When I am at a loss as to what to do in my preschool classroom, I always sit down and start thumbing through all my children’s books.
As I read through my collection of children’s books, my mind begins to swirl with all the ways each book can be extended throughout my curriculum content. I seek out ways I might be able to build connections from the book to creative art, math, science, music, and even to the items I set out in my classroom centers.
Let me give you an example….
The book titled, “In the Small, Small, Pond” by Denise Fleming may at first glance seem like a simple book with just a few words and a whole lot of pictures. But as I explore this book with my students I discover wonderful opportunities for connecting the words and illustrations in the book to vocabulary, art, music, math, and more….
This book is filled with wonderful pond creatures that can be created by the children during art.
The problem will be narrowing down to what we actually have time for. I can envision making a pond filled with fish, turtles, and frogs just like those shown in the book. I will read the book more than once to the children and leave it out so we can go back to review and explore our ideas throughout the week. See how our hands are in our pond just like the little boy in our book?
Sounds of Creatures
This book shares the wonderful sounds of each creature. We can explore the sounds of animals and creatures too through a listening game. I can record the sounds of animals then play the sounds for the children so they can try and guess what they hear.
We can sort minnows by color and by size, create patterns, and count them!
The possibilities are endless as we seek to expand literature into the classroom experience…. and then there are real world opportunities too! The next time you are having a mental block for ideas to do in the classroom, just sit down and go through a few good books and see what you can do to build on the ideas, illustrations, characters, and words of the book.