Dog’s Colorful Day, by Emma Dodd

Dog is a white dog with one black spot until he begins his day.  Wherever he goes, he adds another colored spot. This story makes learning colors and counting fun.


  • Dog picture
  • 10 small paper plates
  • dice
  • bowl of colorful puffballs
  • spray bottle filled with water
  • white coffee filters


  • Messy (to get all dirty)

Before Reading the Story

Ask the children to raise their hand if they have a dog at home.  Give them several minutes to talk about their dogs.  Read the title to the children and ask them if they know what messy means.  If not, tell them that in the story messy means getting all dirty.  Ask the children what they do when they get dirty? (Take a bath/shower).  Attach a piece of paper to the wall and draw a line down the center.  On one side write BATH and on the other write SHOWER.  Ask each child if they like baths or showers better and write their name on the corresponding side.  Ask the children who have dogs if their dog likes to take a bath.  Let them share any dog bathing experiences before reading the story.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes.

Reading the Story

As you read each page, point to the new spot and see if the children can name the color.  Then count the spots on Dog before turning to the next page.

Mathematics/Number & operations; develops increasing ability to count in sequence to ten and beyond.

After Reading the Story

Go back through the book with the children .  Turn each page and show the children the spot as you name the color.  Ask the children if they can remember how Dog got that colored spot? As you turn the pages, the illustrations will help the children to recall how each colored spot was made.  Encourage them to tell you using full sentences.

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.


Let the children draw dots on white coffee filters with water soluble markers.  After they have filled their filter with dots, let them use a spray bottle and watch the colors begin to mix.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Music and Movement

Chant Left Hand Right Hand

Make sure you are facing the children when you do this and you do the opposite so the children are mirroring you using their correct right and left.

Left hand, right hand I am cool

Left hand, right hand I learned at school.

Continue using knees, elbows, etc.

Mathematics/Spatial & Geometry; builds an increasing understanding of directionality, order, positions of objects and words such as up, down, over, under, top, bottom, inside, outsidek, in front and behind.

Rainbow song

If your children are fairly competent with their colors, bring a piece of construction paper in each color and pass them out one per child. The children take turns holding up when the color in their hands is sung.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

Count to ten and back again. Have the children crouch down low and as you count to ten, slowly begin to rise taller and taller until at ten your hands are over your head. Now count back down to 1 slowly getting smaller and smaller. When you get to 1 you should be crouched down again. Say blast off! And everybody jump up into the air.

Mathematics/Number & operations; develops increasing ability to count in sequence to ten and beyond.

Teach the children the song My Dog Rags and the actions that go along with it.


Add colored blocks to the center today. As the children build, ask them to show you a red block, a blue block. Ask them to count all the green blocks. Help make them aware of al the colors in their structure and the color names.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors. AND Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; demonstrates growing confidence in a range of abilities and expresses pride in accomplishments.


Give each child a dog picture.  On the table put out the paper plates with only a little paint.  Show the children how to put a pencil, eraser end, into the paint and make spots on Dog by using an up and down motion.

Creative Arts/Art; gains ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation. AND Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.

Sand and Water

Add water and have the children wash any rubber animals that you might have (I’m thinking block center animals).  Talk about when we play with toys they get dirty so sometimes we need to give them a bath to clean them up.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities.

Library and Writing

Put out the pictures of the animal pets with a pencil and paper for each child.  Challenge the children to write the name of each pet on their paper.  The children may enjoy drawing a pet that they have at home.

Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from using scribbling, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their name.

Dramatic Play

Pull out your doctor play kit and add stuffed animals and several boxes or bins.  Turn into a veterinary office.

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

Math and Manipulatives

Make a big dog on a large piece of construction paper.  Put out a bowl of puffballs.  The children take turns rolling the dice and putting that many spots onto the dog. 

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Outdoor Play

On the way to the playground, act out the following poem with the children.

We’ll hop,hop,hop like a bunny

And run run run like a dog

We’ll skit skit skit like a kitten

And jump jump jump like a frog

We’ll swim swim swim like a goldfish

And fly fly fly like a bird

We’ll gallop gallop gallop like a horse

And then walk walk walk like children, of course.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions. AND Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.

Provide hula hoops for the children to pretend to be dogs doing jumping tricks through the hoop.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; demonstrates increasing abilities to coordinate movements in throwing, kicking, bouncing balls, and using the slide and swing.


Cut out little strips of construction paper in the colors that you are working on in your class.  Give each child a color strip and explain that they need to go on a color search and bring back 2 items that are that color.  As they show you their two items they go off to the next activity.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; shows growth in matching, sorting, putting in a series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, or size.


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.