This Shell Design activity is a fun way to encourage expository writing. This activity also helps prepare 1st graders for expository writing tests. After reading the story Moving Day (in the Houghton Mifflin Reading Series), I have my class describe the different kinds of shells the hermit crab finds. I write out (with the help of my class) a description of the last shell the hermit crab finds on the SMARTBOARD. The following day I have the students take out their Houghton Mifflin books and look at the shells and their designs. I explain what a spiral is. I draw one on the SMARTBOARD. I have students describe the shells. I list their describing words on the whiteboard. I then show them an example of a hermit crab and shell I designed. I tell them they will design their own hermit crab shell. I use the SMARTBOARD files to display the blank shell and ask students how they might design it. I tell them to look in the book to get ideas. I pass out the shell cutout page. I have my students color and design BEFORE they cut the shell out of the paper. Sometimes students cut out their shells first and then they decide they want to put spikes all around. TOO LATE! After they design their shells I pass out the crab cutout page. I have made a dotted line around the crab to make it easy for 1st graders to cut around the hard places. They also can cut out circles for the crab's eyes or they can make their own. After students cut out their crabs, have them glue down their shells on part of the crab that says PASTE SHELLS HERE. This concludes the Shell Design activity.
The next day I go over the description of the hermit crab's shell that we wrote as a class. I use the SMARTBOARD expository file to help students start their writing. I explain that students should think about their 5 senses when describing their shells. I then hand out the Expository Writing paper and have the students write a description of their shells.
*I usually print out my hermit crab on red card stock paper so my students do not have to color. I have also printed out my hermit crabs on white paper and had my students color them.
*I have the file in both Rich Text Format for Windows/Mac (so you can edit) and PDF. There are also fonts included. Fonts must be installed for the document/SMARTBOARD file to be viewed properly.
*If you like this activity...you may also like the following:
HMR Grade 1 Theme 2 Story 4 - Short O Activity
HMR Grade 1 Theme 4 Story 1 - Family Tree Activity
HMR Grade 1 Theme 10 Week 2 - Adjective Art Activity