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Friday, November 29, 2013

Elf on the Shelf - Lesson Plan Ideas

 So I recently mentioned on Facebook that I wanted to buy my dog Carly an Elf on the Shelf.  I mean, these things didn't exist when I had kids, so now am I too late for the fun?

 Then, I found myself doing what I always do, planning class lessons that surround the Elf idea.  There are so many teachable moments.  For example, teaching voice with the elf would be a blast.  Expository writing from the Elf's point-of-view.  Would the elf be able to write a persuasive paper arguing the best holiday song of all time?   Or even, and this is what I REALLY would love, an online journal, kind of a newspaper-thing, with the elf's exploits as it moves around during the holiday.  The elf becomes a roving reporter using his/her voice to help explain happenings around a school or community.  The elf could interview other elves.  The elvish commentary would be a blast.

Wow possibilities are endless.

Teacher Friends - How many of you use an "Elf" in lesson plans?  The more I think of it, the more I'd love to write a few plans and see them in action.

And for those of you who think that using the elf is only for elementary school, try a research paper on popular cultural happenings that help young children grow their imagination.  What about the evolution of the Christmas Elf.  How Santa get his elves?

What about my math teacher friends - I mean can we develop a holiday shopping list for the elf to purchase gifts.  Have students do a virtual shopping trip.  This would help students learn addition, subtraction and budgeting.  Could the elf bowl with gum drops and peppermint sticks as a way to teach angles?

If students have tablets or Flip cameras, they could teach the Elf math.  (What a great flipped lesson!)

Social Studies - I personally love the history of Santa and his Elves, learning about the customs of other cultures, or how they celebrate is always quite an interesting study.  If I taught Psychology, we would have to look into why children need fantasy.  Have students make lessons that incorporate  Museum Box using the history of Santa and his elves, or even sightings of the elves.  You can track Santa over Norad and look at the route he takes around the world.

I can't help but wonder how Santa and the elves dress depending on the culture.  What a great compare contrast project.

Science - How many jumping jacks does an elf have to do to work off a SMORE?  Build a launch pad for Santa's Sleigh!  Calculate the calories that the average elf eats everyday.

ELA - the writing possibilities astound me.  I'd have an online elf blog for sure.  I'd use the elf to teach voice, mood and tone.  Of course, we could have the elves write about their adventures and tell stories.  Older students could write stories for younger students, and for those kids who don't celebrate Christmas, than they could pick another character and write from their perspective. For example,  if you prefer not to use an elf, many of these ideas would work with Flat Stanley.

If you use the Elf in your lessons, (or something like it) please share it in the comments or on Facebook.  I'm curious how many teachers are grabbing the teachable-moment of The Elf on the Shelf and running with it!

For now, I am off to purchase Carly an Elf.  Purely for professional reasons of course!

Nerdy Book Club:  Check out the Nerdy Book Clubs book finalist list.

I'd be remiss to say Happy Sunday to my fellow Sunday Saloners!  I also want to celebrate the end of hurricane season!  I've got to admit, living on the Gulf Coast makes this time of year a little nerve racking! It is always great to see the end of the hurricane season.

Have a wonderful week!

Doris
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