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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Children's Lit Corner

First of all I would like to start by saying to all my loyal followers, I have not desserted this blog. It is however for teachers, our off season :) I will be posting now and then during the Summer, but probably not as much as during the school year.

As you should well know by now, I am a huge Eric Carle fan. Special thanks to my sister for enlightening me about the fact that there are Youtube videos of people reading Eric Carle books. Some are just turning the pages while others are animated versions of his illustrations. There is even a video of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" read aloud by Bill Martin, Jr. Please look these up and use them with your children, I know my baby LOVES them, especially "The Very Busy Spider." I think he likes hearing the animal noises.

Also, I would like to talk about a classic book that I would have never thought to read to my preschoolers, "The Poky Little Puppy." I have it on board book for my baby and as I was reading it to him tonight, I decided there are a lot of things for infants as well as toddlers and preschoolers to learn from this book. First of all, there is the obvious lesson about following directions with the underlying lesson about the Poky Little Puppy getting what he deserves in the end. But if you look more closely, there are direction/position words, life science, counting, the 5 senses, and some great vocabulary in this book also!

I would begin a lesson on this book with making signs. Have the children decide who they want to keep out of a certain area of the room or what instruction they want to give and help them write it on a sign and actually post in the classroom. Next, there is a wonderful opportunity to do some sensory experiments. Have the children act out the story the way it is in the book and then let them make their own version using their senses to hear, smell, feel, see, or taste something that the mama dog is making for dessert. Also, discuss what body part we use for each sense.  Use the positional words by giving them a puppet and having them guide it THROUGH the meadow, DOWN the road,OVER the bridge, etc.

There is some really descriptive vocabulary in the book as well. Ask the kids what "happy as a lark" means and why they was the puppy so happy? When was the last time you used the words roly-poly, pell-mell, tumble-bumble? Ask the children what they think it means and have them come up with more descriptive words. They can describe the animals the puppies see coming up the other side of the hill, use felt board pieces to retell the story or use cards to sequence the order that the puppies encountered each animal.

Overall, I feel this is a great book and should not be overlooked as an old book, but should be brought back to life and used to the fullest extent in the classroom.