Sweet Treat Summer School

Hi Friends,

 I am so excited to share with you all about my 19 sugary days at SWEET TREAT SUMMER SCHOOL. Want to see how I set up my room? Keep in my mind it was my rent-a-classroom so my decor had to be very minimal. I am always eager to teach summer school because it gives me more practice being "the teacher".In my district, we offer an enrichment summer school through our cities foundation where children can take classes about subjects that interest them. Can we discuss how I had one sweetie from Taiwan and another sweetie from Korea. They came over for the summer to take our program. They did AMAZING!  I signed up to teach READ, WRITE, PUBLISH. I have never taught the class before, but my friend Sarah shared what she had done in the past. Really this class was MADE FOR ME. I get to teach about picture books, children's literature, reading, writing, coloring, and candy. SIGN ME UP! Remember thematic units- that is what it felt like. #lookatmecommoncore! I had a wonderful class and they were all eager to write and learn. It was pretty magical.There is MOUNDS to share so grab a brownie and enjoy the show!

Objective: Create a Candy Vacation Picture Book
Each week, I debuted different themes through picture books, even though my over all theme was SWEET TREATS. Want to see all the books I used? Go to my FREE Book List Tab on my homepage- or click here.

Almond Joy Author's Workshop
The first week I did a lot of FUN langauge arts activities to prepare my writers. We worked on figurative language, show not tell, adjectives, descriptive language, the use of pictures in a story and the elements that make a picture book. 
 Do you see my cute candy partner cards? I just love them and so do the kids. Each child had to find their candy pair. For example GUMMY had to find BEARS. Want the set, it is yours...CLICK HERE!
 One of my favorite activities we did was WORD WINKS. In the morning, the students would open their journals under Whopper Word FUN and either answer a journal prompt or complete 3 WORD WINKS. I did an easy, medium, and hard word wink each time.
Ramona Recommends, picture books, candy theme, back to school
 Sweet Treat Books Week 1
 OMG! When I found this idea over at Teaching in Room 6, I got SO excited. I love doing a morning greeting with my class. It sets the tone for an amazing morning and the kids love it. I sure did have some actors in my summer school class.  I changed mine to match my candy theme, but Stephanie does a wonderful job explaining how she uses her morning message. Go check it out! She much braver than me and even did a video!

WORD ART- My friend Sara gave me this idea. I just love it! After we brainstormed million of words to do with food, sweets, and desserts, the students picked their favorite word and created food art. Sorry- I do not have a picture of my anchor chart, because to be honest- it is a HOT MESS!

Show Not Tell. Thanks to Miss Radka and her amazing SHOW not TELL activity my students were able to practice giving much detail through pictures.
 Before the students arrived, I created this chart. Please do not judge the failing marker, my awkward handwriting, or the "Dog Ate My Homework" rip. It was one of those mornings, but I had to teach this lesson that day. In 19 days, there isn't much room for lesson rearragning.
Luckily, Miss Radka has this lesson posted on her website. I did an array of charades to prompt student response. They were super engaged and created their chart inside the Almond Joy Author's Workshop section of their journal.

Figurative Language
Like I say, you can teach anything with a picture book. For this series, I chose one picture book for each figuaritve language element to use as a teaching guide. The books I chose were:
Simile- My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks
Want to learn about a GREAT Back to School Simile Lesson?
Idiom- Why The Banana Split
Alliteration-Princess Pigtoria and the Pea (ALL TIME FAVORITE)
Personification- The Day the Crayons Quit
Onomatopoeia- A Mouthful of Onomatopoeia  

Do you know Hope King from Elementary Shenanigans? Her products are made with so much love and talent. When I found this ICE CREAM unit, I went screaming for ice cream. It was perfect and I was able to modify for upper graders. 

 First, we brainstormed different nouns, adjectives, and verbs that accompanied ice cream. I wrote their responses on the white board. Then I let the kids decide if they were going to do an NOUN only Milkshake or were they going to mix the parts of speech. If they mixed the parts of speech, had to color code.
 The students also created their own dessert. They had to give very detailed directions using show not tell descriptions. This is my example. 

Can I tell you something? When you have a class of 18 kids that love to write it is HEAVEN! I mean H.E.A.V.E.N. We brainstormed, we made graphic organizers,we edited, we rewrote, we colored, we took our time, we wrote the SWEETEST stories ever! I am so proud of my students. Their stories turned out SUGARY SWEET! 
The prompt: A Candy Vacation
We brainstromed all different types of vacations and candy places. They wrote their notes and drafts in the Skittle Story section of their journal. We had vacations like Rocky Road Mountains, Mars Bar Outer Space, Bass Lake with Swedish Fish, Frozen Chocolate Ice Skating Rink, and a Hershey Bar Forest. Take a look at some of their chocolaty work.
For their final draft, I ordered Bare Books. Bare Books are white books where the students can write and color inside to make a picture book. They come with line guides and a plastic cover so it will not get dirty. They are reasonable and the kids had a keepsake to travel home with on the last day of summer school.  

I added a few of my own touches like the dedication page, postcard, scrapbook, and all about me section. 

Below you can see an entire story. This child's writing and voice is off the charts. Go OPEN THE MAGIC and learn about Fisherman Bobbie!

I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is one of my all time favorites! Perfect for a Sweet Treats theme! On the last day, we watched the old version of the movie. I loved hearing the students make compare and contrast comments. #theydidntrealizetheywerestilllearning! More about this later!
What is even more exciting! My parents were in Europe when Charlie the Musical was playing. Want to read about that?
I really need a tan! Summer starts today!
 Each week, I hid 3 Golden Tickets around the room. The students who found them received a small prize. It was a hit. Oh! I promise these were on gold paper- camera fail!

On the last day, students shared their stories with other children in the program. Then we watched Charlie and Chocolate Factory. Since treats are always a must during a movie, I bought yummy kennel corn at Costco and made Chocolate Treat Bags. The label says, "Thank you for all your 100 Grand work and the millions of Snickers".
Lastly, I did a raffle and raffled off one Charlie and Chocolate Factory novel and one Charlie and the Glass Elevator novel. Seriously, the BEST! I am ready for next year!!! #butineedasummerbreakfirst

Did you love all of my SWEET Treat Narrative Writing ideas? Well, you are in luck! I made this whole unit into a lovely little package. 

Want to win your own copy of my SWEET TREATS WRITING PROJECT... Answer this question in the comments. If you were going on a sweet treats vacation, where would you go? I will randomly pick 2 winners tomorrow morning!


  1. Hmmmm....a sweet treats vacation...I would like to visit the Biltmore Estates in Asheville, NC with my hubby. Being with him would make it a "sweet treat"! This looks like an awesome unit! I would love to win it! mrsruffin924@gmail.com

  2. Absolutely fabulous!! Thank you so much for sharing. I'd love to propose teaching this in my district next summer.

    If I was to go on a sweet treats vacation I'd travel throughout Europe eating my way thru delicacies!

  3. I am Italian and LOVE everything italian.. from any kind of pasta to delicious cannolis! I would love to go to Italy and eat my weight in Gelato and cannolis!!!

  4. Okay, get ready for a crazy response! I remember being younger watching Merrie Melodies and they had a land these children went to and it had gum drop bushes and lollipop flowers! I remember being younger thinkng how facinating it would be! I even remember writing a story over that episode in elementary school! I would love to travel to this candy land! :)



Hello! I love when you comment. It makes my day! I like to comment back to you through email. Make sure you have that setting enabled! Have a wonderful day!!!!

Back to Top