This is the CLAMDiggers’ Enrichment Program Overview!
A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his/her might that which s/he desires. ~Paulo Coelho
I am very excited to share CLAMDiggers: a 52~week, cross-curricular, enrichment, and interactive program I developed from my teaching and learning experiences with children, ages 8~11 years-old.
They always encouraged and inspired hands-on activities with readily available materials. Producing projects, such as games, books, sculptures, puppets, skits, paintings, food, keepsakes, etc. enhanced not only the learning process propelled by children’s love of an engaging read, but also, stimulated their creative skills in critical thinking, problem solving, visual & spatial reasoning, etc.
In the Beginning…
CLAMDiggers was originally developed as a classroom enrichment program and/or an after-school activity club for children, ages 8-11, integrating fiction and nonfiction literature with craft-making, role-play and artistic expression.
However, given the changing landscape of education, I tweaked and edited each Unit’s activities to make them more tech-friendly and accessible. Their priority remains as an interactive, hands-on learning experience.
Initially formatted for a classroom teacher, I re-worded Activity Directions into an Upper Elementary Independent Reading Level. The Lesson Plan is written as a guide for teaching reading comprehension within the thematic trade book selection list.
An Educational Overview
CLAMDiggers is designed to build Cognitive Skills through Critical Thinking.
While promoting the ongoing development of a child’s eagerness to explore the accomplishments of creative production through manipulative experiences, CLAMdiggers:
- cultivates an appreciation for appropriate children’s literature using a thematic approach
- addresses cross-curriculum objectives throughout each lesson for analysis, synthesis and evaluation
- inspires creative production using a variety of art media
- provides opportunities for extension and enrichment within the framework of each session
- increases an understanding of the global community on both physical and cultural levels
The impact of CLAMDiggers is immediate and expansive, as each child internalizes the confidence to express imaginative responses.
This labor of love of mine is assembled into seasonal / monthly / weekly collections (Summer, too) and formatted to correspond with educational guidelines. Each session includes:
An Introduction with an Instructional Sequence
The Unit’s Introductory Overview includes a suggested Instructional Sequence for integrating the fiction and nonfiction, Thematic Literature, grade-level trade books listed with the Haptic Activities included.
Master Materials & Literature Books Lists
The Unit’s Master Materials List is a complete inventory of each Activity’s necessary supplies for completion. Substitution ideas are, also, included. The Unit’s Thematic Literature List is compiled of titles I successfully used in the classroom. Children predictably and positively responded to these 10-12 reads. There are spaces for you to lists your choices as well.
A Lesson Plan with Curriculum Objectives
Each Lesson Plan generally focuses on ideas for utilizing a variety of Comprehension Elements within the Literature reads. It, also, provides the Objectives the specific session will address. These Curriculum guidelines are designated in abbreviations: LA (Language Arts), MTH (Math), SS (Social Studies), SC (Science), HLTH (Health), A (Art), M (Music) & PE (Physical Education). The Activities/Projects are listed as well.
Activities/Projects with Directions, Illustrations, Templates & Extensions
Directions for the Activity or Project have been sequentially tested for understanding. I know how LITERAL children can be, especially with Hands-On tasks. Some illustrations and templates may be included for, hopefully, easier modelling and tracer accessibility. Extension ideas at the conclusion of each Activity/Project will give you and your child more possibilities for enrichment.
Seasonal & Monthly Studies
Each Seasonal collection of Literature Study & Activity/Project options includes opportunities to:
- celebrate Nature’s seasonal changes
- investigate weather patterns
- observe the sky’s phenomena
- explore a variety of animals
- discover plant-life
Monthly Units have a collection of mini- poetry posters to introduce a focus on the content of the different lessons within each weekly session. They may include connections to:
- celebrate holidays & special occasions
- examine historical events
- research social environments
- create plays & games
- apply critical thinking skills for problem solving
- use imagination for expression
Here’s Condensed Contents List of the CLAMDiggers’ Seasonal & Monthly Main Ideas:
JANUARY: Nature in Winter/Snow/Civil Rights/Hibernation
FEBRUARY: Asian New Year/Valentines/Friendship/US Presidents
MARCH: Dr Seuss & Imagination/Windy Weather/A Wee Bit O’ Green/Spring Into Spring/Humor
APRIL: Fairy Tales/Clouds & Rain/Earth Day Everyday/Arbor Day: A Celebration of Trees
MAY: Mothers’ Day/Baby Animals/Bicycles & Safety/Neighbors in the Neighborhood/Let’s Have a Picnic
JUNE: The Sun/Fathers’ Day/Backyard Summer Fun/Going on Vacation
JULY: Independence Day/Summer Nights: Moon & Stars/Tall Tales & Legends/Fun in the Water: Oceans, Lakes & Rivers
AUGUST: Spotlight/Insects/I’m Bored ! Daydreams & Mysteries/ Inventions: Machines & Robotics
SEPTEMBER: A Community of Helpers/Back to School/ Grandparents/Autumn Comes/A Bushel Of Apples
OCTOBER: We Love Pets !/Old World Explorations/Nutrition Guide/ Boos & Hisses ! It’s Halloween!
NOVEMBER: Autumn Fantasy/Then & Now/Native Americans/ Giving Thanks
DECEMBER: An Early American Christmas/Oh! Christmas Tree!/ Santa & His Reindeer/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/New Year
Weekly Unit Components
Each weekly unit, or session includes the following components:
- front & back covers
- a contents list
- introductory sequence overview
- master materials activities list
- thematic literature book list
- lesson plan
- one-four activities with sequential instructions & extension ideas
Crafts, Literature & More
You can utilize CLAMDiggers’ enrichment program in a variety of ways:
- a Home-School enrichment program
- an hour after-school club session introduced with a teacher-read trade book and guided activity
- a several hours mini “workshop” with your child or several children partner-reading several trade books, electing a teacher-read book and producing activity (ies)
- an on-going classroom, thematic DEAR with an independent and/or partner-student read, promoting a book-share, a teacher-read encouraging comprehension and culminating in project production with usage for evaluation
- center-based tasks to include student-generated comprehension assessments in conjunction with activity production
- cooperative group preparation of book and project presentation
- multi-grade level student partnerships for book-shares and activity production
- extra-credit or homework assignments to encourage parental involvement
Laminating a pocketed folder with brads or providing a notebook with dividers will help your child or children keep lessons and materials organized. A permanent black marker will enable them to title the cover.
Book Reviews & Comprehension activities with Project Directions can be part of the folder’s contents.
Encourage your students to anecdote the Directions with questions & thoughts. It will help generate Critical Thinking and, hopefully, facilitate Brainstorming and Creativity for Extension Activities .
Whether selecting a few weekly units individually and/or a monthly bundle (which will include a 30-page booklet of Graphic Organizers for Reading Comprehension, Brainstorming & Writing), CLAMDiggers’ enrichment program for Upper Elementary Learners will be available ~hopefully~ for purchase on Mz. Bizzy Lizzy Biz’s Teachers Pay Teachers Shop several weeks before the Month’s due date. September’s Monthly/Weekly Units are first. Access to the Monthly Poetry Posters will be in the Shop as well. Here’s the link to my Shop:
A Few CLAMDiggers’ Thank You Freebies
I hope this literature-based, Literacy enrichment program has caught your interest. Here are a few 10-page Freebies I created to show my appreciation. Just click on the links to open these PDFs:
As a parent-teacher and/or classroom teacher of children, ages 8-11, I know you and yours will find these Units engaging and fun. I would love to hear from you.
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P.S. HAPPY CLAMDIGGING!!!!