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The Power of Imagination

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Little ones often have very vivid imaginations. Sometimes their imaginations are so vivid that they have a hard time separating reality from fantasy. There is nothing wrong with this; in fact, a child’s imagination can help them create wonderful stories and ideas and also prompt them to ask questions about the world around them.

Read! Move! Learn! by Carol Totsky Hammett and Nicki Collins Geigert uses imagination as inspiration for literacy lesson plans that connect animals, insects, feelings, and movement all through storytelling!  

Try this lesson plan with your imaginative learners!

Yikes!!! by Robert Florczak

  • What's the Book About?
    Readers follow a boy as he journeys to wild places and comes face-to-face with amazing, dangerous creatures. The boy’s expressions are so convincing that children will be eager to engage in the simple, one word expressions on each page. The end of the end of the book will spark an amazing class discussion surrounding the ideas of reality and fantasy.  
  • Theme Connections
    • ​Animals
    • Feelings
    • Habitats
    • Imagination
    • Insects and bugs
    • Self-confidence
  • Lesson Objectives
    Children will:
    • Explore interjections in text.
    • Explore a variety of movements.
    • Explore interpretive movement.
  • Action Vocabulary​
    • Climbing
    • Crawling
    • Flying
    • Jumping
    • Leaping
    • Running
    • Slithering
    • Spinning
    • Swimming
    • Swinging
    • Tiptoeing
    • Walking
    • Watching
  • Concepts Explored
    • Anticipation
    • Apprehension
    • Awe
    • Excitement
    • Exhilaration
    • Fear
    • Fun
    • Panic
    • Surprise
    • Wonder

  • Developing Literacy Skills
    • Introduce the book's author and illustrator Robert Florczak. Read the title and have the children predict what will happen.
    • Tell the children that after the story is over, they will be asked if the adventure described was real or not.
    • Before reading, mention that the pictures are strong and colorful to express feelings and emotions.
    • Explain that there are few words in the book and that most of the words are interjections — words that show emotions.
    • As you read the story, pause and show the children the two-page vivid illustrations. Focus the children’s attention on the boy, his interjection, and then the animal. Ask them to share their thoughts and ideas about how each animal might be feeling when it encounters the boy.
    • In addition to the animals, there is an insect on each page. Ask the children if they can see it. Some are camouflaged.
    • After reading, invite the children to answer the question, “Did the boy go on an adventure or did he dream about it?”
  • Moving to the Story
    • Invite the children to have another look at the pages in the book. Help them identify the 13 interjections by saying the interjections and asking them to show the corresponding emotion.
    • Next, say each of the interjections on the spreads and ask the children to come up with additional emotions.
    • Explore each of the Action Vocabulary words, such as climbing, slithering, and running, with the children. After the children have had a chance to explore each of the action words and concepts, they will be ready to play the Emotional Statues game.
    • Ask the children to stand up. Without using the book, say one of the interjections from the story. The children pose in a statue quickly to demonstrate one of the Concepts Explored. Without moving, have them look around at some of their peers within view to see if their expressions and body language are similar.
  • Developing Motor Skills
    Name that Animal
    • ​Ask the children to stand on one side of the room.
    • Choose one child to be “IT.” Whisper one of the 13 actions to IT.
    • IT pantomimes the movement and the rest of the children guess the movement, and which animal did it.
    • Tell the children if their guess is correct or not. When they guess correctly, all of the children try to get to the other side of the room, doing that same movement without getting tagged.
    • The first child tagged is the next IT. The game continues until the children have explored all 13 action words

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

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