20 answers

Kindergarten Parent Reading Project

I am going to be the "mystery reader" for my son's class the first week in May. I will be reading a book and then helping the children make a simple art project related to the story. I am looking for some creative and inexpensive ideas. I was thinking about doing a story about seeds, and having the children plant seeds in a cup, but that was already done. I was also thinking about reading "Go Away Big Green Monster," my sons favorite book, and having the children make monsters from pre cut body parts, but my son said his teacher already read the book. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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What about "Hi Pizza Man" by Virginia Walter? You can have them make their own fake pizza on cheap cardboard plates. You can even have cut-out of different pizza topings, so they can choose the toppings they like.

1 mom found this helpful

The book Wake Up Engines is great, and full of real vehicles as well as pretend. You could take pieces of paper towel tube and let the kids make pretend vehicles from them -- airplane, street sweeper, etc that are in the book. They can draw on them and then move them around (the class could take butcher paper and draw a big map for things to "drive around" on...)

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How about "Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble" Then you can bring Popsicle sticks and have them make a "stick figure" mummy and some toilet paper so they can wrap the oldy-moldy mummy so they can rest in peas, por favor. TP is cheap ;) and kids love it!

2 moms found this helpful

What about "Hi Pizza Man" by Virginia Walter? You can have them make their own fake pizza on cheap cardboard plates. You can even have cut-out of different pizza topings, so they can choose the toppings they like.

1 mom found this helpful

One of my daughter's favorite books was "What Makes a Rainbow?" You could find it at a bookstore. With each page you turn, it adds a color to the rainbow with ribbon. We read that book several times a day sometimes! Then you could maike rainbows by either coloring them or have a bunch of strips cut or torn from construction paper and paste them to a bigger sheet.
Have fun being the mystery reader. Your son will love it that you are there!

1 mom found this helpful

The book Wake Up Engines is great, and full of real vehicles as well as pretend. You could take pieces of paper towel tube and let the kids make pretend vehicles from them -- airplane, street sweeper, etc that are in the book. They can draw on them and then move them around (the class could take butcher paper and draw a big map for things to "drive around" on...)

1 mom found this helpful

My son's favorite book these last few days has been "Tootles", One of the books with the Golden binder. The book was written in 1945. It's about a train that wouldn't stay on the Tracks, you can have the class make red flags before the story and have them wave the flags every time it shows up in the story. Very interactive!

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In terms of books to read, kids that age love the Pigeon books by Mo Willems ("Don't let the pigeon stay up late" or "Don't let the pigeon drive the bus"). Not sure about an art project with it... Maybe having everyone draw birds??!
I think your idea about a seed book is good. Instead of planting seeds, you could have them make a flower "grow" by having the stem folded accordian style so it opens up and gets taller and taller...

1 mom found this helpful

Go to the Scholastic Books website. They have tons of suggestions and recommendations.

Anything by Eric Carle is good for this age group. They are simple, meaningful stories and the artwork is beautiful. You could use "The Very Hungry Catepillar" and have them make butterflies out of tissue paper.

Good luck and have fun with your son's class!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm stealing this idea from my daughter who did it for a Girl Scout leadership project. She read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie". She cut out large brown circles and little shapes or stickers, then each child decorated their own cookie. She also baked cookies for the troop (that may not be allowed for the classroom).

Have Fun!

My daughter's class also does Mystery Reader and this is what I did. I read the book "The Napping House" from our personal collection and then bought little necklaces for the kids to make. The necklaces were very inexpensive and easy, yet fun for the kids to do. The necklaces involved animals, beads and a cord for the kids to create what they wanted. Look at your local craft store for ideas on crafts, you can always choose a book based on the craft you find. Another idea is you could read a story about a farm/zoo and then play animal bingo or make an animal mask for the activity. Read a story about spring and then have pre cut flower pieces for the kids to make a flower basket by glueing them on paper or make the tissue paper flowers. You could choose a Dr. Seuss book and almost any craft project could relate.
Good Luck

I used to be an elementary school librarian in my former life. Love this stuff. How about a story like "Hey Little Ant?" There is a free teacher guide online. If you have extra time after reading and discussion, you could expand in many ways--talk about different insects, have the kids name as many as they can, talk about ants and picnics, name some picnic foods, etc. Here's the link...
http://www.heylittleant.com/homepage2.html

If you don't like that book, there are lots of resources online. Here's another...
http://literature.pppst.com/indexA-Z.html

Have fun!!!

P.S. Just because the other mom did a story on seeds, doesn't mean you can't do something related. There are picture books about community gardens. You could read one, and then talk about how there are different types of gardens. Some are in your backyard, some are in your community, and some people even grow gardens in pots!

I love your idea about them planting a seed. Here is a book called "My Garden" by Kevin Henkes.
http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/Kids/BookDetail.asp...

