Monday, August 1, 2011

How Do You Hug A Porcupine?

(We got ours out of a Cheerios box.)
I really didn't have a large amount of time to come up with any really creative activities for this book.  But it's a great little book and I plan to use it as a focus book with my preschool program also.  If you have read the book and have any lovely ideas, I'd love to hear them.  The kids loved it.  Even my 8 year old saw it and said, "Oh! I really like this book!"  I chose it mainly for the word "hug" as it was a cvc word which used the vowel u.  Been really trying to work on learning those short vowel sounds.  It's not coming as quick as I expected it would with some children and it's going a lot quicker with others ones.  

For large motor we simple had a masking tape rectangle in the living room to practice the "walking in line/heel to toe" skill.  Then we pretended to be several of the animals in the book and moved around the rectangle being those animals.  

For our numeracy activity I chose 13 animals out of the book.  We didn't use all animals represented because then the animals would be too small or too big for the paper. Not all children will glue them directly next to each other like the child below.  Need to leave wiggle room on the paper! There are several reasons why I chose 13.  The main reason being that numbers 2 and 3 are difficult to write so the more we practice the better!  :-)  I strongly suggest that you encourage your child to seriate onto their paper before they glue. That way they can do more "self-correcting" instead of us saying, "Mmm.  Nope.  That's not right.  Try again."  Which is better?  Of course, self-correction is better.  We want them to really think about things logically and figure it out and their confidence level really does increase.   
The children wrote the numerals (their choice whether to go forwards or backwards) above each picture.  We actually pulled out our new Handwriting Without Tears tools today.  It was a mini "magnadoodle" and wooden sticks and curve magnets made specifically for that size "magnadoodle".  Doesn't work as well with numbers as it does letters but it was a nice variation to our tactile numbers.    I'll do a post on our new HWT goodies soon.

Phonological Awareness: we clapped out the animal names and sorted them with whether they had 1, 2 or 3 chunks. 

Other ideas:
* sort animals by habitat, size, color, whether they swam or not, etc.  A venn diagram would work nicely with sorting the animals by whether they swam, lived only on land, or lived only in the water.
*  emotions, hugs give us "warm fuzzies", what else gives us warm fuzzies?  When do we hug someone?  Why?  How do we know when someone doesn't want a hug from us (important concept!)  What animal would you like to hug?  Which one would you not?  And why?
*  rhyming with hug- bug, dug, hug, jug, lug, mug, pug, rug, tug (or do all consonants and sort whether real or pretend).  The book also has rhyming text.
* you can use this book as a jumping board into an introduction on how animals protect themselves or even learn facts about the different animals.
*  Measurement.  There are some pretty tall animals in this book and some pretty small animals in this book. 
*  Extend the book by using different animals but slipping in that " do you hug a porcupine?" verse.
Art today was focused on Vincent VanGogh's sunflowers.

(And look at that!  You can't even tell he spilled is green/brown rinse water on it.)
I really wanted them to get the idea of "painting big" and filling the paper.  I intentionally provided gray construction paper so that it looked "dreary" against the rest of the paper and would naturally encourage them to paint the whole paper.

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