It has been some time since I did traditional types of centers that student rotate through. Third grade is currently working on a Dr. Seuss author study as they close out the year, and they wondered what students might do in the library related to Dr. Seuss. We looked at the days on the calendar along with everything that has to be done and decided that there wasn’t time to pull off a project around Dr. Seuss and really give it the time it needed. Instead, we decided that I would give students some experiences to connect with Dr. Seuss as enrichment.
Before student arrived, I setup the 5 centers around the library so that they were somewhat in a circular arrangement. I wrote the 5 centers on the whiteboard so that students could check the order as needed.
When students arrived, I explained each center very briefly and then we numbered off 1-5 to begin centers. Each center lasted about 10 minutes before rotating to the next center.
Center 1: Tongue Twisters
I found a variety of tongue twister online as well as some Dr. Seuss books that had more tongue twisting lines than others. At this center, students practiced reading tongue twisters from the table, recited ones they already knew, or even made up their own. When they found one they were happy with, they recorded the tongue twister on Flipgrid. They loved listening to how other students sounded and many students “liked” other student videos. Most students recorded more than one tongue twister while at this station. I had fun with one student writing a variation of Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Her family own a pickle business, so we were trying to change the words to match her family business. We came up with “The Phickle Chickle picked a peck of Phickles Pickles.” I encouraged her to continue writing her version and we would record it sometime.
Center 2: Checkout
Rather than waiting until the end to have students check out books, I made it a center. Students could check out up to 5 books or just browse the library if they had enough books out already.
Center 3: Seussville on computers
I setup 5 Lenovo computers with the Seussville website pulled up. Most of the students had never visited this site, so this gave them some time to explore the videos, games, and activities that fill this site. Many found things that they wanted to print out and do later, so I hope some students discovered some summer activities.
Center 4: iPad apps
I downloaded 2 free iPad apps related to Dr. Seuss. One is the Happy Birthday to You camera. This was definitely the most popular app of the two. Students enjoyed taking selfies or pictures of friends and then using the stickers to develop their own Seuss personality. This would have been a great lead in to creative writing. Students could have created their picture and then developed an accompanying story to match the picture. The other app was the Dr. Seuss Fun Machine, but students moved away from it fairly quickly due to its simplicity and lack of clear instructions.
Center 5: Seuss books
We have SO MANY Dr. Seuss books in the library, but it’s amazing how many of them students have never seen or read. I loved having a station built in where students could just spend time browsing Seuss books, reading along, or buddy reading. This was a center that most of the teachers visited along with students to read with them or listen to them read.
This was a wonderful end of the year activity, but I saw several potential opportunities that could have taken us into a larger project or even just a follow-up lesson. It reminded me that centers can serve many purposes and are still a great way to split students up into a variety of experiences.