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!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Denise Fleming books

Do you have favorite authors and illustrators?  Chances are, you do.  Me too!  One of the many children's book author/illustrators I love is Denise Fleming.  Her art is very distinctive, and her books are perfect for young children.  I decided to focus on some of her books this week, here are some of them:

We began the week with the book Lunch!  In the book, a little mouse enjoys a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, and gets very messy in the process.  We used cotton swabs to paint our own little mice.

 I also created several other follow up activities for the children: a blind taste test, with graphs for predicting and charting the results, sorting which foods in the book are fruits/vegetables, and of course, a class book to write, inspired by the original.  There were enough activities in this pack to keep us busy for 2 days.  If you'd like, you can check it out on my TpT store here.

On Friday, I thought I'd try a lesson with the preschoolers that I've used successfully in the past with first graders: writing poetry in response to Where Once There Was A Wood.  I am so glad that I did!

We started by reading the book, of course!  Then we talked about the habitat in the book, and other places that animals live.  As you can see, the children came up with a lot of ideas about habitats!  We brainstormed 3-4 animals that might live in each habitat.  With older children, I would have had them describe each animal and the actions it might take, but these kiddos are young, and had really worked hard to think of all these ideas.

To follow up, I pulled each child individually to the computer, and we looked at the chart together.  Each child chose one habitat and three animals that belonged there.

The children thought about what their chosen animals might do, and as they dictated, I typed their words for them.  As you can see, we followed the structure of the book very closely, and Denise Fleming's beautiful imagery and repetition guided the children to make thoughtful observations.

What do you think?  I think these 4 and 5 year old kiddos wrote some lovely poetry.

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