Sunday, August 2, 2015

First Day Tried & True Linky Party!


If you are getting ready to kick off a new school year and are looking for some fresh new teacher-tested activities for the first day of school, then you have come to the right place! Grab your plan book, pull up a chair and join us for some back to school inspiration!

Teacher bloggers both near and far are linking up with us today to share their favorite lessons and activities for the first day of school. All of these ideas are tried and true! After reading about one of my favorite first day of school activities, be sure to click on the links at the bottom of my post to gather some more fun ideas on other blogs.


There are some first day of school activities that come and go. I am always looking for new ideas, especially to keep things fun and fresh for the first week of school. Over the years, there is one back to school lesson that has always been my staple. I won't ever let this one go because it is a lesson that captivates my students and really leaves a lasting impression. I currently use this lesson with my third grade students, but I also used it when I taught first grade and second grade too! Let me now tell you about Wiggle, Didgi & Pop!


Many years ago, this story was shared with me through word of mouth during an undergraduate college class on story telling. I enjoyed the tale so much that later I decided to write it down and give it my own spin by creating three original characters that would appeal to my young students. That is how Wiggle, Didgi & Pop were born.

The gist of the story is that Wiggle, Didgi & Pop live in a land where they are controlled by a king who dishes out unfair rules. The king makes rules about all sorts of things such as haircuts, laughing, and even brooms. The king does not even follow his own rules.

Wiggle, Didgi & Pop have a meeting and decide that it would be better to move away to a land that does not have any rules at all. The three friends set off on this adventure and work hard to build houses so they can live the way they wish to live.

They can now do the things that they love to do. Wiggle can dance as much as he wants. Didgi can play his video games whenever he wants. Pop can chew gum and blow big bubbles wherever he wants. There are no rules to follow! Yippee!

Unfortunately, the happiness is short-lived. Wiggle, Didgi & Pop soon begin to argue and fight about all the things they once enjoyed. They come to realize that rules may be necessary after all, especially fair rules that everyone obeys, even the leader.

I use story props when telling this story. I put magnetic tape on the back of each piece so that the props will easily stick to my board. This makes the story telling experience run smoothly. The kids always hang on the edge of their seats to see the next character and find out what will happen next. I just love a lesson that makes them behave in this manner. ;-)

The absolute best part about the Wiggle, Didgi & Pop lesson is the discussion that it ignites. I love to listen to my students think deeply about leadership, rules, fairness and equality on the first day of school. We often refer back to this discussion throughout the school year.

After discussing the importance of fair rules, I quickly relate this discussion to our own classroom community. Then, I have the students think about the most important rules that will be necessary to maintain harmony within our class. We all agree that the rules should be meaningful and fair. 

I usually keep my story props on display for a good part of the school year. The kids remember that story. When they move on to the upper grades, many of them enjoy coming back to retell me the story. That is how I know it is a valuable lesson.

In case you would like to start a new tradition in your own classroom, the Wiggle, Didgi & Pop lesson is now available in my TPT store. The full, five page story is included along with the story props, discussion questions, a response sheet, and a home-school connection paper. I have even included an envelope label for storing all the parts so you can use it for many years to come. :-)

Click image to view the product
Now, I hope you will head on over to these blogs to read about some other fabulous first day of school activities. Enjoy!

If you have a favorite first day of school activity and would like to link up your own blog post, please join us!  Use the First Day Tried & True graphic from the top of this post in your own blog post and link up below! The collection will remain open for new links through August 21st.

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting this Chrissie! It will be so helpful for new and veteran teachers as they head back to the classroom. :) Jodi from The Clutter-Free Classroom {www.CFClassroom.com}

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  2. What a great way to get kids to think about creating a classroom culture! Story telling is a powerful tool!
    Marion

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  3. Super cute! The characters are adorable and I know kids will love the story. Excellent way to help them that rules have a purpose.

    Debbie
    Crockett's Classroom . . . Forever in Third Grade

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  4. Thanks for hosting this party! This is a fabulous resource for teachers everywhere!

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  5. The king reminds me of King Friday from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood! He was a nice king though!

    The Whimsical Teacher

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  6. Adore your First Day of School idea Chrissie! I love teaching valuable lessons with stories and visuals! Bravo! What an amazing Blog Hop! Many Thanks!
    Tricia from "Tricia's Terrific Teaching Trinkets"

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  7. Thank you for hosting! The linky looks great! I wonder if your idea for the first few days would go over well with middle schoolers! Lol

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  8. Thanks for hosting! Love the Wiggle, Digi, and Pop activity!

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  9. What a cute idea! Great way to keep students attention while teaching something very important! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Such a cute idea! I love that the story leads to a meaningful discussion. What a great way to introduce class rules! I will be using this next year. Great post!

    Sarah
    Education Electrification

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  11. Love this rule story! You are definitely right about the video clip in my post going along with this perfectly! So glad you shared!
    Thank you for sharing this blog post and resource. I always have the hardest time teaching rounding and this break it down into such a practical, hands-on approach. My kids are going to loovvvve this!
    Laura Santos
    Core Inspiration by Laura Santos

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  12. I love this idea! Thanks for hosting the linky party!

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  13. Love your blog. Thanks for setting this up.

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