Monday, February 16, 2015

Chinese New Year 2015

While Americans celebrate a new year on January 1, many Asian countries (China, Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia to name a few) wait until the first new moon comes around.  The Chinese, or Lunar New Year starts on February 19, 2015 this year.  

This story time explains and celebrates the Chinese new year: choose what you like from videos, games, books, crafts and songs and have your own Lunar New Year Party.  

INTRODUCTION

Welcome Song:  Welcome to the Library (To “London Bridge is Falling Down.”)
Welcome to the library, library, library.
Welcome to the library, please come inside and read.
We’re glad to have you here today, here today, here today.
We’re glad to have you here today, today’s a special day.

Welcome Fingerplay: Rock, Scissors, Paper (To tune of Frere Jacques)
(sung)       Rock scissors paper, rock scissors paper, one two three, play with me!
(spoken)   Left hand paper, right hand paper, it’s Mickey Mouse
(sung)       Repeat refrain
(spoken)   Left hand rock, right hand paper, play catch with the ball!
(sung)       Repeat refrain
(spoken)   Right hand rock, left hand scissors, it’s an ice cream cone (scissors point up)


Library Rules: 

1: Keep a quiet voice (1 finger to mouth like “shh”)
2. Eyes on the story & speaker (make 2 with fingers, hold to eyes)
3. Be sure to listen (3 fingers, big ears on either side of head)
4. When we move in the library, use walking feet (4 fingers are the ground, other hand makes 2 fingers “walk.")


Mystery Bag Today’s mystery bag holds a STUFFED DRAGON. What words would we use to describe this dragon? (big, scary, fierce, brave, strong, fearsome)  The dragon is the national symbol of China, and the symbol of the Chinese New Year.


Word of the Week:  This week, a little change.  English and Chinese!
          English: Hello
          Chinese: Ni Hao (Knee-HOW.  Try to raise your voice at the end, like this:
                 To “ The Farmer In The Dell”
                              Let’s wave and say Ni Hao,
                              Let’s wave and say Ni Hao
                              Let’s say HELLO to all our friends
                              Let’s wave and say Ni Hao.
         

(Show globe) today we will learn a little about the Chinese culture and one of China’s biggest holidays, the Lunar New Year.  Most people in our country celebrate New Year on January 1, but in China and many other countries, the new year starts this Friday.  It’s also called the SPRING FESTIVAL and signals the end of winter.  


STORIES
Chinese New Year by Terri Gleason, 2009.
Sam and the Lucky Money
Chinese New Year by Dianne McMillan, 2008.
D is for Dragon Dance by Ying Chang Compesine, 2006.
*Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan’s Chinese New Year, Scholastic, 1990.

*My go-to favorite is Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year. 

a.  Pre-reading:   Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfiCxWOIGfc or http://app.discoveryeducation.com/player/view/assetGuid/05651D66-3BE4-4D7F-8A4E-FF39E9725964 shows dragon dancers.  What did you see?  Explain to students that these dances are thought to bring good luck to anyone who sees them.  May have to explain that the dragon and lion are modeled from the same concept, a fierce animal: the terms are used interchangeably in some of the texts we see today.
b.  READ:  The photos in this book are excellent for explaining what is a truly foreign culture to many children and connecting to their lives.  Look for similarities (school, clothes, foods they eat) and be prepared to explain things that may not be familiar (NYC Chinatown, Ancestor Altar in the home…)
c.  Reflection:  What do you think it felt like to be part of that parade?  Would you want to be a Lion Dancer?

d.  Extension Activity:  DRAGON, DRAGON  (to the tune of:  Twinkle, twinkle little star)
Dragon, dragon, dance around.
Dragon, dragon, touch the ground.
Dragon, dragon, shake your head.
Dragon, dragon, tongue so red.
Dragon, dragon, stamp your feet.
Dragon, dragon, coming down the street!
(match actions to words while singing)



POEM:  
Listen for rhyme, rhythm.  Note how events in poem were in Ernie Wan’s Lion Dancer, too (fireworks, red clothes., chasing lion.)  This poem is from http://www.123newyear.com/newyear-poems/chinese.html

"Gung Hay Fat Choy!"
In China, Every Girl And Boy
Celebrates The New Year
In A Very Special Way ----
With Fireworks And Dragons,
Colored Red And Gold ----
They Welcome In The New Year
And Chase Away The Old!




Research RESOURCE
(PebbleGo Social Studies: Holidays, Chinese New Year.  Accessed February 16, 2015.)

Pre-reading Now, we’ll look at an encyclopedia entry for this holiday and check how much we already know- maybe learn something new.
READ/INVESTIGATE Resource
Reflection: KWL or other thinking map to express what we learned. 

