Anyone who has been to my Reading Garden session for 0 to 2 year olds knows that I am a fan of ending with a BANG!
At Christmas time the only way to impress kids is for Santa to visit and give presents! I have to admit that I did tear up a bit seeing the reaction of one child in particular. Such innocence..."I told you all He was coming"! Such JOY!
Of course we also made Christmas decorations for mommy to hang on the tree!
I hope the kids had as mush fun as we did!
Special mention and thanks to Aunty Louise, Aunty Adeasha and Aunty Aurea!
Have a blessed Christmas.
Book: There is No Place like Space! by Tish Rabe
I have to admit, I think I was more excited to read this book than the kids!
As they walked in the door I said "Mallory Valerie Emily Mickles Just Saved Up Nine Hundred and ninety nine nickles! Who knows what that is?" Blank stares....
Well let us find out! So it began, a journey through space narrated by The Cat in The Hat! There are certain topics that will always be a hit with children...space and dinosaurs...are definitely two.
This book from The Cat in the Hat learning series teaches children about the solar system in a fun and imaginative way. I added to the fun by decorating the room with a 3d solar system. Of course since the planets were basically beach balls we had a little fun throwing Earth and Venus around!
The children all wrote that they loved the book and of course the rhyme that allows them to remember the planets ordered by distance from the sun!
Mecury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune!
Parents, don't worry, I told them about Pluto...poor demoted Pluto...lost its planet status in 2006.
We then did a craft with glitter....I'm now rethinking glitter! The glitter was so overwhelming for ME...I forgot to take pictures...seriously...who created glitter?? :)
See their space craft from Arty Pants Studio!
Book: Ready. Set...Hatch! by Jeunanne Atkins
"Oh Miss....this sand is soft"
"Miss we going to read about turtles?"
The collage I used for Hatch was definitely a hit with the kids and so was the story. The children were in awe that turtles come all the way to Trinidad to lay their eggs and that the person who wrote the book lives in Trinidad.
Ready, Set, Hatch is definitely book that should be in your book collection. This book tells the story of the leather back turtle's migration to Caribbean to lay it's eggs in such a simple way, that children of any age are sure to love it! It also shows the importance of cooperation and team work, lessons I am sure we desire for our children to learn.
After completing a simple worksheet, so simple that my older kids asked for "the big kids worksheet please" , :) the children created their own collage for the story!
See what the kids did at Arty Pants Studio!
Book: Greetings from Somewhere. The Mystery of the Mosaic by Harper Paris
Yesterday we focused on expressing ourselves through writing. Today I thought I would challenge my readers to express themselves verbally by being a part of telling the story.
This book is part of a series that takes readers on adventures around the globe. In The Mystery of the Mosaic, twins Ella and Ethan roam the canals of Venice Italy solving the mystery of the stolen gondola and finding grandpa Harry's favourite mosaic.
Each child was assigned a chapter to read and summarize. Some children worked in groups and others worked alone. When they completed the task of reading and summarizing the chapter they were asked to relate the chapter to the class.
This was not a simple task for some of my young readers but they tried their best and I was able to assist them by asking key questions. At the end of the reading session each child knew the story even though they had not read the entire book. Mission accomplished.
After successfully completing our reading exercise I tasked the children with creating a paper mosaic of Italy.
See the beautiful paintings done by the children with Arty Pants Studio!
Book: Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
What a wonderful book about having confidence!
Gerald the giraffe looks very clumsy when he dances and all the animals laugh and jeer at him. Gerald wishes that he could dance! A kind cricket boosts Gerald's confidence by telling him that everyone can dance...they just need to find the right music. When Gerald finds the right music it turns out that HE is the best dancer and the envy of all the animals in the jungle!
I set the stage for this story with a fake fire and some jungle sounds! As the lions roared and the monkeys howled in the background I summarized the book for these young readers.
I then went on to read the book ensuring that I played into the rhythms created by the rhymes. My little readers LOVED it! With some prompting, they were even able to link yesterday's book to today's book. They identified the bucket dipping behaviour of the animals that teased Gerald and even pointed out that the cricket was a bucket filler!
After completing a challenging worksheet we went on to dance...well some of us danced!
See the kids' wonderful paintings of Gerald in the moonlight!
Book: Have you filled a bucket today? by Carol McCloud
This book is definitely on my top 5 list!
Using the concept of filling and emptying buckets, this book teaches a very important lesson about kindness.
Each of us is carrying an imaginary bucket that needs filling with kindness. When our bucket is filled we feel good and when we fill other people's buckets we also feel good. Our aim should always be to be a bucket filler. But what about people who are not kind, bullies, people who ignore us and say mean things? These people are bucket dippers. You can NEVER fill your bucket by dipping into another person's bucket.
You may think that this concept would not be easy for 4 to 7 year olds to grasp but by the end of the day the questions being asked showed that my little readers were not only listening but fully understood the concept of filling a bucket.
