Engage your little learners with this FREE making words bucket and shovel craft that’s perfect for the end of year. It was inspired by the sand messages in the magical picture book, Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry (words) and Juana Martinez-Neal (pictures).
Swashby, whose a little salty, loves being alone at sea. He loves the solitude his best friend, the beach, gives him. When new neighbors arrive, Swashby feels they’re disturbing his quiet space, so he *attempts* to send them messages in the sand. But, the sea has other plans for those messages and gently washes parts of them away. His messages take on a far different meaning as random letters are left forming a new word.
It’s those new messages and their new meaning that help bring change to salty ole Swashby! He discovers that actual BEACH FRIENDS are just what he needed.
Themes: new experiences and friendship
Discussion Ideas: After reading, discuss the significance of the messages in the sand.
•Why do you think the sand messages and the altered messages in the story were important?
•How did the messages move/change the story?
•How did Swashby change (why/how)?
•What do you think Swashby learned in this story?
•Let’s think… What if the original messages stayed in the sand…
> What do you think would have happened?
>> How do you think the neighbors would have felt?
>>> Do you think Swashby would have changed ? (why, why not)
>>>> Do you think the story would have ended differently (why)?
*Purchase a Copy of Swashby and the Sea Here *Affiliate Amazon Link*
Time to CRAFT:
* Grab your Freebie Here *
Craft the base of the activity by assembling the bucket and shovel pieces (or use the pre-made templates). Each kiddo will need to cut apart a box of the “beach friends” letters.
Using the “beach friends” letters, kiddos will manipulate them to spell new words (like in the story) and write them onto the bucket. * This could even be a great activity for partners or small groups *
After building all their words with the letter tiles, kiddos will match the lowercase letters to the uppercase letters on the bucket/shovel craft to spell out the phrase Beach Friends. & Presto, you’re done with your meaningful story craft.
For extra fun, you can hole punch the top of the shovel and let kiddos use string or a pipe-cleaner to loop the bucket and shovel together!
In the wise words of Swashby, “Thank Ye Friends” for all you do every day for your kiddos! I hope you enjoy this Teacher Appreciation freebie inspired by Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry and Juana Martinez-Neal.
For more Beach Themed Read Aloud Activities, check out: