Theme - Western Theme
A collection of ideas to use to create a western/cowboy theme in your classroom.
Our school did a AR western theme last year. It was a lot of fun. Some classes used bandanas for curtains on the windows. The Principal's office became the Sheriff's office and the VP became the Deputy. You can get the heavy cardboard and turn you classroom door into a barn. Use rope for bulliten board boarders. Put a campfire in your reading center. Easy to do with brown paper rolled up for logs and some gray stones circling around to hold it all together. I had several cowboy hats in the room for the line leader to wear. A bulliten board theme.... Lasso a good book... with a cowboy and a rope lasso with book covers in the lasso circle. Red and white checked cloth (like a picnic tablecloth) looks good as bulliten board cover. Or try newspaper for the background with black boarder and black letters....
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Hello! I know this is late, but better late than never (as I always say!) I have decorated my classroom with a western theme. I have areas in my room centered on that theme..."Reading Corral", "A Place to Hang Your Hats" is my center board that I use to manage centers (each person has their own hat). I also manage attendence with little bandana cut-outs that has their names on it. My main bulletin (well at the beg of the year) said "We're off to a Rootin-tootin year!". I have a bulletin with student work that says, "Ropin' Up Good Work!". I had a writing area named, "Write 'em Cowboy!". This is easy to decorate as well, get some denim and/or bandana print to make some reading pillows. Go to the dollar store (or collections etc.) and get some cheap boots, tins, and horse items....
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I am using a similar theme this year. My ideas so far:|
Welcome board: "Mrs. T's Most Wanted" I have made wanted posters that say Wanted... Susie Smith AKA _______ and will print them on parchment paper. I will add a photo of each child wearing a mustache and cowboy hat and the kids will add their own cowboy name for the AKA part.
Additional bb: "Roundin' Up a Bunch of Great Students"
Attendance/Cafeteria Board: Chuckwagon Choices
Reading nook: OK Corral
Incentive bucks: Buffalo Bucks or Weekly Wampam
Newsletter: The Pony Express
Job chart: Ranch Hands
Behavior Chart: Wildy Wonderful Behavior or Rootin' Tootin' Behavior (don't really like these...)
I bought some cute stuff from our local party sotre including a string of lighted cowboy boots and cactus!
I've got more ideas if you're interested. And I'd...
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I did a Wild West theme in my first grade classroom this year. Here some of the things I did:|
-I had a bulletin board for student work called "best in the west"
-My door was a cowboy and sheriff badges with each students name and in big letters it said "Howdy Partners!"
-My word wall was cowboy boots, and it was called boot hill.
-My birthday board was cowboy hats with each month and students birthday listed on a different hat
_My job chart was cowboy boots and it said "These boots are made for working." It was really really cute!
-I had red and blue bandanas hanging from my ceiling along with horseshoes and sheriff badges
-I pained my windows to look like horse stables and them taped foam horses in them
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I did this theme in my class last year and we called out room "Home on the Range"|
Teacher = Rancher
Helper of the day = Ranch hand
Boot tidier = boot wrangler
Book/library = book posse
attendance and hotlunch carriers = pony express
Sharriff was the go to guy when I was working with a small group
We had great fun with this theme!
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Here are some to help out:|
You can use cut outs of cowboys with hats and here are two bulletin boards: It's Going To Be A Rootin'-Tootin' Terrific Year! Have the students fill out a questionare on themselves. You can attach it to the board with a cut out of a Sheriffs badge.
A jobs board can be Wanted: Hardworkin' Helpers! have a wanted poster for each job you plan on having and take pictures of the students to place under the wanted posters for whose turn it is that week.
You can also enlarge a picture of a steer. Place 3 copies at the bottom of the board and in colorful markers you can list all the new things the students are going to learn and do this year. Title can be Have You 'Herd' about __ Grade? Real easy and quick to do in the hall or...
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Welcome Board: "Giddy up for a new school year!" "Round up for a new school year!" "Look who Ms.___'s roped in for new school year"
Jobs: "Hats off to classroom helpers!" Each students name is on a tiny paper cowboy hat. Rotate them around to different jobs.
Good Work Board: "Blue Ribbon Work" Put a cowprint background and a giant blue ribbon OR "Kickin It up for Good Work!" with little boots around the border.
Decorations: Drape bandanas around the top of a board or tie together to hang over the tops of a window.
Student name tags: Use Print Shop or other program to put students' names on horses, cowboy boots, hats,etc.
Reading Corner: Toss in some cowprint beanbags and maybe an old saddle on a post (maybe you could find one that's not in use??) and put up a sign that...
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Use denim and bandana accents...could cut border from recycled jeans...cactus plants...campfire common seating area...Reading area...could have sleeping bag as bed roll comfort area...slogan...Lasso a good book|
Have badges(stars)for special students...design wanted posters as getting to know you...with pictures or self Portraits...
Welcome Boards: Saddle Up!
Rules Chart:Breakin' Wild Mustangs
Incentive Boards:Ms.___'s Good Chap's(Granma's slang for us kids and play on riding attire)
Other ideas: Design western placemats with
laminator as incentive for good
cafeteria rules-select 2 to use when
If you are feelin' wealthy, Cracker Barrel Stores/restaurants have adorable retro western hats,vests for kids(pricey accents)
Have good books in my class...
