Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wordless Books Worth Reading!

Wordless books can be a bit of a challenge for those of us who are used to the way books are “supposed to work.” You pick up a book, read the words, and look at the pictures, right? But what in the heck do you do with a book that has no words? Do you just look at the pictures? Do you make up a story? Do you just talk about the illustrations? My answer is: all of the above! The great thing about wordless books is that you can have a new story every time! Here are some of my favorite wordless – or nearly wordless - books along with some of the favorite books of my Twitter Friends!

  • The Snowman by Raymond Briggs (submitted by dianekauppi)

  • Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins

  • Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie de Paola (submitted by linkstoliteracy)

  • The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg (submitted by peekabooplay)

  • Un-Brella by Scott E. Franson (submitted by BabetteR)

  • Wave by Suzy Lee (submitted by literacydocent)

  • Zoom by Istvan Banyai (submitted by PaulWHankins)

  • Re-Zoom by Istvan Banyai (submitted by PaulWHankins)

  • Hug by Jez Alborough

  • Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathman (submitted by MCLibrarian)

  • Peter Spier's Rain (submitted by MCLibrarian)

  • Yellow Umbrella by Dong Il Sheen (submitted MCLibrarian)

  • Changes, Changes by Pat Hutchins

  • Tuesday by David Wiesner
  • Flotsam by David Wiesner (submitted by mom2preteens)

  • Time Flies by Eric Rohmann

More Ideas for Using Wordless Books

  • Use wordless books to introduce or practice the concept of sequencing. Using words like first, second, and third, children will learn to put the elements of the story in order!

  • Wordless books are great for ESL students who are learning to read. They can tell a story without the threat of “reading” the words incorrectly.

  • Wordless books are also great for a variety of age groups. Very young children can look at the illustrations, preschoolers can interpret the illustrations and make up their own stories, while older children can write the text for each page.

More wordless picture books:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Mitten by Jan Brett

In honor of Fairy Tale Month at the Pratt Library, the Book of the Day is

  • Visit the Teaching Heart Site for a list of activities, lessons, and patterns related to this story.
  • Enchanted Learning has additional patterns and activities.
  • Visit Jan Brett's site for online activities and printables.
  • Find Ukraine on a map. Visit your local library and see if they have CDs of traditional Ukrainian music. Put blue and yellow paint at the easel and encourage children to paint the Ukrainian flag.

Related Post: Multicultural Tales

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eric Carle's Treasury of Classic Stories for Children

In honor of Fairy Tale Month at the Pratt Library, the Book of the day is

Eric Carle's Treasury of Classic Stories for Children is a collection of over 20 stories from Aesop, Hans Christian Anderson, and the Brother's Grimm.

Other fairy tale compilations:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Another Detour Down Memory Lane

So, yesterday, I had a moment of nostalgia that got me to thinking of more of my favorite shows from my childhood. I couldn't resist the urge to share them with you. Please tell us your favorites!

New Zoo Review

The Great Space Coaster

Captain Kangaroo

The Electric Company

Thanks for indulging me in this little detour of my normal blog posts. I think it's important, however, that we embrace our childhood. It reminds us to make sure that the children we teach today have wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Memory Lane: Hodge Podge Lodge

This morning when I woke up, I had the memory of dream. I struggled to turn the fuzzy edges of the dream into a clear picture. I slowly began to remember the details of the dream: there was a little cabin in the woods where children came to learn about nature. The more I thought of this dream, the more it felt like deja vu. Was I ever in a cabin in the woods? I think not. I grew up in the city so I was trying to decide if this was a dream or a true memory. As I got out of bed and began my morning tasks, I had a sudden memory spark: HODGE PODGE LODGE. I kept repeating it in my head and the memories came spilling back of one of my FAVORITE shows from my early childhood. The show aired on Maryland Public Television in the 70s.

"We're off to the forest to see Ms. Jean. She lives in a house that is mostly green..." Oh my goodness...I LOVED that show. I found a great clip on You Tube but according to IMBD, most of the masters have been destroyed.

Growing up, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I ended up a preschool teacher. And maybe, somewhere in my young impressionable mind, Ms. Jean had something to do with my love of children and animals! (Imagine my surprise to find that Ms. Jean is on Facebook!)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Teachable Moments by Renee Armstead-Johnson

This guest post is by preschool/prekindergarten teacher, Renee Armstead Johnson. Renee has been teaching preschool for over fifteen years!