Stretches/Movement Activity: Chinese Animal Poses  (http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/02/chinese-new-year-kids-yoga-class/)

Crafts:
My favorite, easy thing to do: FU fun.  Have the children write the chinese symbol for good luck (FU) on piece of cardboard with a red marker.   Then, tradition says you sprinkle the FU over you for good luck in the year. Fu Characters http://www.pbs.org/parents/buster/act-good-luck.html

I've also had good luck with: Pin the Tail on the Panda, Make Paper Lanterns, Decorate a Dragon Mask (and wear it) and zodiac animal parades and streamers (instructions at end of post)


While they get their books, play Tumblebooks Red is a Dragon and Round is a Mooncake http://asp.tumblebooks.com/library/asp/book.asp?id=2577 which reinforce Chinese culture theme and elements .

Conclusion:  Today we learned a lot about Chinese culture.  We learned that this week marks the Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, where we celebrate the end of winter.  We saw a dragon dance, learned that RED is a lucky color on New Year’s, and learned to say HELLO in Chinese, NI HAO.

Pet the DRAGON
High Five the Word of the Week on the door on the way out. The Word of the week, written or printed on a diecut hand, is taped at kindergarten eye level .  As students leave, they can gently high-five the word to increase sight word familiarity sheep.

Chinese New Year lesson-building sites:


Dragon Dance Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-9nQN9arvQ (astonishing amount of firecrackers)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKzNPxu_QBU (montage of Syndey, Australia NY festival)



Draw a Fu Characters http://www.pbs.org/parents/buster/act-good-luck.html
Listen to a song about Chinese New Year:  http://www.nancymusic.com/Gunghayplay.htm


Lunar New Year streamers:
Materials: popsicle sticks, roll or red and yellow streamers.
Directions: cut strips of red and yellow streamers, each about 5 inches long.
Each child can be given 3 strips of red and 2 strips of yellow streamers, along with a popsicle stick.  The child can use tape to attach the streamers to the popsicle stick.  The two colors symbolize happiness and good luck.


THIS WEEK’S TEKS 
1 a, c, f, g        Print Awareness
2 b, c, e, i        Rhymes; Phonological Awareness
3 a                  Phonics
4 a, b              Prediction; Reading Strategies
6 a,                  Story Elements
7                      Poetry
8 a, b               Retell Stories, Story Elements
9                      Author’s Purpose
10 b, c, d         Predict, Evaluate & Retell Stories
12 a, b               identify various forms & techniques of media
18 a                 Oral & Written Conventions
19 a                 Generate Questions
20 a                 Whole Group Research
21 a, b             Library Procedures
RC(fig19) a,b,d,f,e       Read Assorted Literature, Generate Questions,Whole Group Research, Predictions/Inference,Pair Fiction & Non-Fiction, Retell and Summarize Stories, Reading Comprehension
 n/a                   Book Selection

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hundreds! 100th Day of School Story Time

100th Day of School Story Time

Around here, the kids are excited about the 100th day of school.  Even my son's preschool is celebrating.  This week's story time was one of the most fun ever, with painting, lots of constructive movement, and a story about families cooperating.

INTRODUCTION
Welcome Song:  Welcome to the Library (To “London Bridge is Falling Down.”)
Welcome to the library, library, library.
Welcome to the library, please come inside and read.
We’re glad to have you here today, here today, here today.
We’re glad to have you here today, today’s a special day.

Fingerplay: Rock, Scissors, Paper (To tune of Frere Jacques)
(sung) Rock scissors paper, rock scissors paper, one two three, play with me!
(spoken)   Left hand paper, right hand paper, it’s Mickey Mouse
(sung)       Repeat refrain
(spoken)   Left hand rock, right hand paper, play catch with the ball!
(sung)       Repeat refrain
(spoken)   Right hand rock, left hand scissors, it’s an ice cream cone (scissors point up)

Library Rules: 
1: Keep a quiet voice (put one finger to mouth like “shh”)
2. Eyes on the story & speaker (make 2 with fingers, hold to eyes)
3. Be sure to listen (3 fingers make big ears on either side of head)
4. When we move in the library, use walking feet (make 4 fingers the ground, other hand make 2 fingers “walk.")


