Last year, I came across Doodle Art Alley, which has free printable inspirational quotes that are begging to be colored! I allowed students to color them our first week and then used them to decorate our cupboards throughout the year. It was a great way to brighten up our room!
This year, I decided to do things a little differently. My students have morning work each day that is a science daily review, because our fifth grade students are tested on 4th and 5th grade standards. The daily review keeps those fourth grade concepts fresh in their mind all year. Anyway, these reviews only go Monday through Thursday, so I needed some morning work for Friday. Since my fifth graders work hard all week, I wanted it to be something that was a little bit more relaxing. I thought about how coloring has become all the craze again and how there really isn't much time for coloring in fifth grade. Then I thought about these inspirational quotes and tried to think of a way that I could use them each Friday as their morning work without them being just about coloring. That's when I realized that my read-aloud and these quotes could be connected!
Each Friday as part of our morning meeting, I read a different picture book. Each book has a different theme that can be applied to the choices that students make and the experiences that they have had. So I thought to myself, what if I pulled quotes that connect the stories that I read and I ask students to share what the quotes mean to them? That's when my Doodle and Think form was born!
We started with The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein and students received one of the two quotes in the picture above. For morning work, they filled out the Doodle and Think Form, explaining what the quote means to them, and then they color the quote. After morning announcements, they bring their quotes and Doodle & Think forms to the carpet, I read the story, and then students are able to share what they wrote. We talk about how the quotes connected to the story and how they can apply the message to their own lives. These conversations have been rich, meaningful, and engaging. I couldn't ask for more. I really teach students to embrace mistakes as a part of learning, and the responses that they came up with showed me that they know the importance of a safe learning environment where mistakes are not something to be ashamed of.
I have an elephant theme this year so I stocked up on elephant picture books. How I made it through 10 years without ever reading Elmer by David McKee is beyond me! I LOVE this little story and my students did too. What a great conversation we had about accepting each other and the beauty of being your own person. Since I have fifth graders, this turned in to a great conversation about not changing who you are because of peer pressure. Loved this!
Continuing with my love of elephants, was Ellie by Mike Wu! My favorite response from this day was "great things come in small packages." Again, an adorable picture book, a great lesson, and a conversation that made me confident that these Friday Doodle & Thinks are so much more than coloring and a read-aloud.
I am going to try to share my Doodle & Think with you each week. If you'd like to grab the Doodle & Think form, click below and download the file! Whether it's Friday, Monday, or just a random day, you'll enjoy the great conversations that come from this activity!