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What's the Deal with Differentiated Instruction?

By Julieann Samayoa
on January 18, 2023
What's the Deal with Differentiated Instruction?

As a teacher, you know that there are many different ways to teach your students. It’s important that you are flexible as a teacher to different strategies that can help make learning easier and more fun for your students. Because students learn in different ways, you need to remain in tune to what your students are feeling and what concepts exist to make it easier for you to teach to your students’ needs.

Differentiated instruction is one of the most important concepts for a teacher to embrace in their classroom. It gives students the best opportunity to learn the material they are being taught. It is based on the concept that not every student learns in the same way. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the importance and benefits of differentiated instruction.

Teaching According to Learning Style

Differentiated instruction is intended to ensure that every student learns in a way that is best suited to them. Students tend to learn differently. There are three learning styles:

  1. Auditory: Students learn through listening.
  2. Visual: Students learn based on the things they see, such as pictures and images.
  3. Kinesthetic: Students learn by being physically involved or through their sense of touch. 

A visual learner will typically have a difficult time learning when they are only given an auditory lesson, while an auditory learner will have a hard time learning through a project that allows them to use their sense of touch.

Differentiated instruction helps ensure that you teach in a way that best accommodates each student’s learning style. 

Teaching in Multiple Ways

When you choose to embrace differentiated instruction, it means delivering the same material in different ways. This not only will help ensure that every student in the room has the chance to learn in a way that best suits their own personal learning style, but students will also go over the same material over and over again. The repetitiveness may make the material easier for them to remember.

One of the most important parts of differentiated instruction is that it allows you to reach every student, no matter where they are in the learning process or what way they learn the best. It creates a more diverse learning experience for everyone involved.

That is why many of our social studies and science units include various activities to help you meet all your student's needs.

Kinesthetic with Outdoor Learning Centers

Take advantage of the pleasant weather and get the students up and moving outdoors. Our Major Landforms Unit for Interactive Notebooks is the perfect example of how this works.  Plan ahead of time of where you could set up your outdoor learning centers.  Remember to review the rules ahead of time. Let students know if they don't follow the rules then you'll have to bring them back inside. That is usually enough to stop any misbehaviors.

The following 12 major landforms are included in this unit:
*Swamps and Marshes

There are twelve Landform Foldable Booklets with questions and scenes about each landform for students to read, answer questions, cut, paste, and color. These foldable booklets fit perfectly inside their interactive notebooks and provide a tool for students to come back to review at any time.

In addition, there are also twelve Landform Posters with a brief info and a real-life photo so students can visualize and connect to the information. The landform posters can be placed in at centers, a learning station, or a creative bulletin board display.

Create an outdoor learning station about each of the landforms. Be sure to put the foldable booklets and landform photo poster at each station or center. Each passage gives a definition of the landform and an example of one so students can form a connection to the information. You could have the students work in pairs or group work.

The foldable booklets have four questions for students to answer. There is also a related landform scene for students to color. They can use the posters with real-life photos to help them visualize and connect to the information.

Providing different activities like taking the students outside is just one of many ways to differentiate learning in your classroom. These are just some of the benefits of differentiated instruction and why it’s so important to implement it in your classroom.

5 Fun Activities To Celebrate Presidents' Day

By Julieann Samayoa
on February 07, 2022
5 Fun Activities To Celebrate Presidents' Day

The celebration of our nation’s former leaders takes place every year on Presidents' Day, a holiday that was established in the late 1800s to honor two of our greatest presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Though both presidents were born in February, this special holiday honors the life and achievements of both men and serves as a reminder of the importance of their legacies.

Here are some ideas for celebrating this holiday and a freebie!

Read a Presidential Book

Do you want to learn more about our nation's most famous leaders? Take a trip to the school or public library to sign out some of the most popular books about them! Whether you're stocking your classroom library or creating a read aloud bin, these books can help you illustrate the lives and accomplishments of our nation's leaders. Explore the stories of these remarkable individuals and get an up-close look at the history that shaped America!

  • Lincoln and Grace: Why Abraham Lincoln Grew a Beard By Steve Metzger and Ann Kronheimer
  • P is for President By Wendy Cheyette Lewison
  • Abe Lincoln's Dream by Lane Smith
  • George Washington's Socks By Elvira Woodruff

Watch a Video or Two

Activities for the Classroom

Use our Presidents Day Activities to jumpstart your student's learning about the most important men who have served in our country's highest office. With this educational and engaging President's Day activity pack, kids will have fun and learn about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and the office of the President. From coloring pages, to word searches, to writing exercises, this activity pack has everything to introduce the exciting and interesting history of the United States' Presidents.

