Thursday, November 29, 2012

PeeWees: Run, Turkey, Run!

PeeWee mom Lisa's two weeks were split around Thanksgiving, so she did a Thanksgiving book the week before, and an unbelievably fun Christmas book after.  Run, Turkey, Run! was a huge hit with Poppy, and I'm pretty sure all the kids - two weeks later, she is still telling me to be the farmer and chase her saying, "Run, turkey, run!"
The book was Run, Turkey, Run! Definitely not a best seller, but I wanted to get the PeeWees familiar with one aspect of Thanksgiving. This book has tons of repetition – “Run Turkey, Run” – and had tons of potential for activities, so for those reasons, it was a good pick.
The book is about how Thanksgiving is coming and the turkey needs to escape or he’ll be Thanksgiving dinner. The farmer chases after the turkey. He hides in a duck pond, is found, “Run Turkey, Run!” He hides in a horse bar, is found, “Run Turkey, Run!” He hides in a pig pen, is found, “Run Turkey, Run!” etc. Then he hides in the trees and the farmer can’t find him. So the farmer and his family eat grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. After Thanksgiving they head out to chop down their Christmas tree and when they chop down their tree, there is the tukey, AHHHH, “Run Turkey, Run!”
Play time – They colored on a 10’ long “run” of paper.

Circle time – We talked about Thanksgiving coming up and that we eat turkeys on thanksgiving. As we sang the welcome song, each pee wee wore the turkey hat when it was their turn (VERY funny). 
We counted turkeys and yelled out the number each time, “ONE turkey!” “TWO turkeys!” etc., and read the book. 
 As we read, every time it said, “Run turkey, run” the pee wees had to stand up and run in place on their carpet square. I will definitely incorporate them acting something out in every future book. It kept their attention and made the book more alive to them.

Snack time – We ate grilled cheese sandwiches in turkey shapes, apples in turkey shapes, and a turkey and an ax cookie.  [Not everyone would own an ax cookie cutter, but leave it to Lisa!]
Craft – pinecone turkeys. Two things to note. NO ONE liked getting glue on their fingers and feathers weren’t terribly popular. Live and learn!
Pin the hat on the turkey – VERY funny. We did it one time where they just had to stick the hat on the turkey and a second time where I put a blindfold on them and repeated the activity. It was a good way to introduce the blindfold concept and they all gave it a try. Surprisingly, everyone hit the turkey with their hat with the blindfold on.
Activity part I – Run turkey, run! Game. We made our turkey heads – they LOVED the water colors and probably would have been content doing water colors for a while – good to note for future crafts.
Activity part 2 – we put our coats, shoes, and turkey heads on and headed out to the yard for the last 10 minutes. I dressed in bad plaid as the farmer. They ran to a pretend duck pond, would hide, I would arrive and find them and they would take off running again yelling, “run turkey, run!” Then the pig pen, etc.

What made me laugh most was after all of this repetition, I would say, “what’s this?” and point to something with a turkey on it and the responses would be “a chicken” “a rooster” “a duck” – oh well! At least I think they had fun!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

PeeWees: Grumpy Bird (week 2)

Poppy anxiously awaiting her classmates' arrival
 For our second week of Grumpy Bird, we did some of the same things, and some different, shifting the focus from birds to feelings.  Although.  The gummy worms were such a hit last week that we managed to work them into a lot of the activities. 

Arrival - Magnetic letters again - they really loved this!  And it has inspired Poppy to learn her letters, which she has done a lot in the intervening week.  Now she finds "P for Poppy" and a few others everywhere we go.

Circle Time - After welcome, alphabet, and counting birds & worms again, we reviewed "In the Leafy Treetops" and also sang "If You're Happy and You Know It", alternating verses of "If you're happy..." and "If you're grumpy..."  This crowd definitely prefers to be happy!  We also sang "Smiles".  We read Grumpy Bird and paid attention to Bird's expression on each page to catch when he starts changing from grumpy to having fun.

Snack - Halloween pretzels (jack-o-lanterns and bats), strawberries, and gummy worms.  We talked a lot about if the jack-o-lantern pretzels were grumpy or happy.  We practiced grumpy and happy faces. 

Art - Feelings Faces.  Everyone chose their background papers, eye pieces, and feathers.  I put glue down for everyone on all their pieces and then they used the marker to draw mouths.  I talked about how mouths and eyebrows really show the feelings on the face - they all drew happy mouths.
My sample

Activity 1 -  We repeated the color matching game from last week, then I tried letter matching - matching the animal with the letter it starts with.  I figured, this group is so advanced, let's try it.  It was ambitious, and I lost all their attention before we got far, but we pushed through and then did some running.

