Ice Cream Day (End of Year THEME DAYS!!!)

So I heard from a little birdie that lots of you are either approaching your last week or are days away from your last day.  Lucky y'all!!!  HA!!!

For those of you with a little more time on your hands, I'm going to be posting about different theme days for the next few days.  This is how I survive the end of the school year.  Our schedules are already wonky...guided readers have to be turned in and accounted for...nothing resembles normalcy WHATSOEVER!!!!  Theme days get me by during these last few days of the year.  They're fun for me and a BLAST for the kids.  No better way to end a school year!!

Today's theme day....ICE CREAM!!!!  

I mean, who doesn't love ice cream?!?!  If you're from Texas, then you're suffering the ice cream drought just like me.  Blue Bell is the only ice cream that exists in my world and well..the freezer shelves are bare. I miss my Blue Bell like crazy!!!!!  In the meantime, the plain waffle cones from Dairy Queen will suffice. 

I digress.

Let's get into our ice cream theme day!!!!!  

Here's just a little sample of what my plans might look like on this day.
For a closer look, you can download them, too.

Most of those activities mentioned come from this resource....

Now let's break it all down, shall we?!

These are the books I typically have on hand for ice cream day.  We use these either as read alouds or material for independent reading...

When my kids come in in the mornings, I love for them to start their day THINKING!!!! 
A couple of ideas....

You can start the day on WONDEROPOLIS (project this page on the white board) and get your kids wondering.  I WONDER ...What is the best ice cream flavor?
You can check out the website for more info.  This is a great way to start the day!

And when your kids are finished wondering, it's time for them to get creative.  Have your kids come in and complete a Draw Start using an ice cream cone as they're starting point.  The objective of this activity is to have your kids think creatively to turn the ice cream cone into something else.  You'd be AMAZED by their thinking!  The first district I ever taught in would use activities like these to help identify students for the GT program.  This wouldn't be the deciding factor, of course, just a little something extra to help them identify those gifted thinkers.  After your kids complete their draw start, have them flip over their papers and write about their creation on the back.

Once the bell rings and it's time to start the day, we head on over to the carpet for a read aloud and some poetry.  As you can see in my plans, we're reading The Ice Cream King by Steve Metzger.  We'll read the story aloud and then give them a follow-up writing prompt to complete when they visit their independent literacy stations.  I've also got a poem they'll visit during this time, so we'll sing that before heading off to stations, too.  

During their independent literacy station block of time, I'll be walking around and helping my kids where it's needed.  Since guided readers have to be turned in, I'll use this time for some small group work focusing on various phonetic skills.  Lots of review!  The activities mentioned in my plans all come from my Ice Cream Literacy/Math/Science packet.  As for the poetry, I'll write the words on sentence strips, cut them apart, and have the kids assemble it in sequential order as they recite the poem/song.  THey will each get a copy of the poem for their poetry folders as well.  I'll have them use highlighters to find different spelling/phonetic patterns/rhyming words, too.

After our literacy stations, we'll move into a quick ice cream themed read aloud and then I'll have the kids go back to their desks and brainstorm their very own brand new ice cream flavor.  Their responses are nothing short of adorable and it's so cute to see how excited they get at the thought of creating their very own ice cream!!!  

They're usually SO excited about this writing opportunity that I'll make sure to schedule enough time for them to share aloud.  Depending on how much time we have, I'll either have them partner share, share in small groups, or volunteer to stand up in front of the class and read.  SO fun!

After lunch it's IMPERATIVE to make ice cream sundaes :)  It is for me anyway.  I love doing this with the kids you can imagine...they get SO excited about eating ice cream in the classroom.  I bring one big ol' tub of ice cream and then lots of toppings...caramel sauce, chocolate syrup, pineapple chunks, bananas, sprinkles, cherries, whipped cream....the works!!!!  If you have parents itching to help you out these last few weeks, this is a great activity for them to be present!  

I give them their bowls and have them eat their sundaes with a partner.  While they're enjoying their sundaes, they'll compare/contrast them both.  I also give them a Venn Diagram to take back with them so they can work as they eat :)

We'll also use this time for a little expository writing make an ice cream sundae!

Then we'll start our graphs...a great transition into our independent math stations.  Again, the math activities I included in my plans come from my Ice Cream LIteracy/Math/Science packet.  Of course, you can use whatever you have on hand!

At the end of the day, we'll finish with a science experiment.  We take time to hypothesize, experiment, and record our observations.  Such a fun way to end the day!!!  

I'm sure you know that there are a MILLION and one different things we could incorporate on ice cream day.  Too much to even write about.  However, I do want to give you some additional ideas that you may....or may not...have seen already.  

Grab your chalk and get ready for some hopscotch fun.  I would definitely incorporate this somehow, but instead of hopscotching, I'd use this as a skill review.  
For math, I'd write various sums/differences in each box (as pictured) and then I'd give my kids a red pom pom (like a cherry :) to toss onto the numbers.  Then I'd have them toss the cherry, read the sum/difference, and write or orally tell me an equation to match.  
For literacy, I'd write different blends/digraphs or even vowel teams in eachbox.  GIve them that red pom pom again and have them toss and give me words to match the spelling pattern.  If you don't have  a sidewalk available, just draw your popsicle on some butcher paper, laminate, and then use in the classrooom year after year :)   This would be great for a whole group or small group activity!!!

