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Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Made It (ABC book and flash freebie!)

Happy Monday!!  This is one holiday where I am thankful that I am not going back to a five day work week on Monday after the festivities are over (Christmas/New Years is enough of a struggle!). 
We went camping over the weekend and it is such a let down on Sundays watching everyone pack up.  The kids wanted to stay and even our little dog didn't want to get in the van!  
During the summer, Sundays are happy nights and Mondays are made sweeter with the linky party that I fell in love with when I started blogging a year ago!
Check out Monday Made It with the talented and so creative, Tara, from 4th Grade Frolics. :)
I really like to have many things to show you for a Monday Made It, but today I have just one.
I went into work last week for one day and finally finished making one item on my to-do list:
Our last gift from our wonderful pen pals in Indianapolis, IN and their teacher, Jill, was an "ABC book" of Indiana!  
Here are some pictures of the amazing book her class made and sent us.  As you can see, the students incorporated the shape of their letter into their illustration.  So clever!!
B is for Bass
 C is for Corn
 O is for Ohio River
 L is for Lenape
I thought that this was such a fabulous idea that I decided to make one in return!  
We will be pen pals next year too and since they start back in August (we start back in September), she can share the ABC book with the new class.
I love the cover Jill had a student design and this was our last project in the final days of school.  About half my class (12 students) volunteered to make a cover and then we were going to vote on a winner.  Guess what?  Not one of the students made a cover and now they were on summer vacation!  
So, I made this one digitally because I cannot draw to save my life.
We focused on "Western New York" because when many people hear "New York", they often think of New York City.  We are about eight hours from NYC and couldn't be more opposite!  
I teach in a small, rural district in Western New York. 
For the ABC book, each student was assigned a letter.  I used the same letter that corresponded to their letter assigned to them in ELA.  In homeroom, everyone is assigned a number but since we switch groups for ELA by ability, that class has a letter assigned to them for easy organization.
I have 23 students in ELA, so three students volunteered to make an extra page.
One night for homework, the students were assigned to think of an idea for something that represents Western New York beginning with their letter.
Boy, am I glad I didn't give them their paper and have them go for it without making them share their idea first!
Here were some of the ideas that I had to nix:
  • R for Rock N Roll!  ummm...
  • P for People!  yep, we have people here:)
  • K for King George!  I think "Can't You Make Them Behave King George" made quite the impression.
  • J for jump!  Who or what is the jump referring to?
After we brainstormed some more appropriate responses for some of the letters, the students used the paper I gave them with a preprinted letter and they designed their page for homework.  I typed the blurb about each picture and then printed them.  If I had more time with my class, I would have brought them to the computer lab to type their own description, but we ran out of time before school was out.  Then, I cut the blurbs into strips and taped them to each page.  Finally, I copied each page of the book in color on our school copier and bound the book with an spiral binding machine.

Here are some of my favorites:
G is for Grace Bedell.  As an eleven-year old girl, Grace sent a letter to Abraham Lincoln, urging him to grow a beard to improve his appearance.  Within a month, he grew a full beard and later met Grace in Westfield, New York.  There is a statue in Westfield depicting this event in history.

I is for Iroquois.  The Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) are a league of several nations and tribes of Native Americans that stretched from Western New York to the Hudson River.  Today, the Iroquois live primarily in New York, Ontario, and Quebec.

M is for Maple. With its unique climate, soil and forests, New York State is naturally perfect for producing maple syrup.  New York state is the second largest producer of maple syrup in the United States (after Vermont).

X is for eXcelsior.  A banner below the State Seal of New York shows the New York State motto, Excelsior, which is Latin for “Ever Upward”.

W is for Welch’s. Thomas Bramwell Welch was the inventor of the pasteurization process to prevent the fermentation of grape juice.  The oldest structure associated with the Welch’s grape juice company is located in Westfield, New York.

For today only, in honor of my Birthday/Blogiversary Giveaway, the ABC Book Starting Template will be a FLASH FREEBIE.  It will end at midnight EST tonight.  Get yours for only $2 if this is a project that you would like to do with your class in the future.  All the letters are made and ready for printing to be passed out to students.  I also included my letter descriptions, ready for you to edit, and the above example pictures in the file.

