Class Mascots

In my class, we adopted a new class mascot at the start of the year called Leo the Lion.

Leo on world

The idea of a class mascot is nothing new. In fact, my good friend Linda Yollis has had her class mascot, Panda, for nearly 25 years! The fantastic thing is that now with blogs, class mascots can be a real public symbol for your blog and help to give your class a unique identity. Class mascots can be “friends” that helps the students on their learning journey.

It was the fun I saw my blogging buddies having with their class mascots that made me think we needed one!

Linda Yollis has mascots Panda and Hoppy in her class while Jonah Salsich shares his classroom with mascots Juan Pablo and Perezoso.

Leo plays various roles in our classroom. He sits and watches over our class to make sure they are doing the right thing. He has even made his own video about quality commenting tips. Sometimes, Leo writes about his weekend on the interactive whiteboard and the students have to “help” Leo edit his writing. When students don’t have a partner to read to, Leo is always there and loves to listen to stories. Leo is also a role model commenter on our blog (he has his own email and avatar).

Having a class mascot adds a little fun and humour to the classroom. We often laugh about what Leo has been up to on the weekend, and his ability to fall asleep at any moment is a ongoing joke.

Leo has developed such a personality that we even had a birthday party for him this week. Leo “made” invitations for all the students.

Leo invite

This is the PhotoPeach we created for our class blog after the party.

There is so much you can do with class mascots. Linda Yollis and Jonah Salsich have some great ideas such as having the mascot display tips for students in the classroom or featuring the mascots in educational videos on their blogs. Some classes like Jen Dowling’s class K/1D, take their mascot, Ruckus the Reading Dog, home for visits. Jonah Salsich and I have thrown around the idea of exchanging mascots by mail although due to their size it’s not overly practical.

Even though we have only had our class mascot for a couple of months, Leo is a big part of our classroom community and the imagination of my 7 and 8 year old students never fails to amaze me. The students have helped to develop Leo’s personality and interests. I can’t wait to see what fun we’ll have with Leo next!

Do you have a class mascot?

How else could you tie a mascot into your classroom/blog?

17 thoughts on “Class Mascots

  1. I previously worked as a TA in a K class who had 2 class mascots. 2 students would take a mascot home overnight or over the weekend then would use their adventures with the mascot as stimulus for their news. This was followed up with students recording in a “mascot diary”, either in writing or pictures, their story. Students often brought photos in which would also be stuck into the mascot diary.
    This could easily be incorporated into an ICT activity with students recording their adventures in a blog and including digital photos, or even video recordings.

    • @ Michelle,

      Thanks for your comment. That sounds like a great idea! I have seen a few blogs where the mascot goes home for a visit and the photos/videos are posted on the blog. Young children just adore that sort of thing and it’s such an authentic writing task. Perhaps Leo will do a few home visits sometime!

      Kathleen

  2. Hi Kathleen
    We have just introduced class mascots in our Prep classrooms – twin wombats Wattle and Wally (inspired by Leo and Ruckus the reading dog!). We are sending Wattle and Wally over to New Zealand to some blogging buddies of ours and they are sending their giraffe Wally (who hasn’t been to Australia before) to us.
    The opportunities for writing and oral language are limitless and we have skyped our NZ friends to ask questions about the mascots and share information. The students are very excited about the whole adventure. We will be blogging about our experiences and sharing photos and videos.
    We will send Wattle and Wally home with each child with the opportunity to fill in a diary about the experiences they have. This is another authentic writing opportunity as well as building relationships between home and school.
    I was recently listening to an elluminate session where the presenter was discussing the use of puppets in education to engage and encourage students who might be reluctant to contribute. The research shows that the use of puppets is a very positive way to involve all students in the learning process. I know when I pick up Wattle or Maggie (our Magpie puppet) all the children are instantly listening and focused.
    Thanks for the inspiration,
    Marie

    • @ Marie,

      Wow, I’m so glad Ruckus and Leo inspired you to adopt your wombats! It’s a terrific cycle of inspiration that I hope will continue on!

      It sounds like your wombats are going to have a great time in NZ and there is going to be some fabulous authentic learning. We saw some similar benefits with our recent Flat Stanley project with a NZ school.

