Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Halloween Without Pumpkins

Elizabeth Chapin-PinottiFreebie! Book Unit "The Halloween Without Pumpkins" - pdf and PowerPoint video of the book is included.

Your students will love this whimsical book and engaging unit. Perfect for K-3 grades!

Common Core State Standards aligned - complete with interactive notebook pages - perfect
Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti
for grades 2-3.

Includes standards printables and interactive workbook pages for 2.RL.1 through 2.RL.7 and 3.RL.1 through RL.7. The e-reader a link to both a PowerPoint of the book to project and popcorn read as well as a passed youtube book - also on teachertube.

About the story: The Halloween Without Pumpkins is about:

Elmer and Emily are friendly monsters who live in a shed in the middle of Farmer Fred's pumpkin patch. The only time of the year they venture out during the day, is Halloween - they are monsters after all. With monsters perfectly proper as Halloween costumes - the two love to run around the patch helping families select their perfect decorations for the holiday - only it is almost October and there are no pumpkins as far as the eye can see. It's up to these two lovable monsters to save Halloween and prove that sharing and physical differences are the best way to approach life.

Thanks for stopping by,
Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Pancake Batter: Does it Matter - Read Along Story and Links to STEAM Lessons

The Adventures of Emily and Elmer brings you: "Pancake Batter: What Doe it Matter?"

Whisk up the three states of matter for elementary students with this edu-taining video/ read along and links to two multi-unit lessons. 

NGSS Grade 2 Structure of Properties and Matter Pancake 3 Lab Unit - Differentiated

This NGSS Pancake Unit contains three lab projects – for singles, pairs or groups –

to be conducted over two days. The labs contain student template pages and are differentiated for different aptitude level.

This unit also contains a teaching PowerPoint on the Structure and Properties of Matter.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
Different kinds of matter exist and many of them can be either solid or liquid, depending on temperature. Matter can be described and classified by its observable properties. (2-PS1-1)
    Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti
  • Pancake ingredients classified into solid or liquid.
PS1.B: Chemical Reactions Heating or cooling a substance may cause changes that can be observed. Sometimes these changes are reversible, and sometimes they are not. (2-PS1-4)
Another great Unit on Matter: What Does if Matter is available on my

Pancake Day Matter
PowerPoint and lesson manual!
Experiments, activities, student templates, observation sheets, snowmen and matter, compare and contrast template, guided reading activity and more! Everything an elementary student needs to know about matter.
  • Common Core State Standards aligned for 2nd and 3rd English Language Arts.
  • Next Generation Science Standards.
2-PS1-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.
2-PS1-2 Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.
2-PS1-3 Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object.
2-PS1-4 Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Story About Holiday Traditions: Kwanmisadomakuh Big Time!

As the holidays approach - it is important to reflect on what matters to students, children, and well all of us really: to love and be be cared for and care for understand that we are not perfect and that they don't have to be perfect.

The holidays also afford us the perfect opportunity to look across rivers and mountains and oceans and ideologies and try to understand each other - to tolerate. Some people no longer like the world "tolerate" - but it merely means to exist amongst each other without negative interference.  

As you read: Kwanmisadomakuh Big Time! - emphasize to your students, children, adults - as the case may be - that we are all alike - with hearts and souls and flesh and strengths and weaknesses and that the key to it all is education - at the earliest levels - education to understanding that different is okay.

The cover over there is cool right? Only I can't, for the life of me, put a link on it -- so the ebook is here Kwanmisadomakuh Big Time!  Even as a reduced file - it takes a while to download.

To purchase Kwanmisadomakuh Big Time!  go to or - it will make a great addition to your bookshelf. For class set discounts please email

Kwanmisadomakuh Big Time! lessons are also available from amazon as a blackline master book Dealing with the December Dilemma and as a digital download from my TeachersNotebook store - along with other great products.

Kwanmisadomakuh Big Time! is both fiction and non-fiction the fiction is about Janie’s first year at public school, only she discovers that when December 1 arrives she  not everyone celebrates Christmas. 

At first she is horrified her parents would subject her to an environment different than her own, but when she and her friends discuss their holidays – they discover some common themes -- trying to be good, peace on earth and good will to everyone. With these elements in mind they create their own celebration Kwanmisadomakuh Big Time! 

After the story there are non-fiction sections about Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Christmas and the Miwok Big Time Festival in the non-fiction section.

Poetry Chapin-pinotti
May the holiday season and the new year bring joy, laughter and enough to us all.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

FREEBIE: Cinderella Christmas - Playable Books

Elf Princess Charity is a modern version Cinderella for children of all ages - that casts away stereotypes and leads readers and watchers on a wonderful adventure. Watch the video as you or your class or homeschooler reads along and then follow the link below to the HUGE lessons to go along with this spunky holiday tale!

Cinderella Christmas

Cinderella Christmas is timeless -- but with a modern twist: A Christmassy twist to the Cinderella Fairytale. Travel with Princess Charity to the North Pole and enjoy the elements of Cinderella in a whole new, modern, light!