Don't forget to go on a scavenger hunt for an amazing giveaway organized by Erin at I'm Lovin Lit!  EVERYONE WINS!!  You can choose any of the scavenger hunts to complete and win the prizes!  Head over to check it out!

If you haven't entered my giveaway yet for a $50 Winner's Choice Giftcard to TPT or Amazon, there is still time!  Thank you!!  Cheers:)

See you back tomorrow for the only Tried It Tuesday of July 
(linky will stay open the rest of the month!).  

Now, go back and check out all the other Monday Made Its!  
How will you be inspired today?


  1. I love this Made It! Your students did a wonderful job creating this book. And, you did a great job on the cover, too ;) Thanks for the flash freebie. We did a lot of ABC books last year after our Jerry Pallotta author visit and I'm sure we will continue because it's a great class project.

    Fun in Room 4B

  2. I love ABC books. I have done several different iterations over the years. This one is a great idea for sharing. It would even make a great link up for other bloggers. Each one could make an ABC book with their class and share it with a class in another part of the country, continent, or planet! The template is an awesome FREEBIE and I am sure I will tuck it away to use it next year!
    Have a great week!

  3. I love it! We do an ABC book too but what I love about yours is the way the letter become part of the illustration. :) So cool. Great tip! :)

    Creating Lifelong Learners

  4. Thanks for the freebie! It's a great idea. I need to get some pen pals this year, but I have 2 classes. So I guess I would need to classes of pen pals.

    Literacy Spark

  5. I love this idea!! So cute! I'm thinking of how I can do this with my grade ones and what subject we would use it for....so many ideas.


  6. The kids ABC book came out great. I too like that the letters become the illustrations. You can tell most of the students really thought about how to incorporate it into image.

    Thanks for sharing your file as a flash freebie. I went and downloaded it.

    room 4 imagination

  7. I love the idea of doing an ABC book, and it could work for so many different things! Thanks for the freebie!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

  8. I love having my students make an ABC book. We focus on Washington, D.C. and I have the students work on it throughout the first semester while they are learning new facts. I really like your cover and think I will work on making one for my students. Thanks for sharing!

    Foreman Teaches

  9. Love the ABC book idea! I can already think of so many uses and I know my kids will love it, too :) Off to check out the flash freebie!!

    3rd Grade Thoughts

  10. Yay for Western New York! I miss it in the fall. As soon as I saw this I thought of Alleghany River for A :)


  11. I love your student's X page-what a cute way to incorporate a hard letter. When we do our ABC books on Pennsylvania my kids normally do "George Washington X-ing the Delaware." Thanks for the freebie!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  12. Love this! Thanks for the freebie!

  13. I love the pictures and ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    Learning in the Little Apple

  14. Love the ABC book. This is such a great project to do with your pen pals and a great SS culminating project. Definitely going to borrow that idea for our pen pals.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Shepherd's Shining Stars

  15. Your ABC book is so cute! I think I may borrow this idea~

  16. I love the ABC book! Thanks for the freebie. I can't wait to use it with my students this year!

  17. What a super idea and book! You have given me some ideas for my 2nd graders.

    Mrs. B's Nook

  18. Thanks for sharing...what a wonderful idea for pen pal exchanges!! We have do pen pals every year, and it is hard to think of things to exchange sometimes. This is perfect...thank you so much for sharing the idea and the template with us!! :)

  19. I just love this! What fun learning for your kiddos and they did such a good job with it:) Thanks for linking it up and for sharing the flash freebie! Happy blogiversary and Birthday friend:)))))

    4th Grade Frolics

  20. Thanks for the Freebie! I can't wait to use this with my kiddos!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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  22. Sorry, I had a typo in the last comment so I had to delete it :) Thanks so much for the freebie!! I can't wait to use it with my students. I LOVE the creativity involved. Happy blogiversary and birthday. I am so glad I came across another cute 4th grade blog!

    Mrs. Z & Company

  23. Your ABC book looks great! Love that freebie! Thanks Holly! See you tomorrow!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  24. We made a Florida book for our Oregon pen pal class a couple years ago. I sure would like to do it again this year. If you know of any teachers in your school please share! Our school is Eighth Street Elem in Ocala.

    Have a wonderful day,
    • Carson's Creations •