Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Preschool Visit: Nature Stories (30 min)

A local preschool (almost five and six year olds) experienced a nature walk on the way to the library today.  I supported their learning by providing a nature/pond life inspired storytime.  (We have a small pond/wetlands area behind the library.)

We started with The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Patrick Anthony.  While I read, “Dandelion Seed” from Sing and Learn about Science by Ilene Follman and Helen Jackson played in the background.  The song played through two times.

Then, we talked about how objects look different when we look at them up close and when we look at them from far away.  We explored A Closer Look by Mary McCarthy and followed that with Big Bugs! Giant Creepy Crawly Pop-Ups by Keith Faulkner.  Big Bugs allowed the children to guess which bug was being described before I surprised them with the pop-up illustration.

Little Green Frogs by Frances Barry was equally entertaining.  The slightly repetitive text allowed for a bit of audience participation and the unfolding pages were suprising and unique.

Our last story was the newer picturebook The Croaky Pokey! by Ethan Long.  We got on our feet and moved and grooved, but stopped to carefully look at the picture when I slurped and smacked my lips.  Me: "(Slurp. Smack!) What happened?"  Kids: "The fly got away!"

Before the last activity, I did an impromptu interaction with

The frog would "ribbit" to tell me he was hungry.  (He hadn't caught the fly in Croaky Pokey, you know ...) We'd listen for the fly (puppet makes "buzz" sound), watch frog catch it with his tongue, and then the puppet would burp.  The kids LOVED it!  We had to repeat a few times, until Mr. Frog was too full to eat anymore...

We ended the visit by looking at some photographs of a snapping turtle (from Grzimek's Animal Life database and Britannica Online) and by performing the following action rhyme.  (I learned this from a colleague, so I do not know the original source.):

(Snap OR place bottom of palms together and clap hands like a mouth.)
Snap! Snap! Snap!
He snaps in the morning
He snaps at night
He snaps at the bugs
As he takes each bite
He snaps so much
He's quite a sight
Snap! Snap! Snap!

As they exited, I let them touch a real snapping turtle shell.  (Compliments of another colleague.)

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