Hands-On Cranberry Learning Center Activities

We are excited about our newest product, Crazy for Cranberries – Cross-Curricular Learning Center Activities. Students will use real cranberries and hands-on cross-curricular learning activities to connect with math, science, ELA, and social studies. Activities include measurement, graphing, map skills, writing, tasting, and much more. Fun and learning can happen simultaneously.cranberries

These learning activities  are  engaging and fun no matter where you live. It fits well into any study of the 50 states or US regions. And it’s timely. Get those cranberries while they are fresh and still in the store.

Did you know Wisconsin is the leading producer of cranberries? We are famous for cheese, but cranberries are BIG too!

Wisconsin is projected to produce more cranberries than any other state during this year’s harvest, with an estimated crop of approximately 5.2 million barrels of fruit.

The next closest state is Massachusetts, which is projected to produce about 2 million barrels in 2016.

The estimated harvest in Wisconsin is part of the approximately 8.6 million barrels of cranberries expected nationwide this year, up slightly from 2015’s harvest.

Cranberry production is a nearly $1 billion industry in Wisconsin, employing more than 4,000 people in the state, according  to the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.


Crazy for Cranberries Includes:center-1-photo

  • 19 page Teacher Guide
    • Materials and picture guide for each Center
    • Answer Key for Student Journal
    • Optional Print Resources – pages
  • 14 page Student Journal
  • 11 Center Signs

Grade Level: 3-4

QR (Quick Response) Code Reader (Optional)

 Centers 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 10 refer to information from the web that is accessed using a QR reader. (We have included a print option and those documents are included in this teacher guide. Just print those and place them in the center.)

Eleven Learning Centers include:student-cover

  1. Describe a Cranberry
  2. Measuring With Cranberries
  3. Cranberries in the United Sates
  4. Cranberries in Wisconsin
  5. Cranberry Counties in Wisconsin
  6. Traveling to Cranberry Country
  7. Are My Cranberries Fresh?
  8. Tasting Cranberries
  9.  Weigh Station
  10.  Sink or Float – Harvesting Cranberries
  11.  Reading and Writing


We pride ourselves on creating products grounded in best practice. We believe learning can and should be fun and interactive. Using learning centers in your classroom will support your students.

Connections to Best Practice for the Cranberry Centers

Students in your classroom will inevitably have a variety of different learning styles. To most effectively “reach” all of your students, you would do well to present information in multiple different ways (Dunbar, 2009).

“The benefits of learning stations are many. Learning stations can be used for myriad purposes—to teach concepts, integrate subject matter, build interest, and allow for inquiry—the possibilities are limited only by the imagination of the teacher and the supplies available” (Jarrett, 2010, p. 56).

“…learning stations are more effective than conventional methods in helping students acquire the knowledge in a unit” (Ocak, 2010, p. 153).

Dunbar, R. W. Presentation at Stanford University, July 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2013. http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/careerprep/teaching/learning.html Teaching Science: What Research Tells Us.

Jarrett, O. (January 2010). Inventive learning stations. Science and Children 47.5: 56-69.

Ocak, G. (2010). The effect of learning stations on the level of academic success and retention of elementary school students. The New Educational Review 21.2: 146-157.


Check-out Crazy for Cranberries and our other products at Surviving to Thriving LjL on TPT.









The Fault in Our Stars Novel Study

Our Newest Product: The Fault in Our Stars Novel Study

fault in our stars  banner

We love reading all kinds of books and are big fans of John Green.

Green’s novel is elegantly plotted, and as sad in places as one might expect a book about adolescent cancer to be. But it’s also brimming with joy. Hazel and Augustus have a zeal for living and for each other that, cancer or not, is rare, and it’s a delight to see their plans unfold and relationship flourish even as they both face death.


He writes for youth, rather than to them, and the difference is palpable. He doesn’t dumb anything down. His language is complex, his syntax adult. NPR.org


The Novel StudyFault1

The novel study for John Green’s novel, The Fault in Our Stars, includes a Discussion and Activity Guide, accompanying PowerPoint Presentation, a Literary Log for students, optional homework assignments, summative assessments and rubric, and bookmarks. The Discussion and Activity Guide is comprised of questions, prompts, and/or activities for each chapter and offers teaching suggestions, vocabulary, and suggestions for a variety of ways in which students might respond to prompts: Teacher-Led Discussion, Pair-Share, Write-Pair-Share-Class-Share, Individual Student Response, and Small Group Mini-Projects. Questions, prompts, and activities are designed to increase the relevancy of the novel and facilitate critical thinking. Many of the questions and prompts could be used for longer writing pieces or mini-projects. Teaching Notes are includes throughout the Discussion and Activity Guide—they are optional ideas or strategies to enhance teaching and learning.

Students like to talk and this guide engages and encourages discussion. It can be used with the whole class, small groups, individual students, or for teachers who choose to read aloud The Fault in Our Stars to students. An accompanying PowerPoint Presentation facilitates student activities and can be utilized by teachers or students. The Literary Log for students includes all the questions, prompts, and activities in both the Discussion and Activity Guide and PowerPoint Presentation. Graphics on both the PowerPoint slides and the Literary Log serve as visual clues; these graphics work especially well with students whose first language is not English or for students who are primarily visual. The Literary Log for The Fault in Our Stars can be used by a whole class as well as small group of students or individual students reading the novel independently.

