Whoever You Are, by Mem Fox

            This book helps point out clearly that although we might be different in some ways; in many more we are all just the same.  The colorful illustrations depict children and emotions that go along with the simple eloquent words of this book.

Materials

  • Paint sample chips in colors that reflect skin colors
  • Several bags of dried beans in various colors
  • Pictures of real children playing
  • Picture books that depict other ways of life then the one common to your children.
  • Emotion pictures

Vocabulary

  • Different (different from you or a group of objects)
  • Same (just like you or a group of objects)
  • Joy (something that makes you happy)

Before reading the Story;

            Tell the children “I’m thinking of something that all of us have”.  Let the children come up with things that are common to all if they can. Then tell the children the thing you are thinking of is covered by their skin and includes all the parts inside (a body).

Approaches to Learing/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.

Play Simon Says. (Stand on tippy toes, roll your knuckles on the floor, flip your ear lobe, touch your eyebrows, slap your thighs, etc.).

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and respect for their bodies and the environment

Reading the Story

            As you read the book stop on each page to share some of the things that you see that are different from where you live and also things that are the same.

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

After Reading the Story

            In the story it talked about we all feel joy and love the same and also blood and pain.  Show the children pictures of real children in a variety of situations that depict clear emotion.  Ask the children to talk about the pictures.  What is happening?  How do you think the child feels?  How would this make you feel?  What else makes you feel this way?  Who else feels this way?  What makes you happy?  What makes you laugh, cry, or be sad?  Make sure to ask the children who else feels or would feel this way?  The idea is to show that we all have feelings that are similar.

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.

Discovery

            Use paint chip samples to make a color matching game that has colors similar to skin colors.

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

Music and Movement

            Sing It’s Love That makes The World Go Round. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icoNkyEjIVo

It’s love, it’s love, it’s love that make the world go round,

It’s love, , it’s love, it’s love that makes the world go round,

It’s love, it’s love, it’s love that makes the world go round,

It’s love that make the world go round.

It’s boys, it’s girls, it’s friends that make the world go round’

It’s boys, it’s girls, it’s friends that make the world go round,

It’s boys, it’s girls, it’s friends that make the world go round

It’s love that makes the world go round.

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

Blocks

Encourage the children to build homes today. Add interesting materials to embellish such as toilet paper tubes, scraps of cardboard, felt squares, sticks, etc..

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

Art

            Give the children finger paints in white, brown, yellow, and black to try to mix skin tone colors.  Then encourage the children to draw people in their finger paint.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; shows increased awareness and beginning understanding of changes in materials and cause-effect relationships. AND Creative Arts/Art; gains ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation.

Sand and water

If your center allows, add several varieties of beans to the table for the children to use for scooping and pouring. Tell the children that these are all beans but they are diffrent.

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

Library and Writing

            Add any books with photos that depict life in other countries or life that is different from what you and the children understand as the norm.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest in reading related activities, such as asking to have a favoritie book read; choosing to look at books; drawing pictures based on stories; asking to take books home; going to the library; and engaging in pretend-reading with other children.

Dramatic play

            Bring in any clothes that you might have that are common to other cultures.  Add scarves to dress-ips as these can be used as capes, skirts, head dresses, baby carriers, etc..

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

Math and manipulatives

Make a Memory Game using pictures of children at play around the world. Make 2 sets of pictures and glue them to index cards. Turn the upside-down and the children must take turns trying to make matching pairs. If they make a match, they keep the cards. Play until all the cards have been matched and count who has the most cards.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive. AND Approaches to learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks, activities, projects, and experiences.

Outdoor play

Explain to the children that Soccer is a game played throughout the world. Set up a goal area and let the children practice their kicking and foot dribbling skills as you have soccer practice or a game.

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

Resources

Grover sings I am Special video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gms-Yk7mzv4

sample of color matching game

Pictures of children at play.



