The other day, I had a John Denver song stuck in my head, and I kept singing this one line over and over. My 6-year-old son remarked, "Oh, THAT'S not annoying!" Ah, the sarcastic little punk apple doesn't fall far from the tree: a good thing to keep in mind as we parents want to make sure we inspire our kids to develop good learning habits. So when my son asked me if I could print out a page like his teacher had in school, one with a box for drawing at the top and some writing lines underneath, of course I wanted to oblige. I surfed around the web and found a few things here and there, but not exactly what I needed. I whipped something up on Word, but I felt like the kid could use something more... inspiring. So I went to the library catalog and found a great resource for gearing Microsoft Office toward educational projects: Microsoft Office for Teachers by William and Patricia Gibbs.
Once I really got to thinking and experimenting, I felt I had come up with some templates that would be helpful to share with parents and teachers alike (some great math templates will be shared in Part II of this entry!) and can be previewed in the accompanying gallery. Most of the templates are self-explanatory; just print them out, give a stack to your child, and watch them create! (you will need either Microsoft Word or another program that can read .doc files). Don't forget to print double-sided and save some trees!
The Comic Book Kit, however, requires a minimal amount of assembly (it's very easy, and your child will be eternally grateful!):
The 'Kit' includes the 'two-panel comic book' doc attachment, and the 'comic book cover' doc. Print out as many two-panel sheets as you need for the inside content, you must print the two-panel template on both sides, then fold the sheets down the middle and fit inside eachother... just like a magazine. Now just print out a cover for the outside and staple along the spine. You child is ready to fill in the content of the comic book. (Meltdown Alert!: you may want to save the stapling until the end, in case there is a mistake you can replace a sheet if you need to).
Don't forget to tune back in for Creative Learning Templates for Parents and Teachers: Part 2: Math!
Further resources on MS Word, parenting, and creative educational ideas for youngsters.