In this President's Day Activity Pack, students will learn all about
✔George Washington
✔Abraham Lincoln
✔History of Presidents' Day
✔Becoming a United States President
✔A Presidential Job

Set up Stations Around the Classroom

Station 1: Read the Passages and Answer Comprehension Questions

The two individuals introduced in this passage have lived remarkable lives, achieving amazing feats and making an immense impact on the world around them. Students will learn more about these incredible people and answer the comprehension questions for each passage.

Station 2: Complete the Character Mini-booklet with Timeline Dates.

Are you looking for an interactive way for your students to learn about these two famous presidents? Complete the character mini-booklets with timeline dates will provide an exciting and engaging way for students to become familiarized with the characters they are reading about. With these mini-booklets, students will be able to visualize each person's journey in a timeline, providing them with a greater understanding of their life story.

Station 3: Vocabulary Posters and Activities

Celebrate Presidents' Day by introducing six essential vocabulary words related to President's Day with real-life photo posters. Educate and engage your students while they learn the history and importance of Presidents' Day. Encourage your students to explore the photo posters, match up the vocabulary words, and use their flip flaps to define the words. These informative posters are the perfect addition to your classroom bulletin board display.

Station 4: Complete a Flipbooklet

Let your students engage in a creative and hands-on activity as they explore the historical celebration of Presidents' Day! From completing the Mystery Flaps to assembling a 6-page Flip Booklet, students will learn all about the history and importance of the holiday. With passages to refer to and the chance to color and decorate their finished product, your students will have an interactive, educational experience that highlights the importance of Presidents' Day.

Go on a White House Scavenger Hunt

Use the freebie below to learn more about the White House. Students can go to the White House Historical Society to hunt online for the answers!


White House Scavenger Hunt for Presidents Day

 Click on the picture above to download the freebie.

Hope you have a great Presidents' Day!

It's Almost Summer Teacher Giveaway

By Julieann Samayoa
on June 11, 2021
It's Almost Summer Teacher Giveaway
With summer being right around the corner, we wanted to show how much we appreciate teachers with a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY.  Enter the giveaway below to win a $20 gift card and start stocking up on Boom Card decks for next school year.

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Classroom Freebies for the Spring Season

By Julieann Samayoa
on March 12, 2020
Classroom Freebies for the Spring Season

I can't believe that Spring is right around the corner. I know this time of year can be hectic and crazy! So, to help you out, I have put together a list of some great Spring freebies from some upper elementary teacher-authors!

We all know students get a little antsy around this time of year. Here are some great freebies to use for early finishers, when you have a substitute, during stations, or for something fun to do in a Spring-is-in-the-air-kind-of-way!

I've joined with a few TpT teacher-author friends to share some awesome Spring FREEBIES just for you. These are perfect to use before or as an activity right after Spring break. Either way, there's something here for everyone!

Click on each image below to see the resource. Be sure to check out all the resources that each teacher-author has for your classroom needs. 

March Activities for use with Reading Celebrations From Teacher's Brain-Cindy Martin

Looking for some fun freebies to help your class celebrate reading? I have you covered with some of my favorites from my March Literacy and Math Pack!

 What is in this resource?

Pg. 1 Cover

Pg. 2 March Resources

Pg. 3 One Fish, Two Fish

Pg. 4 Reading Pledge

Pg. 5 Reading Award

Pg. 6 Reading Book Marks


Women in History Scoot or Task Cards With QR Codes FREEBIE From Teach Me T

The Famous Women in History Scoot FREEBIE activity consists of 6 task cards. Each card features a clue, or description, of a famous woman in American history. Students can use their prior knowledge about these amazing women, or use this as an opportunity to conduct research about their contributions to US History.

With this resource, students will have the opportunity to learn about famous women that paved the way for others (Trailblazers), and about women that are making history today (Living Legends)! Don't reserve the contributions of women for the month of March. Share the achievements of these (and other) amazing women every day!

Spring Writing Activities: Spring Writing Center Free From Carrie Lutz

Spring is a great time to write! Your students will be able to get super CREATIVE with these Spring Acrostic Poem Templates, Spring Writing Papers and Spring Words! These will make a terrific writing center, all Spring long!

