When people think about Thanksgiving it is usually the food that fills your mind. Let’s start by listening to Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Freedman. Listen to the “rules” to getting the most out of Thanksgiving.
Have your child name things that they smell at Thanksgiving and put them into the poem’s blanks. Then cut pictures out of magazines or grocery store ads to create a Thanksgiving plate.
I could not let this unit go by without sharing the story Fredrick by Leo Leonni. Fredrick is a mouse who should be helping his family gather items for the long winter. But, Fredrick is a dreamer and doesn’t want to gather nuts or other items for winter. Eventually the other mice come to realize that Fredrick did gather something for winter… he gathered memories.
I enjoy this story as it shows children that it isn’t always what you see and touch that is important to “gather”, but there is value in the colors, the textures, the sounds of life.
A fun activity to do with this is to draw to music. Put on instrumental music and have your child draw what he/she feels. What colors do you think of with the music? Do you feel flowing or more choppy? Does the picture maintain a constant feel or does it change as the music changes? This concept of drawing to music often takes a few attempts before children get good at just relaxing and drawing what you feel. It is the visualization of feelings. Some children will draw specific items, and other will draw more abstract. There is no right or wrong… there just is.
In the winter, some animals fur change color. Not all animals with fur change color, but some do and scientist have some ideas as to why. One being that they blend better with the snow. They also believe it might be that the lack of melatonin with creates the color allows for air to be trapped in the hair creating a buffer from the elements.
Hares are one animal that changes color. Not all rabbits change but the Artic hare, mountain hare and snowshoe hare are among those who change. (other animals that change color include: artic fox, Siberian hamsters, Ptarmigans [a type of bird], collard lemmings, peary caribou, and weasels)
Today’s project… provide your child white, yellow and orange paper. Show your child the shape of candy corn. Encourage your child to draw and cut out a candy corn shape. Now tear or cut the white, yellow and orange paper to cover and create your own paper candy corn. (These pictures are from when my own sons were 3 and 4)
I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween… I will see you again on Monday when we start a new month and new theme… Animals get ready for winter!
Today let’s listen to the story/song: If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca and Ed Emberley. This is to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know it, but with a twist.
The illustrations in this story are very bold and on black. This is a great opportunity to create some paper art. In school, I keep a crate of construction paper scraps and we use them all the time for these projects. At home, just keep the larger scraps from art projects in a bin or bag and put them out whenever you want your child to cut up paper to do an art project… reduce, reuse, recycle.
Encourage your child to add the elements in the story on their monster so they can then retell the story with their monster!
Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley. This story will quickly become a favorite. I would encourage you to listen to it once and then the second time have your child create big green monster while listening to the story. It is a great story for retelling!
Today lets make monster puppets. For my sample I used both markers and construction paper. I love encouraging children to use mixed media. You could also add other items such as yarn, buttons, googly eyes etc… the key is creativity!
For Words Wednesday we are going to work on blending onset and rime. Onset is the first sound you hear in a word and the rime is the rest of the word.
One way to help your child see the pattern is to either work with word family words or words groups (animals, names, foods or other familiar groups of words)
Here is a simple chant to use with your child(ren)
It starts with a /__/,
And it ends with /___/
Put it together,
and you say __________. (your child needs to say the word)
It starts with a /c/ and ends with /at/. Put it together and you say “cat”
It starts with a /h/ and ends with /orse/. Put it together and you say “horse”
If your child is struggling still, I would provide visual clues. Provide a group of pictures or toys or other items and use words represented there, this helps the visual learner make the auditory connections.
It stars with a /c/ and it ends with /ar/. Put it together and you say “car”.
It starts with a /d/ and it ends with /oll/. Put it together and you say “doll”.
When your child gets good at this, switch the rolls. Have your child say the first part of the rhyme and you finish it with the answer.
When we are nervous about life we are told to picture others in their underpants… maybe this helps children too if they think about monsters in underpants? Children love monsters… and they think underpants are too funny. So put monsters in their underpants and there is nothing that will bring more smiles, giggles and funny images!
Time to draw, paint… create a monster of your own!
Not sure how to get started or can’t think of a monster on your own? check out Art for Kit Hub’s paint a monster as inspiration… But, make sure to add underpants to your monster!
This is a great opportunity to encourage your child to write!! I guarantee your child has a story in his/her head about this underwear loving monster. You can provide words like monster, underpants, but encourage him/her to sound out the words the best they can. The purpose of children writing is not for them to spell every word correctly … it is for them to see him/herself as a writer. To put down their thoughts on paper. To see the connection between sounding out words to read and write. So encourage your child to write. Have them read what they wrote and praise the attempt, not criticize the imperfection.
This week is all about MONSTERS! This is such a fun topic for children as they can be both fun and scary. But we will focus on the fun side! Today’s story Monster Math by Anne Miranda… read by Anne Miranda! This is a story about a Monster’s birthday and how many monsters join the fun!
So … it’s time for a favorite activity and character: Shape Monster! Shape Monster Shape Monster munch, munch, munch? How about about a (color) (shape) for your lunch! This is a common kindergarten shape activity, but can so easily be adapted!
I’ll share with you a few ideas on how you can use the shape monster today.
Create simple shape monsters (or complex if you want). Put them onto bags or onto empty boxes to make the shape monster’s lunch bag/box. Label each monster with a shape. (circle monster, square monster, rectangle monster etc…). Have your child find items around they can put into the shape monster’s lunch bag.
Provide your child with construction paper, either already cut into shapes or have your child cut his/her own shapes. Use the shapes to create a monster out of shapes… a shape monster! Or if you do not have construction paper, they can just draw a monster out of shapes!
Want more shape monster fun? I have two kits in my store that use Shape Monster!
Shape Monster’s 2D lunch time mini book ($2)… Help shape monster find the shapes he wants to for lunch. Each page focuses on one shape and provides a color for each shape. And, Shape Monster himself describes the shapes attributes.
Shape Graphing with Shape Monster ($1)… This kit has your child(ren) sorting and graphing shapes. The kit includes four different graphing pages (spin and graph, color and graph, grab and graph and find and graph)
It’s Friday!! Did you have fun learning about pumpkins this week? You will have to let me know which activities you tried and which types you’d like to see more of in the weeks to come!
Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell– Tim carved the best pumpkin and named him Jack. He puts the pumpkin out into the garden as it begins to rot. Tim watches Jack change over time. Watch to see what becomes of Jack over the days, weeks and months.
Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson — in this informational text you follow the life cycle from seed to seed of a pumpkin. Story written in flowing and bouncy verse to match beautiful and vivid photographs.
Here is a fun song to learn and sing together.
Little Jack O’Lantern (sung to the Battle Hymn of the Republic)
Little Jack O’Lantern had a candle lit inside
Little Jack O’Lantern had a candle lit inside
Little Jack O’Lantern had a candle lit inside
Till somebody blew it out. (then blow out the “candle”)
Now let’s make a Jack O’Lantern!
For this activity in school I would typically give the children the option of drawing and cutting out their own pumpkin shape or using a tracer. At home, you can either let them create their own or trace something to make the basic shape (plate, bowl, or other roundish item).
Determine if you want your pumpkin to be tall and skinny or short and plump.
Trace/draw the outline of your pumpkin onto an orange sheet of paper… or make it a green pumpkin, or a white pumpkin… you pick!
Does your pumpkin have a stem or is it a “stumpkin”?
now cut out the pumpkin… only cut the outside (trust me say this as some will cut ALL the lines they drew!)
Now design the face of your pumpkin.- you can either cut pieces out of yellow, white or black paper and glue it onto the pumpkin or cut the pieces out of the orange paper. I show the children how to bend the paper to start cutting into where you want the openings.
Use markers or crayons to add the pumpkin lines, color in the steam, and add more details
If you cut out the eyes, you can either leave them or back the pumpkin in yellow or black paper to see the depth.