Margaret and Margarita, Margarita y Margaret, by Lynn Reisner

            Margaret and Margarita both go to the park to play.  They find each other there but they do not speak the same language.  How will they play, what will they do?


  •  Copy of sign language words for friend, cat, shoe, and rabbit
  •  Camera
  • Picture of every child in the classroom, one of the teacher’s and also a group picture.


  • Park (a place for people to go that has a playground, paths, trees, and a bench to sit on and relax).
  • Communicate (talking to someone even if you don’t use spoken words)

Before reading the Story

            Tell the children that not everyone speaks the same language.  If you have children of various languages in the classroom, talk about who knows what language.  Discuss the various ways to say hello.  Talk about how even if you do not speak the same language, people can still communicate using their bodies and their faces.  Use gestures only to communicate tired, hungry, I don’t want to, and play with me.  See if the children can guess what you are trying to say.  See if the children can find ways to communicate these ideas. Introduce the story by explaining that the two girls in the story do not speak the same language. Ask the children if they think the two girls will be able to become friends, why/why not? Let’s find out what happens.

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

Reading the Story

            This story is best read by two people, one being the Margaret side of the page and one being the Margarita side of the page. If there are not two people available, use two different voices or puppets to tell the story.

After Reading the Story

            Start a discussion on how you can show friendship to someone that might speak another language.  Learn how to say friend in all the languages of your classroom.  After you discussion on friendship, have the children recite the poem Friends, P. Schillar after you.     

Friends know how to care,

How to take turns,

And how to share.

Friends know that it’s quite true,

If you’re kind to others,

They’ll be kind to you!

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


            If you have a school camera, let the children each take three pictures of children in the classroom.  Print these out and mount to the wall. (Our friends at work and play). Just a note; when we did this we also got pictures of feet, tables, etc.. Note that some children will have more experiences working a camera/phone camera than others.

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 Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; demonstrates increasing ability to set goals and develop and follow through on plans.

Music and Movement

            Teach your children a traditional Spanish/Mexican finger play like Cinco Amiguitos.

(Hold up five fingers on one hand).

Cinco amiguitos                                                  The Little Friends

(Wiggle all 5 fingers at once)

Estos son cinco amiguitos                                  There were five little friends

(Wiggle little finger)

El más chiquito compró’ un huevito.               This one bought an egg.

(Wiggle ring finger)

Este lo cocinco’.                                                    This one boiled it.

(Wiggle middle finger)

Este lo pelo’.                                                    This one peeled it.

(Wiggle pointer finger)

Este le puso sal.                                                 This one sprinkled salt on it.

(Wiggle thumb)

Y este pícaro gordito !Se lo comió’!                  And this little chubby one ate it!

(adapted by B.J. irby and R. Lara-Alecio)

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

            Put on music with rhythms and beats from other countries for the children to dance and move to.

Creative Arts/Movement; expresses through movement and dancing what is felt and heard in various musical tempos and styles.


            Tape of a 2 foot by 2 foot square on the floor of block center.  Encourage the children to work together and build cooperatively within the small space.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; shows increasing abilities to use compromise and discussion in working, playing, and resolving conflicts with peers.


            Put a large piece of easel paper on the easel.  Put out only two primary colors of paint.  Invite two children to work together to paint.  Each child has one color and as they work they will make a third color.  Call these friendship paintings.  You could write; Kerry and Roger made blue together.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; shows increasing abilities to use compromise and discussion in working, playing, and resolving conflicts with peers. AND Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Sand and water

Many parks have a sand pit. Put sand in the table today along with buckets and scoopers. Remind the children that the sand needs to stay in the table as sand on the floor is slippery.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Control; demonstrates increasing capacity to follow rules and routines and use materials purposefully, safely, and respectfully.

Library and Writing

            On an index card draw a picture of a shoe.  Write shoe in one color and zapitos in another color.  Do the same for rabbit-conjejita ,cat-gatita, and friends-amigas.  Encourage the children to copy the letters and write the words.  With the children practice learning the words.  If you program is bi-lingual, introduce sign language to the children.

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

            Make a classroom book.  This is similar set up to Bill Martin Jr’s book Brown Bear, Brown Bear. On a piece of paper, write Ms. (your name), Ms. (your name) who do you see? Glue your picture to the page.  On the next page write I see _____ smiling at me!  On the bottom of this page write _____ ______ who do you see?  Let the child pick the next picture to put in the book.  Continue to the last child has been picked and then write I see all my friends smiling at me!  Amigos!

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; chooses to participate in an increasing variety of tasks and activities.

Dramatic Play

            Encourage the children to use body language to speak to each other in the center today.  Communicate that you are hungry and then thank you for the food. 

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.

Math and Manipulatives

            Play a graphing game.  Make two bases (2 towels, tables, or hoola hoops lying on floor).  Ask the children questions with either or answers and have them move to the appropriate space.  If you like cats, go to the red towel, if you do not like cats go to the blue towel.  If you are wearing shorts go to the red towel, if you are not wearing shorts go to the blue towel.  If you go to the park stand on the red towel, if you have not gone to the park stand on the blue towel. If you are a boy stand to the red towel, if you are a girl stand on the blue towel. After each question have the children count off, which group has the most?

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

Outdoor Play

            Bring out a bell or instrument that makes a loud sound.  Tell the children that when they hear the bell they are to begin walking around but they can not touch another child.  When they hear the bell the next time, they are to stop.  Do this several times and then tell the children when they hear the bell, to all start walking to the fence but no touching.  Walk to the tree, etc.  When they can walk to a specific area without touching have the children try to do the same by running, skipping, hopping, and rolling.  Remember no touching.

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


Teacher names a child and then asks, “Who can tell me something that makes this child a good friend”? Allow one or two children to respond. If no child responds, the teacher tells why the child is a good friend. (Marko always smiles and says hello when he comes into the school. Marko goes on his mat and looks at books at nap and does not bother other children who are trying to sleep. Marko let’s you boys help him build in the block center).

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; shows progress in developing relationships with peers.


I’m done
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.