The Lessons

Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti Cinderella Christmas

The Cinderella Book Unit is differentiated and may be used for grades 2 through high school - because - let's face it - high schoolers love a great picture book as well!

This is a HUGE original Unit based on my book -- Cinderella Christmas. This packet contains -- Cinderella Christmas ebook, Cinderella Christmas PowerPoint, over 30 print-and-go activities, Cinderella Elements PowerPoint, Cinderella Christmas Plot Diagram PowerPoint with student sheet, From Sentence Sorting to Essay Writing PowerPoint and student template, teaching Cinderella Powerpoint and a whole lot more!

The Book You Can Touch  

You Know the Real Thing
If you would like to purchase the book - Cinderella Christmas by Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti - the author would appreciate it! (shameless plug) - either way - enjoy!!!!! The book is slightly different - illustration-wise - than the video!

More Examples from the Lessons...

For variety and goodwill and fairness during December -- look to my "Dealing With the December Dilemma." 

Counter the December Dilemma with rich lessons and links on Christmas, the Native American Miwok Big Time Festival, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Christmas, traditions and holidays in general in a culturally competent context. Also included: an original story about a group of children who combine their holidays into one that focuses on the central themes of all: peace, good will to men and hope.

Both shops have FREEBIES!

My TeachersNotebook Shop
My TES Shop

My Amazon Author Page - more blog information - instructional materials and strategies and look for free Kindle versions of my books!

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Great Panda Rescue Chapter 3 - Fiction STEM Interactive Reader

