My Little Story Corner

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Mr Chicken Lands on London: Teaching Notes

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Mr Chicken Lands on London by Leigh Hobbs (author, illustrator), Allen&Unwin, 2014.

imageWHO:

Leigh Hobbs is the author and illustrator of over 20 books for children. Some of his iconic characters include Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Fiona the Pig, Mr Chicken and Mr Badger. Leigh has always had a passion for art, history and culture, and his books certainly reflect these with his own distinctive flair and rousing sense of humour. On February 8th 2016 it was announced that Leigh is to follow on Jackie French’s position of Australian Children’s Laureate; a well-deserved, prestigious role to “promote the importance of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians.”(www.childrenslaureate.org.au)

Mr Chicken Lands on London REVIEW:

Following on from Mr Chicken’s grand adventures in Paris, in flies this zippy character once again. This time he’s visiting his (and Leigh’s) favourite city in the world – London.
imageWithout hesitation, Mr Chicken grabs his camera and his parachute and makes a splashing entrance into the River Thames. His extremely busy schedule waits for no chicken as the yellow bird escapades gallantly around the city. From the fancy Savoy Hotel and dining on a full English breakfast, Mr Chicken makes good use of his time in London. His first port of call is to visit the Queen (well, excuse me!) before exploring attractions like St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. He also takes charge by driving double-decker buses, topping a tall column at Trafalgar Square, circling the London Eye and becoming one with the beating heart of London – Big Ben. His stay is only short-lived, but my guess is, this traveling chook will be back again soon!

Humorous, entertaining, and a delightful kind of sensory overload, Mr Chicken Lands on London will tickle the fancy of all readers, big and small. Leigh Hobbs’ intricate and distinctive style of art in this wonderful array of events is sure to create plenty of memorable, shared experiences for readers and viewers, alike.

POP-UP QUIZ:

1. Name three (3) other (not mentioned above) London attractions that Mr Chicken visited.

2. What is the name of the building where the Queen lives?

3. What game does Mr Chicken play on the London Eye?

4. Which city will Mr Chicken be heading to next?

DISCUSSION / ACTIVITIES:

HISTORY / GEOGRAPHY / TECHNOLOGY.

Look at the map of London on the endpapers. Name and discuss the different attractions and landmarks. Have you been there before? What do you know about them? What is the significance of each of them?

RICH ASSESSMENT TASK:

Look at and discuss a real map of London. Pick one attraction or landmark for research and create a poster or Slideshow presentation to explain your findings.

image Image: http://www.inlondonguide.co.uk

SOCIAL STUDIES / LITERACY.

What can you tell about Mr Chicken’s personality? What are some behaviours that showed his kindness? What are some cheeky things that Mr Chicken did? How do you think Mr Chicken felt about London? How do you know?

TASK:

Name and list some adjectives to describe Mr Chicken, or write a personality profile listing his likes, dislikes, traits, quirks, etc.

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VISUAL ART / CULTURE.

Choose a page spread to explore. What do you notice in these illustrations? What clues can you see that tell you more about the location? How has Leigh Hobbs depicted the atmosphere of the city and the nature of the people? What kinds of visual media has he used and how does it suit its purpose?

Where does Mr Chicken visit to see art? What famous works and artists might you find there? Have a look at and discuss some of these and their history.

TASK:

Create your own line, watercolour and collage picture showcasing your favourite part of London (or your own favourite place).

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NUMERACY.

See if you can spot the clock on Big Ben at several points in the book (towards the end). What do you notice about the different times? Mr Chicken wanted to be inside Big Ben (the beating heart of London) at a quarter past nine. Why do you think he chose that time? Did he achieve what he set out to do?

TASK 1:

Create a timeline showing Mr Chicken at several locations throughout the day, from morning til midnight. Be sure to include standing inside Big Ben at 9.15pm.

TASK 2:

Make your own Mr Chicken clock with yellow paper for the face, cardstock and a split pin for the hands. Practise understanding of quarter past, quarter to, half past and o’clock. For more advanced students extend their knowledge to five minute intervals (eg. 9.05pm), then one minute intervals (eg. 9.16pm).

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SCIENCE.

