Building connections to math, art, and more through children’s literature

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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….

Pond Creatures

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.

Minnows

We can sort minnows by color and by size, create patterns, and count them!

Tadpoles

We can sing a song about One Green Frog and create puppets to hop like a frog too!

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.

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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