Here is where the fun starts:

2 Acrostic Poem Templates

☂ Bloom


Spring Writing Paper

5 Spring Word Cards

March Freebie: Butterfly Life Cycle From Heart 2 Heart Teaching

Hooray for March! For a sneak peek inside our March Activities Bundle check out this Butterfly Life Cycle Freebie!
Students can read all about the life cycle of a butterfly and complete the diagram. If you like this sample, please check out our March Activity Bundle is made up of 6 mini-units to celebrate the month of March.
These monthly bundles are designed with teachers in mind to include topics related to social studies, science, and holidays that are specifically related to the month of March.

Leprechaun Math Game | St. Patrick's Day Math Game From Cynthia Vautrot-My Kind of Teaching

This FREE Leprechaun Math Game is perfect to use in your classroom for St. Patrick's Day. This game included two versions.

  1. Addition Fact Fluency Game
  2. Multiplication Fact Fluency Game

This is a great activity to use during the month of March to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Just print and go!

Editable Calendar for Homework | March 2020 Calendar Printable From The Fun Factory


FREE, PRINT and GO and now COMPLETELY EDITABLE!! PreK and Kindergarten students and parents love these interactive calendars.
Young children need active, participatory experiences that use their senses. They need to touch, feel, and be active. These calendars use Developmentally Appropriate Practices and encourage parents to become involved with their children in specific ways.

  • There are 2 versions. One version is ready to print and hand out! The other version is COMPLETELY EDITABLE for you to be able to add your own ideas and/or note to parents.
  • I love feedback so please let me know you like these calendars so I will know to keep making them available!
While you're here, sign up for the Heart 2 Heart Teachers Club. Teachers put their heart into all they do! (and so do we!) I promise to send you only teaching tips, free resources, and information that will make your teacher-life easier.

5 Activities to Learn About Rocks and Minerals

By Julieann Samayoa
on January 22, 2020
5 Activities to Learn About Rocks and Minerals

Investigations in Science is such an important skill for upper elementary students. In this Rocks and Minerals Unit, students will learn and complete a variety of activities to help them fully understand and investigate rocks and minerals. Let's take a closer look at five activities included in this unit. 

1. Leveled Passages About Three Types of Rocks

This unit is loaded with leveled reading passages to read about the different types of rocks and minerals. In this unit, you will find 10 leveled reading passages that look the same. The passages come in THREE levels of difficulty so that you can meet each student’s reading level with the same content information. Each passage has the same key ideas and essential information. 

Read the leveled reading passages about rocks and minerals and complete the organizers. Each of the passages has comprehension questions to check for understanding. Watch the videos and complete the various hands-on activities in this pack to reinforce learning. These activities work well in small groups, partners, or stations.

This unit includes many interactive activities and learning opportunities for students with leveled reading passages that focus on:

  • Rocks and minerals
  • Igneous Rock
  • Sedimentary Rock
  • Metamorphic Rock
  • Amazing Minerals
  • Colorful Crystals
  • Layers of the Earth
  • Tectonic Plates
  • Volcanoes
  • The Rock Cycle



2. Be A Geologist! 

This unit has 8 labs where students work as geologists to identify two mystery minerals. NOTE: Extra supplies are needed to complete the labs. 

Rocks and minerals can be identified by their color, hardness, luster, magnetism, and streak test.

Divide the class into pairs. Give each pair of students TWO numbered rock samples to identify. Acting as geologists, students perform a series of tests at various stations around the room. Students record their descriptions, observations, and findings on their activity sheets. After completing the tests, students use the Mineral Identification Guide to try and identify their rocks. Ask students to identify their rocks and let them know if their identifications are correct.

Using this lab component and unit:

1. Students will explore the properties of some common minerals.

2. Write a description based on their observations of each rock sample.

3. Make educated guesses and try to identify two numbered rock samples.

3. Dive Deep With Vocabulary

Introduce the vocabulary words with the real-life photo posters included. You could post these posters around the classroom and have students travel around to match up and define the words in their flip flaps or spotlight on the vocabulary page. These inksaver posters make an excellent bulletin board display in a snap.

