24 DIFFERENT WAYS TO USE A STAR THEME
Start of Term Project: Welcome Back Star Wand
We here at Lizard Learning love connecting with teachers on social media. Recently, while exploring the wilderness of Instagram, we discovered this delightful ‘Welcome Back Star Wand’ project. What a stellar way to welcome back students and get them excited about the new term. Thanks to @teacher_tazzy for sharing your wonderful idea.
The ‘Welcome Back Star Wands’ have got us thinking about ways to celebrate the new term, and get students engaged right from the beginning with a new term’s unit.
The start of a new term is a great time to encourage students to set goals and intentions for the year. This can be done in many ways, some fun, some more serious:
- Hand out paper stars for students to write their goals for the term on. Goals could be personal (e.g. I want to be a good friend), educational (e.g. I want to improve my writing), or maybe sports related (e.g. I want to be on the soccer team). Encourage kids to decorate their ‘guiding stars’, and if they want to display them in the classroom so that students can help each other to achieve their goals.
- Get older kids to start a journal documenting their goals, and their progress towards them. Journals can be a great way for kids to develop new ideas and work through problems. If your kids enjoy it, you can make it into a long term project and set aside some time each day for kids to write in their journals.
- Have your students write a letter to their future selves for them to open at the end of term. They could write about their hopes for the term, or even make little craft projects as a present for their future selves.
Children aren’t always excited about the start of a new term, especially as they get older. Starting the term with a fun activity is a great way to make them more enthusiastic about it. Educational concepts can be easily integrated into fun, creative projects in many different subjects.
- Have your students write a poem using the word ‘star’. For younger kids, you could do something simple like an acrostic poem. Older kids could be given more free reign, which would lead nicely into lessons about different styles of poetry and writing in general.
- If you think poetry might be a hard sell for your students, get them to write down a list of people who use a wand (decide how many you want them to do based on age). What do they use it for? Draw your favourite character using their wand. Example: a magician, a witch, a fairy, Harry Potter, Mickey Mouse in his magician’s costume. There’s even the potential to get older kids to research their favourite and write a biography.
- Stars are also excellent inspiration for story writing. Younger kids could be give a comprehension activity with a story about a star and spelling words to learn. Older kids could brainstorm different ideas for stories about stars as a class, then individually pick one to write a short story about.
- Starting the term with a ‘Welcome Back Star Wand’ would also make an excellent introduction to a unit on fairy tales.
HISTORY / SOCIAL STUDIES
- There are many old stories and myths from different cultures about how the stars came into being. Encourage kids to read or research myths from different cultures and compare and contrast the stories.
- Historically people used stars for navigation, especially when travelling by sea. Help your students discover the many interesting ways that stars were used to guide travellers in the past.
- Help kids discover their star signs, and how they can change from culture to culture.
- SPACE! Most kids will do a unit on space at some point during their education. Space is an endlessly fascinating topic that can be adapted for all ages. It’s pretty easy to make straight up science about space interesting, but if you want to get a bit more creative there are tonnes of fun activities you could do with your class like:
- Decorating stars and planets.
- Drawing constellations.
- Building model solar systems.
- Stars could also be a fun way to introduce older kids to the concept of elements through the big bang, and the way that stars create elements. This could lead to environmental units about what the Earth is made of.
- The way that our closest star (the sun) affects the earth. This can range from simple topics (like day and night), to more complicated one (how light works; the effects of the moon).
- Stars can be a way to develop unique counting and measuring activities for kids of all ages:
- Younger kids could count and compare the number of stars in different constellations.
- Older kids could find facts on the distance between Earth and other stars, planets, and galaxies.
- Planets can also be used to teach students of different ages about circumference.
If you’re looking for a fun art project to do with your students, there are almost as many on the internet as there are stars in the sky. Some of our favourite star themed projects are:
- Origami Foil Stars are fun and simple decorations to make.
- The slightly easier Origami ‘Lucky Stars’ can also be made with strips of paper.
This night sky Playdough says that it’s for pre-schoolers, but it looks so cool we want to play with it too!
- And there’s always the trusty old icy-pole stick that can be glued into a star and decorated.
If you have any fun star themed projects that you like to do with your students, we’d love to see them. Comment below, or find us on Instagram.
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