How does Mr Chicken enter and exit London? Why does he choose these modes of transport? Looking at the way he enters – what does ‘air resistance’ mean? How does it work?

TASK:

Test air resistance and make your own parachute using a bag, paper plate and string. Find an explanation and instructions at Kids Activities Blog.

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IT’S YOUR STORY CALENDAR 2016 by Leigh HOBBS

FREE download can be found at the Australian Children’s Laureate website.

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Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).

© My Little Story Corner 2016.

www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner

www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner

All sourced resources have been credited.

These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.

This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.

This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.

Purchase Mr Chicken Lands on London.

Information about the author illustrator, Leigh Hobbs can be found here.

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Christmas Favourites for all your Festive Needs

YoU woN’T BE poOr fOR CHoIcE tHiS CHriStMAs!

The Festive Season is here! With the holidays upon us, your little jolly jumpers will certainly need some inspiration and a touch of magic to enjoy this special time with loved ones. Below are some beautiful picture books you might like to share together, and plenty of craft activities to reinforce these magical traditions. Enjoy!

Click

on the book

for details. 

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🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁

Click on the image to find an assortment of craft goodies for Christmas and Chanukah!

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Have yourself a booktacular Christmas, Chanukah and New Year!

Look forward to sharing more bookish fun and new ideas in 2016!

love Romi

x 🎅🎄🎁 x


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Adelaide’s Secret World: Teaching Notes

Adelaide’s Secret World, Elise Hurst (author, illus.), Allen&Unwin, 2015.  

Review. 

imageShe lives a solitary existence. A life once full of delight and wonders, now, a world confined in glass jars, hidden within a cloak and a red curtain. The town in which Adelaide lives is bustling with movement, but it seems the townsfolk are simply, and privately, just passing through each day. Longing for a connection, a serendipitous moment finds Adelaide at the door that opens her heart and soul to a whole new world full of possibilities. As she finds her inner calm, it is that very red curtain that once blocked her vision that she courageously uses as the missing link. By connecting the torn thread amongst the townsfolk, those who were once lonely and silent, including Adelaide, have now found a voice, and each other.

imageWith her stunning collection of dreamy oil paintings and evocative words, Elise Hurst takes her readers on a soul-searching journey that touches a little piece of all of us. Feeling lost and isolated is not uncommon, particularly in a world of chaos. But Adelaide reminds us that friendship, humanity and self expression can always be celebrated with a little bit of courage and an open heart. The exquisite mixture of colour, movement, emotion, and poetic softness in both text and illustrations work flawlessly together to evoke feelings of angst, peace, turmoil and calm. Pale yellows and greens in the beginning and end shed light on a world that is safe and comfortable, and becomes brighter even more so as Adelaide’s world is suddenly flooded with energy and an inner peace. The mid-section carries deep greens, blues and greys, signifying this spinning, chaotic whirlwind inside her mind. And throughout the book, pops of red burst with visual warmth, power and imagination.

Adelaide’s Secret World’ is undeniably uplifting and visually rousing, a perfect choice for early primary children to revisit over and over again. This book has potential to win awards and would make a gorgeous film. Highly recommended.  

This review appeared first at Boomerang Books.

Discussion.

Before Reading:

Look at the cover. What do you think this story is about? Why do you think Adelaide lives in a ‘secret world’? What is a secret world?
Read the blurb. What does it tell you about Adelaide’s life? How do you think it changes?
Look at the colours of the endpapers. What do you think the red represents? What might the blue represent?  

During Reading:

Do you think she likes the quiet?
What do you notice in the illustrations?
How might she be feeling at this moment? (Ask over several pages).
Why do you think Adelaide couldn’t talk to the Fox at the door?  

After Reading:

What aspects did Adelaide like and dislike about the quiet stillness?
In the beginning, why do you think Adelaide enjoyed watching the still and quiet ones? What thoughts might she have been telling herself?
What discovery did she make when she peered in to Fox’s world? How did this change her view on herself?
What did she use to connect the creatures? How is this item significant?
What did Adelaide learn about herself and the other creatures? Do you ever feel the same way? What ways can you ‘reach out’ to others you don’t know so well?  

Literacy.

Writing.