4. Lots of Hands-on Activities

Students can complete the following activities:

  • Three Types of Rocks Pocket Sort
  • Three short videos on safeshare.tv
  • Facts About Rocks and Mineral Notebook Flaps
  • Label The Rock Cycle
  • Name That Rock or Mineral Activity
  • Label and Color the Layers of the Earth
  • Layers of the Earth Flip Flaps
  • How are Mountains Formed (Tectonic Plates)

Flip Booklet (5 pages)Students flip for flipbooks! They can build the flipbook page by page. I usually have them do one page at each center or station. They can use the articles as a reference source to help them complete the pages of the flip-up. Lastly, they cut, color, and assemble the booklet. Flip-up books can be glued or stapled inside their interactive notebooks.

5. Rocks and Minerals Rock! Brochure Activity

Creating a brochure or tri-fold booklet is a fantastic way to wrap up the unit. Copy the two pages back to back. Have students answer the question on both sides of the tri-fold booklet. Next, they can color them. Then have the students cut along the outside rectangle border. Fold both of the flaps on the dotted lines so that it looks like a brochure. 

Teacher Directions & Pacing Calendar Are Included


Plus the following teacher timesavers are included:

  • Three Short Prescreened Videos
  • Mineral Field Guide (4-pages)
  • Unit Test (Editable)
  • Answer Keys

The Unit's Essential Questions:

• How are rocks changed?

• Explain the difference between erosion and weathering.

• What are the three types of rocks?

• What is sediment?

• How are rocks and minerals related?

• How is an igneous rock formed?

• Name and describe three types of igneous rock.

• How is a sedimentary rock formed?

• Name and describe three types of sedimentary rock.

• How is a metamorphic rock formed?

• Name and describe three types of metamorphic rock.

• Explain the rock cycle.

• What is a mineral?

• How are minerals helpful?

• How are crystals formed?

• What are the layers of the Earth?

• How are mountains formed?

• Name and describe three types of mountains.

• What is a volcano?

• How can a volcano affect our environment?

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Click Here to See it in Our Shop!

12 Awesome Freebies for the Christmas Season

By Julieann Samayoa
on December 18, 2019
12 Awesome Freebies for the Christmas Season

I can't believe that Christmas is right around the corner. I know the holiday season can be hectic and crazy! So, to help you out, I have put together a list of some great holiday freebies from some upper elementary teacher-authors to keep your students on task for the season!

We all know students get a little antsy around the holiday season. Here are some great freebies to use for early finishers, when you have a substitute, during stations, or for something fun to do in a holiday-kind-of-way!

I've joined with a few TpT teacher-author friends to share some Christmas and winter FREEBIES just for you. These are perfect for before break or to use as an activity right after break. Either way, there's something here for everyone!

Click on the image to see the resource, and be sure to check out the other resources each teacher-author has for your classroom needs. 

1. Christmas Activities: 3-D Tree By Teacher's Brain

Get this fun and easy 3D tree craft to use with your students! Use to teach 3D art or to decorate your room during the holidays. There is also a writing printable. 

2. Holiday Cards By JD Rockin Readers

This Happy Holidays Card is a great way for students to practice their friendly letter writing while also giving joy and happiness to others! Use this during a writing center or a kindness activity. Simply print front to back, color, write, and give to friends, family, or teachers!

3. Christmas Activity: Reindeer ABC Order Freebie By Busy Me Plus Three

This is a freebie includes three no prep worksheets: One is a cut and paste where the students put the reindeer names in alphabetical order. The next is a reindeer writing page. And the last is a fun addition page where the students use an algorithm to find the answer and color in the sum at the bottom.

4. Winter Math Worksheets Freebie By Carrie Lutz

Having a few engaging resources ready for your students to practice basic math is a must when you return from winter break. Here are 3 fun worksheets that your students will enjoy doing.

  • Addition Facts to 18
  • Solve and Color Snow Globes
  • Hundreds Chart Fun

5. I Have, Who Has T'was the Night Before Christmas by Created by MrHughes

Who hasn't heard the classic poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore? This fun and interactive activity will have your students begging to play again and again as they try to beat their best time by reading fluently and more quickly each time. 

The poem has been divided into 28 cards in an "I have, Who Has" fashion. Students will have to listen carefully as they only get the 3 or 4 words in the poem ahead of their lines.

6. Snow Globe Narrative Writing Freebie by It All Started With Flubber

 Winter writing will be a breeze with this narrative writing resource! We've included these components to make this a print-and-go resource that your students will love:

  • 2 cute snow globe patterns (color and black/white)
  • 3 options for graphic organizers to guide students through possible narrative storylines
  • 24 handy writing prompts (plus a blank page if you'd like to make your own)
  • fun paper to use for publishing student writing!

