I've been on a kick with PreK lessons lately...just experimenting with different lesson ideas and exploring different book options. As you all know, my collection is very old and I'm working hard to bring in new books. I had the idea of doing a lesson with PreK involving the making of a pizza after seeing this image on Pinterest from the www.shesaved.com website.
I thought it might be fun to read a story about making a pizza and then see if the kiddos could re-tell the steps. I searched my library high and low for the right book and just couldn't find anything exciting. Then, I remembered that when one of my son's was little, he loved Curious George books. There was a Curious George book about making and delivering a pizza....sure enough, it was in my library. Now, if I had other (more modern) books available, I certainly would try to use one. This particular book is a little dated. For example, the characters use a land line phone mounted on the wall, there is a jukebox in the restaurant, and it could be argued that there are some stereotypical characters, as well. But, it was what I had, this was PreK, and I felt like I could make it work.
The kids loved this book and the topic! I did a little introduction to ask students what they knew about pizza. They came up with some great responses! They knew it had to be cooked, it had cheese, it was a circle, that you can eat it, and that it could be cut! I did the read aloud and really emphasized the cooking of the pizza section. After that, we reviewed the steps for making the pizza that Tony the Baker had followed. I had these steps written on a dry erase board at the carpet area, but this was only for my benefit....
Finally, students moved to tables where they were given supplies to make their own pizzas. We reviewed the steps one at a time. They received:
*a paper plate
*an oval (but swiggly) red shape
*a cup with yellow squares and rectangles
*a brown or tan crayon
*a glue stick
As we reviewed each step, they completed their own project. We drew a big circle on our plate and colored it in with crayon for the dough. We then glued our red sauce on the plate in the center of the dough, being careful not to "spill" our sauce on the plate or the table. We added cheese....as much or as little as we liked. I normally try to take pictures of these activities in process, but this one took me and the two PreK teachers all of the energy and attention we could muster, so no photos...sorry.
I had a few early finishers so I took this project one step further. I had an empty library shelf nearby and told the kiddos this was my pretend oven. I put my imaginary oven mitts on for safety and then put my pizza in the oven for just a few minutes to cook it. I carefully pulled it out and it was ready to deliver. They went NUTS over this!!! Suddenly they all wanted to cook their own pizzas!!!!
At the close of the lesson, I had the boys and girls stand and carry their pizzas to deliver. I told them that their teacher would show them where to deliver them (basically, they were lining up to leave and returning to their classrooms where they would put the pizzas away to be delivered home). It worked GREAT!
There is so much potential with a lesson like this for the future. I would love to really work on more "how-to" and "step-by-step" type lessons with this age group. The pizza theme was a hit and I'd love to make a fake pizza oven from cardboard and maybe even have chef hats or oven mits to really get the theme going. Aprons might be fun! Lots of potential!
Now, I've got to get on the hunt for some updated literature. Not that Curious George is bad, but a more modern book selection would make my librarian heart happy.
A week or so ago I posted a picture of a PreK lesson that took place in The Happy Library. I promised to share the lesson here on the blog and with all of the excitement of Seuss, I totally forgot! So, here you go...
I just love the book They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel. It is a wonderful picture book that shows various perspectives of animals who see a cat. This is a great teaching tool for so many reasons. We have been focusing on listening skills with stories in PreK library lessons and with this one, I wanted students to react or explain what they were seeing and hearing. And they did! They loved this book!
To introduce the lesson, we brainstormed the parts of a cat. We talked about animals that might be afraid of cats and animals that might like cats (for example: people!) Then I did the read aloud. After the story, we talked about what we saw. We discussed why some of the animals might be afraid of the cat (for example: it is bigger than they are...) and we talked about why some animals are not afraid of the cat (for example: the dog was bigger and wanted to chase the cat for fun).
We then moved to tables where I had a little fine motor skill activity for the students. I had printed and cut out the cat faces from the Your Therapy Source Blog. I printed them on card stock and laminated them in hopes that I could use them again and again. I punched two holes in the "whiskers" area of the cat faces. Then, I pulled some pipe cleaners from my makerspace stash. Students were given a cat and a card and we counted out together THREE pipe cleaners. (Reinforcing counting is always good with PreK.) Then, the students worked to see if they could thread each pipe cleaner through the holes to create whiskers on their cat. The lesson was a hit with both students and the PreK teacher, so I'm certainly using this one again....and I let the kids keep their cats. I can always make more!
