Saturday, July 12, 2014

Princesses and Superheroes!

One of my passions in the classroom is getting children EXCITED about what they are doing.  Too often, we push and impose our standards and assessments on students to 'get them ready' for whatever standardized test we need them to succeed at.  We often forget they are five.  They love to sing.  They love to dance.  They miss their mom.  They need a nap.  They struggle to make friends.  They can't sit still.  They can't wait to tell you about their weekend.  They love to dress up and use their imagination and their goal is to build the tallest tower of blocks that or win the kickball game at recess, not achieve a certain score.  

If we want to reach children, it has to be interesting and engaging to them.  One of the ways I do that is by using themes or topics they can relate to. A few months back I found out about the WONDERFUL website  I am in LOVE!!!! (Hi. I'm Racheal and I'm a Disney NERD!)  This website has all sorts of graphics from different Disney movies and shows.  I've used these graphics to create different books, activities and games for both my own daughter and my students.  They love them just as much as I do!  Think of it this way....wouldn't you want to look at paperwork and documents all day if Channing Tatum was on every page?!  YES PLEASE!  It's the same thing for young children - they WANT to practice and learn skills when it appeals to them!

During summer school, I made these nonsense word cards with the Incredibles characters on them.  The little boy I sent them home with was so excited!

For my own daughter, I used the graphics to write beginning reader books for her to practice sight words.  She adored her Frozen book when we worked on the word 'see'!

Recently, I used these Princess Sofia cards I had made for Madilynn for a little game in her room.  

I hung up the words on her closet doors.  Then we used a wand she already had to find the words as I said them (her wand lights up and makes noise!).  - Sorry for the blurry pictures.  I was also wrestling a 1 year old while taking pictures!

Think of the possibilities!  You can use so many characters!  Shoot them with a dart gun!  Hit them with a ball (plush balls are the best!)  Turn the lights off and find them with a flashlight!  You can practice words, letters, numbers, shapes, colors!  The possibilities are endless.  

Today we went to the local library for story time.  While Madi was picking out her books to check out I kept showing her classics and authors I know are wonderful - Karma Wilson, Mo Willems, old fairy tales - you know, awesome literature for young children!  While she loves those books, and knows most of them by heart, she wanted to get something that SHE chose.   These are the books she chose and let me tell you, she was super excited to bring them home!  I could hear her in the car on the drive home, "Mommy!  Look!  My new word 'is'!"  Music to my ears.  

While I can't create and sell any products using these graphics due to copyright issues, I can use them until my heart and my students' hearts are content!  And I can share this amazing resource with all of you!  To help get you started, I wanted to share the Frozen themed book from above with you.  Just click the link below to download!

Making learning memorable and fun is something I strive to do for my students.  I hope you can use the resource above to do the same for yours!  Enjoy!




  1. Yes, children want to play and sing and move. Join them or go home crying!! Thanks for the reminder.

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family