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 7. Free Christmas Multiplication Activities by The Owl Teacher

Add some festivity and holiday cheer to your classroom with this multiplication freebie! The worksheets included in this download all have a fun holiday theme, right down to the questions asked! Your students will have a ball getting in some extra practice around this special time of year!

This Freebie Includes:

✓ Multiplication facts for 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9

✓ Word problems

✓ Arrays

 8. Hanukkah Free Dreidel Game by The Fun Factory

This FREE Hanukkah Dreidel Game is perfect for your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students. You have a choice of 2 Dreidel patterns, instructions for how to play a Dreidel game and photos of finished Dreidels!

9. Who was Saint Nicolas? Flip Flap Activity by Heart 2 Heart Teaching

Happy Holidays! For a sneak peek inside our Treasure Each Month: December Activity Bundle check out this Christmas Sample Freebie! Students read about Saint Nicolas and then use this cut and sort activity to show what they know!

10. Christmas Memories Ornament by Lisa Taylor Teaching The Stars

Are you needing a fun easy ornament for holiday season? Christmas Memories Ornaments are a great keepsake for parents and students. Memory questions stems are included.

11. Making Ten to Add Holiday Freebie by Mrs. Balius

Making Ten to Add: Holiday FREEBIE Edition gives your students three pages of practice with the math strategy “Making Ten to Add”. Students need opportunities to work with all new math skills. This particular strategy is very important for your students to master in order to understand higher level math concepts.

12. Let it Snow Freebie By Heart 2 Heart Teaching

Happy New Year! For a sneak peek inside our Treasure Each Month: January Activity Bundle check out this Let it Snow Sample Freebie! Students read all about snow, answer questions on the organizer and complete the life cycle of a snowflake diagram to show what they know!

Please consider leave feedback after you download and use a resource that you've loved. Perhaps you'll find a new holiday favorite activity that you'll use year after year. 

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I hope you've enjoyed these free holiday activities for the classroom. I know the holiday season can be stressful, so any extra activities to keep the students busy is a bonus! If you are looking for more Christmas or Winter activities, be sure to check out my Teachers Pay Teachers shop!

Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a joyful holiday season. I hope you have a fabulous holiday surrounded by family and friends, and wish you all the best for the new year!


How to Use Gratitude Journals in the Classroom

By Julieann Samayoa
on October 22, 2019
How to Use Gratitude Journals in the Classroom

November is a great month to practice gratitude! Starting the simple habit of reflecting on what you’re grateful for at a young age can lead to a happier life. All it takes is a few minutes each day and a gratitude journal for students to record their thoughts. Keep reading for some tips to help you start gratitude journaling with your class.

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Eight Activities to Learn About the Middle Ages

By Julieann Samayoa
on October 14, 2019
Eight Activities to Learn About the Middle Ages

What could be more fascinating than learning about Lords and Ladies, Knights, and Castles? After more than 15 years of teaching, the Middle Ages is still one of my all-time favorite units to teach.

This unit includes reading passages, interactive activities, vocabulary posters and much more. Each section has comprehension questions and connection activities to make learning fun! Let's take a closer look at this unit in action. 

The complete unit is divided into 8 sections:


•People of the Middle Ages

•The Feudal System

•Medieval Castles

•Knights and Tradesmen

•Famous People: Charlemagne, Richard the Lionheart, Joan of Arc

•Important Events: Magna Carta, The Crusades, The Black Death, Hundred Years’ War

•Unit Test (Editable)

Part One: An Introduction to the Middle Ages

A great way to introduce a new unit is to have students complete a short activity to pique their interest and build background knowledge. There are lots of ways to do this but a favorite way to get students excited about this new unit by using an anticipatory set. An anticipatory set doesn't have to take a lot of time but it can make a big difference. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Show a photograph or a short video about knights or castles
  • Use a mystery box filled with artifacts or clues about the unit (a crown, goblet, or large rock)
  • Do a sensory activity. (Maybe investigating a piece of chainmail--what was it used for?)
  • Present a real problem for students to solve (In today's world, how can we stop Black Death?)
  • Predict if the statements are true or false --this activity is included in this unit for an easy no prep option!

For this Medieval unit, start off with a geography lesson. Have students label a map of Medieval Europe and discuss any special landmarks that they might know about. Take it a step further to compare Medieval Europe to present-day Europe can be a good way for students to make connections.

