Posts Tagged ‘literacy’
Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
First off, my apologies for posting so late today (tonight). Our kids are on a fall break, and we’ve been trying to spend some time as a family. And most unfortunately, I have some scheduling issues with my podcasting host. So here we finally are…
I will be stunned and shocked if you are not able to find this book at your library–both your town library and your school library. Rainbow Fish is extremely popular with teachers and parents. If you want to buy it, as usual you can add pennies to our tip jar and purchase through Amazon. But truly, you should find it with out any problem in a book order.
Real Mom Activities: I am suggesting a conversation with your kids about what it means to be a good friend and how important sharing is. Ask your kids what kinds of things they can do to share with others. If it works for your family, you might decide to go through your toy box and share some toys with those who are less fortunate. I try to do this with my kids at least twice a year for two reasons. First, I really do want them to learn how blessed they are and how often others do without. I think it is critical to teach children about service to others concrete examples and experiences. And second, it seems that every year my kids accumulate WAY more toys and stuff than they can possibly love. So, this is also a great to to get some of the clutter out of my house in a positive manner.
Super Mom Activities: As I mentioned this book is really popular with teachers. As a result, you can hardly do a search on Google without bumping into a teacher with a project for Rainbow Fish. And, frankly, if you ask me, all these activities are for super moms. You can truly pick just about any one and have a great activity. We’d love to see pictures of your art. Leave us a comment with a link to your Super Mom Moment.
How Will We Get to the Beach by Brigitte Luciani, illustrated by Eve Tharlet
This book may be a little more difficult to track down than last week’s book. My local library does not have this book, and I was not able to locate it on Scholastic’s website. But I did notice that it is available both new and used from Amazon. And also in Spanish. And also in paperback. All sorts of options there. Onward to the activities!
Real Mom Activity
Memory Tray Game: This is a simple memory and guessing exercise you can do with children of any age. All you need is some sort of tray like a cookie sheet and an assortment of objects. If you just wanted to use the table that would work too. Basically, you spread the items out, let your kids look at them and touch them for a minute or so, have everyone close their eyes, and then take one thing away. Then, they open their eyes and guess what you took. You can easily scale the difficulty of the game by having more or fewer items, by lengthening or shortening the time they explore the items, by changing or not changing the items every round, and by taking away more or fewer objects.
Supermom Mom Activity
Retelling the Story: Books with strong plot patterns are good choices to have children retell creatively. So get together the paper and crayons and markers and staples and stuff you’ll need to make a book. If you need more suggestions, I did a post on book writing that might help you. Then, help your kids think of 5 items and a place they’d like to take them. Brainstorm different modes of transportation together. Now it’s time to write the story again. Depending on the age of your child, you can write the story or caption the pictures she draws. If your child is older and interested, have him both illustrate and write a new story. Oh, and don’t forget to hide a ladybug on each page!
If you do this activity with your children, be sure to give them some sort of outlet to display their creativity. An authentic audience will nearly always help kids engage more deeply and creatively in their work. We would definitely like to see what your kids come up with, so share with us if you can. You can send us a link to your blog or email me a .pdf file to post. My kids are out of school for a few days next week, so I’m planning this activity for one of those days. I’ll report back on how things go.
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, illustrated by David Shannon
You can probably find this book easily at your library. I often see it in the book orders that come home from school as well. But if you’re wanting to add a few coins to the tip jar here at MomSchool.tv you can also buy it from Amazon.
We love reading this book as a family–especially the gorgeous, detailed, vibrant illustrations! There are tons of easy ways to extend the story into fun family activities. But since we don’t always want to turn the day into an International Event, here’s a few realistic ideas for family fun.
Real Mom Activities
- Hot and Cold: Kids are fascinated by treasure hunting. You can have an easy treasure hunting game by hiding a simple treat somewhere and then saying “hot” as your kids get closer to it and “cold” when they move farther away. Younger preschoolers and older toddlers can figure out this game too, but they do need a little more help. Once my kids have found the “treasure,” they always love taking turns hiding another one and playing again.
- Pirate Picnic: Spend an afternoon outside as pirates. Wear bandannas on your heads. Have pirate foods (no vegetables!). Eat with your hands and speak like pirates. If possible, do this at a park with a sand area where you can build sandcastles and bury treasure.
Super Mom Activities
- Make a Treasure Map: This activity can become quite a project depending on your time and resources. DLTK Crafts has my favorite suggestions for making old, pirate-y treasure maps. I typically either use grocery bags or the cinnamon suggestion to make the paper brown. Also, I prefer to let my kids do their best drawing of our house and yard. This gives them excellent practice with conceptualizing and creating maps. My kids sometimes get frustrated by making the maps perfect representations and I have to kind of help them to realize that it doesn’t have to be exactly what our house or yard looks like. This ability usually starts to develop around kindergarten. Once they’ve created their maps, have them trade and see if they can discover each others’ treasures. You can add to the theme by having them wear bandannas and eye patches.
- Time Capsule: This is an activity for older kids who are going to be able to handle the idea of letting the “treasure” stay buried for a while. You will need to explain the concept of a time capsule and then set them free to collect what they want to put in it. Having them write a letter to themselves in the future is always fun. An old ammunition container can work well for the time capsule, especially if the contents are placed in plastic bags. Be careful with your digging, if you decide to bury the time capsule.
- Geocaching: If you have a hand-held GPS device, you may find high-tech treasure hunting lots of fun. It is a favorite pastime of our family. Dylan and Anya think it’s so much fun to find the treasure box and trade toys and trinkets. Wear pirate costumes and have fun together. This site does require a free registration to access the coordinates for caches.
Weekly book reviews start this Friday. If you’re interested in hearing a particular book reviewed or need activities for a specific book, leave a comment and let me know. Otherwise, we’ll see you Friday!
To be really honest, as you start browsing Audible Kids, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the tremendous number of books for kids. It really is amazing to see the selection that they have. They have divided their library into various subcategories, but that is only so useful. Truthfully, there’s plenty of books in the 0-4 years category that Dylan (age 7) will still thoroughly enjoy. So, I thought I’d just post a few highlights from each category. These are stories that we have loved listening to and that seem to be fairly good values.
Note that on many picture books you can get an “Enhanced Version” that allows you to view pictures on your iPhone or computer.
Also, if you find that your children are enjoying audio stories, you may also want to check out Story Nory. Each week Natasha makes available a story for download. These are almost always fairy tales or myths or updates on Prince Bertie and friends, characters created by Story Nory. My kids like these stories, but the once-a-week release doesn’t usually keep up with their demand for new material.
Do you have any book recommendations for me? Leave a comment. Dylan will thank you!