A Birthday Basket for Tia, by Pat Mora

It’s Tia’s birthday, what special gifts will she find in the basket?

Materials

  • Large basket to hold a book, a teacup, a mixing bowl, a (red) ball, a flowerpot, and some silk flowers.
  • A circle graph
  • A sheet, or towel, large enough to cover the items in the basket.
  • Pillowcase
  • 10 flannel candles, color these yellow and blue
  • Copy of basket, one per child
  • old wrapping paper or aluminum foil
  • 4-5 pipe cleaners cut into thirds

Vocabulary

  • Tia (means Aunt in Spanish)
  • Tea Cup (a special cup to drink tea in)
  • Surprise (to give somebody something unexpectedly)

Introducing the story

Bring the large basket filled with the items listed. Tell the children that you have a surprise for my Tia/aunt whom I love very much. Ask them if they can guess why you are giving them to your Tia. “Yes! It’s her birthday!” If nobody suggests birthday, tell the children because it is her birthday. Pick up each item and have the children name. Ask the children how they celebrate birthdays. Write their responses on a large sheet of paper.

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

Read the story quietly, secretly as though you do not want Tia to hear. As you read, hold up each item in the basket when presented in the story and put down in front of you in a haphazard order.

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

After Reading the Story

Ask the children to recall what item was put in the basket first, second, third, last. Put the items back in the basket in the proper order with the help of the children.

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.

Use the circle graph and take the list of the children responses of how they celebrate birthdays and mark those that are like the story and those that are different.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; begins to make comparisons between several objects based on a single attribute. 

 Music and Movement

Sing Happy Birthday with your children. Or, try

Happy Birdle Daydle toodle yooudle.
Happy Birdle Daydle toodle youdle
Happy Birdle Daydle deardle youdle
Happy Birdle Daydle toodle youdle.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing awareness of beginning and ending sounds in words.

Or teach them to sing it in Spanish

Feliz cumpleaños a ti
feliz cumpleaños a ti
feliz cumpleaños querido/a (name)
feliz cumpleaños a ti.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; uses an increasingly complex and varied spoken vocabulary.

Discovery

Without the children being able to see, put an object into the pillowcase. It should be something from the classroom that the children are familiar with. Let the children take turns feeling the item through the pillow case. Can they guess what it is without looking? After each child, change the object. Try putting in the objects from the story also. Encourage the children to take turns finding a classroom object and putting it into the pillowcase for a friend to guess.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness. Chooses to participate in increasing variety of tasks and activities.

Blocks

Give the children scraps of wrapping paper and tape, or pieces of aluminum foil, and show them how to wrap the blocks up like gifts.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Art

Use the teacup and a variety of cups to print circle shapes on paper. Talk about small, medium, and large circles as they print.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; begins to be able to determine whether or not two shapes are the same size and shape.

Sand and Water

Use dampened sand today to make cakes. Add pieces of pipe cleaners to represent candles. Encourage the children to add 3 candles, 5 candles, etc.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increased abilities to combine, separate, and name “how many” concrete objects.

Library and Writing

Give children a copy of the basket and ask them to draw a picture of a gift that they would give to Tia.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest in reading related activities, such as asking to have a book read; choosing to look at books; drawing pictures based on stories, asking to take books home…

Dramatic Play

Put the basket with the items from the story (minus the tea cup-replace with a plastic one) and encourage the children to play birthday party. You could also add some crepe paper and tape, some boxes to put items in, and birthday hats.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games or using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Math and Manipulatives

Teach the children the poem, Ten Little Candles and let them subtract the candles as you recite.

10 Little Candles standing on a cake (Put the 10 candles on the flannel board)
Whhh, Whhh, now there are 8 (Take 2 candles away)
8 little candles in candlesticks
Whhh, Whhh, now there are 6 (Take 2 candles away)
6 little candles and not one more
Whhh, Whhh, now there are 4 (Take away 2 candles)
4 little candles, yellow and blue
Whhh, Whhh, now there are 2 (Take away 2 candles)
2 little candles, 1 plus 1
Whhh, Whhh, now there are none. (Take away 2 candles)

Mathematics/Number & Operations; demonstrates increasing interest and awareness of numbers and counting as a means for solving problems and determining quantity.

For younger children you might try Five Little Candles

5 little candles standing tall
Burning brightly, count them all
Puff, I blow with all my might
And out goes one little candle light.
Then so on for 4, 3, etc.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; demonstrates increasing interest and awareness of numbers and counting as a means for solving problems and determining quantity.

Outdoor Play

Hang a piñata from a tree and practice hitting it with a plastic baseball bat. If you do not have a piñata you can use a pillowcase stuffed with newspaper, sack, anything that the children can practice hitting at. You do not need to fill it with goodies, you can pretend.

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

Transitions

Have each child pretend to blow out the birthday candles. Remove 1-10 and the child must tell you how many remain before they go to the next activity.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increasing ability to count in sequence to 10 and beyond.