HERE is another resource for this book as well.
This is the final post in a series for lessons in October 2017. To read the previous post, click HERE. To read the initial post, click HERE.
Where has the time gone? October has flown as fast as a goblin on Halloween night! This week wraps up (no mummy pun intended) the final week of not-so-scary library lessons and it was a great week! There will be two days of lessons next week to get us through Halloween, so I'll be sure to include those plans at the end of this post. Hope you have enjoyed the series and have gained some inspiration for some spooky fun in your library!
You must be living under a rock if you've not heard of The Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds. It has been all the rage on Instagram and when it showed up in our Fall Book Fair, I knew it would be a big hit for this month. With the fantastically ghoulish, greenish glow in the illustrations by Peter Brown, this book was a HUGE hit with students of all ages! Just look at their faces!
I started the week by reading this story to my 1st and 2nd graders during story time and they loved it so much that I took the chance to use it with older students later in the week. Remembering that I have only 30 minutes with my younger students, I only read to them and then did book checkout. With my older students, grades 3 and 4, I chose to include a creative writing and art activity.
I found a great little packet on TpT by Moonlight Crafter that was both cost effective and simple to access. I decided that I like the handout that included both the blank undies to color and a writing section. For the writing, students described an imaginary pair of underwear that would scare them and told how they would "get rid of" them! This opened the door for lots of discussion about describing words (adjectives have been a big topic for 3rd grade this month) and for making connections to the story (I gave students the opportunity to make predictions as I read the story aloud to them).
With the illustration part of the worksheet, students were only allowed to use pencil and a green crayon or green colored pencil. We talked about Peter Brown's choices in using black and white illustrations with the neon green accents and how those choices increased the "creepiness" of the underwear. We had such a blast sharing our thoughts about these illustrations!!! I just love anything Peter Brown does....right?!
The students were so creative with this worksheet....I was tickled by how clever the illustrations and descriptions turned out. And when I overheard one student saying, "This is the best thing ever!" as he worked on his drawing, I knew I had a hit. Days like this are what make my job the best job in the school!
To wrap us this week, I can't forget to include my Kindergarten and PreK students. I brought back a favorite character from the beginning of the school year....Splat the Cat! His adventure with his Halloween costume and jack-o-lantern turned out to be just right for the younger students....lots of giggles with this read-aloud. Once we finished our story, students practiced reading a library book of their choosing (from a pre-selected table display) in a space of their choosing.
Another little side note that made this lesson work really well is that it was Red Ribbon Week and we had a "Crazy Sock and Crazy Hair" dress up day. I took full advantage and wore my eyeball socks, Halloween librarian shirt, and googly eyes headband. It really made the Splat lesson more festive.
As promised, I want to share what I will be doing on Monday and Tuesday of next week since they are the last two days of October and one of them is Halloween. Students who come into the library on these days will get to do a Flashlight Fun Day....I will cover the windows with black paper, have inexpensive flashlights at the ready, and greet students in a dark library. I'm thinking I will hang a few string lights around our story carpet to keep things Not-So-Scary. I plan to read I Want to be in a Scary Story by Sean Taylor and then will have the students get their own flashlights to do book selection and silent reading. I will post pictures to my social media accounts, so if you aren't following those, look for the links in the right-sidebar of the blog.
Last but not least, my 5th graders did not have library with me this week because I was attending a conference....so, they will present their Monster Buncees on Wednesday. We might turn the lights out for that lesson too! Happy Halloween!
This is the fourth post in a series on library lessons for October 2017. Read the previous post HERE.
It's hard to believe we've already arrived at the middle of the month! This post will be somewhat abbreviated, as this week included two days out of school for our district's fall break. Without Monday and Tuesday classes, I didn't see any Kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd graders and I also missed two of my 3rd grade groups. Then, we had Georgia Power presentations (energy conservation) on Thursday morning in the library, so I didn't get to host my regular 4th grade lessons this week either! So, what to do with a "messed-up" week? READ, of course!
In keeping with the monster theme, the 3rd grade classes that I did see this week listened to Bone Soup by Cambria Evans. The main character is not really a monster, but a skeleton. However, there is a monster in the story so I felt like it was a good fit. The book is such a treat! Ms. Evans was inspired by the soup her mother made for her each Halloween season. She took this inspiration to write a new version of the stone soup story and it was a big hit with the kids! The story also features fabulous vocabulary, so it tied right in to the previous lessons I've done with 3rd graders on adjectives. They really did love this story and reacted with lots of "ooo...gross!" and "yucky" commentary as I read aloud. After the read aloud, we did book check-out and silent sustained reading...the kids and the teachers really enjoyed this. Sometimes I forget how much everyone just wants some quiet time to enjoy their books.