And here is a suggested reading list for spring from the www.missbriannasstorytime.com

"Spring is here! We welcomed it in with stories about gardens, flowers, and animals coming out of hibernation!

Shake My Sillies Out
Spring Wind
BOOK: Bear Wants More – Karma Wilson
Five Little Fingers
Baby Bumblebee
BOOK: My Garden – Kevin Henkes
Five Little Flowers
5 Green and Speckled Frogs
Head and Shoulders
BOOK: Planting a Rainbow – Lois Ehlert
Ants Go Marching
If You’re Happy and You Know It
Goodbye Song"

I like the skippy-john jones suggestion! My daughter LOVES skippy-jon!!

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle is a great book about seeds. Good luck!

Three books from Discovery Toys www.toysofdiscovery.com would be good choices.

1. The Musical Life of Gustav Mole, in which the animals play musical instruments. It comes with a music CD so you can hear the animals playing percussion (triangle, sticks, etc.) and bottle flutes (blow air over a neck of a soda bottle with different levels of liquid and hear how the tones vary), folk song, opera, jazz and more. You could bring in empty bottles for each child and experiment.

2. The Big Hungry Bear, a story about a little mouse trying to protect the strawberry from being eaten by the bear. You could do something with a big strawberry for each child. They're in season now and yummy sweet.

3. A Seed Grows, which is a "shaggy dog story" where one sentence builds on the next and you keep adding on. The fold out pages show you in young child terms how a seed starts to grow, ultimately sprouting, flowering and bearing fruit. And then you could have them decorate flower pots to take home to mom for Mother's Day. I still treasure the teensy pot my son glued ribbons and buttons onto when he was that age.

I just introduced my kids to a favorite from when I was a kid; Space Case by Edward and James Marshall. They are absolutely as crazy for this story as I was when I was a kid in the 80's.

The story is about an outer-space being that comes to Earth on Halloween. Buddy McGee and his buddies think the being is the new kid that moved in down the street in a robot costume. They invite "it" to go trick or treating. By the end of the story and after some cute surprises, the space creature and Buddy become friends, but the creature has to return home. Before "it" leaves for home, he promises to return in time to learn about and celebrate Christmas.

There is a sequel called "Merry Christmas Space Case" and it wraps up the saga of Buddy McGee and his mysterious friend from space. It's absolutely absolutely fun end to this cute story. Weston Woods/Scholastic books has produced a DVD adaptation of the stories, narrated by Christopher Lloyd. Even more fun for the kids to see "Space Case" come alive and buzz around causing trouble and creating adventures.

I think most libraries have the books, and some may have the video also. You can for sure find all three items used on www.amazon.com.

For an art project, you could have the kids make their own "Space Case" robot using a disposable Dixie plastic or paper bowl turned upside down and crafting notions for lights, antannaes and googly eyes for Space Case's eyes. If you use paper plates, they could double as "frisbees" and fly like Space Case.

Here's a link to the amazon items:

http://www.amazon.com/Space-Case-Reading-Rainbow-Book/dp/...

http://www.amazon.com/Merry-Christmas-Space-Picture-Puffi...

http://www.amazon.com/James-Marshalls-Holiday-Stories-Chr...

Something to incorporate "goo" the borax/glue recipe?

My son is in a Pee Wee Picasso class and they just read Mouse Paints (there is also sone called Mouse Shapes) and made a placemat. The book is about mixing colors and was very cute. The project involved making a picture with painters tape on a blank page and then the children used the paints (mixed primary colors to make greens oranges purple and of course BROWN!) and then when it dried remove the tape and you have a beautiful reverse picture! THe kids were impressed with the (negative) white picture in the midst of the color.

what about "the giant jam sandwich" and make a giant jam sandwich with them? :)

Hi R.,

From a teacher of nine years, I would go with your son's favorite book. Kids love hearing books they know over and over. You already have an idea to go with the book, AND your son will feel like a king because you are reading his favorite book to his class.

When you introduce the book, just talk about the fact that they have already heard it and maybe they can "help" you read it, or something along those lines.

Years back, I had an interview where I had to teach a lesson to first graders. I read the book, "Where the Wild Things Are". I knew they had probably heard it a million times, but then I also knew that ALL students would understand it as well. They LOVED hearing it again, and felt connected to the lesson because they were familiar with it. Chances are, any book you choose will not be new to all students anyway.

Good luck and have fun,
L.

Any book with illustrations by Eric Carle works well for art projects afterwards. I teach 5th grade, but am across from our school library and have watched our librarian do Eric Carle projects a gazillion times with the little ones. You can use tissue paper to layer and create shapes or animals. You could also paint and then "pull away" the paint to create designs like he does. They love it!

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