Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cooking Up a Great School Year!

Today a group of bloggers are sharing with you lots of "recipes" for cooking up an awesome school year!  Every blog is sharing a little something different so you want to hop around and "taste" it all.  Not to mention, we have put together a delicious giveaway for you! 

When we decided on the theme for this hop, I was so excited.  One of my all time favorite lessons goes great with this hop and I am finally ready to share it with you!!  About a year ago, I tried putting this activity together for you on TPT and I just couldn't find the right clip art or the best inspiration for putting it onto paper.  Now I have picked it back up and it is ready!  It has been "baking" for a long time.  Are you ready for a slice?

 This lesson deserves a little bit of a back story.  I always thought that I would be teaching upper elementary.  When I first started out, I applied for every fourth and fifth grade position out there.  I went to one interview for a fifth grade position and the principal decided that I would be a great fit for second grade instead and she offered me the job.  I was very hesitant but it was a job right?  I went in with NO IDEA what I was doing.  You know what I found out?  I LOVE primary!  These little ones have so much imagination and I fell in love with it.

The imagination and innocence of my class that first year was astounding.  I had a motion sensor on the lights in my classroom.  If we sat still for long enough, the lights would go off.  I placed an area rug at the front of my room (near the sensor) where we would sit for calendar and stories.  When the lights would go off, I would instruct a student to go step on the carpet.  The lights would come on!  My kids SWORE that the carpet was magic and made the lights turn on.  (They had no idea about the motion sensor.)  It was the cutest thing I ever saw!  And it led to this lesson......

Story Stew!

This lesson was one of those that just kind of "happened."  It wasn't really planned this way, but once it headed that direction I went with it and it....was....AWESOME!

Since school is not in session yet, I had to "re-create" it in my pictures at home.  Please excuse the grumpy "tween-ager" that was forced to help his lame mother! haha

So the point of story stew is to help students to see all of the different parts that make up a story.  It helps students to see them as "ingredients."  When one ingredient is left out, the story is just not nearly as tasty.

Here are the directions to make a great story stew:


Read a great story with your kids.

Put your kids into groups and assign them each a "vegetable" or two.  Students work together to fill out their vegetable according to the story that was read.

The vegetables (ingredients) are as follows:


 Get a great BIG POT!  And a spoon of course!

  This is the sneaky part that you may actually have to do ahead of time.  Print a copy of the cover of the story that you read and put it into the bottom of your pot.  Don't let the kids see you do this!!

 Gather your kids on the floor in front of you.  Have a student from each group place their ingredient in the pot.  Make sure you position the pot so that they can't see the picture in the bottom.


Stir the pot!  Mix up your ingredients!

  Pull out the story creation that you made!  Since the kids didn't see you put it in there, they will totally think it is MAGIC!!  This is wear you stress that all of the "ingredients" of the story help to create the story!

You can also see here how I do it as a whole group (great for introducing the lesson for the first time or for those little ones that can't write it all out on their own yet). 

 This is a pot that I just made out of poster board and laminated.

Then I laminated the vegetables to make it dry erase.  This way, I can reuse it on my bulletin board for each of our read alouds, shared reading, etc.


I have put this entire lesson together for you.  It includes color versions of the vegetables (great for whole group) as well as black and white (great for student versions).

I also included a recipe card for individual student use!  The recipe card is free for you today!!

Just download the preview of the product to the grab your freebie.

Now that I have shared with you my delicious treat, it is time to enter to win one of your own!  Check out these awesome prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Did you get lost along the way?


  1. I LOVE this idea! I am going to modify it a bit for my kinders, but I cannot wait to see their faces as the cover is revealed!
    Have a great new school year!
    Jenn :)
    Crayons & Cuties In Kindergarten

    1. Thanks Jennifer! I know that my firsties love this activity!

  2. What a fun idea! Thank you for your contribution to our Hop!

  3. What a creative idea! My kids would love this activity!!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  4. Such a cute idea! There are tons of stew themed books too. I listed some on my day one post.

  5. Such a great idea! I love it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. I love the ideas that just "come together" as they are usually the ones that become the most meaningful! Great ideas!

    Teaching Momster

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I'm not sure which I love more, your lesson idea, which is fantastic! Or the grumpy tween-ager forced into labor. I have one of those, too, who informed me it is NOT COOL to FORCE her to model a short A alphabet crown and put it on Instagram.

  9. Such a creative and fun idea! Have a great school year!

    Kay @ Sommer Pride

  10. What a great idea! Kids will love that "magic"!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  11. A gripping wonderfully written blog. Truly a gift for its audience.
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