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, March 10, 2019

Simply the Best of the Wild, Wild West


Howdy friends! Texas Public Schools week just finished up, so I thought I’d share some of the books and activities we’ve enjoyed as we learn about Texas and the Old West!
Simply the Best of the Wild, Wild West from Paula's Primary Classroom

I was excited to discover a Wild West story time kit at my local public library.  Have you checked to see what kind of resources are available in yours?  This kit included 7 picture books, a felt story for Click Clack Moo, and a horse puppet.   
Simply the Best of the Wild, Wild West from Paula's Primary Classroom

My kiddos LOVED the felt story and the puppet the best!  Here are some of the highlights, including library books and my own personal collection:
Simply the Best of the Wild, Wild West from Paula's Primary Classroom
Cowboy Camp, by Tammi Sauer.  In this story the unlikely hero, Avery, doesn’t like eating beans, is allergic to horses, and gets rope burn from holding a lasso.  Fortunately for everyone, Avery is able to outsmart the villain, and saves the day.  I LOVED putting on my best western accent… plus jeans, hat, vest and boots… to read this story!  The children really got into it too.

 Simply the Best of the Wild, Wild West from Paula's Primary Classroom
Since cowboys aren’t only boys, I wanted to include I Want To Be A Cowgirl, by Jeanne Willis.  It’s a quick read, perfect for kindergarten and preschool children, and so important for including girls!  

Simply the Best of the Wild, Wild West from Paula's Primary Classroom
If you’re teaching in Texas you’re sure to teach your students about armadillos.  In the past I’ve read Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett, and It’s an Armadillo! By Bianca Lavies. 

Simply the Best of the Wild, Wild West from Paula's Primary Classroom
 While I’ll probably still read those sometimes, I discovered another fun book to teach facts about armadillos: Don’t Ever Cross That Road!, by Conrad J. Storad.  It’s told by an armadillo teacher to his class of young armadillos, and includes lots of facts about them.  It’s the not crossing the road part that anyone who’s driven much in Texas can relate to. (When they’re scared armadillos jump straight up, which doesn’t end well when they’re scared by an oncoming vehicle.)


 Simply the Best of the Wild, Wild West from Paula's Primary Classroom
The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires is a variation on the Gingerbread Man, with a Southwest feel.  The gingerbread cowboy is made by the rancher’s wife, and is chased by desert and ranch animals: a horned lizard, roadrunner, javelinas, longhorns, and cowboys – before being ultimately tricked by a coyote. This was a fun way to review those animals while anticipating the familiar story in a new setting!

Simply the Best of the Wild, Wild West from Paula's Primary Classroom
Waynetta and the Cornstalk  by Helen Ketteman is another fairy tale variation your students are sure to love! It’s close enough to Jack and the Beanstalk to compare and contrast with your students, with plenty of Texan tidbits thrown in: chicken-fried steak, a magic lasso, a giant’s wife who declares Waynetta is “purty as a bluebonnet” and a tiny longhorn cow that makes solid gold cowpats.  If that’s not a recipe for student engagement, I don’t know what is!

Of course we also learned about Texas symbols with this reading center:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Wild-West-Sentence-Picture-Match-Reading-Center-1764543

…and with this Texas Bingo game and posters.  
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Texas-Symbols-Bingo-1688085

This Texas State Symbols booklet was lovely on our desks for Open House night, and includes 3 versions, so it was easy to make sure every child had one at an appropriate reading level.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Texas-Symbols-Book-3-Differentiated-Guided-Readers-2950256

I also found this adorable cowboy poem and felt board, which makes a great introduction to any cowboy activity:
Simply the Best of the Wild, Wild West from Paula's Primary Classroom

I hope you’ll check out some of these books, and I’d love to hear what new Texan / Wild West books you’ve discovered too!   Let me know in the comments below!

Happy spring y’all!