Icy Watermelon-Sandia Fria, by Mary Sue Galindo

This bilingual story is about a family that delights in sharing watermelon and happy memories. Just a reminder that generational stories are lovely to share.


  • Watermelon, whole
  • One sharp knife and small plastic ones for each of the children.
  • 2 pillow cases
  • Rebus How to make a watermelon slice****


  • Abuelo/Abuela (Spanish for grandfather/grandmother)
  •  Harvest ( to pick the fruit/vegetable when it is ripe/ready)
  •  Barrios (neighborhoods)
  • Sandia Fria (icy watermelon)

Before Reading the Story

            Come to the rug today and act excited.  Tell the children that you have a surprise for them today. (Make sure the children can not see the watermelon or the book until after you have introduced the story).  Tell the children that you do not think they can guess it.  Let several children respond then say “It’s big and round, and it’s green on the outside.”  Let the children continue to guess.  Then tell the children that it is something that you eat and it has black seeds on the inside and is very juicy.  Continue to let the children guess.  If they still do not get the correct answer tell them watermelon.  Show the children the cover of the book and introduce.

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

Reading the Story

You will want to practice reading this book ahead of time as there are words in Spanish. In order to keep the children interested you do not want to be tripping over words.

After Reading the Story

            Ask the children if their parents ever share any stories about when they were little?  If not, share one about yourself.

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. AND Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops ability to identify personal characteristics, including gender and family composition.


            Bring in a watermelon.  Have the children describe the watermelons outside.  What color is it?  Does it smell?  Can you lift a watermelon?  After the children have described the outside of the watermelon (make sure you record their observations on a piece of paper), cut the watermelon open.  Cut the watermelon into slices and then let the children use the plastic knives to cut it into pieces.  Again have the children describe the watermelon using their senses.  Graph those who like watermelon and those who do not.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Music and Movement

            Tell the children that you are going to pretend to grow watermelon seeds.  First you have to dig a little hole and cover it with dirt.  Ask the children if they know how watermelons grow.  Explain that they grow on a vine.  Have the children pretend to be the seed and sprout from the dirt.  Tell them that a vine grows long against the ground.  Now tell them that they are the watermelons out in the field.  You are going to come and pick them and put them in the truck.  The children must try to stay a nice tight watermelon ball while you move them around, lift them, and put them in a group/pile.  Encourage the children to keep their bodies curled up and tight.  Once you have collected all the watermelons, tell the children that now they are the farmers and let’s drive our watermelons to the market to sell.  Pretend to drive.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; progresses in physical growth, strength, stamina, and flexibility. AND Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.

Teach the children the song, Down by the Bay.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CSxGHve60E           

Down by the bay, where the watermelon grow,

Back to my home, I dare not go.

For if I do, my Mother would say,

Have you ever seen a bear in his underwear?

Down by the bay.

(a snake baking a cake, a dog sitting on a log, a mouse in a purple house)

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; progresses in recognizing matching sounds and rhymes in familiar words, games, songs, stories, and poems.


Put out your play people today and watch what the children have them say and/or do.

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


Ahead of time, cut out one large circle out of a manilla file/cardboard and one slightly smaller circle. Have the children trace the large circle onto green paper and the smaller circle onto red paper.Have the children cut out one large green circle.  Have them cut out one red circle slightly smaller. Glue the red circle onto the green. Use the seeds from the watermelon to glue onto the red circle.  How many seeds does your watermelon slice have?

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; progresses in abilities to use writing, drawing, and art tools, including pencils, markers, chalk, paint brushes, and various types of technology. AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Library and Writing

            Say the word watermelon to the children.  Ask them if they can hear the two words that make up watermelon (water+melon).  Work with the children to think of more words that are made from two words combined (butterfly, basketball, campground, flashlight, underwear, dishwasher).

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows increasing ability to discriminate and identify sounds in spoken language.

Sand and Water

            Add red food coloring to the water just for fun. Then give the children a choice of what the would like to use in the water today.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

Dramatic play

            Encourage the children to pretend to be the grandparents who come to visit.  Have the children sort the play  fruits to make a pretend fruit salad.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families and Communities; progresses in understanding familiarities and respecting differences among people, such as genders, race, special needs, culture, language, and family structures.

Math and Manipulatives

Draw a half of a watermelon onto a large sheet of paper. Bring a dice and black marker to the table. The children take turns rolling the dice and then adding that many dots (seeds) to the watermelon. Let each child have several turns before including new children.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects. AND Social & Emotional Development/ Cooperation; develops abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Outdoor play

            A watermelon weighs about 20 pounds when it is fully grown.  Fill a pillowcase with about 15-20 pounds of sand and tie it off.  Let the children try to carry the pillow case around the playground.  Or bring in two and have a relay race.  Do you think it would be hard or easy to pick watermelons all day long?

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; progresses in physical growth, strength, stamina, and flexibility. AND Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; demonstrates growing confidence in a range of abilities and expresses pride in accomplishments.


Make a graph= I like Watermelon/I Do Not like Watermelon. As the children go to the next activity, have them sign their name to the graph. Later you can look at it as a group and see which was more, like/do not like.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways. AND Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their own name.

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.