Creative Writing.
Choose an image from the book and describe what’s happening using carefully chosen verbs and adjectives.
For example, “Every night she listened to the hum of the setting sun and the soft pure song of the evening star.”  

Reading.

Comprehension.
Discuss and write your interpretation of the following sentences.
“…the quiet stillness crept into her heart and stayed.”
“…taking a little bit of the world and making it her own.”
“…though her heart called out she could make no sound.”
“…found their voices.”

Vocabulary: Word Study.
Use a dictionary to find and write the meanings of the following words:
‘brooding’,
‘unravelled’,
‘bustling’,
‘scurried’.

Synonyms.
These are a few carefully chosen verbs from the story. Find words with similar meanings:
‘scattered’,
‘scooped’,
‘restless’,
‘burst’,
‘tumbled’.

Analogies.
“The rain soaked windows glittered like a jewellery box.”
Discuss and write your own analogy of a wet window / the setting sun / a brooding sky and rising buildings, and so on.
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Book Study
Read and discuss the similarities and differences between other books by Elise Hurst.  
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Numeracy.

Number: Subtraction.
“But there was always something missing.”
Play ‘What’s Missing?’ Number Games and Stories.
Depending on your focus number, write equations and stories with a missing addend.
For example, ‘Adelaide once had 20 paintbrushes, but after 8 of them broke, how many did she have left?’

8 and ___ makes 20 / 8 + ___ = 20.

Use materials to solve the equations.
Download What’s Missing in Adelaide’s World. Draw and write the equations on the red string.
Make your own red string with beads to add and subtract number equations.
Adelaide What's Missing 1 Adelaide What's Missing 2

Number: Doubles.
“Ones became twos. Twos became fours.”
Play the Bunny Doubles Spinner Game.
Spin the spinner and find the double. Cover or mark the double with a counter or pencil on the bunny’s jacket. The first player to cover all their doubles wins!
Doubles include two sets: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.    
Adelaide's Bunny Doubles 1 Adelaide's Bunny Doubles 2

Science / Technology.

– The townsfolk connected via a piece of string. Make your own String Telephone to talk to your friends.
Activity from Scientific American.
7F609B9E-9D9F-4D47-B2ED3C2911B3E0FD_article  

Art / Craft.
– Adelaide took a little bit of the world and made it her own. Make your own little Terrarium World (Botany).
Materials:
Glass or plastic jar / container, top quality soil, gravel / pebbles, small plant (succulents work well), figurines, water.
image
Directions:
1. Make sure your jar is clean. Fill the bottom with gravel about a third of the way up.
2. Add a thin layer of soil, then place your plants in position.
3. Fill in more soil surrounding the plants, holding them in place. Sprinkle water to moisten the soil.
4. Place your figurines in the terrarium to finish off. We also added a few flowers and a ladybird to pretty it up!
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Idea adapted from Babble Dabble Do and Make and Takes.  

Play Dough / Clay Sculptures.
Make your own sculptures to put in your Terrarium World. Use Play Dough or Air Drying Clay.
Clay art ideas from Wonderful DIY.

Design and make other kinds of sculptures.
Terrific ideas at Artful Parent.
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Oil Paintings.
Recreate your favourite scene from the book, experimenting with oil paints or oil pastels. Try different techniques such as blending and bold strokes.
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Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.
This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.  

Purchase Adelaide’s Secret World.

Information about the author illustrator, Elise Hurst can be found here.  


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Two Birds on a Wire: Teaching Notes

two-birds-on-a-wireTwo Birds on a Wire, Coral Vass (author), Heidi Cooper Smith (illus.), Scholastic Australia, 2015.  

Review.  

In an utterly amusing and entertaining tale, two birds; Black and Blue, pick a squabble up high on a wire. When the pair refuse to share, pandemonium strikes and the snapping, snorting, pushing, shoving, hassling and heckling battle breaks loose. Some puffing and panting later, the bickering birds turn tail and decide to rather sit together and enjoy the view.  

The fun rhyming verses, together with the characters’ exuberance and cheekiness brings out plenty of laughable, yet thought-provoking moments. The illustrations are eye-catching to say the least, but I also love the softness of the autumn colours in the background that remind us to enjoy the tranquility that is right in front of us (or below if you were a bird on a wire).  

