How the Sun Was Brought Back to the Sky, by Mirra Ginsburg

            For three long days the sun has not come out to shine its warmth and light upon the earth.  Follow the adventures of 5 little chicks to set out to see if they can help the sun begin to shine again. 

Materials

  • 2-4 beach balls.
  • Several pair of sunglasses, sun hats, and empty sunscreen container

Vocabulary

Before Reading the Story

            Bring a pair of sunglasses, a hat, and an empty sunscreen container to the carpet.  Hold up the items and ask the children what they all have in common (these two are red, they came from your house, my Dad has those).  After the children have had the opportunity to guess.  Tell the children that they all help keep you safe when you are in the sun.  Explain how each item keeps your safe.  Ask, who uses each item?

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 Physical Health & Safety/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities.

            Ask the children who likes sunny days?  What do you like to do on sunny days?  Show the children the cover of the book.  Tell them that today’s story is about the sun.  Look at the sun’s face, how do you think he is feeling?  I wonder what made him so sad.  Read the title.  I wonder where the sun had been? Let’s find out.

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. AND Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness of ideas and language related to the attributes of time and temperature.

Reading the Story

            On the page that shows the animals climbing the mountain, take a moment to show the children what a long way the chicks have traveled to try to help the sun.

After Reading the Story

            Talk with the children about how the animals helped the sun to shine again.  Do you think that they were being good friends?  Do you ever help your friends or your parents?  When you help people it makes them feel loved.

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

Discovery

            Make small weather signs that will fit onto your calendar.  Count how many sunny days there are in a week, a month.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness of ideas and language related to the attributes of time and temperature. AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; demonstrates increasing interest and awareness of numbers and counting as a means for solving problems and determining quantity.

Music and Movement

            Teach the children the song, Mister Sun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlzvrEfyL2Y

Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun

Please shine down on me.

Mister  Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun

Hiding behind the tree.

These little children are asking you

To please come out so we can play with you

Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun

Please shine down on me.

            Sing You Are My Sunshine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh7LJDHFaqA

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

You make me happy when skies are grey

You’ll never know dear

How much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away.

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

Blocks

            Cut out a yellow circle from construction paper.  Put this on the floor of blocks and suggest to the children that they use the blocks to make rays coming off the sun in a pattern. (You might have to make the first ray to get them started).

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials.

Art

            Give each child a piece of yellow construction paper.  Ask them to trace around a paper plate and then cut out the circle.  Ahead of time cut out plenty to yellow triangles.  The children can collage the triangles around their circle to make a sun shape. 

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

Library and Writing

Talk to the children for a moment about what they like to do on sunny days. (I like to play outside, I drink lemonade, I wear my baseball hat). Encourage the children to draw a picture about what they like to do. Under the picture write, Dear Mr. Sun, Please come out so I can _________________. Have the child then sign their name.

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.

Sand and Water

            In the story the animals polished the sun.  Put a small amount of water in to the table.  Add sponges or rags and beach balls.  The children can pretend to be polishing the sun.

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

            Bring in sunglasses and sun hats for the children to use in their play.  Clean and empty sunscreen bottle. Watch and listen to see if the children recall your talk about sun safety in their play.

Physical Health & Safety/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities.

Math and Manipulatives

            Have the children collect all your old crayons and peel the paper off of them.  Sort the crayons into a muffin tin or paper drinking cups according to colors.  Place the muffin tin out on a hot sunny day (this is a summer activity).  Observe over the next hours to see if the crayons have melted.  If not, this experiment can also be done by placing the muffin tin in the oven.  Bring inside and let cool down some so that a large crayon starts to form in each muffin tin.  Turn the crayons out and let them finish cooling. Save them to use on another day.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer. AND Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness of ideas and language related to the attributes of time and temperature.

Outdoor Play

            Step out into the sunshine, now step into the shade.  Can you feel a difference, see a difference? (The sun will feel warmer and makes everything very bright).

Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness of ideas and language related to the attributes of time and temperature.

Transitions

          Cut out a simple sun shape. On the wall where all the children can see, tape a piece of rectangular construction paper. Move the sun about the construction paper and ask the children to tell you where/what position the sun is in. Encourage the children to use whole sentences. (The sun is under the rectangle. The sun is behind the rectangle. The sun is on top of the rectangle.

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

Resources

Gilberto and the Wind, by Marie Hall Ets

Gilberto goes out to play with the wind.  What he finds is Wind can be a moody friend.