There are nine optional homework assignments designed to enhance and extend the relevance of the novel. Homework assignments include: three Survey. Note. Conclude!; Self-Metaphor; Montage; Blog Entry; Obituary for Augustus; Author Analysis; and Word Analysis for Love.

Summative Assessments include 12 projects designed for a variety of learners as well as Blooming with Knowledge about The Fault in Our Stars, which includes 12 activities connected to Bloom’s Taxonomy. Each level includes two choices. You may elect to direct students to choose one activity from each level or allow students to choose any number of activities. The accompanying rubric can be used with both the Summative Assessments and Blooming with Knowledge. Reproducible bookmarks can be used to discuss bookmark quotes, form groups, or simply keep students’ place in the novel. Connections to best practice and the Common Core Standards is included.

This product includes:
• 42 page Discussion and Activity Guide for Teachers (PDF file)
• 1 page alphabetical list of vocabulary words
• 3 page group activity packet
• 9 page Optional Homework Assignments
• 3 page Summative Assessments and Rubric
• 3 page Connections to Best Practice and Common Core Standards
• 16 reproducible bookmarks with quotes from Fault

• 37 page Literary Log for Students (PDF file)
• 111 Slides PowerPoint Presentation (PowerPoint 2010 file)
• 23 page PowerPoint Outline Teacher Guide (PDF file)

Grade Level Appropriateness
Grades 9-12

Check our store for these novel studies:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Son by Lois Lowry

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Additional Resources:

The book was inspired by the  real life story of Esther Earl. The Girl Who Inspired the Fault in Our Stars Her parents have started The Stars Won’t Go Out Foundation and have published a collection of Esther’s writings, “This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life & Words of Esther Grace Earl.”

This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl

Gr 7 Up—Through letters, journal entries, blog posts, stories, poems, and drawings, readers get to know the life and times of Esther Grace Earl, the young woman to whom John Green dedicated The Fault in Our Stars (Penguin, 2012). Although she died from cancer in 2010 at only 16, Esther (known affectionately as “Star” by her family) was a prolific writer, a “nerdfighter,” a “Harry Potter” enthusiast, and a deeply spiritual person. She inspired—and continues to inspire—several online communities and a dedicated Internet fan base. This unique title will be appreciated by fans of John Green and those looking for an uplifting and emotional tear-jerker.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

The One and Only Ivan Novel Study and Unit Plan

The One and Only Ivan is one of our favorite books. I’ve written about it before in Five Reasons to Read The One and Only Ivan in Your Classroom.

Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point-of-view of Ivan himself.

Harper Collins Children’s Books

The One and Only Ivan Novel Study Unit Planivan

Overview of the Unit
The unit plan for The One and Only Ivan, winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal, is designed to engage students. Students are provided opportunities to analyze settings, identify, describe and analyze characters and their relationships, determine emerging themes, and use text references and quotes to infer meaning. The unit employs multiple delivery modalities, facilitates students’ cognitive thinking skills, and uses a constructivist approach to teaching and learning. Lesson plans are student-centered and are ready to implement.

Time Frame
This unit is planned as a 3½ week unit, however, it is easily adaptable to 4 to 6 weeks.

Grade Level Appropriateness
Grades 3-6 grade

Unit Includes:
• Instructional Schedule for Unit Plan
• 12 Lesson Plans with instructional guide and reproducible student handouts
• Introducing the Novel Lesson
• Setting Analysis Lesson
• Character Analysis Lesson
• Ivan-isms Lesson
• Habitats, Groups, and Offspring Lesson
• Pair Read Aloud & Prediction Lesson
• Friendship Lesson
• Ivan’s Letters Lesson
• Novel Quotes Lesson
• Ivan’s Many Families Lesson
• Pair Read Aloud and Face-to-Face Slide-By Lesson
• Ivan’s Billboard Lesson
• Summative Assessment w/Rubric
• 1 (19 page) Reproducible Student Literary Log
• 16 Reproducible Student Bookmarks
• Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts that Connect to the Unit
• Best Practice Research that Relates to the Unit
• Unit PowerPoint to Guide Daily Lessons w/Teacher Guide
• Formative Assessment PowerPoint (includes 3 quizzes) w/Teacher Guide and Answer Key

1 – PDF (116 page) Unit Plan
• 1 – Unit Plan PowerPoint (101 slides) to Guide Daily Lessons
• 1 – PDF Teacher Guide to Unit Plan PowerPoint
• 1 – PowerPoint (48 slides) for Formative Assessment Game (includes 3 quizzes)
• 1 – PDF Teacher Guide and Answer Key to Formative Assessment Game

Download Free Bookmarks for The One and Only Ivan.

ivan bookmarks


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ivan review

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Get to know Surviving to Thriving LjL LLC  and our Teachers Pay Teachers Store.We will be spotlighting our products on this blog and sharing awesome resources for teachers.

See a list of our current products.


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