Dear Parents, Today we read a story about a birthday celebration. Talk with your child about when their birthday is. Tell them the date and what happens just before. Example; Kerry your birthday is March 11, when it is your birthday it will begin to get warmer because soon it will be spring. Roger your birthday is December 23, when it is almost Christmas it will be your birthday.

Resources

Screen Shot 2018-08-05 at 11.59.18 AM
candles
Screen Shot 2018-08-05 at 12.12.23 PM

Ask Mr. Bear by Marjorie Flack

Farm animals try to help a little boy find the perfect gift for his Mother’s birthday. Find out what the perfect gift is while reading this simple book with your children.

Materials

  • Picture of cow and bear with word printed underneath.
  • Feely box (shoe box with a hole cut out of each end so child can put their hands inside) A pillowcase will work also.
  • Bear Face
  • 1 brown lunch bag per child
  • Many foil squares and wrapping bows
  • Roll of crepe paper
  • Homemade or store bought “birthday” hats and any other birthday supply

Vocabulary

  • Fine (something that is made very well)
  • Wool (a kind of fur)

 Introducing the Story

Turn to the first page and ask the children how they think the little boy is feeling. Why do you think he is feeling this way? Explain to the children that Danny is sad because he does not know what to get his Mother for her birthday. Ask the children what they would do if it were them?  Tell them the story is called Ask Mr. Bear, why do you think it is named that?

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

 Reading the Story

As you read the story give the children the opportunity to name the animal and make the animal sound in the appropriate places  When you get to the page where Danny’s Mother is guessing what Danny has gotten her for her birthday, stop and ask the children if they can guess too.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; chooses to participate in an increasing variety of tasks and activities. AND Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find o more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.

 After reading the Story

Show the children the front cover of the book. Ask the children to remember what animals were in the story that are not on the cover (bear and cow).

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell or dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in as story.

Cover the cow and bear picture with a piece of paper. Slowly slide the paper off the picture and stretch the word so the children can hear the individual sounds.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows growing awareness f beginning and ending sounds in words.

 Discovery

Introduce the feely box. Put a familiar object inside the box/ pillowcase and show the children how to put their hands in the holes to feel it. Use familiar items from your classroom. Can they guess what you have put in the box? Teach them to play this game with their friends.

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

 Music and Movement

With the book in hand, ask the children to show you what walking looks like, skipping looks like, hopping, galloping, trotting, and running

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary. AND Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency , control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, hopping, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

 Blocks

Put out the many foil squares and encourage the children to wrap blocks like birthday gifts. Let them attach wrapping bows for decoration.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motors; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

 Art

Have the children cut a bear head out and glue it to a brown paper lunch sack to make puppets Let the children water color their puppet.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motors; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer. AND   Creative Arts/Art; develops growing ability to plan, work independently, and demonstrate care and persistence in a variety of art projects.

 Sand and Water

Fill the bottom of the sand table with an inch or two of dirt. Take the children outside to help gather sticks, small branches, and rocks. Put these into the table along with several plastic animals or people. Encourage the children to make a forest scene.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.

Library and Writing

Put out the cow and bear pictures, encourage the children to practice writing the words and then drawing their own animals.

Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing variety of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons, and computers.

 Dramatic Play

Set up a birthday theme by adding hats, crepe paper, and small boxes that the children can put objects in. Add self sticking wrapping bows.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

 Math and Manipulatives

Use counting bears to make simple patterns. Ask the children to make one just like yours. Ask the child to show you how many bears old they are, how many people are in their family

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances ability to recognize, duplicate, and extend patterns using a variety of materials. AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

 Outdoor Play

Encourage the children to act out the story with you. Depending on how many children are interested you will have to include other animals and movements. Example; Then Kerry asked Kangaroo, do you have a gift I can give my mother? But Kangaroo said no and so they all jumped along and jumped along until they met Snake.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell or dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in as story.

Transitions

           As children are laying down for nap or getting ready to leave, give each a hug and say; Here’s a big bear hug just from me.

Dear Parent- Today we read the book Ask Mr. Bear in which a child tries to find the perfect gift for his Mother’s birthday. Talk to your child about when his/her birthday is. Give the child the date and then state something that will happen close to the date so the child can begin to become aware of things that happen near their birthday. (Kerry your birthday is in the spring when it starts to get warmer outside. Roger, your birthday is just after your father’s birthday).

Resources

Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 3.59.08 PM
Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 3.59.24 PM

I Love Saturdays and domingos, by Alma FLor Ada

Most everyone enjoys the weekends.  In this story a little girl spends Saturdays with her grandparents who come from a European-American background and Sundays she spends with her grandparents who come from a Mexican-American background.  The activities they do are similar and yet different.  The little girl knows that both are good ways and that both sets of grandparents love her very much.