Word of the Week:
English:  Hundred (say it, syllabicate it, spell in the air.  Can you think of words that rhyme with hundred? There's pretty much only soft rhymes like thundered, wondered...)
Spanish:  Cien (See-Ehn) (Take a moment to point out these words DON'T look like they have anything in common like most of our Spanish translations, then point out the synonym for penny is CENT, which means one hundredth of a dollar. CENT and CIEN do sound alike.)
ASL: Sign language is a real language where people use their hands to communicate.  We make the sign for hundred by first making the number 1 with our right hand pointer finger, then making our hand into a C and pulling it away. (http://www.handspeak.com/word/search.php?wordID=hundred&submitword=Find)


ACTIVITIES


Story: 
Jake's 100th Day Worries (Lester Laminack, Peachtree, 2006)
100th Day Worries Margery Cuyler, Simon & Schuster 2000)

Both these picture books are great choices for familiarizing kids with the 100-day phenomenon. In both, kids have difficulty accomplishing a daunting task. (Let's face it, counting to 100 is the kiddy equivalent of doing your income taxes!) In both, family and kind school employees help the child to feel better about their ability to solve the problem and help them achieve their goal. Read either and mention the element of cooperation and a nurturing school and home community.

Game:  

I found this brilliant little game in several forms all over the internet. Adapting it to kindergarten/preschool, and things we could do easily in a library, here is a half-sheet page featuring 3 timed activities. I have to say THE KIDS LOVED IT. Let different kids be your timers, if you like. As much as I try to incorporate movement into library time, the more they're bouncing, the better. Jump, squat and write yourself silly or make up some new games:

Art:

This template (https://www.pinterest.com/yaj/100-day-school/) and some Q-tips and tempra paint is all you need to fill out the rest of story hour.
We enjoyed Tumblebooks and Pandora Radio (Kids stations) while we painted and it was a trouble-free, fun experience.


CLOSURE

Back on the carpet, we recapped and talked about what we might bring (or brought, the day after) for the 100th day affair. We repeated the word and sign of the day.

This was not the most academically challenging story time I've ever done, but it has surely been a fun one. Hope you enjoy doing it, too!



OTHER IDEAS:
This blogging teacher is in LOVE with 100th day (she wrote a book on it?!) and you can definitely find something to motivate yourself on her site: http://www.joanholub.com/100thDay.html




Monday, February 2, 2015

Penguins (New & Improved!)

Welcome! I took a month off to contemplate what the future of this blog looked like. The result: I've tried to make it more friendly to non-Texas teachers, since many parents of pre-schoolers, home-schoolers, and librarians and teachers outside Texas visit me online.

Having said that, the Texas TEKS are still posted, but now they're at the end of each story time/lesson. I'm also trying to incorporate a lot more movement activities, so look for more easy crafts, action rhymes and games as 2015 unfolds.

Penguin Story Time was an idea I posted last year, and since it's been very chilly here in Texas, I felt like keeping with the polar theme was appropriate. Post comments and ideas! I love hearing from you!

Penguin StoryTime


We’re investigating polar animals this month.  This program features both expository and literary texts, as well as technology, poems, and action rhyme about penguins.


INTRODUCTION


Welcome Song:  Welcome to the Library (To “London Bridge is Falling Down.”)
Welcome to the library, library, library
Welcome to the library, please come inside and read
We’re glad to have you here today, here today, here today
We’re glad to have you here today, today’s a special day.


Welcome Fingerplay & Song: Rock, Scissors, Paper (To tune of Frere Jacques)
(sung) Rock scissors paper, rock scissors paper, one two three, play with me
(spoken) Left hand paper, right hand paper, it’s a butterfly
(sung) Repeat refrain
(spoken) Left hand rock, right hand scissors, it s a snail
(sung)   Repeat refrain
(spoken) Right hand rock, left hand paper, it’s a helicopter


Library Rules: 
1: Keep a quiet voice (put one finger to mouth like “shh”)
2.  Keep your eyes on the story & the speaker (make 2 with fingers, hold to eyes)
3.  Be sure to listen (3 fingers make big ears on either side of your head)
4.  And when we move in the library, we use walking feet (make 4 fingers the 
ground, other hand make 2 fingers “walk” on the ground.)


Learning Targets: Today we are going to learn about penguins, where they live, what they eat, and some amazing things only penguins do. We are also going to read a poem, play games, tell jokes, and learn about using computers to find information.  


Word of the Week:
English:  Penguin (say it, syllabicate it, spell in the air.  Can you think of words
that rhyme with penguin? (We had a hard time: heaven, sequin?)
Spanish:  Ping├╝ino (pin GWEE noh)
ASL: Sign language is a real language where people use their hands to communicate.  We make the sign for penguin by holding our arms straight down by our sides and sticking them out like penguin feet.  Now “waddle” on your hips (if sitting, otherwise use feet) back & forth to look like you’re moving like a penguin! (This sign is one I often let the children “guess” before telling them - someone in every class can predict before seeing it!)