Activity 2 - We looked through a book called The Way I Feel and talked about the feelings on each page (didn't take the time to read it), and tried to mimic the expressions.
Then we played a picture Feelings Bingo game I made a few years ago when Ginger was in Peewees.  It was fun - and funny - teaching them to play bingo with cards and chips.  Definitely a learning curve but they liked it!  At the end I broke out the magnetic wands with which to pick up the bingo chips and that was amaaaazing to them.

Activity 3 - Everyone chose an animal to be in the story, and we acted out Grumpy Bird.  They liked it so much, we switched animals and did it twice.

Closing - We reviewed all the songs we have learned over the two weeks, sang our goodbye song, and did some running with instruments to my birdie songs listed in the last post.  Another day in PeeWee paradise!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

PeeWees: Grumpy Bird (week 1)

For my second teaching round, I chose Grumpy Bird, mostly because I just love that book.  And I can relate, personally, and as a mom, to Bird.  Grumpy is a frequent state of mind for some of us.  And distraction is the best medicine.

Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard

Concepts: animals - bird/rabbit/sheep/raccoon/fox, morning/evening, wake up, birds, bird nest/animal homes, what animals eat, friends, follow the leader, grumpy/cheer up, feelings, walking/jumping/flying, greetings, exercise, stand on one leg, farm, forest, "Fun", sun & stars

Related/Support Books: Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard, The Way I Feel by Janan Cain

Arrival - Magnetic letters and metal cookie sheets to play with.  I was curious if the kids would like playing with letters, since they all know some letters.  They stayed interested for a long time, shouting out letter names when they found one they knew.
Hazel and Ginger were home because their school had no power from Hurricane Sandy.

Circle Time - We did our alphabet singing from a complete magnetic alphabet I had Hazel and Ginger make for us while we were singing the welcome song.  For counting, I had a selection of 12 stuffed birds that we looked at, passed around, named, and eventually counted.  
 Then I laid out gummy worms on a cookie sheet and we counted those, too, then had the birds pretend to eat them, then gave some to the kids to eat.  Gummy worms were definitely the hit of the day.  I taught the song "In the Leafy Treetops" with hand motions and we sung it several times.  Then we read Grumpy Bird, mostly talking about the story and the animals.  

Snack - "Dirty Worms" - classic!  Pudding, crumbs, gummy worms.  Plus some chocolate mushrooms from World Market.  Because we can.  Everyone had chocolate beards after.

Art - Painting birdhouses.  They each chose their color, and their bird.  I loved the concentration they devoted to this project.  The birdhouses were $1/each at JoAnn.

My sample

Right before leaving, when the birdhouses were mostly dry, I hot glued a bird on each.  These birds were not easy to find this time of year; I had to order them on Etsy.

Activity 1 - Color matching.  I had colored papers taped to the wall, and photocopies of the animals from the book.  The kids took turns choosing an animal and trying to remember what color it was in the book, and sticking it to that color paper.  Multi-step memory/cognitive task.  They got most of them wrong, but we went back through the book and corrected them.

Activity 2 - Freeze Dance.  I played some "bird songs" and paused while they all played freeze dance.  [Bird songs: "Rockin' Robin", "Two Little Blackbirds" (from Music Together), "The Bird & The Worm" (Owl City), "Three Little Birds" (Bob Marley), "Blackbird" (The Beatles)]

Closing - Read the book again, focusing on what "grumpy" means and how the bird cheered up.  After the "So Long" song we practiced "In the Leafy Treetops" a few more times and played a few rounds of Follow the Leader, like the animals follow the bird and do what he does.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Second Talk (featuring Ginger Art)

A few months ago Ginger gave her second Primary talk, which means she was assigned a topic, and prepared a 2-minute talk to give in front of all the children at church, ages 3-11.  I helped her brainstorm and organize, but she wrote and memorized the words, and drew her own prompt cards.  She has such a cute little voice, it was precious.

"I Feel My Savior's Love When I Try to be Like Jesus"
by Ginger Hickman
April 22, 2012

When Jesus visited the Nephites in 3 Nephi 27, he said, "Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am."

One day recently my family went to the park.  A girl about my age came over and asked me if I would be her friend.  I liked her and we played together.

 Jesus loves everybody, so I was like Him when I made a new friend.

Every morning our family reads the scriptures.  I liked the story about the stripling warriors so much that I asked to read it two days in a row. 

Jesus loves the scriptures, so when I read them I become more like him.

Jesus taught us to pray.  Every night when I pray at dinner, I pray for Dad at work that he will come home safely and it happens. 

When I pray with faith, I'm trying to be like Jesus and I feel His love. 

Every day I try to be like Jesus, and when I try my best, I feel the Savior's love.

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