So, let’s get some perspective here! The story takes place above a country town, overlooking trees, farm houses and animals. The unique angle that Heidi Cooper Smith has so cleverly introduced is highly effective. But from another clever angle is Coral Vass’s underlying theme of valuing cooperation and unity. It’s about ‘seeing’ the bigger picture, and not getting tangled in pettiness.  

‘Two Birds on a Wire’ is a perfect read aloud book for early childhood readers with a vision to learn the importance of sharing and problem solving, and have a giggle at a pair of silly birds at the same time!  

Discussion.  

Before Reading:
Put one chair out for two people. Ask two children to try and sit on it. How did they react when they both wanted to sit on the chair? Did they argue about who was there first, or who was bigger, or louder?
What would be the best solution? What are some kind and friendly ways to solve the problem?
Look at the front cover. Do you think these birds are happy with each other? What does their body language tell you about what they’re thinking? What do you think they’re upset about?  

During Reading:
Do you think Bird Blue should’ve shouted at Little Black to go? Do you think Little Black reacted well? Do you think one of the birds will be the winner?  

After Reading:
When Bird Blue first shouted at Little Black, what are some things that he could’ve said so that they didn’t argue? What might you do if someone was angry at you?
What do you think the birds learned from their squabble? How did they solve the problem in the end? Do you think they will always share from now on?
Do you ever have times when you don’t want to share? What are some things you can share and what are things you can’t share?  

Literacy.  

Writing.

Creative writing. Write a story about a pair (of animals or humans) who fight over an object. How did they argue? How did they resolve the issue?

(Check out Anna Kang’s ‘You are (Not) Small’ and ‘That’s (Not) Mine’ about disagreements).  

Reading.

Rhyming Words, Rhyming Birds.
Find the rhyming words in the story. Some may not have the same rime spelling (eg. ‘at’ in cat, hat, sat), but the sounds are the same.
Download, laminate (optional) and cut out the Rhyming Words, Rhyming Birds to play a rhyming game.
Separate each bird so that the matching pair can be re-found by stating the two rhyming words.
(To make it easier for less advanced students, cut a different pattern inbetween each bird so that they will easily be able to match the birds back together. Eg. Wiggly line, wavy line, zigzag, etc.)  
Two Birds on a Wire Rhyming Birds1 Two Birds on a Wire Rhyming Birds2

Angry Bird Verbs.
Write some verbs (doing words) around the angry birds to describe their silly actions. Eg. snapped, snorted, pushed, shoved, hassled, heckled, scowled, etc).
Download the Angry Birds Verbs sheet here.  
Two Birds on a Wire Angry Birds Verbs

Numeracy.

Number. Less Than, Greater Than.
The birds argued that they were bigger, louder, better than one another.
Play this fun game to extend your counting and comparing skills.
Materials: Greater Than, Less Than print outs, bundle of toys / real life materials.
Objectives: Practise skills in counting, comparing, estimating, place value and fractions.
Directions:
1. Count out 2 piles of toys (upto 20 objects depending on level). Ask, which is larger? Smaller? Equal? Use the print outs to show each answer. If student is unsure they can use the numbers on the number line to see how they ascend.
2. Read the sentence. Eg. ’15 is greater than 5′, ’12 is less than 18′, ‘6 is equal to 6’.
3. Extension. Play the same game using fractions – use parts of whole items and/or pictures. Eg. ‘1/2 is greater than 1/4’.  
Two Birds on a Wire Greater Than Less Than Two Birds on a Wire Equal To2

Space / Location.
Mapping Coordinates – Bird’s Eye View: Map a Farm.
The birds overlooked a little farm from their wire. Complete the grid as per the key and state the coordinates for each item.
Download Bird’s Eye View Map a Farm.
Extension. On your own grid, use unifix blocks to build a city. Working in pairs, have each person take turns to build a tower and state the coordinates. Eg. ‘The blue tower is in A4.’  
Two Birds on a Wire Map a Farm

Science.  

– Explore flight and propulsion with this fun whirlybird!
See instructions for craft from Minieco.
whirly-bird

Art / Craft.  