Springtime is officially here and there are many wonderful ways to identify its presence. Our class recently went on a nature walk to observe the signs of spring. Some children observed the trees blooming, others saw butterflies, and we even found a few worms. One child commented that the worm looked like a caterpillar. So a teachable moment was born.

First, we discussed the similarities and differences between worms and caterpillars. We listed our observations on a chart. Shortly after this discussion, our Parent Committee donated butterfly gardens and Painted Lady Butterfly larvae to our classroom and this just made the children's interest grow even more! We collected and read many books about butterflies such as:

The children were then inspired to create their own predictable books about butterflies. They spent a great deal of time observing the caterpillar larvae. They really enjoy using the magnifying glasses to observe the creatures and draw pictures of each stage of development. During our discussions, we also learned the differences between moths and caterpillars!

The children are most proud of their new vocabulary: larvae, molt, chrysalis, metamorphosis. They enjoy explaining the stages of development to visitors who enter our classroom. They also began to spontaneously use materials that were in the art area to create butterflies: toilet paper tubes, scraps of paper, wiggly eyes, pipe cleaners, crayons, paint, markers, and glue.

Although this "unit" was not the original theme I had planned, it is a perfect example of how children can guide curriculum. Teachers just have to be willing to make every moment a teachable moment!

More Butterfly Links:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Princess and the Pea by Rachel Isadora

In honor of Fairy Tale Month, the BOOK OF THE DAY is:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney

In honor of Fairy Tale Month, the BOOK OF THE DAY is:

  • During Choice Time or Center Time, allow students to listen to the story on
  • Make a Rebus Story on chart paper.
  • Tie this story in with a unit on cooperation.
  • First School and Hubbards Cupboard have an abundance of ideas, patterns, and lesson plans.
  • Sing the Little Red Hen song.
  • Learn about chickens! Check your local farms to see if they offer chick-hatching projects. We've used Quiver Farms and the experience has been great. First, check with your local licensing agency or health department before doing any animal project.
  • Have a bread taste test, then ask the children their favorite and graph the results.
  • Allow children to experiment with yeast and water to watch it rise; then bake some bread!
  • Read Bread Bread Bread (Mulberry Big Book) by Ann Morris and Everybody Bakes Bread (Carolrhoda Picture Books) by Norah Dooley and discuss the role that bread plays in cultures all over the world.
  • Read Teamwork also by Ann Morris and discuss the role that teamwork (or lack of) played in the story of the Little Red Hen.
  • Read other versions of The Little Red Hen and compare/contrast the stories and characters.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stone Soup by Jon Muth

In honor of Fairy Tale Month, the BOOK OF THE DAY is:

  • Visit DLTK site for a variety of story-related activities, coloring pages, and recipes.
  • Sing the Stone Soup Song (from Songs for Teaching).
  • Share Stone Soup (Chinese Edition) with your class. Although you may not be able to "read" it, it is important that children are exposed to other languages.
  • Add paper shaped like a pot to your art and writing areas. During Center Time or Choice Time, the children can choose to draw or paint pictures of their own version of stone soup.
  • Have each child bring a vegetable to school, and make stone soup. There are many variations of recipes available online.
  • Read other versions of this story such as Stone Soup by Ann McGovern.
  • Make a flannel board story by cutting out a pot, stone, and vegetables out of felt. Use DLTK's coloring pages to find patterns.
  • Make a Stone Soup Alphabet Book. Illustrate parts of the story and focus on the letters (ex: S is for soup, O is for onion, p is for pot, etc). You don't have to include all 26 letters! Just include a few that you might be working on during this unit.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott

In honor of fairly tale month at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the Book of the Day is:

Visit my Multicultural Tales Blog for more ideas!
Do you have other ideas that you would like to share? Comment below.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Week of the Young Child

The Week of the Young Child was first celebrated in 1971. The event was created by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to honor children, childhood, educators, and familes of young children. Many states have festivals, conferences and a host of other events.
Please tell us how YOU are celebrating this special week. We want this to be a place where we can share ideas and learn from each other. So tell us: WHAT'S GOING ON WHERE YOU ARE, HMMMMMM?

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