QUICK AS A CRICKET

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Circle Time Presentation

Ask the children to show you what "quiet as a mouse" means. Also, ask if anyone has said to them, "You swim like a fish," or "You run like a deer." Have the childrenlook at the cover of QUICK AS A CRICKET and think of a saying for the little boy. Help them to come up with, "Quick as a cricket." Read the book pausing for the children to savor thepictures. Pause longer at the illustration showing the little boy looking at all the animal pictures on his bulletin board. Reread the book and discuss with the children the phrases which they thinkdescribe themselves.

STORY STRETCHER

For Art: Animal Bulletin Boards

What the children will learn-
To plan a joint art project

Materials you will need-

  • Variety of art media
  • variety of shapes and colors of paper
  • scissors

What to do-

  1. Ask the children to look at the illustration of the boy staring at his bulletin board. Tell them you would like to have an animal bulletin board that shows all the animals they are like. Also,call attention to the variety of shapes of pictures.
  2. Have the children decide what they are like, as "loud as a lion" or "nice as a bunny." Then ask them to draw and color or paint pictures of the animals they are like for abulletin board display.
  3. Cut sheets of construction or manilla paper into a variety of shapes: pennant, post card size, small circles like badges, large circles, small and large rectangles and squares.

Something to think about-
For the first art session of the QUICK AS A CRICKET day or days, the children will probably choose the animal and phrase they like most. On anotherday, emphasize a new phrase, "Sometimes I am as sad as a basset," or "sometimes I am as lazy as a lizard." Instead of emphasizing individuals, you might use the phrase,"Sometimes we are as weak as kittens," or "we are as shy as shrimps."

STORY STRETCHER

For Library Corner: Writing, Describing Myself

What the children will learn-
To use descriptive phrases

Materials you will need-

  • Writing supplies-lined and unlined paper
  • pens
  • pencils

What to do-

  1. Reread QUICK AS A CRICKET.
  2. Help the children think about the phrases which best describe themselves. It may be helpful to use the word "sometimes" to get the discussion started.
  3. Talk about the "sometimes," the instances when the children could describe themselves with the phrases. For example, in the book, the phrases "hot as a fox" and "cold asa toad" are used. Have the children recall when those phrases might have fit them.
  4. Encourage the children to dictate or write the phrases or longer stories that illustrate the times when they felt like the phrase.

Something to think about-
Older children might like to write a collection of opposites, with stories to illustrate each feeling, cold or hot, strong or weak, loud or quiet.Younger children could draw opposite pictures and dictate captions. Remember that young children who are in the emergent literacy stage may scribble their writing or some may use letters they knowhow to form, even if they do not yet know sound/symbol relationships or are not able to spell correctly. As with their drawings, they may not yet be able to draw pictures that we recognize, but weencourage them to draw anyway. The same is true for writing. They may not yet be able to write in letter forms that we can read, but we encourage them to write anyway.

STORY STRETCHER

For Mathematics And Manipulatives : Classifying And Counting

What the children will learn-
To classify and count insects, sea life and animals

Materials you will need-

  • Chart tablet and marker or chalkboard and chalk

What to do-

  1. With the children who come to the mathematics and manipulatives center during choice time, go through the book and name all the insects, sea life and animals which are featured. Print them on alist.
  2. Have the children look at the list and think of names which could be grouped together insects, sea life and animals.
  3. Reprint the list with the three headings.
  4. Then ask the children to recall whether there was one, a few or many of the insects, sea life or animals.

Something to think about-
If you teach this unit after your study of animal life, the children could classify the animals as mammals or not mammals. Older children mightgroup the animals in more than one category, as the whale is a mammal and it also is sea life.

STORY STRETCHER

For Music And Movement: Quick As A Cricket, Slow As A Snail

What the children will learn-
To improvise movements to illustrate descriptive phrases

Materials you will need-

  • None needed

What to do-

  1. With the children seated in a circle, ask individuals to improvise movements that illustrate the phrases "quick as a cricket" or "tough as a rhino."
  2. Tell the children you will clap your hands and at that signal they can move. When you clap again they need to freeze.
  3. Select phrases in order at first, then at random.

Something to think about-
Some descriptive phrases are more difficult to illustrate, as "large as a whale" or "small as an ant." Have the childrenbrainstorm as a group for the possible movements.

STORY STRETCHER

For Science And Nature: Cricket Terrarium

What the children will learn-
To construct a cricket habitat and observe cricket behaviors

Materials you will need-

  • Large terrarium
  • soil, plants
  • crickets
  • small water dishes
  • resource books on insects and terrariums
  • chart tablet
  • marker

What to do-

  1. Announce to the children that this science and nature activity will take several days to arrange.
  2. Read about crickets and terrariums in a resource book. Select pertinent passages to read to the children, which describe the needs a cricket has for food, water and hiding places from the light,as well as how to construct a terrarium.
  3. Write on the chart tablet the key phrases that will help the children remember what the crickets need. Also, list all the supplies that will be needed.
  4. Collect the supplies over the next few days and as children and parents bring them in, check them off the chart tablet list.
  5. Construct the habitat.
  6. Begin the observations, charting what is seen, when crickets chirp, how big they are, where they hide and other behaviors.

Something to think about-
Ask the children and parents to volunteer for some of the supplies. For example, a parent who enjoys plants may have soil he can contribute, or achild may recall that her mother has an empty terrarium in the basement.

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