I just finished reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with my students, and we spent some time discussing C.S. Lewis’ descriptive sentences. I wanted my students to mimic Lewis’ style in a writing assignment, but I needed a vehicle to make their word choice meaningful. I pulled two passages out of the book and removed key words. I replaced the key words with a blank line and labelled the space with the type of word or part of speech that should go in the blank. Basically, I built a literary Mad Lib.
The students spent some time thinking about their mothers (or another loved one) and brainstormed words to describe that person. Following the brainstorming, they re-read the original passages in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and then plugged words into the frame I gave them to create their own beautiful description with a C.S. Lewis vibe.
We typed the paragraphs, and students added small images that corresponded to details in the descriptive writing. We printed the text and pictures on a piece of cardstock and cut them apart. The students folded a small pocket folder using colored cardstock and decorated the cover. The pictures and small paragraph were no bigger than 3″ x 3″ each and fit nicely in the small pocket card.Not all of my students are quite finished with this project, but the ones I have read so far make me tear up because they capture such sweet thoughts about a loved one. If you need a thoughtful card or gift for a mother, father, grandparent, sibling… pull a favorite passage from a story and use the basic structure to write a special message.
Pocket Card Materials
8 3/4″ x 7 1/4″ colored cardstock
4″ x 3 1/2″ white cardstock (optional)
Pocket Card Directions
Place the colored cardstock on a flat surface in the landscape direction.
Fold the bottom edge (8 3/4″ edge) up about 2″, match the corners carefully, and press firmly to fold the crease.
Open the flap and fold the paper in half, so the two 7 1/4″ edges meet. Match the corners carefully and press firmly to fold the crease.
Open the paper flat and fold the 2″ section up creating the pocket. The pocket sides will be open but create a little “shelf” to hold the small pieces of paper. Fold the paper in half down the center fold.
If you would like, glue the 4″ x 3 1/2″ white rectangle to the front of the folder as a cover for writing a title or salutation.
Want to try your own literary Mad Lib? Click Author Mad Libs to download a free copy of my activity page. To purchase other Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe activities, CLICK HERE.
If you read my previous post about Teacher Appreciation Week, you know we organized a group gift of freezable meals for my daughter’s kindergarten teachers. We will be sending a little extra appreciation gift too. We made personalized magnets for the teacher’s white boards at school. I won’t lie to you; this little sirsee took some advanced planning.
I magnet things to the white board in my classroom all the time– attendance slips, papers without a student name, sample projects, just to name a few. I figured all teachers could use a good magnet. These little DIY magnets have a personalized thank you picture of the student, so the teachers will never forget the child– even if they try.
clear glass stones or glass tiles (flat back)
magnets (super strength)
photo address labels (pre-ordered)
A few weeks before you need the gift, make a sign that says “Thank You” and take a photo of your child holding the sign.
I use Shutterfly, but any site with photo return address labels is fine. Order a sheet of return address labels with your “Thank You” photo in it. I have thought about other options for this, and I can’t come up with any. You need a tiny photo, and it needs to have permanent/sealed ink (like a sticker). I have tried printing my own photos on copy paper and photo paper, and the ink blurs when you use the Diamond Glaze.
When the address labels arrive, cut the “Thank You” photo side away from the address label. I use a paper cutter and cut the photo so there is a small border around the edge. I tried to have a little thank you message printed in the address field thinking the whole sticker would fit under the stone– WRONG. Go ahead and print the photo with your real return address. If you use a paper cutter, the address side of the label is completely usable for any letters you mail. It’s kind of a two for one if you actually mail any letters.
Put the stone on the scrapbook paper, flat side down, and trace a line around the edge. Cut out the shape of the stone and apply the “Thank You” photo sticker in the center of the scrapbook paper piece. My son squeezed a handwritten note onto the side of his magnet with the school year listed too.
Put a dot of Diamond Glaze in the center of the photo and press the flat side of the stone on top until the Diamond Glaze smooshes to the edge. Let dry. If the Diamond Glaze runs over, gently wipe with a damp paper towel. You may need to turn the stone upside down to let it dry.
Once the Diamond Glaze dries, put a small dot of Glaze on the back of the paper attached to the stone. Press the magnet into the center of the Glaze. Let dry completely. NOTE: You can’t have any run of the mill magnet for this job. You need super heavy duty magnet strength. The best part about these homemade magnets is the industrial strength pull. I found the super magnets at an art supply store, but I have seen them at my Ace hardware store and Michael’s Crafts. I like the small silver disc magnets, but I have also bought the black disc magnets.
Instead of magnets, you could attach thumb tacks to the back with the Diamond Glaze and make a pushpin for the teacher’s bulletin board. I have also used these photo magnets as a gift for a grandparent, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day.