Ending the Year With a MakerSpace Moment In Literature

The end of the school year can be crazy! If you are finding yourself struggling to hold your head above water, you might want to check out my blog post 7 Ways to Survive and Thrive at the End of the School Year

Now that you are on to the thriving part let's take a closer look at a super fun MakerSpace Moment in Literature for the end of the year. Don't know what a MakerSpace Moment In Literature is? Be sure to read all about it here. (Scroll to step 5. Build a Community of Makers and Tie it to Standards for specifics.)

I recently purchased a really fun book called Last Day Blues by Julie Danneberg. You can find it on Amazon. {This is an affiliate link. Which means I do get a small commision if you use my link.}

Ending the Year With a MakerSpace Moment In Literature Last Day Blues Book

Last Day Blues is a cute story about the end of the year. The kids are feeling sad about the year being over, but they are especially upset by how they think Mrs. Hartwell (the teacher) is feeling about the school year ending. The characters are faced with the challenge of finding Mrs. Hartwell the perfect gift to cheer her up. 

Ending the Year With a MakerSpace Moment In Literature Last Day Blues Problem
Ending the Year With a MakerSpace Moment In Literature Last Day Blues Solution Brainstorm

This story has a very clear problem- the kids are sad about Mrs. Hartwell being sad. They are also upset themselves. The solution- finding the right present for their teacher takes brainstorming and team work. {I love how this lends itself so nicely for how we should be tackling problems, especially at the end of the year!}

Ending the Year With a MakerSpace Moment In Literature Last Day Blues Solution

I also think there are some great close read options in this story. The use of multiple meaning words allows for some powerful vocabulary work. For example, even the title Last Day Blues is perfect. Younger kids and children who don't speak English as their primary language often struggle with multiple meaning words. Blue the color or blue the feeling? This lends itself to looking closely at context clues and picture support. 

Perspective or point of view is also a natural focus of this story. The kids think Mrs. Hartwell is upset. They envision her spending her summer crying over the past year. However, when the author and illustrator show you a glimpse of how Mrs. Hartwell really feels and how she actually spends her summer, it is quite a different perspective. 

I love close reading. MakerSpace Moments in Literature are excellent for covering these standards.

After you have exhausted all standards, or you just are ready to move on, the creative engineering aspect of Makerspace really comes into play. 

The solution to the story is a great example of objects that kids might construct to solve the problem in the story. You can offer a specific Cheer-Up Challenge, or you can keep it open-ended depending on your time, the needs of your students, and your supplies. I tried to keep it simple with Legos, so as not to have to get out a lot when I am trying to pack up! 

Ending the Year With a MakerSpace Moment In Literature Last Day Blues Solution for Mrs. Hartwell

Here are some examples of solutions that kids can make with building bricks. 

Creating the solutions and presenting them to teams or the class can be such a fun, hands-on experience, as well as a great practice in listening and speaking standards. 

MakerSpace Moments in Literature can be so engaging! I hope you and your students enjoy this end of the year learning and fun so that you too can survive and thrive at the end!

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Trina