At my visit last week, I learned that the pre-k classes were going to a strawberry patch for a field trip. I thought that this week, I would use the storytime to help them tell me about it.
Apple Countdown, by Joan Holub, Illustrated by Jan Smith. Even though it’s about apples instead of strawberries, this turned out to be the perfect book to help lead the kids in telling me about their field trip in an orderly way. I introduced this book by saying that, even though it’s about apples and not strawberries, we could read it and compare their trip to the trip taken by the kids in the book. The book is ostensibly a countdown book, but I think it might have been stronger as just a plain old field trip book. It covered things like being excited about the field trip (“were you guys as excited as Jose?”), wearing nametags, riding a bus (“did you get to ride a bus?”), and having the teacher explain what they might see. The countdown device got a little tortured toward the end ” ‘Three pies for us!’ says Russ. ‘How many slices are there?’ asks Claire. ‘Two times six, plus eight,’ says Kate.” Uh–what? Still, it’s a nice book, and I’m really glad I found it.
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, by Audrey and Don Wood. Mouse has found a beautiful, red, ripe strawberry that he wants to pick. But what if the BIG HUNGRY BEAR tracks down the strawberry? It seems that no matter how hard Mouse tries, he will never be able to hide his beautiful strawberry from that greedy bear. Almost every group of kids started pointing and talking excitedly as soon as I pulled this book out. Most of them had read it before, and they were crazy about it! It was so fun to read, and I will definitely be using it again and again in the future.
Flannel: 5 little strawberries. This idea (like so many others!) came from Mel’s Desk (she also generously shared a template for the strawberries there). I used yellow puffy paint for the seeds instead of sewing them on. I also altered the words to the rhyme to say “Mouse came and ate one” instead of “Bear came and ate one” so that I could use my mouse puppet to take them off the board and “eat” them. The kids really liked this flannelboard, and I did too! I also used the different shapes and sizes of the strawberries to ask them about the strawberries they picked (“were they all the same, or were they different shapes and sizes?”)
Lunch, by Denise Fleming. While this book doesn’t have any strawberries in it, it does have a hungry mouse, which made it tie in nicely with the previous book and flannel. The story is pretty simple–Mouse is so hungry that he eats through a variety of fruits and vegetables. What makes the book so interesting is the beautiful illustrations and the way they are structured on the page. In the right-hand corner, there is part of a fruit or vegetable, and the words above it suggest what it might be–this invites the children to guess what is coming. It mostly worked except for the first one (turnip) so I just read that one, then pointed to the others and gave them time to guess. They had a lot of fun with it!
We ended with allowing them to feed strawberries to Mouse. (For a few classes, I told them that Mouse was scared of the word “Bear” but they got a little carried away with yelling “Bear!”, so I eventually stopped doing that—don’t tell anyone….hehehe)