Emotion pictures

Why Worms? by Gillian Davies and Robin Kramer

            This is an easy reader book that really does not tell much about worms but it could be a good book to introduce a worm study unit.  Andrew likes to draw worms, lots of worms.

Materials

  •   A dozen worms and a plastic shoe box
  •   Several colors of yarn cut into 10 inch lengths, one per child
  •  Large pieces of paper
  • 5 Styrofoam coffee cups

Vocabulary

  • Wrigley (moving all around)Curling (to make lines that are not straight but like a rainbow or a C)
  • Squished-up (all bunched up into a little ball)

Before Reading the Story

            Show the children the cover of the book and read the title, Why Worms?  Ask the children if they know what worms are good for.  If not, talk to them about how fishermen use worms to catch fish and gardeners like worms because they make the soil soft and healthy for flowers and plants to grow.  Ask them if they can think of animals that might eat worms?  Tell them that worms are very important to the earth and that worms are good for the earth.

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

            When you get to the page where the only place left to draw is the wall, stop and ask the children what they think will happen? When you get to the page where Mom says they have to go shopping, ask the children if they can guess what Mom is going to buy?

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 predict what will happen next in a story.

After Reading the Story

            Give each child a piece of yarn about 10 inches long.  Ask them to make a curved worm, a squished-up worm, a long worm, etc.  Can you make a letter /c/ with your worm?  Try a letter /s/.  Continue until the children lose interest.  You can have them make different kinds of lines, letters, and shapes.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary AND Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of letters with their shapes and sounds.

Discovery

            Bring in real worms for the children to observe.  Put them in a plastic shoe box with a little bit of torn newspaper on the bottom, worms need moisture.  If the children are going to touch the worms have them dampen their hands first.  At the end of the day set the worms free.  Add a magnifying glass.  On a piece of paper write; Today we looked at worms.  Underneath it write the children’s observations (they tickle, they push and pull to move, they snuggle together are they scared?  They are sticky, they are shiny, they stretch out long!  They make letters like /e/ with their body, worm and squirm are rhyming words). Give the children pieces of paper and ask them to draw their worms as they observe them in different positions.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts.

Music and Movement

            Pretend to be worms.  Have the children spread out and lay down on a carpet.  Can they wriggle their bodies like a worm?  Try to curl-up and squish up.  See if you can stretch and scrunch to move forward, no arms allowed. 

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; progresses in physical growth, strength, stamina, and flexibility.

            Play the Hap Palmer song Walter the Waltzing Worm.  Cut out 10 inch piece of yarn for the children to dance along with. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WI6cp8XOyCY

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

Blocks

            Show the children how to lay a block on top of a piece of large paper and trace around it.  Have them trace around several different blocks.  Later lay all the pieces of paper on the floor and the children can match the correct blocks to their shapes.

Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing variety of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons, and computers. AND Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; begins to be able to determine whether or not two shapes are the same size and shape.

Art

            Cut several colors of yarn into six inch pieces.  Put out a bowl of watered down glue and brushes.  Give the children a piece of brown paper and have them brush the glue onto the paper.  They can then use the yarn worms to make a picture.  Encourage them to try to make letters and shapes with their worms.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; progresses in ability to put together and take apart shapes.

Library and Writing

            Make journals for the children and present them.  Encourage the children to draw something that they would like to learn more about in school.

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

Sand and Water

            Put dirt or sand into the table.  Add rubber fishing worms and several spoons.  The children can dig for worms.  Make sure there are no hooks in the worms! Count how many worms you found.

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

Dramatic Play

            Tie a piece of yarn onto a small stick, a pencil will work.  On the other end, tie a magnet.  Cut out fish shapes and put letters, numbers, shapes or colors on them.  Let the children go fishing.  Add a bucket to put the fish in.

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 Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks, activites, projects, and experiences.