How fun is this science experiment?!  Erupting ice cream cones!!!  Can you imagine the fun?!?! (and the mess?!?! Hahahaha) 

You REALLY need to visit this post!!  She has SO many more ideas for a "frozen treat day" that you could easily adapt to fit the needs of your kids!!!  I could see some of these activities being modified for all ages!!!

We've also made Ice Cream in a Bag in the past. My kids LOVE this!!!!  It gets a little messy and if you're not paying attention, you might even pour lots of salt into the ice cream mixture (not that I'm speaking from experience or anything ;)  At the end of the day, I send home the recipe with my kids and encourage them to make it at home, too (much to their parent's dismay...hahaha)

Here are some fun math ideas from Amy at Step Into 2nd Grade...

And I love the idea of having your kids color their own summer reading bookmarks at the end of the day (or even first thing in the morning), and then letting them take them home to encourage summer reading.  I would have my kids make theirs and then slide it into their portfolios I send home on the last day of school along with a suggested summer reading list....this way they don't lose the bookmark between now and the last day of school.

As you can see, there are so many ideas to incorporate into an Ice Cream Day that you could easily spread out the activiteis over several different days :)  And as you can see, this is definitely not a "play day" or full of "fluff'".  There's still lots of learning going on.  I love that days like this not only excite the kids, but they fire me up, too!!!  And when I'm more excited about what I'm teaching, the kids tend to soak in the information that much more...and they're so much more engaged!!  That's sort of key these last few weeks of school...keeping them engaged in their learning!!!  

If you already own my I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream Literacy/Math/Science packet, please go back and download it again.  I've added a couple more printables/activities and updated all the graphics and fonts to be more current.  That was one of my first additions to the shop and was outdated and SCARY!!!!!  Here's what it looks like now....

Stay tuned for more Theme Day ideas!!!!  
Anything in particular you'd like to see next??  Here's what I have on tap:
Lemonade Day, Bubble Day, Watermelon Day, Pirate Day, S'More Day....and MORE!!!  

Also...would you like me to continue to add the visual plans??  Does that help?? 

HAPPY (almost) FRIDAY!!!!


  1. So many fun things included in your post! Love it!

  2. This makes me wish I was still in the classroom! Our last week was completely "themed" days too! I will have to say my students' FAVORITE day was bubble day! Complete with bubble gum and blowing bubbles for hours! Like seriously, I think when I gave my students the bottles of bubbles we were outside for at least an hour! Such a fun day! :)

  3. This is SO FUN! Thanks for more fun ideas :)

  4. I'm so jealous! I have six more weeks to go. Thank goodness for my morning stops at Tim Horton's and the long weekend (only one sleep away!). Still trying to cram in everything before report cards are do but then--look out! Looking forward to using your Camping Capers unit and the Mystery Messages. My class will be so excited!

  5. Wow, this is fantastic!!! The visual plans are a huge help! Can't wait to see more :)

  6. Yes, I love seeing the visual plans! What a fun day!

  7. Thank you! Love all these ideas! Visual plans are great!

  8. How fun!! I've done lemonade day, watermelon day, and bubble day for several years, but I think I'll have to add an ice cream day to my end of the year theme days. Thanks for sharing!

    Primarily Speaking

  9. Obat Kutil Kelamin
    Kondiloma akuminata atau yang sering disebut sebagai kutil kelamin, merupakan salah satu penyakit seksual menular (PMS) yang disebabkan oleh virus yang bernama Humanpapilloma virus (HPV). Terdapat lebih dari 40 jenis HPV yang dapat menginfeksi daerah kelamin laki-laki dan perempuan. Jenis HPV ini juga dapat menginfeksi mulut dan tenggorokan. Kebanyakan orang yang terinfeksi dengan HPV bahkan tidak tahu mereka memilikinya. HPV tidak sama dengan herpes atau HIV (AIDS).

  10. I would love to hear more ideas with visual plans. I've never done themed days before, but I think I would like to give this a try!

  11. I am so excited to use this next week! The visual plans are great! I am really excited to see what else you will come up with! My firsties need some fun last week activities!

  12. Yes, please keep the visual plans coming! They are so helpful when trying to incorporate as much of the purchased units as possible!

  13. LOVE seeing how you do your plans!!

  14. Please share more theme days we are getting towards those hard days where the routine is off, materials are turned in but we are still here for the sake of being here. I have already scheduled my ice cream theme day. The plans are so incredibly helpful!

  15. I have been checking back every day anxiously awaiting your posts about more theme days! I hope you will get a chance to post them soon! Only 5 more days for us! : ) Thank you for everything!

  16. Hi Cara! I purchased your ice cream unit and the freebies. When I go to print, the file says I don't have access:( Please help:)

  17. Did you ever post about more end of the year theme days! I hope you will before the end of this year! I loved these ideas SO much and would love to add some new activities to my theme days!