Create some gorgeous birdy artwork with these ideas:  

Black Silhouette Birds on a Wire
Materials: watercolour paints, paper, paint brush, black paper, scissors, white crayon, glue.
Directions:
1. Create an abstract painting with your chosen colours and with water, blend together. Tip: once painted, tilt your paper side to side to blend the colours further.
Birds on a wire art2
2. With your white crayon, draw your bird shapes onto black paper. Cut out.
3. Cut a thin black strip for the wire.
4. Paste the wire first, then the black birds onto the paper in position.     
Birds on a wire art

Paper Plate Birds on a Garland.
From Pysselbolaget.
2015-11-17-14-01-49-1275738551

Patterned Birds on a Wire.
Found on Flickr.  
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Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.
This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.
 

Purchase Two Birds on a Wire.

Information about the author, Coral Vass can be found here.
Information about the illustrator, Heidi Cooper Smith can be found here.


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My Little Story Corner Thanks You!

IMG_5280When I founded My Little Story Corner around the beginning of 2014, I had a goal in mind. I wanted to share my passion for children’s literature, and be able to advocate a love of books and a love of reading.  

As a qualified early childhood and primary teacher on leave to raise my two babies, I wanted to stay afloat of current education and industry trends and be able to continue to contribute to society. During this time, I have had a blast researching and discovering new books, and developing resources that I can only hope some teachers and children have benefitted from. I have also been so blessed to have learnt a fountain of knowledge about the writing and book creating world, attending special literary events and meeting and communicating with many wonderful, talented and brilliant authors and illustrators. What a priveledge!        

And you know what?! It wouldn’t be as rewarding without an audience to share and interact with, and read (and hopefully enjoy and learn) all about my adventures, interests, discoveries, insights and achievements. So, THANK YOU!       

I would love to hear your feedback or suggestions for the website or the type of services that I can offer to assist your needs.
Please feel free to drop me a line at: mylittlestorycorner@gmail.com.           

Thanks again! For a special ‘little’ literacy PDF, please download and enjoy the My Little Story Corner Friends Pack, including colour-in bookmarks, printable story cubes and some fun activities from Mr. Men and Little Miss!  

With Kind Regards,

Romi 🙂                             


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Puddles are for Jumping: Teaching Notes

puddles-are-for-jumpingPuddles are for Jumping, Kylie Dunstan (author, illus.), Windy Hollow Books, 2015.  
2015 Speech Pathology Australia Shortlisted Book of the Year (0-3 years)

Review. 

The first thing you’ll notice upon picking up this book are the awesome illustrations. Each spread is entirely created with bright, cut and pasted paper characters and scenes in primary colours, suiting its wet weather theme and straightforward storyline. Kylie Dunstan cleverly takes her early primary-aged audience on this rainy adventure through the park, market, the neighbourhood and back home again to bed, simply by stating the actions in the words and demonstrating them in the pictures. Written in present tense, the short sentences are relatable and encourage readers to focus on how different objects can be utilised in the most enjoyable way possible.

“Bottoms are for wriggling, Sisters are for laughing!”
“Beds are for BOUNCING, Books are for sharing”.

‘Puddles are for Jumping’ is both visually and actively entertaining. This truly playful and joyous book is perfect for promoting experiences in the creative arts and movement areas, as well as supporting themes of friendship and citizenship.  

This review appeared first on the Boomerang Books Blog.  

Discussion.  

Before Reading:

Look at the cover. Ask, Do you like to jump in puddles? What words can you use to describe different puddles? (small, big, shallow, deep, watery, muddy, etc).
Stand up and pretend to jump in puddles. Don’t forget to put your boots on!
What other things do you like to do in rainy weather? What else would you wear and take with you?  

During Reading:

Can you tell where the mum has taken the sisters? What can you see in the pictures?  

After Reading:

What were the places the characters in the story visited? How did they get there? Have you been to any of those places?
Do you remember some of the words used to describe the way they walked? Ate? Greeted people?
What did you notice about the illustrations?  

Literacy.  