Materials

  • Several empty toilet paper tubes
  • Plastic straws
  • Several ping pong balls or large puffballs
  • 26 Clothespins and a drying rack. If you do not have a drying rack, you could attach a piece of yarn to make a clothesline.

Vocabulary

  • Invisible (You can not see it but it is still there)

Before Reading the Story

Ask the children to look out the window and tell you what they see.  If someone mentions that they see something that is moving ( a tree branch) ask them what they think is making it move.  Explain to the children that the wind is always moving things but that the wind is invisible. We can not see the wind but we can see what it is moving.  How else can we tell if the wind is around? (You can hear it, you can feel it)  Recite the following poem to the children.  The Wind, Christina Rossetti.

Who has seen the wind?

Neither I nor you;

But where the leaves hang trembling,

The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?

Neither you nor I;

But when the trees bow down their heads,

The wind is passing by.

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

Reading the Story

As you read give the children opportunity to talk about similar experiences they might have had.

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

After Reading the Story

This might be a good day to talk to the children about severe weather and your school policy in case of.  Do you and your children know what to do and where to go if there is a tornado?

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities.

Discovery

Let the children use bubbles in the center today.  Give them small containers of solution.  You can make simple bubble blowers from pipe cleaners. As they blow the bubbles, talk about how their breath is like the wind and pushes the bubbles to move. (Blowing bubbles is difficult for children to learn to do. Show then how to gently blow by blowing on the back of their hand.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Music and Movement

Have the children stand up and spread out.  They should be standing far enough apart that with their arms outstretched they are touching nobody. As you recite the poem, Wind, the children can move their arms like a windmill round and round.

Blow and turn then blow again, Round and round the windmill spins.

Whooshing fast, then creaking slow

Come on wind and make us go!

(Play with moving your arms fast and slow).

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

Tell the children that you are going to pretend to be trees on a windy day.  Plant your roots into the ground because they are strong.  Use your arms to be the branches.  First the wind is just a breeze and you hardly move at all.  Then the wind gets gusty and you bend and over and come back up.  Then the wind gets blustery and you don’t know which way to move so your branches (arms) are swirling all around as you bend and come back up.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex. AND Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.

Look back over the story and challenge the children and yourself to act out more wind scenarios.

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

Blocks

Ask the children to build a fenced around a large area of your block center with the blocks. Inside the fenced area build small tunnels and halls. (Think mini golf course). After the children have finished building, give them each a ping pong ball and challenge them to blow it around the fenced area, trying to go under or through the blocks.

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

Art

Water down several colors of tempera paint.  Place a small spoonful onto a piece of paper.  The child uses a straw to blow the paint across the paper.  Make sure to have the children practice blowing out a few times before they begin.  Plastic straws work best.

Creative Arts/Art; gains ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation.

Library and writing

Make letters of the alphabet on pieces of paper (white like the white sheets in the story or fancy shirts).  Hang a clothesline and encourage the children to clothespin the letters to the line in the proper order.  Make sure to put out an alphabet line where the children can easily see it.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; knows that letters of the alphabet are a special category of visual graphics that can be individually named. AND Identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name.

Sand and Water

Put water into the table today with small boats. Encourage the children to pretend to be the wind and blow the boat across the water table.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Dramatic Play

Hang pictures of different kinds of weather events in the center for the children to use as a jumping board to their play. For a more permanent look, turn these pictures into window scenes.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Math and Manipulatives

Collect a variety of lightweight objects ( a feather, piece of yarn, paperclip, a leaf, a cotton ball, a piece of wadded up paper).  Show the children how to put the toilet tube over their mouth and blow hard!  Have the children take turns blowing the different objects.  For older children they can measure how far an object went by using a ruler or chain links.  Now add some heavier items.  How does the weight of an object affect the way it moves when it is blown?

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows progress in using standard and non-standard measures of length and area of objects. AND Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; develops increasing abilities to observe and discuss common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects and materials.

Outdoor Play

Look for evidence of the wind.  Do you see the wind moving anything?  Stand very still, is it moving anything on your body? Can you feel the wind upon your skin?

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

Bring your bubbles and wands outside. Can the children tell what direction the wind is blowing by looking at the bubbles floating? Can they pop the bubbles before they reach the ground? Can they catch a bubble on a bubble wand without popping it?

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.

Transitions

Tell the children that in the story the wind moved many objects.  Ask the children to recall something in the story that the wind moved or something from their own lives.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in a bilities 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.

Resources