End of Year Activities

Here in Australia it’s not only the end of the year but for us, the school year.  Here are some fun activities for lower and middle junior students as end of year activities.

ICT Seasonal Activities

ICT Teach has a wonderful selection of Christmas activities (suitable for upper primary or seconary students) including making cards in photoshop, Christmas quizzes, a Webquest, Christmas shopping activity, Advent Calendars, word hunt, decorate a tree and many more.

Create and send e-cards

These are the best ones that I came across (of course there may be others – if so, plese share).  They don’t require any account setting up, just create and send. A great way to save trees and be creative!

The above was created by 365Greetings.com.  No registration was required to create this.

Create E-cards: Go to the drop down menu in the middle of the page and select ‘Christmas’.  Fill in the details on the page and send e-card.

Animated cards: Select a theme and create your card.  UpToTen.com has a selection of themes including Christmas to send e-cards.

Buzzle.com: you can upload your own image or use one of the images available.  They don’t seem to have any traditional type Christmas cards, so you may need to go to flickr creative commons to find and image an upload. Directions at Buzzle.com for creating are easy to follow.

Animoto has added an option to send your video as an e-card.   Create your video as usual then add a greeting.  I was hoping to show an example here, but the greeting design can only be sent by email and not embedded.  Anyway, here is my attempt which I will send overseas as an e-card.

Watch Rockfords Christmas Video

Rockfords Christmas video: I wrote about Rockfords Rock Opera in a previous post.  Rockford’s Rock Opera is a wonderful musical ecological story about extinction with wonderful images/video, music and songs (as well as the story) for children of all ages.   The story is broken up into chapters totally about two hours in all (the audio files can be downloaded) all the chapters can also be viewed via streaming (worth watching for the full effect).   The site now contains Christmas activities including wonderful animated  e-cards that can be sent.  A must to visit!

Picture book online library

A great resource for any classroom is a book library. With online resources it is now possible to have the library in your classroom!  There are not that many free picture book sites (most of them require a subscription) but Big Universe has an extensive selection of visually attractive picture books from elementary through to  the middle school range.   The books need to be read as there is no audio file attached to them.  I guess for copyright reasons we’re not (yet) going to get picture books and audio together.      

The other great things about this site is that you (or your students) can use the author tools to create their own books. All the tools are there: backgrounds, animals, characters, backdrops, buildings, objects … all that is needed is an imagination.  There are also tips from authors to help budding writers.  Therefore, there is not only an extensive range of published books, but also books by aspiring authors.

If anyone has come across any other great picture books sites, I’d love to hear about them.


Story time


Rockford’s Rock Opera – a multimedia musical for the world

This is an amazing unique multimedia musical adventure that runs in total for nearly 2 hours Children over 5 through to adults will be enthralled with the story of hope it provides. The first six chapters can be accessed at Rockford’s Rock Opera. The remaining chapters 7-10) can be accessed by registering (free).

Rockford’s Rock Opera tells a story about extinction using songs, narration, pictures, video and sound effects. It narrates how many amazing creatures will be lost if humans don’t think again about how the natural world is treated.

The story: In Rockford’s Rock Opera, a boy and his dog arrive on the mystical Island of Infinity, home to millions of strange creatures… just one of each kind, and all of them have become extinct.

This is taken from a press release on the production:

Rockford’s Rock Opera is NOT the focus-grouped, homogenised creation of a global entertainment company. It is the work of a very small handful of dedicated people working for the sheer love of a project that we feel has been given to us. It’s a story with a message of hope that captures the hearts of everyone who hears it. Rockford’s Rock Opera is an idea whose time has come.” “We’ve had emails from fans all over the world about Rockford’s Rock Opera, from kids and great grand parents alike, and that’s just how we want it. When you’re trying to change the world you need to reach everyone!

Although Rockford’s Rock Opera will be enjoyed by anyone over the age of five, it is not simply a children’s story. Anyone who enjoys great music with an original story and who needs to believe we can make a difference to the world will find inspiration in the unique tale. Rockford’s Rock Opera is also not a traditional ‘stage musical’ with hammy songs, its diverse musical inspiration can be found in The Beatles, The Small Faces, Genesis, The Lightning Seeds, XTC and works such as Jeff Wayne’s ‘War of the Worlds’, Roger Glover’s ‘Butterfly Ball’, and Harry Nilssen’s ‘The Point’.

For educators:

The site also offers lesson plans on animals and the environment, English history design & technology, art and design for ages 7-11. Click on the question mark on the home page site to access lesson plans and other resources.

About its creators:

‘Sweetapple’ is the award-winning creative ideas company founded by Matthew and Elaine Sweetapple, a unique consultancy specialising in original ideas, campaigns and products that benefit society. In recent years it has created several groundbreaking charitable campaigns. Sweetapple ideas are now being adopted by charities and campaigners around the world. Some recent Sweetapple campaigns included Peeball, an idea created for The Prostate Cancer Charity (see www.peeball.com) and ‘Remember Me’, the weeping flower roadside memorial sign to raise the profile of the road accident victim’s charity, RoadPeace. (www.roadpeace.org).

Watch it! A truly innovative and creative production. If you don’t have time to watch it all, at least take a peak to see what you are missing!