a bucket list of outdoor activities. They were so eager to share their list with the class the next day!
If you’re looking for a fun way to engage your students while secretly hinting “Hey, maybe you should drop your tablet and play in the backyard…” then these Never Starting Tales, brought to you by the makers of OFF! ® Repellents will surely do the job.
I would love to hear how you incorporate these tales in your classroom! Make sure to comment below or tag me @SweetToothTeaching to share all of the ideas!
Post sponsored by the makers of OFF!® Repellents