      That is interesting about puppets and I agree with you, when Leo is involved the students are ready to listen and be involved.

      Thanks for your comment,
      Kathleen

  3. Kathleen,

    Once again, a great post about a new aspect of blogging! Panda appreciates the attention! :-)

    I find the mascot to be an endearing member of the class. The students love Panda like a friend. Sometimes I use Panda as a source of content for the blog, like in the Panda and Hoppy math problem you sited in your post. The students respond to Panda as a teacher and seem to really listen to what he has to say.

    Other times, I use him to model quality commenting. Panda will post a comment demonstrating the type of comment I’m looking for from the students.

    Sometimes, I use him to give a message to the class. For example, Panda might be holding up a paper that says: Actions Speak Louder Than Words. This life lesson, coming from their friend Panda, means more to them than if I say it. Well, maybe it just validates what I say. :-)

    Finally, Panda will sometimes have a class reminder for students: Don’t forget, always get your math test review signed by a parent! When a child comes back with the math review not signed (for example)…I just say, “Hey…talk to Panda about that!” It is a humorous way to get students to follow directions. :-) They usually remember the next time. (Who would want to disappoint Panda?!)

    I love the ideas of a birthday party for the mascot and reading to him. So cute! I also think the diary idea from Michelle and Mrs. Kennedy is a fabulous. Our Panda is made of cardboard…so I’d be a little afraid to send him home…but maybe… it’s time for Panda to get out there!

    Thanks again for a fantastic post!

    Linda Y♥llis
    California

    • @ Linda,

      A huge thank you to you for the mascot idea! You have given me so many ideas over the past few years!

      The way our students really respond to our mascots is just fantastic – I wonder at what age that enthusiasm and imagination starts to fade….

      Leo has learnt about being a model commenter from Panda!

      I like the idea of giving the mascot a sign – maybe Leo will start doing that sometime.

      Let us know if Panda ever has a birthday party – I’m sure Leo would love to get him something special :lol:

      Thanks again for your fantastic support,
      Kathleen

  4. Hi Kathleen
    I liked reading about your class mascot. Sometime ago I taught year 3’s (7 to 8 year olds) and they loved having our Bear who would write stories to them. I now have yr 5/6 (8-11 year olds) and I am not sure how they would take to a class mascot.
    I have another class’s mascot coming to visit us for a couple of weeks. This class lives in another part of New Zealand and has been travelling around NZ since February. You can track her travels on http://rohistravels.blogspot.com/ I am looking forward to taking Rohi on a holiday in April around the East Cape of the North Island.
    Maybe we could exchange mascots from other countries and track their travels around the world. Wouldn’t that be fun!
    Thank you for the interesting read.
    Mel

    • @ Mel,

      It seems like Rohi is on a great adventure! What a fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing!

      You’re right about grade 5/6 – I’m not sure how it would go down!

      I would be fun to exchange mascots around the world – I just wish Leo had not grown so big! He would be quite a bulky parcel.

      Thanks so much for your comment,

      Kathleen

  5. Hi Kathleen,
    Our class mascot is called Fifi Goggins. http://fifigoggins.blogspot.com/
    This is the 6th year I’ve had her and she is such a laugh. The kids love her and take her home each weekend and write about what they’ve done together. These go in a book which become a fantastic way of remembering old students. My colleagues think I’m barking mad at times, for example when Fifi went missing and the students had to write stories about her adventures and where she could be. In 2008 I was teaching a Year 4 class and the students wrote stories about Fifi’s life which I blogged about. http://croydonfifi.blogspot.com/
    I’ve also used Fifi many times as a way of modeling good behavior, eg, “Fifi can’t work when its so noisy in here”, or sometimes I’ll sit during our class circle time and say that Fifi came to me and noticed some people not being kind and caring to each other, What can we do about that?
    When I left my last school, a parent came to me and thanked me for allowing her family to have Fifi for the weekend during the year – they had taken Fifi on a family outing to Wales and had all laughed so much taking photos of Fifi that it had become a great memory for them.
    Thanks for the post about class mascots, Kathleen! A birthday party for Fifi sounds like it is in order, and Linda, I am going to use your idea of having the mascot holding up a sign with an important message.

    • @ Heather,

      Wow, you have some great ideas! I am sure I might be borrowing a few.