"Aunty are we filling up your bucket right now by listening?"
"You are dipping in Aunty's bucket, she said don't go outside"
"I just filled my friend's bucket by sharing"
I'm all smiles....my work here is done! My bucket was filled!
After reading this wonderful story we did a worksheet and then the fun stuff! CRAFT TIME! We made buckets!
I hope your little one filled your bucket today! They certainly filled mine!
Get the full picture see what the kids did at Arty Pants Studio!
Book: Oh the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss
Those who follow The Reading Garden on facebook will know that I cannot get enough of Dr. Seuss! I love the rhymes and they way he teaches life lessons by being silly! You either love him or not.
Earlier in the day these ambitious imaginators drew career portraits. What do you want to be when you grow up? The answers ranged from brain surgeon to Youtuber and one of our imaginators even wanted 12 careers!
This book talks about life. Dr. Seuss tells children big and small that they are equipped to face the world. They will choose the places they go, they will be the best sometimes and sometimes bad things will happen. What matters when you meet "hang ups and bang ups" is the way you handle them. You have to "un-slump yourself! Get up and do, don't wait for something to happen for you! You have what it takes to be what you want to be and go where you want to go!
First we explored the literal meaning of the book title. Using the world map I asked the imaginators to find the places they had already visited and the places that they wanted to visit. Next we spoke about those careers they drew earlier in the day. After a hearty discussion they were given the opportunity to express themselves by writing about what they wanted to be or where they wanted to go. Some chose to combine the two, some wrote three lines and some wrote a page.
Today was difficult for some imaginators as we didn't make anything explode! :) But we all survived and maybe, just maybe, we learned a thing or two about expressing ourselves through writing!
Check out the Career Portraits!
Book: I am Albert Einstien by Brad Meltzer
I started this class off with a simple question...What do you know about Albert Einstien?
Some of the answers I got:
"He was a teacher"
"He was a mathematician"
"He was one of the most famous scientist"
"He was bright"
Well...let's find out! When I began to read this book the children were filled with excitement...I had to ask them to hold their questions until I asked for questions! I was so excited that they were interested in learning about Albert Einstein.
This book is wonderful! So many lessons to be learned and I was presently surprised when my readers "got it"!
What lesson did you learn from this book?
"Never stop being curious"
"Curiosity is key"
"Even if people call you weird and stupid you can still do great things"
"Even if you fail something you can still be good at it"
All I could do was smile! Albert Einstein, the most famous scientist of the 20th century, was called daft ,stupid, weird and was even told by his teacher that he would never amount to anything! Boy did he prove them wrong. He never spoke until he was three and it is a well known fact that he thought in pictures. Albert was a genius and few recognized it until much later in his life.
NOW the fun! Let us do some simple experiments with static electricity.
We used a balloon, our hair, a wool jacket and a tin can. The children rubbed the balloons on the wool jacket and then placed the balloons close together and observed how the balloons repelled each other. Next I rubbed a balloon on my hair and then pulled the balloon away...and there it was the Einstein effect...my hair stood up! THEY LOVED THAT...and tried it on each other multiple times! Now for the best part. We used the same "charged" balloon to move a tin can without touching it! WOW!
When they thought we were done with science we moved on to a quick chemical experiment! The great explosion!
Using baking soda, vinegar, a soft drink bottle and food colouring and glitter just for fun we created a volcano!
When the parents came....well....let's just say the kids were well into making their own experiments with the coloured baking soda! :)
Check out what the kids did with Arty Pants Studio
What an exciting first day at Camp Imaginators!
Book: The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
I thought that this book was a perfect way to start off our 4 to 7 year olds in The Reading Garden.
While we waited for the class to start many of my young readers drew different faces, happy, sad, angry and even surprised! Using the feelings chart we discussed various feelings; proud, excited, angry, disgusted, sad and loving. Most were eager to describe situations which evoked these emotions.
I then read the book for them and was quite impressed with some of the 6 year olds as they were able to read along fluently! For some reason they loved my impression of angry and begged me to read that page again! You have to love children!
We then discussed what they thought about the book and what things made them feel happy and sad. The older children wrote the things that made them happy and sad while my four year olds traced the words HAPPY, SAD and ANGRY.
NOW it was time for FUN! Let's take pictures! We used the wheel of emotions to chose an emotion and the children showed the appropriate expressions....well....that was the intention!
We then did the same exercise individually! No one was shy by this time...I mean who doesn't like their picture taken!
Check out what the kids did at Arty Pant Studio!
ANGRY GROUP PICTURE!
I cannot believe that tomorrow is the first day of Camp Imaginators! I am so excited to meet all 30 children and have fun reading, doing crafts, dancing and carrying out experiments!
YES! We are not just reading books, we are bringing stories into perspective and encouraging imagination!
Look out for daily posts about the day's activities at Camp Imaginators. Remember this is a collaboration with Arty Pants Studio so you have to read both blogs to get the full picture!