Reading.
Identifying nouns and verbs.
Write the nouns (things, places, names) and verbs (doing words) found in the book in two separate columns.
Complete the Puddles are for Jumping Match Up sheet.
Puddles are for jumping match up

Play Puddle Jumping Game.
Use high frequency words, such as ‘are’, ‘for’, or a list of Magic Words.
For extension, make up your own verbs to follow on ‘Puddles are for…’, and have child jump on the word they say (eg. jumping, splashing, kicking, flicking, tapping, etc).
IMG_7819
See the Bridie’s Boots Teaching Notes for these instructions and more weather-themed activities.

Read other books by Kylie Dunstan.
What are the similarities and differences between her writing style and illustrations?
image  

Writing.

Comprehension: Finish the sentence.
Use your own ‘verbs’ to complete, ‘Puddles are for…’, ‘Shops are for…’, ‘Skirts / Boots are for…’, ‘Beds are for…’, and so on.
Illustrate your sentence/s. (see Art / Craft Paper Collage activity).

Creative Writing.
Write your own story or class book about going on an outing. Using similar language and short sentences, what are the things you see on the way and how can it be used.
For example, going to school might include; “Bikes are for peddling, bags are for unpacking, friends are for giggling, teachers are for admiring ;), pencils are for sharpening, paths are for racing, books are for loving, and beds are for snoozing.”  

Numeracy.

Graphs and Data. Outdoor Tallies.
Make a list of things you will see on your outing, things that can be counted. For example, number of puddles jumped in, number of trees climbed, number of dogs spotted, number of apples bought, etc.
Record the tally as you encounter each item on the list.
Formulate the results by graphing them as a picture graph. Item against number.
Discuss the results. Which had the most, least, same, how many more…, etc.  
Puddles are for Jumping Graph

Science.

Make a Fizzy Puddle.
Watch the puddle react with baking soda for an awesome fizzy effect!
From Simple Fun For Kids
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The Water Cycle.
Choose from a cool selection of water cycle experiments, including evaporation, transpiration, precipitation, condensation!
From E is for Explore  
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Art / Craft.

Rainbow Puddle Splash.
Use sidewalk chalk and puddle water to create a work of art!
From Lemon Lime Adventures
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Winter Rain Watercolour Resist Painting.
Using white crayon and watercolours, create a stunning rainy day piece of art!
From Elementary Art Fun
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Paper Collage Cut and Paste.
Choose different-coloured papers to create your own collage picture. Choose a scene from the book or make your own rainy day fun!  
Puddles are for jumping collage pic

Lessons and photography by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip. Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
www.facebook.com/mylittlestorycorner
www.pinterest.com/mylilstorycrner
All sourced resources have been credited.
These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.
This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.

Purchase Puddles are for Jumping.
Information about the author / illustrator of ‘Puddles are for Jumping’, Kylie Dunstan can be found here.


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Foxtrot: Teaching Notes

Foxtrot, Becka Moor (author, illus.), The Five Mile Press, 2015.  

Review.

imageFoxtrot is a born dancer. He simply can’t get enough of the sport. But when his trotting and tripping feet cause pandemonium in the town, his friends step in to bring Foxtrot’s chaos to a screeching halt. Tying his shoelaces and sticking his feet to the floor make Foxtrot unhappy, as do his own attempts to expand his creative repertoire. In a satisfying finale, Foxtrot and his friends band together to refurnish and re-open his former dance teacher, Mrs Flamenco’s dance school. Of course, it is a huge success!

imageI love the endearing language that so defines this naive but gentle and considerate soul who only has the best of intentions. There are some terrific dancing terms thrown in, too, like ‘boogied’, ‘jived’, ‘tangoed’ and ‘mamboed’ that arouse interest and charm. Together with this humorous, fun-loving and charismatic storyline are the equally vibrant and animated cartoon illustrations that allow for plenty of discussion.

‘Foxtrot’ is a book that undeniably brings a pop of energy and a burst of spirit in this tale of rhythm, blues, teamwork and friendship. Tango-rrific for preschoolers.  

Available for purchase here.

Discussion.

Before Reading:
Put on some music and enjoy a boogie and a jive! Teach children the ‘foxtrot’ dance.
Make a list of words that mean ‘dance’. Eg. Dance names such as Mambo, Tango, Tap, Ballet, etc, and dance moves such as jive, prance, wiggle, spin, twirl, etc.
Look at the cover. What or who do you think ‘Foxtrot’ is? What do you think might happen in the story? Do you think everyone likes to dance?  