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Sherry, every year I plan a western theme for my students -- in fact, I have successfully used this theme for kindergarten, first, and second grades. I like to make "Wanted Posters" for each of my students to display at open house. I glue a snapshot at the top of each poster and then type in reasons why each student is wanted.|
I might type that Johnnie is wanted for his neat printing and great listening skills in class. Lori is wanted for being kind and considerate to her classmates. I list positive attributes for each child on their individual Wanted Poster. In fact, I have enlisted the help of the entire class to list positive statements about their classmates.
Parents and students LOVE these posters. In fact some of my former students (now in high school!) will come back and visit me and share...
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The Cowboy and the Black-Eyed Pea is a cute story. Can't think of the author right now. Story is like the Princess & the Pea but instead has a cute cowgirl looking for a "real" cowboy - she puts a black-eyed pea under the saddle blanket and has her "courters" ride the horse. The one who ends up saddlesore is a real cowboy. It may be more at a 3.0 and up reading level but the younger ones would enjoy listening to it. You could read the Princess & the Pea and do a compare and contrast.If you know anyone who does square dancing, this would be a fun activity or even someone with a horse (maybe a little pony?)! That is, if school would allow. Get some old western songs and let students listen to and learn the words to sing along (ie: Home Home On the Range). Any books on lives of...
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I love your idea! |
For your library area you could call it "reading arena" or "reading rodeo". Maybe get some pillows and either rubber stamp cowboy designs on plain pillows, or purchase fabric and cover them.
I don't know how your room looks, but you could have a bb showcasing work from grade 3, grade 4, and grade 5. You could use rope and shape it like a lasso around each grades work. Call it "Rounding up some great work."
There is some cute cowboy fabric and you could make very simple curtains (no sew if you use the fusable iron-on tape) using a tension rod- providing you have windows.
How about a bb detailing what's going on in your room and call it "Weekly (or monthly) round up."
I have some more ideas, but I'm not sure how your room operates...
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I had so much fun with this unit last year. We spent lots of time on it. We made cowboy vests with fringed edges from paper grocery bags, painted cowboy hats made from newspaper and masking tape(they were great), stick horses from wrapping paper rolls, with yarn manes, and used a bedsheet to cut triangles of fabric to make bandanas. For large motor activities we learned to gallop and square dance. We also made a cute book using the poem "I'm a Texas Star" as the basis. Kids drew pictures for each line of the poem around a circle I cut out of each page. We then glued a picture of the child dressed in western garb on the back cover to make it appear as if they were a part of the drawing on each page. We also had a parents night to end the unit with the children performing...
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Last year on the first day of school, we played a game I called "HOWDY". It was sort of like BINGO, except I had the letters in the word "HOWDY" printed at the top of each column. According to the number of students in your class run off a game board (on paper) for each student with a square for each child's name. Students go to each student to have them sign their first name in a square--it should be a different square each time. Then the caller randomly calls out different student's names for players to cover on their game board. When they Bingo, they say "Howdy" instead. You decide whether the students cover rows, columns, or diagonally. Also, don't worry if you don't have enough students for the squares to come out evenly. Just give them "free spaces". They like that! We started out the year with...
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My daughters Kg. teacher took each students picture on the first day of school on a stick horse. The boys got to wear big cowboy hats and bandanas. The girls wore a cowgirl hat and a frilly feather boa (rodeo queens) Then she printed each childs picture on sturdy paper and said " Mrs. k's round up " Kg. 2001. It was really cute The kids also brought plain white tshirts and she did an iron on transfer with these same pictures. She has a digital camera and a computer in her class with Picture It on it. Just thought I would share ! |
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We (1st grade) made tumbling tumbleweeds to eat a couple of years ago when I began the year with a cowboy unit. I got the idea in a Mailbox mag. Give each child a spoonful of peanut butter and little bit of powdered sugar. Roll into a ball and roll in shredded wheat. Eat! (Of course, make sure no one has an allergy to any of these ingredients.) We also made cowboy hats (pattern and glued on a strip of paper to put around head). WANTED! First Graders! Each locker had a cut out boot with their name on it.|
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I did a big pioneer, western, cowboy unit. we did lots of neat things including:|
1. Making a covered wagon for a reading center
2. Making a quilt
3. Get the book "Why Cowboys sleep with their clothes on. Great book to teach similies.
4. Wanted posters
5. Oregon and Santa Fe Traail
6. Laura Ingles and little house books and movies
7. Compare/contrast yesterday life with today
8. Mark the demensions of a realcovered wagon with masking tape on the floor
10. Bulletin board with the "best in the west" for good work b. board.
11. Cowboy clothing articles put in ABC order and discussed the purpose of each.
12. Have everybody dress in c.boy boots, jeans and bandannas for your culminating activity
Have a rootin' tootin' good time!!!!!!
13. Gold rush
14 lots of mapping...
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This was my classroom theme this year so I've attached some ideas...|
The Tumbleweed Times- newsletter
Ranch Hands- job chart
Buffalo Bucks- reward incentives
Cowchip Compliment Chain
Reading Corral or Reading Ranch
Buckaroo Reading Log
Cowboy Chronicles- column to find out "Bits and pieces of info to make life in the wild west easier to manage"
"Get the lowdown (can't remember if that's how I spelled it)"- information bulletin board
The General Store- column to find our "what's happenin' aroung town"
News from the Ranch- weekly update
Trail Blazin' Behavior- column in newsletter commending students and volunteers
Circle the Wagons- column in the newsletter to "find answers to your questions"
Welcome back bulletin board- photos of kids in cowboy hat with a mustache and bandana around their necks added to "Mrs. Trieger's Most...
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