Red-Eyed Tree Frog by Joy Crowly
Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme by Marianne Berkes
Our theme for this month is the jungle. After introducing our letter of the week (F) and doing our warm-up activity, we spelled our word (FROG) and read our first story. Red-Eyed Tree Frog is a non fiction book that is still appropriate for sharing with preschoolers, which I appreciate. This book was especially wonderful because it told a very simple story using understandable pictures and posed plenty of questions for its readers.
Our second book was Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme by Marianne Berkes. And yes, this book does belong to the genre of books that is based on the song “Over in the Meadow.”
I previously created a flannel story for the book for a coworker. The book itself is beautifully illustrated and did not require a felt story component, but my coworker wanted to give the pieces out at her storytime to have the children bring up the mother animals at the appropriate place in the story. My own storytime is much too large for that kind of interaction, so I just put up the appropriate mother animals as I sang the song. Each mother animal was placed in the appropriate felt counting window to reinforce number concepts as we went along.
Our activity this week was the “Jungle Walk” action rhyme. The kids really got into this one and had lots of fun pretending to walk through the jungle and acting out the animal actions.
(Slap hands on thighs for walking sounds and suit actions to words)
Walking through the jungle
What did I see?
A small and jumpy FROG was
CROAKING at me!
A big striped TIGER was
GROWLING at me!
A long green Crocodile was
SNAPPING at me!
A long and pretty PARROT was
CAWING at me!
Our featured art station echoed our jungle theme with brightly colored feathers for use as paint brushes and tropical colors of paint. We began the art portion of our program by spelling our art word: FEATHER, and talking about jungle animals that have feathers. Then I explained how a feather might be used in place of a paintbrush. The kids were quite excited by the idea. They love any “alternative paintbrushes” I come up with and this activity was no exception. When it was their time to paint, they loved picking out their feather, swirling it through the diluted tempera paint and dragging it across their paper. Those feathers are small and not easy to grip, so I have to say that this activity is definitely a winner for improving fine motor control.
Featured art station set up:
- Diluted tempera paint in semi-divided paint trays:
- A selection of craft feathers (I chose to use only the sleeker, more brushlike)