Saturday, February 11, 2012

Birds Writing Center

This week is the Great Backyard Bird Count! Thanks to my Facebook subscribers for reminding me a couple weeks ago. I thought that since there is a big focus on birds this month, that I would love to incorporate the theme into our homeschool somehow. After reading a series about writing centers on the WriteShop blog, I knew that I was going to create our first-ever writing center. Using mostly printer-ink and supplies I had on hand, I set up a simple bird-theme writing station at home.

I tried to provide materials for all age-levels in my home--- 1yr to 13yrs. old. I have the station set up by a window so that they will hopefully be inspired by any winged creatures they see outside too.

-- various bird-theme lined paper for writing (see below for details)
-- bird fact cards (see below for details)
-- bird booklet for my little girls
-- letter B plus Birds writing paper for my little girls
(You can follow my bird Pinterest board for even more ideas)

I have a whole set of bird photo cards that I picked up a couple years ago from the Dollar Tree. There are writing prompts listed on the back. I figure my younger children can look at the photos and then tell me about what they see. My older children will have the option of using the prompts on the back or not.

In the green bins are writing prompt cards from WriteShop. I printed out StoryBuilders: World of Animal cards for some creative writing inspiration. Each card is color-coded and students pick 1 of each color and use them to write their story:

Character Cards - Blue
Character Trait Cards - Yellow
Setting Cards - Green
Plot Cards - Lavender

The download contains printable cards plus instructions for different ways to play this writing game. I am excited to see how my kids use this component this week. I think this will help with the "Mom, I don't know what to write," reply I hear when they are asked to write.

I also printed out bird cards and placed them in our table-top pocket chart. My 5yr. old daughter has been the first to explore this activity. She helped me place the names of the birds we already knew on the bird photos.

You can download these bird-themed papers for free! I appreciate all who read and subscribe to my site, so I'm planning on periodically creating some special downloads just for you. If you are a subscriber, you will find the download link at the bottom of the post in either your inbox or RSS feed:

You can easily keep up with all the happenings at Spell Outloud by subscribing two ways:

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If you follow SpellOutloud on Facebook, you can also access this download on my page. Just look to the left for the Only Likers box and click.

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Blogger Ticia said...

LOVE it! I loved things like this when I was teaching.

February 11, 2012 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Kelli- AdventurezInChild'Rearing said...

right up our alley! we're participating in Back Yard Bird Count this week too! :)

February 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Kelli- AdventurezInChild'Rearing said...

I just linked up my article to your page here - sharing the news about your wonderful printables! Thank you for providing them - they will add to our project this week for sure (we live in southwest florida - lots of birds year round)

February 13, 2012 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Kelli- AdventurezInChild'Rearing said...

sorry- the link is:

February 13, 2012 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Sally said...

lovelovelovelove! Did I mention that I love this, and all the other awesome things on your site (and Pinterest boards)? :) Thanks for sharing all you do with all of us!

February 14, 2012 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger Deb Chitwood said...

Great activities, Maureen! I love your birds writing center! I linked to this post and featured your bird-theme nature tray photo at Totally Tots in my Montessori-Inspired Bird Unit at

March 27, 2012 at 9:46 AM  

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