Math and Manipulatives

            Label the Styrofoam coffee cups with numbers 1-5.  Have a child hide their eyes and put a yarn/fishing worm under one of the cups.  The child has to guess what cup it is under by the number name. (It’s under number 3).

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

Outdoor Play

            Give the children shovels and dig for worms.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness.

Transitions

            Put a piece of paper on the wall and a container of crayons.  As the children prepare to go to the next activity, have them come up and draw a worm.  The teacher names the color and the child picks the proper crayon.  When they draw their worm, make sure to comment on its curl, length, zig-zag, size, etc. (Kerry what a curly blue worm, Roger that is a long yellow worm),

I Like Me! , by Nancy Carlson

Materials;

  • Several towels to dry wet baby dolls
  • Spinning hand tops (if you do not have these, there are several ways to make them simply on YouTube).

Introducing the Story

Show the children the front of the book and tell them the name of the story is I Like Me! Ask the children if they can think of some things that they like about themselves. Let the children share their ideas and then read the story.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to, and discussing a variety of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. AND Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

Reading the Story

This simple text requires an upbeat reading.

After Reading the Story

Tell the children that in the story Pig cheered herself up when she felt sad. Ask the children what they think they can do to help cheer themselves or a friend up when they feel sad?

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; progresses in responding sympathetically to peers who are in need, upset, hurt, angry; and in expressing empathy or caring to others. AND Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

Music and Movement

Pretend to wash hands with the children. What do we do first? What do you do next? Then what? What do you do last? Go through your hand washing procedure with the children as you all pantomime what to do.

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

Discovery

Introduce spinning hand tops. These take some practice to be able to get going. Remind the children in the story, Pig had to practice, practice, practice, (try and try again) to do something new and different. Ask them if they remember what she was doing (baking a cake). If you do not have spinning tops, check to see what else in your center would be a challenge for the children to manipulate. The idea is to encourage to practice and practice and to try, try again.

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in ability to persist in and complete a variety of tasks and activities.

Blocks

Challenge the children to build a house. Encourage them to include windows and doors.

Approaches to Learning/reasoning & Problem Solving; grows in recognizing and solving problems through active exploration, in trial and error, and interactions and discussions with peers and adults.

Art

Just like in the story, draw beautiful pictures today.

Creative Arts/Art; progresses in abilities to plan, work independently, and demonstrate care and persistence in a variety of art projects.

Sand and Water

Add baby dolls and liquid soap to the water today. The children can pretend that they are bathing their babies.

Physical Health & 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

Remind the children that in the story the pig liked many things about herself. Help the children to trace around their hands and then ask them to tell you some things they like about themselves. Write their responses onto the paper with their hands and then let them decorate the paper with colored pencils.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates 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.

Dramatic Play

In the story Pig said she eats good food. Encourage the children to cook today and make a yummy, healthy meal. Can the children name all the foods in your dramatic play center? Can they sort them by like kinds, healthy-unhealthy, refrigerated and non-refrigerated, etc.?

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

Math and Manipulaties

Put out a new or challenging manipulative or building toy for the children today. If they begin to get frustrated tell them to say, “I think I can” and try, try again.

Approaches to Learning/reasoning & Problem Solving; grows in recognizing and solving problems through active exploration, in trial and error, and interactions and discussions with peers and adults.

Outdoor Play

If you have riding toys, encourage the children to ride on them fast, just like in the story today.

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

Transitions

Play, I’m Thinking of Someone. Think of a child in the classroom and begin to explain his/her characteristics, likes and dislikes. The children can guess whom you are thinking of. (I’m thinking of someone who has brown hair and likes to wear red sneakers. This person has a dog at home named Bowzer).

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; shows progress in developing relationships with peers (as in order to answer questions regarding peers)

Resources

Dear Parents, Today we read a story about a little pig who really liked herself. Ask your child what they like best about themselves. After they have told you, tell them, “I like you!” and then tell your child some of the things that you find so special about them.