During Reading:
Why do you think Foxtrot likes to dance so much? Why didn’t Foxtrot realise that he was causing all these calamities? Do you think his friends are being nice by stopping him from dancing? Do you think Foxtrot should try not to dance? Why or why not?  

After Reading:
What kinds of things did Foxtrot’s friends do to help him? What were unhelpful gestures? Why didn’t his friends think that his plan to open a dance school would work? What made them change their minds? Do you think that Foxtrot will always be the best dancer?
What new dance words did you learn from the book? Add these to your previous list.  
image

Literacy.

Reading:

Verbs and Nouns.
Find and make word cards with terms from the book. Sort them into ‘verbs’ (doing words) and ‘nouns’ (name of things).
Verbs include: danced, boogied, twirled, brushed, combed, jumped, jived, swung, swayed, and so on.
Nouns include: mayhem, calamities, customers, chaos, pandemonium, shoelaces, honey, and so on.
Use of alliteration / phonics.
Find and write sentences with alliterations. Illustrate.
For example, ‘He danced as he dressed and did splits as he put on socks.’,
‘He jumped and jived and swung and swayed,
‘He tangoed with his toast and mamboed with his marmalade.  

Writing.

Innovate a story.
Here are some sentence starters to begin.
‘Foxtrot’s dancing feet caused…’
‘Foxtrot tried rock climbing, and…’
‘Foxtrot held a huge opening ceremony for his new dance school, but…’
Persuasive Text. Advertisements.
Write an advert and create a poster inviting people to join your new dance school.
What is the title? Catch phrase? Price? Other details? Pictures? Colours used? Is it effective? What’s different about your dance school as opposed to others?  

Numeracy.

Measurement / Number. Time your Rhythm.
Make up a dance routine for you and your friends. Count how many repeats for each move. How many moves in total? Time your dance against the clock. Can you stay in beat with the music?
Extension: How many times can you jump / twirl / leap in one minute? Count and record.  

Science.

States of Matter: Dancing Raisins Experiment
Raisins can dance, too! I wonder if they prefer the Tango or the Mambo? Explore the matter of gas as the raisins interact with the carbon dioxide bubbles.
From Gift of Curiosity  
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Arts / Crafts.

Make your own dancing Foxtrot marionette puppet!
Check out this gorgeous toilet roll craft adapted from Duitang and get your Foxtrot boogying all over town.

imageMaterials:
Coloured paper (white, orange, green)
Cardboard (such as cereal box)
Pens / pencils / textas (assorted colours)
Toilet roll tube
String (allow for 1.5 metres)
Two (2) small bottle lids
Straw
Sticky tape
Scissors
Glue

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Directions:
1. Cut to fit and cover toilet roll tube (body) with green paper.
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2. Draw a fox head shape and tail shape on to the cardboard. Cut.
Use as a template to trace onto white and orange papers. Cut each piece, use the white head to draw inner ears and eyes. Cut a tip of white for the tail.
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3.Paste all pieces on top of each other, with the cardboard at the bottom.
Stick head and tail onto the body and add details with pens. We added a little hat!
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4. Adult to pierce two small holes in each side of the body for the arms. Cut a piece of string and thread through the holes, tying each end in double knots. Trim excess.
5. Adult to pierce two holes at the bottom for the legs. Attach string to each of the bottle lids. Thread each leg string through a hole and tape down inside the tube. Make sure they are the same length.
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6. Cut three equal lengths of string (approx. 25-30cm). Attach one end to each foot (bottle lid), and attach the other end to each end of the straw. Attach the third piece of string to the back of the head.
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7. Hold the string in one hand and the straw in the other. Make your fox dance!
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Straw Blown Paintings.
Make your paint dance across the paper with this fun activity from The Imagination Tree.
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Dance School Diorama.
Design and construct your own Dance School diorama with character puppets / figures.  

Lessons by Romi Sharp.
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
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All sourced resources have been credited. These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links. This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.
 

Information about the author illustrator of Foxtrot, Becka Moor can be found here.