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!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pigeon week - the Mo Willems books come to life!

We love the Pigeon books by Mo Willems.  In fact, we love all his books!  Children love his characters, and the simple and engaging text keeps them coming back for more.  We had to have a Pigeon week at school!

On Monday we read Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!  I found a game by the same name, so we practiced some great board game skills, like counting spaces to move and taking turns as we played.  The kiddos loved it!  Okay, they love a lot of things, but they kept coming back to the game all week, so in my book, it's a hit.  Check it out here on Amazon.  (No, I don't get anything for telling you, I just share because you might want to know.)

In the book, Pigeon really wants to drive a bus, and tries all kinds of ways to persuade the reader to let him.  We didn't let him, but the kiddos were thrilled when we went outside to play, and they found the big cardboard box I had saved for them to "drive". 
We also started a set of Pigeon graphs that I made to accompany the books.  You can see the cover and several of our graphs in this picture:

On Tuesday we read The Pigeon finds a Hot Dog! and of course, we had hot dogs for lunch!  We graphed who likes/dislikes hotdogs in our class, and also which condiments we like.  Turns out, we're mostly ketchup people.  We also got to play another cool Pigeon game: Pigeon-Match-ominoes.  We played it as a bingo game, and as a dominoes game, which was super cool.

 On Wednesday, the Pigeon wanted a puppy.  We made a class book of what we would wish for, and of course, graphed about the Pigeon's ideas too.

 Thursday was cookie day - because we like cookies, just like Pigeon and Duckling do in The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?  Pigeon likes cookies with nuts, but Duckling prefers no nuts.  We graphed what we preferred, and found that most of us prefer chocolate chips and no nuts, so that's what we made!

 Don't our cookies look delicious!?  We ate the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for snack, with a big glass of milk.  Yum!
 While reading The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? we noticed that Pigeon and Duckling have very different attitudes.  Pigeon is very emotional, and gets upset very easily.  He forgets his  manners, and melts down in every book!  Duckling on the other hand, always uses manner and a small, sweet voice.  We sorted these attitude cards, listening to both real Pigeon and Duckling quotes, as well as things I imagine both characters might say, or that my students sometimes say.  The children decided Pigeon was a bit whiny, and decided they would prefer to play with Duckling.  I'm really hoping that some of my friends will remember to use "Duckling" attitudes more often!  It seems to be working, they are already talking about ways to say things nicely, and I heard a LOT of manners when I served lunch on Friday! 

There are six total Pigeon books out now, so we had two of them on Friday: Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! and the latest book, The Pigeon Needs a Bath!  I wish I had thought to video tape the conversation about staying up late!  We graphed which of the Pigeon's excuses each child would try out on their parents, and what they thought might actually work.  Hysterical! They were comparing notes on what works, and when: apparently when they are sick, asking for a glass of water is almost always effective!  Generally speaking, they prefer to try having a nice talk - almost all the children thought that would buy them some time!  Who would have thought they had this all figured out by 4 or 5 years old?!

Our grand finale of the week was this one:
After reading, and graphing our favorite things about bath time, the children helped us to find good bath toys, and we went outside to have pretend bath play in the water table. 

We had so much fun learning with Pigeon and Duckling!  We covered a lot of math skills, between graphing, and measuring ingredients for cookies.  We wrote a couple of class books (Don't Let the Pigeon drive....  and I want a ______ cookie, please), and read and read and read.  We had sensory play, gross motor play, took turns playing games and worked on being sweet like Duckling.  We learned so much - but the children think we played all week.  Is it any wonder I love the Pigeon books too?

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