74 § Lessons from Turtle Island
Word Cards—Decide which word cards are important to include for
your class. Examples might be camping items, if there is a camp-
ground in the classroom, or seasonal words, such as winter, snow,
autumn, leaves, summer, swim, spring, and garden. Carefully print each
word on a separate 3 by 5-inch index card. Illustrate each word card
with a sticker or drawing to help children read the words. Laminate the cards
Fill-in Strips—Early writers can be more independ-
ent if key phrases are already written for them. For
this center, teachers might include the following
In ____________________, my family ___________________________.
Children can fill in the first blank space with a season and the second
space with what their family likes to do. Teachers can print the fill-in strips by
hand or use a word-processing program set to a font that looks like standard
print. Include multiple copies of the fill-in strips in the center.
Seasonal Blank Books—Interesting blank books related to seasons
are easy to make. Inexpensive notepads with shapes that correlate
with the seasons are available in teacher supply stores and catalogs,
office supply stores, and stationery stores. One sheet of paper from
a notepad can serve as the cover of each blank book, so typically
fifty covers can be made from one notepad. Interior paper can be
cut in the same shape as the cover from free or inexpensive paper.
Shapes available include leaves for autumn, snowpeople for winter,
flowers for spring, and seashells for summer. Children can use the
blank books for writing stories, copying words, or drawing.