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Promoting Friendship through Reading


Books have the ability to transform the lives of those who read them! Reading often teaches children important life lessons, and one of the most important lessons they can learn from reading is the importance of growing friendships with others.

Read! Move! Learn! by Carol Totsky Hammett and Nicki Collins Geigert features the perfect lesson plan for promoting the importance of friendship! Accompanied by a heart-warming story that teaches children how to cultivate meaningful relationships, this lesson connects literacy, movement, and social-emotional development.

Here We Go, Harry by Kim Lewis

  • What's the Book About?
    ​Here We Go, Harry follows Harry, Ted, and Lulu as they head out for an adventure on a breezy afternoon. Ted (a bear) and Lulu (a lamb) welcome the wind as they jump and tumble down a hill in the soft, summer grass. Harry (an elephant) is not able to fly like his friends. However, with the help of Ted and Lulu, Harry finally makes it down the hill.
  • Theme Connections
    • ​Animals
    • Friendship
    • Self-confidence
  • Lesson Objectives
    ​Children will:
    • Explore parts of the story (beginning, middle, and end).
    • Explore the concepts of encouragement and friendship.
    • Identify the story’s main characters.
    • Experience a variety of movements.
  • Action Vocabulary
    • Blow
    • Climb
    • Flap
    • Float
    • Fly
    • Hop
    • Jump
    • Leap
    • Peer
    • Roll
    • Run
    • Stop
    • Swoop
    • Tumble
  • Concepts Explored
    • Bottom
    • Down
    • Edge
    • Far
    • High
    • Light
    • Long
    • Near
    • Small
    • Soft
    • Take-off
    • Top
    • Up
    • Wide

  • Developing Literacy Skills
    • Materials:
      • Stuffed Animals, one for each child
    • Introduce the book’s author and illustrator, Kim Lewis. Read the title of the book and ask the children to predict the storyline. Tell the children that the book is about three friends and their special friendship. Show the children the covert illustration as you introduce the main characters, Harry, Ted, and Lulu.
    • The story’s rich language, action words, and concepts are perfect for an interactive Story Time. Gather enough plush animals or puppets (bears, lambs, and elephants) so each child has one.
    • As you read the story, emphasize the action words and concepts. Observe the children’s actions as you read and make a mental note if a child does not seem to understand some of the words, such as float, peer, and swoop.
    • When you are finished reading the story, invite the children to talk about the animals’ friendship. How did they help Harry? How did Harry feel about their help? How do the children feel when a friend wants to help them learn something that they are afraid to do?
  • Moving to the Story
    • Organize the children into groups of three to portray each of the three friends: Harry, Lulu, and Ted.
    • Reread the story and as you read each concept or action word, invite each character to act out the concept or action word.
    • You may want to highlight the concept and action words in advance. Stop after reading each one to give the children time to act out that word.  
  • Developing Motor Skills
    Combining Actions
    • ​Materials:
      • Assortment of props, such as ropes, cones, mats, hoops, scarves, climbing equipment
      • CD player and music
    •  Ask the children to stand on one side of the room. When you say one of the following skills — hop, jump, leap, roll, tumble, or run — the children take turns doing each across the room.
    • Help the children arrange an assortment of props around the room. Encourage the children to use the props with the actions, such as jumping with a rope, hopping over a scarf, or running around a cone.
    • Combine each action word with several different concept words such as jump near, jump far, jump high, jump down, and jump up. Try different combinations. Allow the children to come up with their own action and concept combinations and then demonstrate the combination. Encourage their creativity.

For more great activities that connect literacy and movement, check out Read! Move! Learn!

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