The only other group I was able to see this week were my sweet PreK students. They come on Fridays for a short story time, so the crazy schedule didn't interfere with their regular library time. I read aloud Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin and we had fun naming all of the colors in the story. I also found a plush red crayon doll while cleaning out a back storage space and thought it was the perfect compliment to the lesson. We asked "RED" to join us for the story and we waited patiently to get to the page in the story that features the red crayon. I forgot to take a picture of the crayon I have, but it is very similar to the one pictured below.
This book was fun and I will certainly use it again. I also introduced the concept of an illustrator and used the "scribble" pictures in the book to talk a little about book care....."we don't scribble in our library books with crayons do we?" and "the illustrator is the person who chooses what to draw in the book" and so forth.
So that's a wrap on a 3-day week of quick lessons. I'll be back next week to finish out the series with our 4th week of activities. It is sure to be a busy week and we will be gearing up to announce our winners for the Eye Candy Contest (eyeballs in a jar) for the month! Our school also hosts a Monster Mash dance for the students next week, so that will be the perfect ending to this month of monster-themed fun.
This is the second post in a series for October 2017 library lessons. Read the previous post HERE.
I have my first week of "Not-So-Scary" lessons under my belt and wanted to share them with you! My week starts with all first and second grade classes on Monday. I only see these students for 30 minutes, so when you include book circulation, that leaves me about 15 minutes for a lesson...not a lot of time!!! I decided to use a video recording from Storyline Online to kick off our monster month. The book is I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll. It is a cute story about a boy who requires a monster under his bed so that he can sleep. He is visited by substitute monsters when his very own perfect monster goes fishing. It is such a cute story and all of the students really loved it! If you've never used Storyline Online, I highly recommend it. Since this particular story video lasts 12 minutes, that was it for the lesson for 1st and 2nd grades. But I connected it to the book check-out time by telling students that we needed to search out monstrously good books just like the little boy searched out the perfect monster. It worked.
Kindergarten classes visit on Tuesdays and I decided against reading a book this week. I was inspired by the "Five Little Pumpkins" poem that many students learn this time of year. I re-wrote the lyrics and created my own poem "Five Silly Monsters," complete with hand motions. I created a Google Slide using the same free monster clip art I mentioned in the preparation post and had it up on the interactive board. Students learned the words and motions and we had such fun! It got them moving around and that was great.
Since I am only in my fourth week with kinders, I am still focusing on basic library procedures. I spread books about fall, scarecrows, apples, and the like on a big table. After we did the poem, I told them that just like the silly monsters went looking for a library book, we were going to do the same thing. We practiced walking with our hands behind our backs and looking with our best googly monster eyes first. Then, students were allowed to select a book and find a carpet area to read. Obviously they were reading the pictures, but it was a great way to practice book selection and book care.
My third and fourth grade students are in the library for 45 minutes, so I can do so much more with them. I shared the same Storyline Online video with them as I did with first and second graders, but we followed it with a writing activity. We brainstormed adjectives and adverbs we heard in the story describing the different monsters that visit the main character. Then, I posted the directions for our writing activity on the interactive board.
The third graders had trouble getting started, so upon the suggestion from a teacher, I also gave them some sentence starters and typed up the words they offered up. I placed those on an additional slide and we used them during the writing activity. I think the fourth graders enjoyed the creative writing more than third graders did...not sure why.
And finally, the fifth graders....I mentioned a few posts back that I spent two weeks teaching these students how to use Buncee. I introduced their first Buncee assignment this week...monster research! They viewed my instructional Buncee presentation and asked questions. (I have posted it below so that you can see the directions and also so that you can see how versatile Buncee is! Flip through the slides to see the list of monsters we are using, as well.) Then, they spent the rest of our lesson time (45 minutes) deciding which monster they wanted to research. The kids are so excited about this project!
So, that's the first week recap. Basically, I was able to use the same story for all grades and then do little spin-off projects from there. It worked pretty well. The only grades that didn't get the story were kindergarten and fifth. And I was able to share the eyeball guessing game guidelines with each class. Kids are already making their predictions about how many eyeballs are in the jar! Now to work on next week's lessons...
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