Abiyoyo, by Pete Seeger

Children always seem to delight in this scary story about a giant that comes to town and a small boy who thinks outside the box to save the people.


  • 2-3 flashlights
  • Bubbles and a bubble blower
  • Several small bars of soap, like the kind you would get in a hotel, or soft soap.
  • 8-10 small boxes (shoe box sized and smaller)
  • 2-4 dozen rubber bands big enough to fit snugly around the largest of your small boxes
  • Paint brushes and buckets


  • Ukulele (an instrument kind of like a little guitar)
  • Ostracized (to be kicked out or excluded from the group)
  • Precious possessions (most important and loved things)
  • Disappear (make something vanish or go away)
  • Brave (to challenge something and show courage doing so)
  • Hygiene (how to keep oneself clean)

Before Reading the Story

Ask the children if they know what the word brave means. Explain that being brave means doing something even if it feels scary. Ask the children if they can think of any time that they were brave. (I stayed in my bed when there was thunder, I rode my bike on two wheels and fell down but now I can do it, I climbed to the top of the bars). Introduce the story by telling the children that it is about a very brave boy and his father who saved the whole town from a scary giant named Abiyoyo.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.  AND  Language Development/Speaking and Communicating; uses an increasingly complex and varied spoken vocabulary.

Reading the Story

As you read, stop and ask the children how the townspeople are feeling on different pages. Why do you think they are feeling that way?

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; progresses in responding sympathetically to peers who are in need, upset, hurt, or angry; and in expressing empathy and caring for others.

Encourage the children to join in with you singing Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo. Become more vibrant, loud, and bouncy until you finally stop abruptly to end the story.

Literacy/Book Knowledge and Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing a variety of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

After Reading the Story

Talk to the children about what Abiyoyo looked like. Did he have good hygiene? What should you do to keep your fingernails from getting long and dirty? How do you keep your feet from getting all stinky? When is it important to wash your hands, why? Ask the children why they think it is important to bath? Explain to  them that when they are clean, other people enjoy more to be around them.

Physical Health and Development/Health Status & Practices; shows growing independence in hygiene, nutrition, and personal care when eating, dressing, washing hands, brushing teeth, and  toileting.


Try doing shadow play today. Shine a flashlight on the wall and let the children try making hand shadows or whole body shadows. Does it make a difference if there is a lot of light in the room, if you stand in front or behind the light? Can you make a whole body shadow or an animal using your hands?

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

Music and Movement

Put on some classic guitar music and have an air band while you play and dance to the music.

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

Sing  Momma Don’t Allow No Guitar Playing Around Here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-ODoOHoNyQ

Momma don’t allow no guitar playing around here.
Momma don’t allow no guitar playing around here.
I don’t care what Momma don’t allow
Gonna play my guitar any how
Momma don’t allow no guitar playing around here.

(Momma don’t allow no hand clapping, jumping, foot stomping, etc.)

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

Encourage the children to clap out the syllables as they sing Abiyoyo. Start slowly and then speed up.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing ability to hear and discriminate separate syllables in words.


Challenge the children to build something really gigantic out of the blocks today. If using wooden blocks, remind them about any height rule you may have.

Physical Health and Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in eye-hand coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.


Encourage the children to draw big scary giants. Older children might enjoy drawing different parts of the story.  Remind them about the giant in the story, can they draw slobbery mouths and dirty fingernails?

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.   Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest in reading related activities, such as asking to have a favorite story read, choosing books to look at, drawing pictures based on stories, and engaging in pretend reading with other children.

Sand and Water

Encourage the children to take turns practice washing their hands so they don’t get all yucky like Abiyoyo. Talk about the importance of hand washing and when children should wash their hands.

Physical Health and Development/Health Status & Practices; shows growing independence in hygiene, nutrition, and personal care when eating, dressing, washing hands, brushing teeth, and toileting.

Library and Writing

Paint with water on the sidewalk. The water will disappear. Can you write your name with this magic water paint before it disappears?

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

Dramatic Play

Add a stringed instrument and a magic wand to the center. Encourage the children to act out the story.

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

Math and Manipulatives

Put out a variety of small boxes, minus the tops. Show the children how to wrap rubber bands around the box and make plunking instruments. Do all the boxes make the same sound?

Scientific/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops increased ability to observe and discuss common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects and materials.

Outdoors Play

Take some bubbles outside today. The teacher can blow the bubbles and children can use a small stick or their finger to pretend to be a wand a “zoop”/pop the bubbles to make them disappear.

Physical Health and Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in eye-hand coordination used in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.


Play “which is” during transitions today. Ask the children, which is… bigger, louder, scarier, taller, etc. depending upon the age of your children. Which is bigger, a cat or a goat? Which is taller a person or a house?

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.  AND  Mathematics/Patterns & Measurements; begins to make comparisons between several objects based on a single attribute.

Dear Parent,  It is important for children to learn to bath and clean themselves independently. As you go through your evening routines with your child, monitor his/her washing and brushing and give encouragement as they practice these skills. When they are all clean and ready for bed, comment on how nice and clean they smell.

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.