February Book Activities – Friends
Intro to book (predicting)
Before opening the book, tell the children the title and author/illustrator. Explain that Taro Gomi is from Japan, and that he wrote the story and drew the pictures. Without showing them the inside of the book, ask what they think it is going to be about. Record predictions, noting child’s initials to show who said what. Turn through the pages, without reading them. See if they have any new predictions.
Before opening the book tell the children the title and author/illustrator. Look at the picture on the cover. Have each child tell you one color that they see. Then ask questions: How old do you think the girl is? Why do you think the girl is running? Where do you think she’s going? What do you think the buildings are for? What do you think is in them?
Turn to the copyright page and have children describe what they see in the picture. AsK: What is the girl doing? What do you think she might be thinking or saying?
Turn to title page. Have children describe what they see. Ask: What do you think the red thing above the girl’s head is? What kind of bird do you think is sitting on her head? Read the book title and name of the author/illustrator again. Encourage predictions as to who the girl’s friends will be and what they will do together. Record answers on easel paper. Then read through the book together. Did they guess correctly?
Invite children to talk about the idea of friendship. Ask: How would you describe a friend? What is nice about having friends? What kinds of things can friends do together? How can you make new friends? Can you be friends with more than one person? When a friend doesn’t want to play with you for awhile, are they still your friend? What would make a friend act that way? Encourage children to tell about a special friend they have, how they met them, and what they do together. Tell them that our book is all about friends.
Write the sentence “A friend is someone who ____________.” on easel paper. Invite the children to complete this sentence. Record their responses. Write the child’s name next to their idea.
What do we learn at school?
Ask the children to name the different kinds of things they learn at school. Record on easel paper. Next, ask things they learn outside of school (at home, from neighbors, relative, etc.).
What do you think? (classifying/feelings)
Read book together. Ask would you like to be this girl? Why? Do they like the ending? Do they like the pictures?
As you read through the story talk about the different expressions that appear on the girl’s face. Does she look happy? Excited? Curious? Serious? Sad? Talk about how the shape of her mouth and eyes help convey her emotions. You could also use mirrors for children to explore themselves imitating the girl’s expressions.
On writing paper, have the children draw a picture of their favorite part or favorite animal in the book. Have them tell you about it and write their dictation on the bottom of the page.
Have someone be the girl in the middle of your circle. As you read the book, go around the outside of the circle and take turns having the children act out the animal. The child in the middle will imitate the child on the outside of the circle.
Have all of the children dramatize together. As you read the book, go around the outside of the circle and take turns having the children act out the animal. Everyone else will imitate them.
Have each child pick their favorite animal and act it out. You could also play this like charades, where the other children will guess what animal they are acting out. You could laminate the Slap Jack animal cards, place them in the magic can, and children can draw one out of the can to name and act out.
My favorite part is (recall)
Read through the story together. Have each child open their book to their favorite page. Have them tell you why it is their favorite. Toward the middle of the month you can have them tell you what it says on that page.
Rubbing their tummy (listening)
Ask the children to listen to the story and when they hear “my friend” they are to place their hands over their heart.
Alphabet Soup (letter recognition)
Teacher spread out A-H foam letters in the middle of the circle. Tell them it is soup…alphabet soup. Draw a letter on butcher paper, naming it, and ask the child to find that letter in the soup.
After you read a page, read it again, leaving out a word by pausing and allow children to fill it in. Omit words that occur often or that are predictable. Point to each word as it is read.