But No Elephants, by Jerry Smath

Grandma Tildy decides that she would like to get a variety of pet animals but is quite clear that she does not want an elephant. What will happen when an elephant decides to stay anyway?

Materials

  •             Directions on drawing an elephant.
  •             Stuffed “pet”animals and pet supplies to along with.
  •             Pictures of animal helpers.

Vocabulary           

  •              Pet (an animal that you keep in your home to love and enjoy).
  •             Animal helpers (animals that help people to do work or chores).
  •             Strong (able to hold up under the weight)

Before Reading the Story

 Tell the children that the story today is about a lady who decides she wants a pet. What kind do you think she should get, why?  Ask the children if they have any pets at home.  Make a graph that shows who has what kind of pet. 

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.  AND Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; begins to make comparisons about several objects based on a single attribute. 

Reading the Story

As Grandma Tildy acquires each pet, stop and ask the children if they think it would make a good pet why or why not?.  When the elephant gets stuck in the house, ask the children if they can think what might happen.  When he begins walking, ask the children where they think he might be walking to.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play;  and to predict what will happen next in a story.  AND Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks.

After Reading the Story

Bring in pictures of animals and ask the children if they would like to have it for a pet and what special thing the pet could do (A tiger could scare away the bad guys, a penguin could wash my Daddy’s car).

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks.

Discovery

Pictures of animal helpers.   Put the pictures out where the children can look and discuss the ways animals help people.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.  AND Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; progresses in understanding similarities and respecting differences among people such as genders, race, special needs, culture, language, and family structures.

Music and Movement

Sing the Opposite song, to the tune of All Around the Mulberry Bush.

Everything I always say,
You always say the opposite.
When I say cold, you say hot
(sunny-cloudy,big-little, yes-no)

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; progresses in abilities to initiate and respond appropriately in conversation and discussions with peers and adults.

Sing the Elephant Song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQf6yWEScB8

One elephant, went out to play
All ona spider’s web one day.
He had such enormous fun
That he called for another elephant to come.
One elephant……
Two elephants, went out to play

(With each verse have a child dance in the middle of the circle)

Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increasing ability to count in sequence to 10 and beyond.

Blocks

 Add animals and people to the center.  Encourage the children to build houses.  Can they act out parts of the story?  Can they adapt the story to fit the animals in your center?

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play;  and to predict what will happen next in a story.  

Art

Encourage the children to draw pictures of houses and then draw or cut out an animal picture to put inside. 

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play;  and to predict what will happen next in a story.  AND Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing variety of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons and computer.

Library and Writing

Make a copy of the Elephant drawing directions. Encourage the children to read the directions and draw elephants.

Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing variety of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons and computer.  AND Creative Arts/Art; progresses in abilities to create drawings, paintings, models, and other art creations that are more detailed, creative, or realistic.

Sand and Water

If you read this story during the winter months bring in snow to put in the water table for the children to play with.  As the day progresses, help the children to notice what is happening to the snow.  Ask them why they think this is happening.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to describe and discuss predictions, explanations, and generalizations based on past experiences.  AND Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness of ideas and language related to the attributes of time and temperature.

Dramatic Play

Add any  stuffed animals that could represent a pet. Bring in pet supplies to enhance the play of caring for a pet, (A stuffed cat with a collar, a can of cat food, a brush, and a mouse toy).

Creative Arts/ Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.

Math and Manipulatives

Make two simple bar graphs.  At the bottom of the first, draw animals that show any pets that the children might have at home.  On the bottom of the second graph, draw animals that the children wish they could have for a pet.  These two graphs will probably have some overlapping animals but be prepared to draw an alligator or shark at the bottom of graph number two.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use language to compare numbers of objects with terms such as more, less, greater than, fewer, equal.  AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Outdoor Play

Put a blanket or sheet onto the ground and pretend that it is a house.  Everybody must fit on it (inside).  Talk about moving the house.  The children can hold onto the edges of the sheet and move as a unit to a new area. Talk about how everyone must cooperate and work together.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; increases abilities to sustain interactions with peers by helping, sharing, and discussing.

Transitions 

Make up simple animal riddles.  (I’m thinking of an animal pet with long floppy ears who hops and likes to eat carrots.  I’m thinking of an animal pet that lives in a bowl of water and swims around and around.)

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.

Resources

About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.