Make Magic!

Hi and welcome back to Attention-ology for K – 5 Teachers!

Grab a magician’s black hat, a wand and a (stuffed toy or puppet) white rabbit to kick off your very own magic show in class. Today marks the beginning of National Magic Week in the United States and Canada – a perfect time to engage students in learning activities framed around magical tools and tricks.

Step right up to my Make Magic Blog Show…I have a few new teachers’ tricks to share, but first a bit of history… (You can share this history with students in grades 3 – 5 and a little bit of it with younger children.)

Magic is as old as the hills. It’s generally defined as “the art of manipulating aspects of reality through illusions” and it’s practiced around the world. I’m guessing that nations other than the US and Canada have their own magic-related celebrations. In the northern two-thirds of North America National Magic Week recognizes the anniversary of the death of world-famous Harry Houdini whose grave is in New York City. Here’s a spooky fact – he died on October 31, 1926.

The roots of National Magic Week go back to Houdini Day in 1927, started by Mrs. Houdini, to honor her husband’s legacy as a nine-year president of the Society of American Magicians. The organization adopted the idea and continues to spend the last week of October promoting the magic arts through free programs and exhibits at venues including public libraries and schools. The Society also encourages budding magicians…I’m adding teachers in that mix. We work magic every day to help students achieve academic and personal success!

MAKE MAGIC BLOG SHOW. Choose from a menu of tricks that are adjustable to suit different K – 5 grade levels…

Bulletin Board Magic – Create a bulletin board like my blog pic below inside or outside your classroom that features student work, including writing, related to magic.

My Magic Story

Writing Magic – Invite your class to write a story about magic. You can introduce different themes children may work with such as:

* Imagine if you had a MAGIC BALL or wore a MAGIC NECKLACE or ate a MAGIC COOKIE or traveled to present a MAGIC SHOW of your own. Write a story in the first person.

* Create two characters who have a MAGICAL ADVENTURE together. Write a story in the third person.

Reading Magic – Check your school or public library for books about magic that you can borrow and share with your students or encourage them to borrow and read themselves.

Math Magic – Using a magician-like hat and a stuffed toy or puppet rabbit, give your class tickets to a fun, funny Math Magic Show. How to play? One option is to get or make a set of flash cards with addition problems such as adding different numbers to arrive at the same number. For example, there are 5 number pairs that can add up to the number 8. Make one flash card for each number pair and make 5 flash cards that show only the number 8. Put all of the number 8 flashcards in your magic hat. Give five students one of the number pair flashcards face down. Play magician. Tell your class that your rabbit will guess the answer to each math problem. Pick up the rabbit; point to one student at a time and announce that the rabbit will “pick a card” from the hat with the correct answer. Of course the answer will be correct! Once the kids catch on to the trick, they may call out the answer amid the laughter. You can make up other math “tricks” to match your curriculum.

Science Magic – There’s a certain school bus series that takes kids on magical journeys into the world of science. Look for it with key words online. Speaking of online resources related to magic, they’re out there. See what might interest your students.

Cooking Magic – Young children are fascinated (as are some older folks) with the power of a hot oven to transform little balls of dough dotted with dark morsels into flat and delicious chocolate chip cookies! (Another science lesson for older elementary school students?)

MAGIC COOKIE is one of my suggested titles above for a story your students can write. Here’s a great way to end your or your school’s Magic Day or Magic Week (You and other grade-level teachers can plan ahead and partner to present special magic-related teaching activities and events)…

Ask students if they’ve ever helped make chocolate chip cookies or watched cookies bake. Point out that an oven’s heat does work like magic. Then pass around some REAL cookies to eat. Magic makes for smiles.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in instructional settings!

Talk with you next week,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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