      I like the idea of the home visits going in a book that you can look back on. I think the most popular book in my class is a “Memory Book” my grade 3 students made about four years ago. I am not sure why my current students like it so much but they are just fascinated. I’m sure looking at old Fifi visits would have the same effect.

      The story writing sounds like a lot of fun and the circle time prompt is terrific too.

      I look forward to exploring Fifi’s blogs. Hope she gets a birthday party soon!

      Kathleen

  6. Hi Kath,
    Another fantastic post which I’m sure will inspire many more mascots to appear in classrooms around the world! Having a mascot has proved so beneficial for my class. This term Ruckus has been going on overnight visits to each of the children in K/1D. He takes with him a little backpack which includes a ball, his favourite card game and a book (kindly donated by one of the children). He also has his own journal in which the children are invited to record their adventures however they like – it is filled with wonderful writing and pictures! Ruckus has been to the pool, to karate lessons, to soccer training. He has played instruments,cooked pancakes, brushed his teeth and of course listened to many, many wonderful stories read by budding readers. What a perfectly authentic context for reading and writing! Upon returning to school the children share with the class their adventures and answer any questions the others might have (voila -authentic context for talking and listening!).The journal is kept with Ruckus by the bookshelf and is a popular choice for re-reading.
    I have also taken photographs of Ruckus to use as part of my literacy block during `Work on writing’. I paste a picture of Ruckus (getting up to something relevant to my teaching focus) into their writing books as a prompt to support them with their writing. As with all things `Ruckus’ they love the pictures and are highly motivated to write.
    I also like the idea of `swapping’ class mascots and as the ticket for Ruckus to travel overseas may be a little expensive, I have been thinking about alternatives! What about a small `toy’ or `pet’ for our oversized mascots that can travel instead and share the travels upon return?( I’m sure Leo would appreciate a late birthday present!).
    Looking forward to more adventures with Leo and Ruckus,
    Jen :)

    • @ Jen,

      Thank you! More fantastic ideas that I’m sure lots of people will find useful (me included).

      I love the idea of Ruckus taking his little backpack with him. What fun! He has got up to some great adventures.

      Using the mascot as a writing prompt is also great and I’m sure that would engage some reluctant writers with their task.

      I also just love the idea of our mascots getting a pet or toy. Will definitely keep that one in mind for next term. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that as a solution. Thank you! Maybe all of our mascots could go on a trip around the world!

      Kathleen :)

  7. Hi Kathleen,

    The Classroom Connection also has a class mascot…a squirrel named Carleton. She only appears on the blog though, so I guess you could say she is more of a blog mascot than a class one. Carleton is used on the blog to ask math questions about the topics we are learning about in our clasroom. She is used as a way to provide extension activities or enrichment opportunities. The kids really love the blabberize tool and enjoy seeing/listening to Carleton speak to them and ask for their help.

    Our school mascot is a squirrel named Carleton, so that is how we came up with the idea. Maybe 4WS has to get their own stuffed squirrel and make her the newest addition to our classroom. I really liked the idea mentioned above about using the mascot as a way to model good behaviour and the look likes in the Daily 5.

    Another great post, Kathleen!

    Smiles,
    Mrs. Webb-Scheers

    • @ Krista,

      My kids love the Blabberzie tool too – we got that idea off Jonah Salsich and Juan Pablo – the kids love him!

      I think your kids would love a stuffed squirrel. Great idea. Then maybe he’d like to do home visits!

      Modelling Daily 5 behaviour is also a great idea.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Kathleen

  8. Dear Mrs Morris,

    Really love this post as your words written in this post does speak volume.
    For I know that BB loved the idea of having a mascot and I do believe it was because of Mrs Yollis and you that made her go ahead with introducing Snowflake.

    Which I must say she (Snowflake) is a big part of our family now too.
    I even love the fact BB and Snowflake put me in my place at times. :)
    I feel you really never want to lose the child in you while we have got great mascots around to blog with.

    From AA.

    • @ AA, I just realised I forgot to reply to you! I’m in holiday mode :lol:

      I think it is just fantastic that BB (one of my student bloggers) has adopted a mascot too. Mascots are so fun!

      Thanks so much for commenting from a parent’s perspective.

      Kathleen

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