Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
Synopsis: Harry is a white dog with black spots who likes everything except getting a bath. When he hears the water running, he buries the scrubbing brush in the back yard and runs away from home. He plays in a variety of places, always getting dirty, and dirtier at each. He becomes so dirty he is a black dog with white spots. When he becomes tired and hungry, and goes home, his family doesn't recognize him. He tries his old tricks but they don't think it can be him. Then he remembers the scrubbing brush, digs it out, runs to the bathtub, and they give him a bath, realizing of course that he is, indeed, Harry.
Concepts: black/white, dirty/clean, baths, dogs, dog tricks, road construction, railroads & trains, pets, family, doghouse, home, bubbles, running, soap, tired/hungry, washing
Arrival: We played with our wooden train track set (Harry visits a railroad as one place he gets dirty). I've noticed Poppy and Bodie like to play with this when it's just them, so I hoped all the PeeWees would like it, and they did, though there was a little bickering about the train cars - there's never enough things like that to go around, but eventually they cooperated.
Circle Time: "Stand Up" song, ABC's, then counting. I had a bucket of plastic dogs that we lined up and counted several times - first, to 20, then we each took two, and lined them up several times, counting up to 10 each time. I could tell they wanted to play more with those dogs so that will probably be our arrival activity next week.
Book: Harry has been Poppy's favorite book for many months now. One time a few months ago I was at Unique and I saw a white dog with black spots stuffed animal, so I picked it up on a whim, washed it, and when Poppy saw it, she cried, "It's Harry!" Just like in the book. She loves that dog sooo much.
So the next few times I went to Unique I kept my eyes peeled and picked up more Harry dogs (and washed them thoroughly) for the PeeWees. Which led me to putting together prop bags for the book.
Every PeeWee got a prop bag before we read the book, and I told them they could open them, look through them, pull stuff out, etc. It was like Christmas! They were so excited! After they'd looked through everything, I had them put it all back in the bag, except for their Harry dogs, and we started the book.
|"He played where they were fixing the street, and got very dirty."|
|"He rolled over, and played dead."|
Art: "Dirty Harry" painting - I explained that Harry was on the white paper, but he was so clean and white we couldn't see him - we had to get the whole paper dirty with paint before he would show up. (I had previously drawn Harry in thick white crayon.) They caught on quickly, especially once they started to see part of him. Poppy yelled, "I got him dirty, and I see him!" My one regret, I wish I had done this on watercolor paper - it was very watery painting, and watercolor paper could have handled it better, but live and learn. I think they liked the painting, and we kept saying, "Yeah, get him dirty!"
Activity: Cookies - Poppy and I had fun hunting down a dog cutter in the bins at Sur La Table. It was a pretty straightforward activity with white frosting and mini chocolate chips for black spots. I thought about also having chocolate frosting and white chocolate chips for the negative effect, but this was enough. Frosting is kind of hard with plastic knives. I had the thought, I wish I had a small offset spatula for each of them, I think that would be easier. Piling all the chocolate chips in a huge pile in the middle was pretty popular.
The cupcake eating and cookie frosting took longer than I expected, but I just let them go as long as they wanted because they were having a good time. So we didn't do my third activity nor my backup activity, but there's always next week. I was going to do Trashy Town next week, but there is still so much we can do with Harry, we are sticking with him.
They asked to do music again, no surprise, so I made them sit through one more quick reading of the book, then music, instruments and running until the moms came.
After everyone left I told Poppy it was time for lunch. "No," she said, "I need some time to play with my dogs." So she did this for about 15 minutes. Then she was ready for lunch.
|Please notice her "Harry the Dirty Dog" shirt she wore just for the occasion. I also wore a black-with-white-spots bow in my hair.|