My Heart is Like a Zoo Craft

All you need is some colored paper, glue, scissors, and wriggly eyes!

What a fun activity for children – anytime!  This activity is based on our book review of My Heart is Like a Zoo.

First we went to the Dollar Store and found this set of six heart shapes – yep, for just a $1.

We used the shapes to trace several different sized hearts on various colored sheets of card stock purchased from our local Michael’s.
I was excited to be able to cut out various shades of some colors – because I’d rather give children three shades of yellow to work with, instead of just “yellow”.   But that’s just me.  (and why I love the Pantone Colors book for children – see REVIEW here.
After reading our CLIP pick book for February, My Heart is Like a Zoo, give your child the palette of heart shapes & colors, some wiggly eyes and let them create.
Mount on a sheet of black or white card stock and display for all to see!
A few more details and our creation will be complete.  Cute!

Encourage original animal creations, or allow children to replicate an animal from the book. It doesn’t matter as long as you are having fun creating together!

Oh, and check out this cute idea!

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CLICK HERE for pattern.
From Mrs. T’s First Grade Class

Enjoy!

Deni Corbett

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Poem: Stopping by Woods…

[Verbal Communications]
Don’t miss the audio at the end!

Children are quite capable of memorizing this poem by Robert Frost, but it is also a wonderful poem to simply read over and over again to a younger child.   Poetry is so important for language development because of the “music” of the words as well as the rhythm and rhyme of the word combinations used in the poem.   This poem is a prime example.    Read this poem often to a younger child and allow them to add the last rhyming word to select lines themselves. I encourage you to print out a copy of this poem and enjoy it together with your child(ren).

NOTE: We will be highlighting this poem in our “S is for SNOW” script coming soon.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer;
To stop without a farmhouse near.
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

by Robert Frost

This is a great Study Guide if you are interested in digging deeper into this poem.

The following is are readings of Robert Frost’s poem by 7-year-old Chasing Fireflies friends:

Emma

Our favorite illustrated version of this book?  The one illustrated by Susan Jeffers.
See past review HERE.
There’s even a link to the illustrator’s artist page where she will walk you through how to draw a horse!

Rain & Thunderstorms

Here are three simple verbal language activities to share with your children.

For your 2 – 4 year olds

Consider using musical instruments to accent the last three words in each line.

Down come the rain drops SPLASH, SPLASH, SPLASH! (stamp feet on the splashes)
Let’s run for cover, DASH, DASH, DASH!  (run on the spot)
Pitter patter, pitter patter, DRIP, DRIP, DROP! (clap hands in rhythm)
I’m under my umbrella till the raindrops STOP! (put up pretend umbrella)

 

For older children – share together the following:

Rain
by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1895)

The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree.
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.

 

I Like To See a Thunderstorm
by Elizabeth Coatsworth (1893 – 1986)

I like to see a thunderstorm,
A dunder storm,
A blunder storm,
I like to see it, black and slow,
Come tumbling down the hills.

A plunder storm,
A wonder storm,
Roar loudly at our little house
And shake the window sills!

 

 

Poem: Read to Me!

Why do we post poems and rhymes every month?  Because being exposed to and enjoying the “music” of poems is vital for your child’s language development.

“Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight
nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the
best readers by the time they’re eight.”  [Fox, M. (2001). Reading Magic. San Diego, CA: Harcourt.]

Poems and rhymes make it easier for children to learn new words. Learning new words appears effortless, because the rhythmical structure of the stanzas creates a familiar context for unfamiliar words. Moreover, reading rhymes aloud or repeating rhymes helps them practice pitch, voice inflection, and volume. It may seem trivial to you, the adult/parent, but the level of coordination required to master all the variables of voice is extremely complex.

Also, “Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and use the individual sounds or phonemes in spoken words.Helping children understand rhyming is one key skill of phonemic awareness” (Block & Israel, 2005)

We chose this poem in honor of Thomas Jefferson’s love of books.

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Read to Me

Read to me riddles and read to me rhymes
Read to me stories of magical times
Read to me tales about castles and kings
Read to me stories of fabulous things
Read to me pirates and read to me knights
Read to me dragons and dragon-book fights
Read to me spaceships and cowboys and then
When you are finished – please read them again.

Poem by Jane Yolen