Part Two: People of the Middle Ages

Start off the next section by learning about People of the Middle Ages. Students will love learning about the different social classes of that time period. There are several reading passages as well as an in-depth look at what life was like as a lord and a peasant. 

Essential Questions:

  • What was the life of a lord like?
  • What was the life of a peasant like?
  • How was life different for nobles and peasants?
  • What was life like for medieval women?
  • Name and describe some different groups of medieval people.
  • Would you have wanted to be a serf or peasant? Why or why not?

After learning about the Medieval people, have students complete a match up flaps activity. This is a great way for students to show what they have learned. Some flaps have space for students to write in the correct answers.

 Part Three: The Feudal System

For the second part, it's time to learn about the Feudal System. The Feudal System was the system of government in medieval Europe. Under feudalism, a noble gave a piece of land, called a fief, to others in exchange for their loyalty and service. The Feudal System was the foundation for people living in the Middle Ages. 

Feudalism was a system of government in medieval Europe in which land is exchanged for loyalty and service. To help students better understand and visualize this system, I recommend doing a variety of interactive activities. First, read the passage about The Feudal System and then try one or more of the activities outlined in the unit including role-playing or a poster project.

Have students create a poster with the Feudal System Exchange Cards and Poster Project Page.

Each group of students will need a copy of the Feudal System Exchange Cards, Poster Project Pages with Titles, Gives and Receive Boxes and a large sheet of construction paper.

First, students cut out all the exchange cards, title boxes, gives and receives cards. Next, students paste The King at the top of the page with the Gives and Receive boxes underneath it. Students discuss as a group and use the Feudal System Diagram page as a source to help them figure out what the King gives and what the King receives and place those cards under the correct column. Repeat this process for each of the four groups of medieval people. Check over their posters to be sure the cards are correct before having them paste the cards to the paper.

Essential Questions:

  • Why did the feudal system develop in Europe?
  • How did the feudal system hold communities together?
  • Who benefited the most from the feudal system?
  • Do you think the feudal system fair?
  • How is the feudal system different from a democracy?

Part Four: Medieval Castles

Castles were built mainly as a defense to keep invaders out and protect the people who lived inside the castle walls. This way people could shoot at attackers while remaining safe inside the walls. There are several passages all about castles including:

  • Building a Castle
  • Inside the Castle
  • The Parts of a Castle
  • Three Types of Castles
  • Famous Castles

There are several hands-on activities about castles included in this unit. But I'm positive that the Castle Flip-up booklet will be one of the most favorite activities for students to complete. There are five pages with different activities related to each of the articles. Then students cut out the castle-shaped booklet and assemble it to create a castle flip-up booklet. 

Essential Questions:

  • What was life like in a castle?
  • Why were castles built?
  • How were castles built?
  • Name and describe the parts of a castle.
  • Name the three types of castles.
  • How did castles change over time?

Part Five: Becoming a Knight

Not just anyone could become a knight. Only boys from wealthy, noble families could afford to pay for a horse, weapons, and the armor needed. If you were one of the lucky ones, training to become a knight started when you turned seven years old. Students will enjoy learning about the steps to become a trained fighter or knight. Many people during the Middle Ages apprenticed to become other skilled tradesmen such as blacksmiths, masons, or tailors. 

They can complete a trifold booklet and design their own coat of arms as culminating activities to wrap up this part of the unit.

Essential Questions:

  • What were the steps to become a knight?
  • What was the life of a knight like?
  • What was the code of chivalry?
  • Why were guilds important?
  • How did a journeyman become a master craftsman?

Part Six: Famous People of the Middle Ages

Students will love meeting three important people who changed history: Charlemagne, Richard the Lionheart, and Joan of Arc. This unit includes reading passages, biography organizers, character mini-booklets, and a trading card project for each one.

Essential Questions:

  • What is Charlemagne’s famous for?
  • What is Richard the Lionheart’s famous for?
  • What is Joan of Arc famous for?

Part Seven: Important Events of the Middle Ages

There were many important events during this period that greatly influenced life. 

Four major ones were:

  • The Magna Carta
  • The Black Death
  • The Crusades
  • The Hundred Years' War

Students will learn about the causes and effects that each one of these had on Medieval Europe through a variety of hands-on activities:

  • Timeline
  • Cloze Passage
  • Writing Prompts
  • Trifold Booklet
  • Vocabulary Posters
  • Spotlight on Vocabulary

Part Eight: Unit Assessment & Reflection

End the unit by having students take the unit assessment and complete the reflection.  The unit test is editable so you can modify it to meet your standards. 

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I hope your kiddos enjoy this unit as much as mine! 

How to Help Your Child Find His Study Groove: Setting Up a Distraction-Free Space

By Julieann Samayoa
on June 13, 2019
How to Help Your Child Find His Study Groove: Setting Up a Distraction-Free Space

Guest post by Susan Good from Retired Educator

Kids today have more to fascinate and entertain them than ever before. Gaming and virtual reality technologies provide youngsters (and adults) with endless hours of entertainment and indulgences in fantasy. Television has evolved into a device for streaming an endless array of channels and providing access to media in previously unimaginable ways. Kids communicate in real time through smartphones that are seldom far from their reach. But media in all its forms represent a tremendous distraction from the acquisition of mental disciplines that are central to a child’s education and overall development.

Parents are, to say the least, challenged to keep these distractions at bay when it comes to establishing good study habits. Discipline is important, but not as heavily in the traditional sense of compliance or punishment as might have been the case once upon a time. Today, kids need to be engaged and taught to understand that school and personal habits that will help them excel academically are resoundingly in their long-term interest. Consistency, comfort, and cooperation are the keys.

Turning the World Off

Creating a distraction-free learning space is about more than making sure children are concentrating on studying for tomorrow’s math test or working on next week’s science project. It’s part of an investment in their future. Getting good grades, getting into a good college, and performing well from year to year are a function of focused and disciplined study. You can’t impart these values if your kids are doing schoolwork while watching SpongeBob Squarepants or instant messaging with friends about the events of the school day and what they plan to wear to school tomorrow.


Establish set hours for homework and study every night. During that time, all handheld devices, gaming consoles, and television remotes should be turned off and put away until all work has been done. If internet access is necessary for homework, make sure instant messaging is turned off on the computer and that other distracting sites are inaccessible. Make it clear that if all work is completed and done thoroughly, they may have access to media until bedtime.

Set Up A Quiet Place for Study

A productive studying and reading area should have ample space for all books, pencils, pens, calculators and other academic tools that may be necessary. It should also face away from distractions like televisions and doorways so that comings and goings to, from and within the home don’t disrupt concentration. If possible, each child should have their own individual space that is set up to help them maximize the time. Try to avoid wasting time looking for study aids and tools that should be kept within easy reach at all times. Part of developing good study habits is learning to make the most of each study session.

Setting up a distraction-free study space at home

Positioned for Success

Ergonomic experts will tell you that where and in what position one studies has a lot to do with how much information is retained and how successful the outcome will be. Kids have a tendency to become bored after a while and switch to different locations and positions. For instance, a half hour sitting upright at a desk can quickly turn into an hour lying on the couch or sitting cross-legged on the floor, both of which are not optimal study positions. The natural tendency when lying down is to relax and get sleepy rather than actively cover material and take notes, which are essential study habits. Bean bag chairs are a great option because kids think they’re fun, and they come in a variety of sizes and shapes that make them easy to work into a variety of spaces.

Establishing a comfortable, efficient, and productive learning space is key to your child’s academic performance. It’s also essential for teaching study habits that will remain with them for life. Collaborate with your child on finding a spot that’s free of distractions and comfortable for them. 

Time to Celebrate Teachers With a Teacher Appreciation Giveaway

By Julieann Samayoa
on May 06, 2019
Time to Celebrate Teachers With a Teacher Appreciation Giveaway

Hooray for Teacher Appreciation Day! To show you how much we appreciate teachers like you, we are having a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY.  

Teachers Pay Teachers is having their Teacher Appreciation Sale on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 4th and 5th. Fill up your shopping carts with some of our favorite science and social studies bundles and you can SAVE BIG! Don't forget to use code: THANKYOU21 when you check out to save 25% on everything in my store. Scroll below to go to the giveaway.

Check out some of our favorite science bundles below:

Insects and Spiders lessons for kids

Life Cycles activities for kids

Take a peek at some of favorite social studies bundles here:

Ancient Egypt activities for kids

Now let's get to the Teacher Appreciation Giveaway! 

Enter to win one of TEN $10 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Cards by clicking HERE!

Congratulations to the following 10 winners!

THANK YOU for going above and beyond for students every single day!

Julie :)