Brown Bear Word Match

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It’s been a while since we’ve done something on Brown Bear.  This is pretty simple, just match the words to the correct pictures.  A fun way to use this in a classroom is to divide the kids up into teams.  Give each team 1 worksheet and 1 pencil.  Each person on the team may connect only 1 word to an animal and then must pass the pencil onto someone else.  The first team to finish the worksheet correctly gets 4 points, the next gets 3, then 2, then 1.  Since this game takes very little time to play, we laminated the sheets so we can use them more than once.

Brown Bear is a great book to get ESL kids reading and writing.  Usually we read together so that they know the rhythm and the chant of the book first.  When we read the words, it is easier because they know what the word means.

Ocean In A Bottle Workshop

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This was the last workshop of the year and it was a fun one!   We made a jellyfish and put it into a bottle, so we can take the ocean with us where ever we go!


  • a transparent or translucent plastic bag (We noticed some bags work better than others, if they are too thin, the jelly doesn’t float as well.  Some types of plastics have a lot of static and bubbles stick to it. You may have to experiment a bit)
  • a transparent bottle with a wide mouth (the longer the bottle, the better the jelly ‘swims’ to the top)
  • thread
  • food coloring

Fold your jellyfish into a ‘ghost’ like shape and loosely tie a head  (leave a small opening because you’ll will fill the head with water later on).

Keeping the head at the top, spread out the bag and then cut from the corner to the neck. You should have 4 ‘triangles.’ Cut cut from the edges to the neck to make 8 ‘triangles.’  Cut off every other triangle, you should have 4 triangles.

Now, cut out very skinny strips for the tentacles.

You should make about 3 or 4 legs per segment, which means that you will still have to cut away some more of the excess bag.  Trim the tentacles so they will be of different lengths.

Fill the bottle about 1/2 way with water.Fill the head part way with water (you will need to leave some room for air so the jellyfish will float up).  Carefully insert the jelly into the bottle and top the bottle off with water. **

Add in food coloring and close your bottle tightly.

Turn your bottle upside down over and over again and watch your jellyfish float to the top.  It’s absolutely mesmerize.

We found this great craft on BhoomPlay on how to make a jellyfish in a bottle.

*  If you’re jellyfish is not floating to the top too well, try pulling him (or her) out of the bottle and blow a little bit of air into the head.  If you have a lot of air, the jellyfish will float to the top quickly.  If you have too little or no air, the jellyfish will float slowly or not at all.   If you find a the right ratio of air to water, you jelly will float and will full everyone into thinking he (or she) is real!

If You Give A Pig A Pancake (Mother’s Day) Workshop

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If You Give A Pig A Pancake is a story about a spunky little pig and all the silly things that happens just by giving her a pancake.  And reading about pancakes reminds us about….breakfast on Mother’s Day!

This was a very special workshop as it was dedicated to our hardworking and ever supportive mothers.  Since our moms are always waking up early and getting breakfast ready for us, we got breakfast ready for them (well, sort of), we made Pancakes in A Jar.


  • a clean jar (that has a volume of slightly more than a cup)
  • play dough (white and pink)

dry ingredients for pancakes:

  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbls (30 g) white sugar
  • 1 tsp (3 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 g) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp (2 g) salt

 First – measure out all the dry ingredients and put them into the jar.

Next – use the white play dough to cover the lid of the jar.  Take off the excess dough so it wont go on the inside of the lid.  (The dough will slide around a bit, try and fit it on as best you can, but it will shrink as it dries and stick on a little better).

Use the pink play dough to make a pig.  Stick it to the top of the lid. You made need a little bit of water to do this. Some kids made a 3 dimensional pig sitting up, some made it stand on all four legs and some made a 2 dimensional version.  How will you make yours?

Lastly – make a Mother’s Day card with the rest of the recipe inside:

  • pancake mix
  • 1 cup  (235 ml) milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbls (30 ml) vegetable oil

Pour the ingredients from the jar into a bowl.  Pour in the milk, egg and vegetable oil. Mix until smooth. Heat non-stick pan over medium heat until water beads. Do not oil. Pour pancake mixture in 1/4 cup amounts. Turn when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Remove from heat when pancake stops steaming.

Serve hot with butter and syrup or jelly.

And now you have your very special and original gift for your very special and original mom!

Swirls Workshop

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Swirl by Swirl, Sprials in Nature by written by Joyce Sidman e illustrated by Beth Krommes, is a beautiful book all about….you guessed it swirls and spirals.  The story was a bit difficult for the kids to follow, but it didn’t matter because the kids had lots of fun searching for all the spirals on every page.  After learning all about spirals, we made some of our own. Bloesem Kids had this wonderful project made with a few simple items you probably have around the house.


  • 18 gauge (or 1 cm) bendable wire (approx 1m + 10 cm)
  • pliers/wire cutters
  • pencil
  • pens and/or decorative paper
  • construction paper
  • wine cork
  • yogurt cup (optional)
  • glue (Elmers and hot glue)

1. If you are using a yogurt cup, hot glue the cork to the inside of the cup.  Hold onto the cork with your finger (so it doesn’t come loose) and use the nail to poke a hole though the bottom of cup and the cork (this will make it easier to push the wire through later on).

2.  Draw you design on a piece of construction paper, cut it out and retrace it onto another piece of construction paper.   Color and decorate the sides that face ‘outside.’ (Keep in mind that you are going to sandwich the wire between these to pieces – this way it is easier to figure out which sides to color).

3. Cut off appox 10 cm of wire (the length will vary, depending on the figure).  Bend into a c-shape. Use the pliers to make small loops at both ends.  If you are hold the C vertically, twist the loops so that the flat sides are parallel to the ground.

4.  Cut approx 1 m of wire (for the smaller kids we wrapped the ends with some tape so they wouldnt scratch themselves).  Wrap the wire around a pencil to make a coil.

5.  Remove the coil from the pencil and stretch it out (if your figure doesn’t ‘swirl’ down easily, try pulling so the coil will be longer).  Straighten a bit of one end and push it into the cork/yogurt cup. Thread your figure onto the spiral, and use the pliers to make a loop on the top end of the coil.  Your figure should spin down.

6.  If you have used a yogurt cup, use permanent markers and bits of fancy paper to decorate the cup.

Watch your figure swirl down the coil.