Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Happy Pig Day!

Oinky oink oink! 

Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.
For those of you familiar with the Elephant and Piggy books by Mo Willems, no translation is necessary, but just in case you have missed the book Happy Pig Day!, "Oinky oink oink!" means Happy Pig Day!

We love Mo Willems, and read all the Pigeon books last week, so this week we read all the Elephant and Piggy books we could find.  I have 10 of them... okay, I had 8, but bought 2 more last week in preparation for this unit.  I had to!  (I have a compulsion about children's books.  I know the first step in recovery is admitting there is a problem... but I like it, and don't want to recover!)

You should know that there are a LOT of websites with awesome ideas about how to celebrate Elephant and Piggy.  Mo Willems' official site is awesome, as is http://www.pigeonpresents.com/.  You can also see the free event kit - designed for libraries and classrooms - for Elephant and Piggy books at http://www.pigeonpresents.com/teachersguides/EandP_eventkit2013.pdf.  I found a lot of my ideas there.

This idea came from Abby the Librarian.  I printed pigeon and duckling pictures from the event kit mentioned above, and the children chose which to color.
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.
We glued a coffee filter onto a foam bowl.  I would have preferred paper, but foam is what we had.  They tore different shades of brown construction paper, and glued them to the coffee filter on the outside of the bowl.  I cut pieces of yarn that were long enough to tie on the children's heads and under their chins.  Cut these longer than you think you need, it's better to have a little more to work with!  I showed the kiddos how to sew the yarn up into the base of the bowl and back down - this created the loop to tie it to their heads.
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.
 We cut out their Pigeon or duckling picture, and taped it in the "nest" we'd created.  I hot glued some Easter grass and plastic eggs around the birds.  Here we are, responding to the book There's a Bird on Your Head!
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.

Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.

Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.

Another of our favorite Elephant and Piggy books is I Am Invited To A Party! In this book, Elephant and Piggy prepare for a party - and wonder if it is a fancy party, a pool party, or a costume party.  They dress for all three at the same time!  

We prepared for all kinds of parties by mix and matching costume pieces.  The kiddos LOVED having costume play, and I love that it was also tied in to a literature unit.  These kiddos are obviously ready for a fire fighter party...
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.
 ... any kind of costume party...
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.
 ... a mad scientist construction worker karate party....
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.
 ... and a fancy cheer leader party.
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.
 We chose a picture of each child (I also have a photography problem, and take hundreds of pictures of the kiddos each week) dressed up for the party, and made a class book.  The text says: "(Name) is ready for a ______  ______ party."   Here's our cover:
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.

Another class book we made this week was an innovation on I'm A Frog!  The children put the words "I am a...." in order and glued them at the top of their page, then completed the sentence.


Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.

Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.

 We really like to make class books, partly because the children love to read the books they've helped to make, and partly because I take advantage of this fact by having them order words, complete sentences, and illustrate their writing, so I can bind it into books.  We made a book telling what we want to do for "Happy Pig Day" - which was on Friday.

The children all wanted to dress up some more, or eat "pig food" like in the book.  Pig food doesn't sound appetizing to you?  In the illustrations to the book, Elephant and Piggy eat fruit and cookies.  Now you know the attraction!
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.
 We made piggy hats too!  I bought a couple of sheets of neon pink poster board, and cut it into 2" strips.  (Each poster board made 11.)  The children cut out contrasting pink circles, and added nostrils.  I measured and stapled the pink strips to fit each kiddo, and trimmed several inches of extra paper from the ends.  With the extras, we were able to cut triangle ears to add to our hats.  Little piggy eye balls finished it off.  Aren't they adorable?!
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.

Earlier in the week, when we first read Happy Pig Day!, the children noticed the confetti on the end papers, and wanted a confetti party.  I said no, real quick!  Confetti?  It would be all over the classroom.  The children would get wild and crazy and out of control.  No way! 

During the week I changed my mind.  Part of my teaching philosophy is
"When we engage children in rich experiences and make learning joyful, they learn to love learning, and become lifelong learners. To this end we must provide learning materials and experiences that are engaging and meaningful to the child."
That being said, I knew I had to provide the learning materials and the experience, because it was something meaningful to the children.  Yes, it would be all over the place, but a vacuum would fix that.  If we were going to get wild and crazy, we could do it right before heading outside to play... so we did it!  I am so glad I let the children have the confetti! 

I started by seating everyone ready for a group photo.  I showed them the bag of confetti, and told them we would have one chance to throw it for the picture.  If they threw it early, they wouldn't have any for the picture, but if they could wait, we would all have some.  We practiced throwing together (empty handed) on the count of 3, and quickly mastered it.  Everyone held out their hands for a small pile of confetti, we posed, we counted, and.... ta-da!
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.
 The kiddos scooped it all back up, tossed it again and again, rolled in it, made snow angels in it... and I remembered being a kid.

I grew up in Australia, and confetti was a staple at weddings.  I remember my parents trying to keep me out of the used confetti on the ground afterwards, but there were always children scavenging for the colorful pieces of paper, wanting to throw it over and over.  Today my students reminded me of myself at their age, only this time I was the adult in charge, and was able to say, "Yes!"

Here they all are, laying in the spent confetti.  That $1 packet of confetti bought them at least $10 worth of joy.  I'm smiling as I think about it, and maybe you are too.  Awesome value for some tiny bits of paper!
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.

We encouraged good behavior choices this week with piggy stamps, and this afternoon got out elephant stamps too.
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.

We finished the week off with a Happy Pig Day snack time.  We wore our pig hats, and ate the pig food the children were writing about earlier in the day: applesauce, pink cherry juice, and cookies - no nuts (sorry Pigeon!).
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.

 At snack time one of the kiddos asked if I would get out the corn for them to play in outside - because, he said, Piggy would like it.  What could I say.  Now the children are as happy as pigs in... corn!
Happy Pig Day! Activities and ideas for celebrating the Elephant and Piggie books.
Oinky oink oink!

1 comment:

  1. Paula, I never heard of those books before! I also have a love of new books, like you do. I'm a kindergarten teacher, but I'm also the pre-k grade level chair, so I have a lot to do with both grades. Unfortunately we're not allowed to use food in the pre-k or k classrooms. :( But your art ideas are really awesome! I followed your TPT store but couldn't find a way to follow your blog. If you have a second, come by and visit. :)

    Sharon Dudley, NBCT
    Teaching with Sight

    ReplyDelete