The Great Panda Rescue - Chapter 3

After the movie and question and answer period, the class went back outside
Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti
and lined up in five groups of four – with one parent in each group.
Emma stood in front of the five open-air safari vehicles they’d be taking and held her hand up for all of us to be quiet.
“Notebooks and pencils are all you can take on our adventures. Please make sure no one has any food or drinks with them. That can be very dangerous. Animals are extremely sensitive. One whiff of a cookie and they can come charging. Also, no cell phones or cameras as they frighten the animals and again – they are wild and can come charging.”
Perry Knibbs was the smallest person in the class and he was a bit of a worrier. Claire thought he was going to grow up to be a golfer because the only thing he ever wore, rain or shine, cold or hot, were shorts and colored polo shirts.  “Are you sure this is safe Emma?” he asked. “I don’t know if I trust no one has food.”
“It will be fine,” Mr. Potts said.
“We do this every day,” Emma said. “Haven’t lost anyone yet.”
“Yet,” mumbled Perry. “I hate that word.”
“I hate it when people say things like that,” Julia said. “Quit jinxing us Perry.”
“Sit between me and Veronica and you’ll be fine,” Claire said as they boarded
The Great Panda Rescue
the vehicles. The three sat in the raised back seat.
“Seat belt’s tight, hands and arms and every other body part for that matter – must stay in the vehicle at all time,” Emma said.
Emma was their driver and Claire felt special to be chosen especially to ride with her.
“Remember everyone,” Mr. Potts said loudly. “Two facts about each animal habitat and animal and please note which animals and how many you spot. Hint – working as a team would prove very beneficial in this situation.”
The vehicles took off in different directions. Claire and Julia’s group saw the South China Tiger, four elephants, two rhinos, a mountain gorilla and six grizzly bears. They headed to the giant panda habitat last.
Claire could hardly breath as they pulled up to the dense grove of bamboos and began an ascent up mountainous-like terrain. Emma seemed to sense her excitement and looked back and smiled.
“And now the pandas,” she seemed excited too. “Keep your eyes open; because, sometimes they are difficult to spot. They tell us to tell you that pandas can be loners unless it’s mating season. They mark their territory and stay put.”
“Eating and eating and eating,” Julia mumbled.
“That is exactly right,” Emma said as she carefully pulled off the main road into the bamboo forest. “Anyone know how big giant panda’s can get?”
Everyone in the vehicle looked at Claire.
“Five feet tall and they can weight up to 250 or 300 pounds,” Claire spoke softly.
“That’s a lot of bamboo,” Veronica added and Julia laughed along with her.
“Doesn’t it get hot here for them?” Julia asked. “I know I’m hot.”
“Told you,” Claire whispered.
Julia gave her a look.
“You’ll be glad you’re hot now,” Emma said, “we mist the forest in an effort to create a habitat as close to the mountainous regions of central China as we can.”
“Told you,” Julia ribbed her sister back.
As they bumped up the narrow road through the bamboo, the air changed and the world seemed to transform and suddenly it really felt like they were in the mountains of China.
“This is cool,” Veronica whispered to no one.
“Really cool,” Claire added – looking around to spot a giant panda or two.
“Over there,” Julia pointed.
Emma immediately stopped the vehicle and they all looked where Julia indicated and there one was a giant panda, sitting peacefully, chewing on bamboo.
Emma spoke in a whisper as her students simultaneously wrote in their notebooks and gazed at the bear in awe.
“That’s Tiko. He lives in that hollowed out tree. This is his territory. It’s about two miles and almost perfectly square. He, like the other pandas, have marked their territory with a special smell to keep other pandas away.” She turned back towards Claire and the other girls. “Are you ready for a special treat?”
Their eyes danced as they nodded yes.
“We’re going to the panda hospital to see the new twin cubs.”
Claire’s breath caught in her chest and she wanted to scream.
“Really?” Julia said.
“Really,” Emma answered.
Julia turned to her sister. “Looks like your day was just made again.”
Claire could hardly sit still on the short ride to the panda hospital – which was really a small shelter on the edge of the forest. She’d seen the giant pandas at Zoo Atlanta and even went to a party when a set of twins was sent back to China, but this was different. This was close up.
The car stopped and everyone clamored to get out. Emma smiled.
“I know you’re all excited, but it’s important that we don’t scare them,” she said. “We’ll be up really close, but we can’t touch okay?”
The group nodded almost in unison. Emma wasn’t worried. She knew she’d chosen the most behaved and panda-friendly students in the class – with the help of Mr. Potts of course.
Claire and the others stared and stared at the cubs before them.
“They’re much smaller than Tiko,” Julia whispered to the group.
“Where’s their mother?” Claire asked.
“She’s getting ready to go back to China,” Emma said. “When these little guys turn three months or so, she’ll go and live on a breeding reserve – much better than ours. They’ll keep her for a while and then she’ll be released back into the wild. It is a special conservation program and this is our first contribution.”
“Like they do in Zoo Atlanta,” Julia said to her sister, but Claire was preoccupied.
“Are they healthy enough to go with their mother?” Claire asked knowing pandas stay with their mom’s for about 18 months after they are born.
“We’ll take care of them,” Emma said. “They see their mom every day and will for about another two weeks or so.”
“But that isn’t the same thing,” Claire said. “Isn’t the point to let them be as natural as they can be? Plus don’t they nurse for around eight months?”
“You sure do know a lot about pandas. Maybe you can come back this summer and do some volunteer work,” Emma said as she led the group back to the vehicle.
“That would be cool,” Claire said.
On the trip back to the bus Claire did not say a word. Summer was only six weeks away and the mommy panda would still be at the reserve. If her parents let her volunteer maybe there would be something she could do to keep the family together.
When they got back to the bus Emma pulled Claire aside. “There are some of the best scientists in the world making these decisions Claire. The cubs and their mom will be just fine. Better than fine.”
Claire nodded and smiled, but she was still unconvinced.
“I’m serious about volunteering,” Emma handed her a piece of paper. “With your parents’ permission, you can apply online. Put me as a reference. My name is here,” she pointed to her name on the letter.
“Thank you so much,” Claire said waving and smiling at Emma as she boarded the bus.
The three girls sat in the first two seats. Mr. Potts sat with Veronica in the second row while Julia and Claire sat in the first.
“Were they adorable?” Mr. Potts asked.
“It was amazing,” Julia said.
“I just wanted to cuddle them,” Veronica added excitedly, “but I could make them sick.”
“You know most pandas born in places like this used to die, but now most of them live,” Julia added.
Mr. Potts looked at Claire. “You’re being awfully quiet for someone who loves giant panda’s more than anyone I know.”
Claire smiled. “It was awesome and thank you so much for letting us be in the group that got to see the cubs. Really, it was the best.”
“And Emma asked her to volunteer at the reserve this summer,” Julia said proudly as she grabbed the letter from the front pocket of Claire’s backpack and showed it to Mr. Potts.
“That’s very exciting Claire,” he smiled, but he knew something was wrong.
“They are sending their mom back to China before the babies are 18 months old. Giant panda babies need their mom’s until they are at least that old,” Claire finally said.
“Claire, this is one of the finest reserves in the entire world. I’m sure they wouldn’t do anything to harm either the mom or the twin bears.”
“I know,” she smiled.
“What a great day,” Julia said. “But I’m hot and hungry.”
“I told you,” Claire smiled.
Julia laughed and shoulder bumped her sister.
“They’ll be okay,” Julia said. “Emma is nice. She’ll make sure of it.”
“I hope Mom and Dad let me volunteer,” Claire said.
Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti

“Somehow, I think you can convince them,” Julia said – rummaging through her bag for a snack. “May we eat on the bus?” she politely asked the driver.
Ditto, the bus driver, turned and grinned. “Of course,” she said, “eat away.”
Mr. Potts stood and turned towards the back. “If you are going to eat any snacks, please make sure to pick up all of your trash and,” he added, “now would be a great time to finish up any information left out of your notebooks. It was an exciting day and with so much to see it would have been easy to miss one or two things, so check now so you have no homework,” he sat back down.
Claire took out her notebook and began to sketch the baby pandas.

Links - Novel Pages included:

The Halloween Without Pumpkins

Freebie! Book Unit "The Halloween Without Pumpkins" - pdf and PowerPoint video of the book is included. Your students will lov...