Looking for some teaching ideas to use with “My Two Blankets”?
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I wanted to teach students about using colours in a different way. I would usually choose pencils but my class had begged me to buy oil pastels at the beginning of the year (anything messy just isn’t to my liking but it was a new medium). This project was completed towards the end of term 1.

Grade 3 example of using cool colours.
Work in progress.

We started off discussing the primary and secondary colours (for most this was a review from the previous year) and then delved into warm vs cool colours. They completed a page in their book (sorry, forgot to take pictures!) which they first divided the page in half horizontally. They drew, with a compass, four circle with a 1 cm diameter in a line above and below the line. They then used coloured pencils to colour in four warm colours above and four cool colours below. The ones who finished early got to experiment a bit with the pastels.

Grade 3 student work.
Work in progress.
Grade 3 student work
Warm Colours – Crab in the desert.

Tip: Have a couple of packets of fragrance-free baby wipes available in the class – so much easier than sending the students to wash their hands over and over.

The students then needed to draw on separate A5 sheet of cartridge paper a ‘cool’ picture and a ‘warm’ picture. I had an example there but left it up to the students to decide what they would draw.

Once both were completed they then were given one A4 piece of black card. It was folded in half and they had to design their own ‘window’ which was to be the same on both sides (this way they can trace the design onto the back card when folded (after cutting out the first side). Again it was up to them to design their own ‘window’, cut it out and glue in their pictures.

Grade 3 student work.
Warm Colours. I particularly like the choice of window.
Grade 3 student work.
Cool Colours. I particularly like the choice of window.


Note: I only ever give out one piece of cardboard. It teaches the kids to plan carefully before cutting. Yes, there is always one who doesn’t listen and chops off the wrong bit – but it is up to them to solve it themselves. One student did just that in this class and solved it by using the back scraps of cardboard from others to fix the ‘window’.

Grade 3 student work.
Warm Colours – Freshly baked pie.
Grade 3 (with learning needs) student work.
Cool Colours – Bird on ice slab.











I Came From the Water - story of a Haitian boy called Moses. Read the review at Miss Jenny's ClassroomMoses has lost his family to the floods. Then the earthquake comes. Then the chloera. Can Moses stay strong and keep going?

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Nits. Lice. Bugs in my Hair by David Shannon. Book review available at Miss Jenny's Classroom

Nits aka lice. You know when you’ve got them ’cause you start to scratch your head – it’s so itchy! Can you be rid of them forever?

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As adults many of us learn about the truth behind modern fairytales and rhymes. If you don’t already know, fairytales were originally intended for an adult audience and not children – thus the content and outcomes of the stories is often unrecognizable with their modern counterparts.

This is an activity I did based on the rhyme “Little Bo Peep”. We know she lost her sheep but I wanted my class of  grade 6/7s to think outside the box. They needed to consider what the real story might have been behind the rhyme – as if it was in code.

Needless to say their exchanging looks of wary did become enthusiastic once they started.

For this activity, the students were each given…

* a copy of the rhyme “Little Bo Peep”
* worked in small groups to brainstorm ideas and thoughts
* drew 3 thumbnails of possible layouts for their artwork in their art journal
* produced their final copy on A3 paper.

This lesson took two separate lessons with a duration of about 60 minutes each.

Here’s two examples…

Grade 7 example
Grade 6 example