In part one of my Geronimo Stilton posts, I gave an overview of the text: Geronimo Stilton: The Journey Through Time; shared feedback from my students; reviewed various Geronimo Stilton resources and topic-centered resources for the prehistoric era, Ancient Egypt, and medieval times; examined text features; and gave ideas for general activities to be used with the entire book. Part two will feature topic-specific, hands-on student activities for each era/location featured in the text: prehistoric era, Ancient Egypt, and medieval times.
Throughout this post, you’ll see several student videos featuring a-MOUSE-ing scenic backgrounds. I have been playing with an app called Green Screen by Do Ink for a few weeks, as you may remember from my previous post on creating green screen videos with students. In thinking about creative student projects, Green Screen by Do Ink seemed like the perfect tech tool. Different segments of this unit are kicked off by videos created by students, placing them in different locations throughout space and time.
I was flooded with so many ideas that I initially jotted down in my trusty notebook, that I decided it would be much better to SEE the options for engaging student activities than to just read about them. As you may remember from my post about students creating their own hallway, Pinterest-inspired boards to showcase their work, I’m (more than) a little obsessed with Pinterest.
Sometimes I turn to Pinterest to generate ideas, other times I already have the ideas and just want to search for examples of each, and most of the time it’s a combination of both. I created specific Pinterest boards to house the plethora of ideas I came up with, or found for each of the three eras featured in this book. Please follow each board to access links to the activities and inspiration pinned, and check back as more will be added in the future! If you wish to gain access to add pins to these boards, just send a message or leave a comment, as I would LOVE contributors!
Kick off your Geronimo Stilton journey with excitement! I recommend the following to get your students revved up for a mouse-tas-tic journey with Geronimo:
Read up on tons of general Geronimo Stilton resources, sites, and activities to build background knowledge and set the tone for your unit or book study.
Use paper handled bags, empty pizza boxes, or other similar containers so students can create their own suitcase for time travel. For inside the suitcase, ask students to bring either items that best describe them, or necessities for each of the eras and locations they’ll be traveling to. Each time you travel to a new location, have students add stickers to the outside of the suitcase, while placing finished projects inside for convenient storage.
Learn about newspapers by starting your own! Tell your class you are going to create a newspaper featuring articles about each travel adventure with Geronimo that was featured in the book. Provide mini-lessons on writing articles and nonfiction text features such as headings, captions, and more. Let students comb through local newspapers on scavenger hunts searching for elements of your choosing.
Make the MÃÂ¶bius strips featured on page 20 of the book. My students instantly had a strange fascination with these paper creations, and I’m sure yours will, too!
You’ll be “digging up” facts and fun as you travel back in time to the era of dinosaurs while learning how they became extinct in your first mission with Geronimo Stilton. Use the hands-on, multi-sensory, multiple-intelligences-based activities listed below and pinned on my special Geronimo Stilton: Prehistoric Era pin board to be inspired, print freebies, and see specific instructions to make your classroom dino dreams come true.
Make a prehistoric KWL chart
Create a dino dictionary/field book
Write dino shape poems
Make your own fossils
Perform a dino dig simulation
Make a layered rock model with fossils inside each layer
Create a prehistoric menu
Make a dinosaur species/era timeline
Create a dinosaur world map
Use the FaceTalker app by ISBX to make dinosaurs TALK! The talking dinos could give facts about themselves, opinions about extinction, causes of extinction, etc. SO FUN!
Using Green Screen by Do Ink, let your students pose as prehistoric reporters, offering opinions supported by evidence on why dinosaurs became extinct.
Keep on “digging” into the past as you work with Geronimo as archaeologists in Ancient Egypt to find out how Cheops, the Great Pyramid of Giza, was built. Use the list below to inspire activities in your classroom. To get specific instructions and ideas, go to my special Geronimo Stilton: Ancient Egypt pin board and you will be able to “walk like an Egyptian” in no time!
Research Egyptian makeup
Study Egyptian fashion design
Try sideways Egyptian art projects
Write in hieroglyphics
Create a name cartouche
Compare current and Egyptian calendars
Research and create animal canopic jars
Make Egyptian jewelry from recycled materials
Learn Egyptian map skills
Design your own mirage: What would you hope to see if you were lost in the desert?
Research pyramid math and engineering
Try a mummy excavation simulation
Mummify dolls to replicate the process
Use the FaceTalker app to make King Tut or other Egyptians talk! The talking Egyptians could give facts about themselves, explanations behind pyramid construction, thoughts on fashion, etc.
Using the Green Screen app, students can pose as Egyptian reporters giving opinions on the social hierarchy in ancient Egypt.
Suit up for knightly battles with lords and ladies as you are whisked to medieval Europe on your final mission to uncover the secrets of King Arthur and his court. As before, use the ideas and activities listed below and pinned on my special Geronimo Stilton: Medieval Times pin board to be inspired, print freebies, and see specific instructions that would make King Arthur himself cheer!
Learn medieval times map skills
Make your own mythical land, like Camelot.
Research medieval inventions
Study medieval fashion design
Read about Middle Ages dance lessons/create your own dances
Create your own family crest and/or shield.
Build marshmallow catapults
Draw castle diagrams
Try writing on “parchment” (faux animal skins)
Create a medieval menu fit for a royal ball
Perform a knighting ceremony for character traits
Examine medieval jokes
Use the FaceTalker app to make King Arthur, Merlin, or other medieval character(s) talk! The talking characters could give facts about themselves, explanations behind Arthurian legend, opinions on fashion, etc.
Have student pose as a medieval times reporter using the Green Screen app. They can offer opinions on the feudal system and/or hygiene in medieval times.
I hope you’ll give our fa-mouse friend, Geronimo Stilton a chance. Your students will find a million reasons to love each time travel and the challenges he faces in the book. I hope you’ll follow my Geronimo Stilton Pinterest boards for awesome ideas. If you wish to pin to them yourself, just send a message to me or leave a comment below!