Author Archive for Kelly K

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a national holiday that recognizes and honors men and women who have served to protect America and its freedom.  Students in the third grade will learn the significance of this day and the implications of having a republican or representative form of government that work to uphold the peoples’ rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  The following teacher and student resources can be used to support lessons for Veterans Day or VA SOL 3.11.

Books and Literature

The Veterans Day Visitor

This heartfelt and moving story about Veterans Day is told through the lens of Emily’s Pop-Pop who volunteers to speak to her class about this important holiday.

America's White Table

Through the symbolic white table, Katie begins to understand the depths of the sacrifice that her uncle made in the Armed Forces.

H is for Honor

This book gives you a glimpse of all the military branches and military life as it takes you through the alphabet.  This book will not only teach students about veterans day and those who serve in the military, but can also be used to help students in their writing.

The Impossible Patriotism Project

The Impossible Patriotism Project helps readers and listeners capture the meaning of patriotism.  It helps students to see who the real patriots are as we are taken through Caleb’s struggles in finding meaning in his father’s absence.

Pepper's Purple Heart

Pepper’s Purple Heart is about a dog who gets hit by a car while his owner and best friend are playing a game.  Claire’s neighbor takes care of Pepper and gives him the purple heart that he received as a Marine in the Vietnam War.  This fun and informative book will help students understand Veterans Day.

Student Resources

Fun Facts-This site offers cool facts on veterans.

Games and Activities– This site offers games and activities for students.

Trivia– Students can test their knowledge of Veterans Day through interactive puzzles and quizzes.

Research tools– This site provides links to games, coloring pages, and background information for students to explore.

Newsarticle– This is a online news article on Veterans Day for students.

Teacher Resources

History and Background– This site provides the history and background of Veterans Day for teachers.

Lesson Plans– Teachers can find lesson ideas and examples of lesson plans for Veterans Day.

Teacher’s Guide– This link provides you with a complete and comprehensive guide to facts and activities for Veterans Day.

Poster Gallery–  Teacher’s can use this site to encourage students to create Veterans Day posters.

Worksheets–  Teachers can find free worksheets and activity pages for students.

Food Chains and Food Webs

Students in the 3rd grade use the food chain model to understand the relationships of living things and their dependence on each other for survival (VA Science SOL 3.5).  While the food chain provides links to a basic flow of relationships, the food web, a more complex structure is used in the 4th grade to further explore this web of interdependence among living things (VA Science SOL 4.5).  Below you will find resources, including lesson plan ideas, activities, literature, and interactive games that can be used to help motivate students and reinforce content.



Trout Are Made of Trees, written by April Pulley Sayre is geared for ages 4-8.  This fun book introduces the food chain by using the river   ecosystem to show how leaves are eaten by critters which in turn are eaten by the trout.


Vulture View, another book written by April Pulley Sayre for grades K-5 shows the important role of scavengers and decomposers in the ecosystem through the eyes and life of a vulture.  It shows how the vulture breaks down dead organisms to provide nutrient for the soil.


The Story Goes On, a book written by Aileen Fisher for ages 4-8 shares the ongoing cycle of life.  It begins with a seed that gets eaten by a bug which then gets eaten by a frog.  The story goes on to show the links from a frog, a snake, a hawk, a hunter, and then back to a seed.


What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You, written by Steve Jenkins is geared for ages 4-8.  This vibrant book can be used to discuss some of the unique and interesting ways animals are able to defend themselves from their predators.


Pass The Energy, Please! by Barbara Shaw Mckinney is written for grades 1-5.  This book uses rhyme and teaches children about both the food chain and food web in a simple and entertaining way.


Kid’s Corner– This is an activity that allows children to build food chains by dragging parts into their appropriate place.  When the chain is complete, it comes to life and students are able to see the food chain in action.

Woodland Life– This activity allows students to locate living things in the woodland, learn a few fun facts about each including its predator and diet, as well as build a food web using the things found.

Sunny Meadows   This site provides an overview of the food chain and then allows you to play a game to simulate what would happen in the meadow depending on how many predators, prey, and plants that are added.  The animals will increase, decrease, or even disappear through the years depending on its food supply.

Gould League Food Web  This site allows you to choose from four different food webs.  Students categorize living things that are displayed as producer, omnivore, etc. based on their diet.  When the chart has been completed, the food web will be displayed.

Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection– This online activity allows students to dissect an animal pellet.  Students use the bones that are found to recreate the animal that has been eaten.


Decomposers and Scavengers -This site includes facts, pictures, a quiz, and a lesson plan on decomposers and scavengers.

Worksheets -This site includes free downloadable worksheets and activities for helping students with vocabulary, classification, etc.

Class Activities/Handouts– Here you can find interactive games, activities, as well as handouts for practicing food webs.

Activities/Lesson Plans -This site provides a number of activities and lesson plans on the food chain/web theme.

Lesson Plans-This site includes background information as well as a number of lesson plan ideas for teaching food chain and food web.

1st Grade-Counting

Counting is the basic foundation for mathematics and is taught in its more complex forms in the first grade to help students develop strategies and number sense.  Teachers and students can find helpful resources and games that encourage the development of counting skills with counting to 100 and skip counting.


1.  Mooove Over by Karen Magnuson is an entertaining book that teaches skip counting by 2s.  A cow makes it difficult for other animal passengers to sit two by two, but after he is kicked off the trolley, the animals are able to return to sitting two by two.

2.  One to One Hundred by Teri Sloat illustrates numbers using objects.  The pictures not only illustrate the shape of the numeral but the objects within also match the number they represent.

3.  98, 99, 100! Ready or Not, Here I Come! by Teddy Slater is about a group of girls who count to 100 by 5s, 10s, and 20s while playing hide and go seek.

4.  Reese’s Pieces Count by Fives by Jerry Pallotta uses reese’s for counting numbers to 10 as well as to 100 by 5s.  The author incorporates trucks and different machinery to carry loads of reese’s.

5.   Icky Bug Numbers by Jerry Pallotta uses bright and colorful illustrations of bugs to teach numbers.

Activity and Game for Children

1.  Skip it– This online game and activity helps children practice on skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s.

2.  By Ones-This activity allows children to practice identifying the number of objects by ones, while requiring students to generate or type in its corresponding numeral.

3.  Fishing– Students must count the number of fish and type in the number in the corresponding box.

4.  Right Number-Click on the number box  that represent the number of objects that are shown.

5.  Sequence– Students are to choose what number they want to count by and click on the number that follows that sequence.

Additional Resources

1. Lesson Plans–  This site has a comprehensive list of lesson plans for 1st grade. The math content section contains many links such as "Celebrating 100" and "Who stole the numbers" for skip counting and counting to 100.  Lesson plans on counting includes free downloadable templates, game ideas, and additional resources such as books. 

2.  Mega Counting Links-This page consists of counting resources including PowerPoint, games, and downloadable worksheets and templates.

3.  Worksheets-This page allow you to create your own counting worksheets by allowing you to choose the number of problems you desire per page, objects to be counted, and the maximum number for counting. 

4.  Create your worksheet-This page allows you to crete worksheets based on what the focus is within counting and number sense.  You may worksheets that seeks missing numbers, matching numbers, ordering numbers, and tracing numbers.    

5.   Center Ideas-This page has links for free downloads on game pieces and math center games as well as a comprehensive list of literature books for counting.