Cool Free Stuff


We all know what it is like to try to get kids to add details to their writing. This is a cute way to make your point with primary writers.

 Click the image below to print your own copy of Melissa Forney's Monster Details.


Purchase some inexpensive car/truck/vehicle erasers. You can find these at most dollar stores, discount stores, and teacher stores. Or, if you prefer, kids can make their own tiny vehicles.

Give each primary writer a “vehicle” and explain that this race will start at the bottom. Won’t that be fun? Even their name is to be printed at the bottom. I’ve included numbers and arrows on the left to help guide your little racers.

The idea is to start with their race cars down at the bottom right. Every time they correctly write the word you ask for, they get to advance up towards the finish line. As a kid, I would have loved this type of learning game.

You can use the “race” for spelling words, unit words, sight words, Dolch words, frequently misspelled words, or even words to copy from the board. Dictate the word several times and give them time to print it. Then ask, “Does yours look like mine?” and show them the word on a small white board.

Allow time for students to make corrections. Encourage those who spell the word correctly the first time to make an engine noise: “VaROOM!” The goal, of course, is for everyone to have a ball!

Click here for the template for your little racers! 


The Punctuation Shoe makes a great manipulative reminder for young writers to check their

Click the image to below to print your FREE template! 


I introduced this hands-on manipulative at my two-day conferences during the summer of 2011. It was a crowd pleaser, for sure, and many teachers have written to tell me this is their students' favorite writing resource. You are welcome to copy it, tweak it, and add your own spin. Enjoy!

- Lissa