Materials

  • Gallon milk jug or piñata
  • People shaped cookie cutters or various sizes
  • Dollhouse if possible with furniture
  • Pictures of Grandparents and Grandchildren
  • Old and new pictures for sorting

Vocabulary

  • There are many Spanish words dispersed within the story. 
  • Abuelita y Abuelito  (Grandmother and Grandfather in Spanish)
  • Seashore (another word for the beach at the ocean)
  • Aquarium (a place where fish live)

Before Reading the Story

Ask the children if anyone has Grandparents who live by or visit them?  Allow the children to talk about their Grandparent experiences.  ( My Gradma came to my house for Christmas.  My Grandpa took me fishing).   Ask the children if anyone knows how they are related to you?  These are your parents, parents.  Your Mom and Dad are their babies, just like you are your Mom and Dad’s baby.

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

Practice reading the story so that you can properly pronounce the words in Spanish.  Invite someone who is bi-lingual to read the story for you today.

After Reading the Story

Go back through the pictures and talk about how each set of grandparents does something similar but a little different.  Explain that both ways are good because the little girl knows that each set of grandparents loves her very much.  After discussing all the things the grandparents did with the girl, ask the children to tell you something that they would like to do with a grandparent.  Write their answers on a sheet of paper and title it, My Grandparent List.  Hang it on the wall for parents to see.  (I wish my Grandma would bake me cookies, I wish my Grandparents would take me to the seashore).

Literacy/Print Awareness & Concepts; develops growing understanding of different functions of forms of print such as signs, letters, newspapers, lists, messages, and menus.

Discovery

Sort pictures of old and new objects.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in a series, and regroup objects according to one or two attributes such as shape or size.

Music and Movement

These are Grandma’s Spectacles finger play

These are Grandma’s spectacles , Make circles over eyes with fingers touching thumbs. And this is Grandma’s hat. Put hands on head to make a little hat. And here’s the way she folds her hands, Fold hands onto lap. To take a little nap. Rest chin on chest and pretend to snore.

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

Tell the children that you are going to pretend to go to Grandparents house.  Move across the room by jumping.  Have the children follow you.  Now take turns picking children to show other ways to move across the room to go to Grandparents home. (skip, backwards, crawl, tiptoe).

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor SKills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.

Sing Mi Casa, My House  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaTgmKVtf1o

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

Sing We Are A Family by Jack Hartmann and teach the children the sign language that goes along.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foptl0BeXnY

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

Blocks

Encourage the children to build houses today for the people set.  Can they make beds and chairs that will fit the people from blocks?

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem. AND Mathematics/Pattern & Measurement; shows progress in using standard and non-standard measures for length and area of objects.

Art

Cut or tear pictures of people from magazines and make a family collage.

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.

Bring in various sizes of people cookie cutters for the children to use today.  As they play with the dough, talk to them about what they like to do with their family and grandparents.

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.

Allow the child to paint their hand using the easel paint and brushes.  Once their hand is covered with paint, they can make prints on the easel paper.  Suggest they paint their fingers different colors than their palm. Although this is messy, many children like this sensory experience.

Creative Arts/Art; begins to understand and share opinions about artistic products and experiences.

Sand and Water

Put damp sand in the table today along with small cars and boxes.  The children can pretend that the boxes are homes and drive their cars to Grandparents home. Ask them what they might see on the way to Grandparents home and encourage them to make these geographical structures in the sand. (When I go to Grandpa’s house there are mountains all around. My Grandparent lives near the lake).

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; begins to express and understand concepts and language of geography in the contexts of the classroom, home, and community.

Library and Writing

Ask each child to tell you something that they like to, or would like to do, with their grandparent.  Write it on a piece of paper and then ask the child to illustrate it.  If they have no experience with a Grandparent, have them do the same activity using a parent of adult friend.

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play. AND Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops ability to identify personal characteristics, including gender and family composition.

Dramatic Play

Add pictures of Grandparents and Grandchildren to help stimulate play today.

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

Bring in a variety of play telephones so the children can pretend to call their grandparents. Call out numbers for them to dial. Do they recognize the written numerals?

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Math and Manipulatives

Bring out the Unifix cubes and a dice today.  Have a child roll the dice and build a tower with that many Unifix cubes.  Go around the circle taking turns rolling the dice and adding that many cubes to their tower.  After five rolls, stop and compare the towers.  Who has the tallest tower? The shortest?  Do it again but this time have the children lay their stack down on the table as they build it.  Who has the longest, the shortest? Have the children count the number of Unifix cubes in their tower.

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

Outdoor Play

Trace around each child’s body using chalk on a sidewalk.  Let the children use the colored chalk to decorate their body if they choose. 

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

If possible, bring a piñata outside with you today.  Let the children take turns trying to hit it.  If you do not have a piñata, hang an empty gallon milk jug from a branch and pretend that it is a piñata.

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

Transitions

Play Name Something. Take turns asking the children something they like to do with their, parent, grandparent, friend, and alone.

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem. AND Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

Resources