Author: Eric Carle
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
Materials: Brown Bear, Brown Bear Book, glue, tissue paper cut into small squares, cotton balls (dog) , blue felt or tissue paper cut into medium circles/squares (horse), brown yarn (bear), red glitter (bird), yellow feathers (duck), purple sequins (cat), black sponge paint (sheep), gold star stickers (fish), animal pages printed out (I usually leave out the mother and the group of children, but you could certainly add those if you wanted).
Summary: Beginning reading skills, sequence, fine motor, colors
1. After reading the story Brown Bear, Brown Bear, explain to the children that they are going to have the opportunity to make their own book. Discuss the “characters” of the book. Which one came first? Pass out one Brown Bear page, one bottle of glue, one pair of scissors and several pieces of yarn to each child.
2. Model for the children how they will color in the body of the bear with crayon then cut the yarn into smaller pieces and glue the pieces into the body of the bear. This creates the desired texture for the animal.
3. After the body is colored and the yarn is glued have the children take a brown crayon or marker and write the word brown underneath the bear. Next to the word brown, have the children write the word bear with a pencil.
4. Be sure to have children write their names on the back of these pages. Collect all the pages and put them in a file to save until all the pages have been completed.
5. Repeat this process with the following pages using different mediums for the animals. Use felt for the duck, sequins for the purple cat, green tissue for the frog, etc. Have the children write the color of the animal using the specific color and then writing the animals name in pencil. **Technically goldfish are actually orange in color. However, I like to use gold stars and make the fish gold because the goal here is to help children begin to decode. If they are looking at an orange fish, they are going to want to say “orange” when reading the story back.
6. Once all the pages are complete, pass them back to the students in random order and include a front cover where they can write their name. Have the children spread out around the classroom with their pages and give them each a file folder. As you re-read the book model for the children how to put the appropriate page in their file folder. While re-reading, have the children call out the names and colors of the animals that they remember.
7. Staple pages together to form individual books for the kids. They will LOVE having their very own book to read and will be learning so much in the process. Put the book in their book bins/bags for a week and count off how many times they read it! You can attach this page to the back of each child’s book and have them see how many checkmarks they can make by reading their book to others!
Author: Eric Carle
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Materials: Brown Bear book, class book template, crayons/markers/colored pencils, skinny markers (if available)
Summary: A lesson to help children learn each other’s names and faces at the beginning of the year. A class book that is sure to be a class favorite!
- After reading the book to the class inform them that they will be taking part in making the first class book! (I hope there will be many more to follow!!) Discuss the importance of doing their best work in order for the book to be perfect reading for the rest of the school year. I always let my students choose one or two class books at the end of the year to take home and keep. This could be your goal as well!
- Pass out a page to each of the students. Using a skinny marker or pencil, instruct them to write their name twice at the top where the lines are so it will read, “_(Nora)_, _(Nora)_, who do you see?” DO NOT write their names on the bottom of the page. I always write the children’s names on card stock with a dark marker for the children to use if they have difficulty writing their name. Paper clip it to the back of their page and they can trace it. After writing their names they will draw their self-portraits. I always do “My turn, your turn” with the kids.
- Using a white board or chart paper, model for the students how to draw a self-portrait. You may want to practice this skill with your students before attempting a class book. For me it is of great insight to see how the children draw themselves at the beginning of the year so I don’t practice ahead of time. Explain that they’ll want to draw a nice big oval/circle shape for their head, not a tiny one that no one will see.Draw a self-portrait, step-by-step. I typically just do the face and hair.
- “My turn, your turn”– In order to get the portraits to have the likeness of the children I play a game with them while we draw. Being that this is usually done in the beginning of the year there are many children who have never drawn themselves before. Some may never have held a crayon. You have to adapt to where your kids are. Begin with telling the kids that you will go first and during that time, their crayons are down and their eyes are watching. Draw a circle/oval shape on the page. Once you have done that, the kids follow with their own shape. Next, draw your eyes, after you have finished it’s the kids turn. Continue this until the portrait is complete!
- After each child has finished drawing a self portrait, collect all the pages. You will fill in the name of the child whose page is next at the bottom of each page. If my name is at the top of the first page and Nora’s is the second page you will write Nora’s name at the bottom of my page so it reads “(Brielle, Brielle) who do you see? I see (Nora) looking at me.” It is very important that there is a teacher page with your portrait as well. Save it for the last page. At the top, put your name and at the bottom put your class i.e. “I see (Room 1) looking at me.” On the last page I always quickly draw each one of my students and write their name underneath their little face. They LOVE going to the back page to see how I’ve drawn them. You could also use a photograph, which I have done several times as well. Because this is the first of the year and the children are just learning, I take photos of each child and put it on their self portrait page as well.
- Create a cover for the book (Room 1, Room 1 Who do you See?), assemble it (don’t forget to add YOUR page!!), and share it with the class! Then add it to your class book bin. I always have a special basket filled with special class books. The kids ALWAYS chose from those books first. Be sure to refer to this book often! They love it, it engages them and it helps them to remember each others names!