Intro Song:

Wake up hands, wake up hands

Wake up hands and wiggle, wiggle, wiggle

Wake up hands, wake up hands

Wake and wiggle in the morning

… wake up feet

… wake up head

 

Tippy Tap: What is your favorite color?

I originally did not like doing this and continued it because the kids liked it and a predecessor had done it. Now, it’s growing on me. I use a “magic wand” and tippy tap kids on the shoes. When a child is tapped, they say their name to the group and then answer the question of the week. I had a super easy question this week because it was the first week of the session, we had a lot of new kids, and they were shy. This gives kids the chance to participate, interact, get to know each other, and practice narrative and speaking skills. I make the questions harder and usually more related to our theme each week. You can use it as a KWL exercise for your theme, or to get to know the kids better.

Muncha Muncha Muncha by Candace FlemingI love reading Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming. There are so many ways to make this book interactive. These are the ways I get kids involved in make inferences, questioning the text, making predictions, and seeing how the text and pictures are integrated:

  • I have them find the bunnies on each page.
  • Before I turn the page, I ask whether the bunnies can get in, they take a vote. Then I ask how they might get in.
  • After the bunnies much, I ask how Mr. Mc Greely is going to feel. For younger kids I ask, will he be happy, sad, surprised, angry? I have them show me their angry face and we growl.
  • At the end, I ask if they would share with the bunnies or not and why.

 

I like this book because it is suspenseful and fun. It has great vocabulary. There are so many different words for feelings. Mr. Mc Greely gets increasingly angry and you can pull out all the angry words and put them on a continuum and ask them what would it look like if you were irritated… now furious? What’s the difference? Showing these nuances really help build their vocabulary skills. (early literacy skill!) The gardener also makes up funny names for the bunnies and the older kids always get the puns. It’s fun to see the different levels of kids you’re working with.

The kids love this book and get all riled up. So don’t read this if you’re faint of heart because you’ll basically have a bunch of hopping and chomping kids making angry faces by the end. Mass chaos.

Tiny Tunes CD by Carole PetersonI always read the longest book first and try to make it as interactive as I can. Then we do a movement break with an action song so they can get their sillies out. My favorite for the Garden theme is “I’m a Little Seed” which is a piggy back rhyme for “I’m a Little Teapot.” It’s easy because kids already know the tune and pick up on it really fast. I also like it because it rhymes, and so for phonemic awareness, I can leave off the ends and have the kids finish it, which they usually do. I do it twice.. Once where they’re kind of stumbling and I’m teaching. And then again so they can get a hang of it.

 

I’m a Little Seed (tune: “I’m a Little Teapot”)

I’m a little seed in the dark, dark ground

Out comes the sun, yellow and round

Down comes the cool rain, soft and slow

Up! The seed begins to grow!

 

After the second time, I ask what kind of plant or flower or veggie they are. The responses are hilarious. You can really tell what age group you have when you ask this question. Carole Peterson has a CD where she sings this song, it’s pretty good, but I just sing it myself. Here were some of the responses for the 2-Kindergarten class:

  • Daisy
  • Tulip
  • Ice cream tree
  • Horse tree
  • Bee

My-GardenWhen we get really rolling on what we’d try to plant in a garden and they start getting creative and silly, I like to introduce My Garden by Kevin Henkes, where a girl helps her mom in the garden but then imagines what her perfect garden would be… including chocolate bunnies, jelly bean trees and planting sea shells.

Next, I ground the garden theme back into reality with a magnetic flannel activity where each child gets a picture of a garden vegetable and gets a turn to stand up, show his plant, guess what it is (they can ask for audience help if they want), and then “plant” it on the board. I ask who wants a hard challenge one  (radishes, eggplant…) and who wants easy ones (tomatoes, carrots…).

 

Then we end with our goodbye song. I’ll post it this week, and just refer back to it on future theme pages.

Open shut them, open shut them

Give a little clap, clap, clap

Open shut them, open shut them

Lay them in your lap, lap, lap

Wave them, wave them

Wave them, wave them

High up in the sky, sky, sky

I wave to you, you wave to me

Let’s all wave bye bye

 

Backup Books:

I usually get through 3 or 4 books, but I always have extra. I also planned on reading:

Then my official backup books were: