First The Egg, by L. Vaccaro-Seeger

This simple story shows how things transform from one thing into another.  The simple text and bold pictures make transformation of animals and things so much easier for young children to comprehend.


  • 1-2 Cheese Graters
  • 1 bar of Ivory hand soap
  • 2 rolls of toilet paper


Before Reading the Story

Go over your daily schedule with the children.  Talk about how first you do this and then you do that.  (First we eat breakfast and then we have a group time.  First we use the bathroom and then we go outside).  Use words first, next then, and after.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness of ideas and language related to attributes of time and temperature.

Reading the Story

Read the book slowly allowing the children to fill in the words if they can.  Pause before turning to the pages that start with ‘then’.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes. AND Language Development; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for varied other purposes.

After Reading the Story

Ask the children if they can recall all the transformations in the book.  If they can not recall, use the book and say, “First the ____ Then the see if the children can fill in the then.

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


Put out any books or materials that you have about life cycles and transformation.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest in reading-related activities, such as asking to have a favorite book read; choosing to look at books; drawing pictures based on stories; asking to take books home; going to the library; and engaging in pretend-reading with other children.

Music and Movement

Teach the poem, Dig a Little Hole

Dig a little hole                                  Follow the poem to make actions

And put the seed

Cover it with dirt

And let the sun shine in.

Add a little water

And keep it fed,

Pretty soon a little plant

Will show its head.

Roly Poly Caterpillar               Make actions to words

Roly Poly Caterpillar into a corner crept.

Spun a blanket around himself

Then for a long time slept.

Roly Poly Caterpillar waking by and by

Found he had beautiful wings

And was changed to a butterfly.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; shows increased awareness and beginning understanding of changes in materials and cause-effect relationships.


Add the book Changes, Changes by P. Hutchins.   Go through it with the children talking about all the changes that the blocks go through.  Then leave the center and see what the children choose to make.  Observe, did they make changes, changes in their play?

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; progresses in ability to put together and take apart shapes.


Put out primary colored paints today.  As the children prep for painting, tell them , “first you mix the yellow and red and then you get the orange”.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to describe and discuss predictions, explanations, and generalizations based on past experiences.

Sand and Water

Tell the children that today you are going to make clean mud with them.  Give a child the cheese grater and let them begin to grate the ivory soap bar into the water table.  While this child is grating soap, others can be tearing apart toilet paper, one square at a time and dropping it into the water table.  After all the soap has been grated and the toilet tissue torn, add a little water and start mixing up the soap and toilet paper.  Continue adding more water until you have a smooth and slippery consistency.  The toilet paper should be sculptable at this point.  Let the children experiment sculpting in the medium.

Creative Arts/Art; gains ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation.

Library and Writing

If you have any sequencing cards put them out today.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in a series, and regroup objects according to one or two attributes such as size or shape. AND Literacy/Print Awareness & Concepts; demonstrates increasing awareness of concepts of print, such as that reading in English moves from top to bottom and from left to right, that speech can be written down, and that print conveys a message.

Dramatic Play

Watch how the children choose to use the center today.  Try to use the first/then in conversation with the children.  I see that first you are making dinner and then you will eat it.  I see that you are getting the baby dressed what will you do then?  Oh, you are first putting on the red dress and then will you add some sparkle jewelry?  

Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness of ideas and language related to attributes of time and temperature.

Math and Manipulatives

Any kinds of pattern play materials that you may have today.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials.

Outdoor Play

Play Transformation.  Suggest that the children make themselves very small.  Now tell them to transform into something very long.  Transform into something very tall, humongous, teeny tiny, tall, that moves slowly, moves quickly, is jumpy, hardly moves at all, etc.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.


Call the children to line up or move to the next activity two at a time.  First Alison, then Sean.  First Ryan, then Paula.  First Jamie, then Kim.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.

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.