Month: May 2013

Pete the Cat and His 4 Groovy Buttons

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9780062110589We liked EVERYTHING about this book! It’s such a simple, straight-forward story, yet my kids (4-5 year olds) in school enjoyed it immensely! They not only loved the story but also the bright, beautiful illustrations. I was quite surprised they loved the book. I guess that’s how all children’s books should be written – clear storyline, straight-forward & simple; basically KISS – (my definition: Keep It Simple & Straight-Forward)

How I read/presented it
1) Get the children interested in the story:Β I asked them if they’ve ever lost anything. How did they feel about it? Then weave in Pete the Cat and ask them how do you think he felt when he started losing his groovy buttons? What do you think he did?

2) Pete has this really cool-nonchalant look.Β Use this to add character to this story. After losing the first button, one of my students asked me, “Why does Pete have that look on his face? He just lost a button!” I just said, “Well, that’s coz Pete’s a cool cat! Guess what he did after losing this button?” Have the children guessing the outcome. Some even said, he’s gonna get a new shirt! Some said, he’s gonna cry.

3) I animated the story and gave it ‘life.’Β I kinda animated Pete and imitated his nonchalant look. I asked my students to try it too. They had so much fun doing it.

4) Added some words of my own to give Pete more ‘character’.

5) Encouraged involvement and participation.Β I sorta ‘created’ my own tune for Pete’s song in this story and invited the children to sing along with me. And each time Pete loses his button, I asked the kids guess what Pete will do next/how do you think he’ll react? This way, it’ll make this simple story, more interesting.

Most importantly, get the children involved in the story. It’d make story time so much more fun!

You could turn this into a great storytelling session too! Just use your imagination and you’ll have so much fun telling and dramatizing it; yes, even without the book πŸ™‚ I might try doing this when I get the chance πŸ™‚

After that we had an art & craft session. We made our very own cats! πŸ™‚ This one’s made by yours truly hehe Found the idea here.

And this is what I made to show the kids before starting the activity.



The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen, Pictures by Dan Hanna

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The pout pout fishAnother recent favorite. We read it twice on two different days, so much so the children can recite the ‘I’m a pout pout fish, with a pout pout face, so I spread the dreary-wearies, all over the place.”

This is what we did together to make the story more interactive:

1) Before starting, I asked the kids to show me a pout. “Give me the worst pout ever!” That created a few giggles. Some thought they ‘pouted’ when they were actually smiling. Pointing that out created more giggles! πŸ™‚ Ask them if we pout when we are happy or sad.

2) Briefly tell them what this story is about.

3) Before you start, tell them you need their help to tell this story. Ask them to say this with you: “Blub…bluuuub…bluuuuuubbbb….” My kids loved this part a lot! Remember to say this with a pout and a sulk!

4) When you read the story, remember, BE EXPRESSIVE and DRAMATIC! Use different voices!

As for the activity, we cut out the outline of a fish, and created our very own Pout Pout Fish!

1) Color the fish. Remember to draw a really nice pout! Or turn it into an upside down pout. (One of my kids turned her fish upside down to show me hers is a Smile-Smile Fish :))

2) Cut out the fish.

3) Stick it onΒ a white piece of paper. Draw your fish her/his friends and other sea creatures. (I managed to take a picture of some of their work.)

Alternatively (for older kids), you can also ask them draw what can they do to help a friend turn their pout into a smile. What can they do to make someone else feel better?


One piece of paper, loads of fun! (Ages 4 – 5)

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This is a very simple activity I came up with, when we had a whole lot of time to kill. The kids love the story cards I brought to schoolΒ (Each card has a picture on it. Picture of the Story Cards is shown below. I got it from Walmart for only $1 πŸ™‚ ) So I decided to use them again.

1) Pick a few cards (We picked 4)

2) Create a story.

3) Then tell them they can make their own story and turn it into a storybook! Trust me, they’ll get all excited!

4) Give them options for their storybook. They can follow the same story they just created, or…they can come up another one entirely on their own.

5) Create-your-own-storybook activity:

* Take out a construction paper or any paper (At least an a4 size)

* Fold it half, then half again. This will give you 4 sections. The children can cut the 4 sections, using the folded lines as guide.

* Write the page numbers – 1, 2, 3, 4 (on the bottom right corner of the pages)

* Draw on each of the 4 pieces of paper.

* Optional: A cover for their storybook – write the title of their book and their name πŸ™‚

* Staple the pages together πŸ™‚

This time, I managed to take some pictures of 2 of the books πŸ™‚ One of them followed the story we created together as a class; while the other decided to create a whole new story himself πŸ™‚

Caps for Sale – Told & Illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina

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Caps For Sale

I decided to tell this story without the book, because I thought the children might have more fun with it. True enough, they had so much fun laughing and pretending to be monkeys, mimicking the peddler’s every action. To be honest, I HAD FUN TOO! haha Will definitely be doing this again πŸ™‚

As for a class activity, I decided to do something really simple. I had the kids cut out the caps and then stick it onto the peddler’s head.

This is one of my favorite from the kids: (I like the fact that he stuck all the caps he cut and colored, even though it meant the caps had to be outside the page. He was the only one he did that :))

Templates for the peddlar and caps are below.


These are the templates:

Cap PeddlerΒ  Β  Β Caps

Edwina the Dinosaur who didn’t know she was extinct by Mo Willems

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EdwinaThis is our current favorite book. The kids loved it so much we read it twice in a day! Their favorite character? Edwina of course πŸ™‚ One mom even asked me who’s this Edwina her daughter has been telling her about! Haha Also, the wonderful illustrations definitely make them love this book even more!

Some suggestions on how to make reading this story more interesting:

1) Talk about the cover.

2) Give them an idea of what the book is about and have them guess the ending.

3) Dramatize. Dramatize. Dramatize using voice and facial expressions.

4) Try saying Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie in a funny way. Say Reginald Von (slightly slower) then Hooobie-Doobie really quickly. Ask the children to say it with you. They will love it!

5) Give them time to look at the pictures. Listen and watch their reactions, then respond accordingly. This way you’re making the story more interactive.

Finally, we did this activity (template below): Using different shapes to ‘recreate’ Edwina.

1) Color the shapes.

2) Create a dinosaur using the different shapes.

3) Stick it onto a paper then place ‘Edwina’ in a different place by drawing anything the children want. You’d be amazed with their ideas! Some of them managed to draw what they saw from the book (Yep, should have taken a picture). Some decided to draw her with her chocolate cookies πŸ™‚

4) OR you can also stick it on a stick and voila! You have a dinosaur ‘puppet’! πŸ™‚

Here’s a template I created:

Dinosaur stick puppet