ACTIVITIES


Story #1: Tacky The Penguin.  (Helen Lester, Hougton Mifflin, 1987.)
Pre-Reading:  Look at the cover- how is Tacky already not looking like a normal penguin? (slumped, funnt shirt, disheveled tie)  Who are those other animals and what are they holding?  What does the word “tacky’ mean (for Pre-K, we simply said it’s a way to describe people who do their own thing & don’t follow the rules!)
During the Story:  There are opportunities for movement: have kids “march” just their feet sitting down, or their hands...
Reflection:  Picture-walk through the book a second time to show beginning, middle and end, or problems/solutions.


Action Rhyme:  In The Land of Ice and Snow (stand)
In the land of ice and snow (shiver, say brr)
Where the freezing, cold winds blow (blow or use arms to show wind)
Lives a bird who’s quite a sight (binoculars)
With his suit of black & white (run hands over back/sides & tummy)
He can swim, but he can’t fly (mimic these actions)
The penguin is a funny guy! (waddle like penguin in place)


Song: Did You Ever See A Penguin? (to tune of “Did You Ever See A Lassie?”)
Did you ever see a penguin, a penguin, a penguin?
Did you ever see a penguin waddle this way and that?
Waddle this way and that way, waddle this way and that way
Did you ever see a penguin waddle this way and that?


Fingerplay:  Two Little Penguins

Two little penguins sitting on the ice (hold up two fingers)
One bows once, the other bows twice (made index fingers bow)
Waddle little penguins. Waddle away. (put fingers behind back)
Come back penguins. Time to play! (bring fingers to the front)
Jokes
Who's the penguin's favorite Aunt? (Aunt-Arctica!)
Why do penguins carry fish in their beaks? (Because they don't have any pockets!)
What's black & white, black & white & black & white? (A penguin rolling down a hill!)
Which side of a penguin has the most feathers? (The outside!)
What's black, white and red all over? (A penguin with a sunburn!) 


Poem:  Penguin by Meish Goldish, 101 Science Poems & Songs for Young Learners, Instructor Books


I know a bird
That cannot fly:
Penguin is its name.
It cannot fly,
But it can swim
With speed that wins it fame!
I know a bird
That lives on ice
And waddles by the sea.
It looks so cute
In its black-and-white suit,
As handsome as can be!


Poetry Suggestions: Have children clap a light rhythm as you read to notice the poem’s rhythm.  Have them raise arms or clap on end rhymes. (name/fame & sea/be)


Activity: Pin The Tail on the Penguin
Have one copy of a penguin as the base, and make another cut into 4 puzzle pieces - head, beak, body, flippers.  Glue the parts on top of the first penguin.  Good for kids who can’t label yet.  Alternately, there are a lot of worksheet-type choices to download if you search “parts of a penguin” in online images.


Online Learning:  Pebblego Online Encyclopedia.  (Animals>Birds>Penguins.)
(If you don’t have access to PebbleGo, the Dallas, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh and San Diego Zoos all have excellent web resources to look at with your little ones.)
Pre-Reading:  4 types of penguins presented- choose one.  Look at headings (bread crumbs) to show students how to access at home or get to another animal.
During:  Use tech vocabulary like “cursor” “webpage” “text” “graphics’” and “tab” to familiarize students with words they need to know to use technology fluently.
Reflection: Pin The Tail on the Penguin activiy works well, as would drawing/tracing penguins and writing (or having an adult take dictation) about penguins.


Craft: Penguin coloring pages abound- this cute little penguin only requires a minimum of instruction and turns out very cute.  


Additional Materials
Websites I found helpful in making this lesson:


THIS WEEK’S TEKS 
                          1 a, c, f, g     Print Awareness
                          2 b, c, e, i     Rhymes & Phonological Awareness
                          3 a                Phonics
                          4 a, b            Prediction & Reading Strategies
                          6 a,               Story Elements
                          7                   Poetry
                          8 a, b            Retell Stories, Story Elements
                          9                   Author’s Purpose
                          10 b, c, d      Predict, Evaluate & Retell Stories
             12 a, b               identify various forms & techniques of media
                          18 a              Oral & Written Conventions
                          19 a              Generate Questions
                          20 a              Whole Group Research
                          21 a, b          Library Procedures
                        RC(fig19) a,b,d,f,e       Read Assorted Literature,
Generate Questions, Whole Group Research, Predictions/Inference, Pair Fiction & Non-Fiction, Retell and Summarize Stories Reading Comprehension
                          n/a                   Book Selection