Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Friendship and Sharing: Kindergarten Unit 2

The second unit for Kindergarten was "Friendship and Sharing."  It's a hard concept for those that are not used to a school environment or a class size of 20.  Not to mention the playground!  So, using the following books, we focused on positive messages:
Dinosaurs series by Jane Yolen
Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems
Groovy Joe by Eric Litwin
Snatchabook by Helen Docherty

I would have used Pete the Cat and I used to do a unit on different Pete books, but now it's part of Kindergarten curriculum, so I didn't want to "double up", but it is fun to read later because the whole "Did Pete cry? Goodness no!" is so cute coming from Kinders who know the story!

BookHow Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends? (or any other book dealing with sharing/friendship in the  Dinosaurs series)
Materials: plastic eggs (24 per group), 24-piece puzzle, picture of completed puzzle (i.e. box or tin it came in), buckets to put eggs in as they find them

How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends? is an excellent book for this unit.  My only problem is that I could only find it in board book form at the time I ordered it.  It's got a great message though and is definitely worth reading!  I love being interactive with this group and depending on the personality of the class, we'll either do a verbal yes or no or a quiet thumbs up or down as we read.  After reading, I had my older helpers hide eggs in the library (because dinosaurs lay eggs, right?).  These are leftover from Easter and I try to buy the patterned ones so that each group had a different pattern to find.  For example, one was sparkly, the other had butterflies printed on them, and so forth.  I have about 4-5 different kinds I've collected over the years.  Inside each egg is a puzzle piece.  I have purchased these 24-piece puzzles in the tin from Dollar Tree because they're small enough to fit in the eggs.  If you are unlucky enough to have smaller pieces like that in a 24-piece or (gasp!) no Dollar Tree near you, it is possible to cut up pictures, like old calendars, into however many pieces you want and have students put these together.  Just like the dinosaurs had to share and work together in the book, student groups (of no more than 4) work together to "crack open their eggs" and put the puzzle together.  At this time, I would be circulating around tables, helping find "lost" eggs (if they didn't have all 24), and reminding them to put together matching colors with their pieces.  Also, reminders to share like the dinosaurs because there's always that child who wants to do it him or herself!  If it's taking too long, I have them check out, then come back to their puzzles to complete.  If you have time, it's fun to have them hide them for the next group!

BookElephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems (almost any will do)
Materials:  centers/stations with items students have to share to play (see examples below)

Since these stories are sort of short, we read two:  A Big Guy Took My Ball and Can I Play, Too?  These are great to use to talk about including others, as well as playing together nicely.  I am lucky enough to have Gerald and Piggie stuffed characters, so I use them to introduce the story.  As we read, students give a thumbs up/thumbs down about whether they think the characters are doing the right thing/playing nicely.  We go over, after we read, some of the scenarios, and I get students opinions on what they should/should not have done.  Another good one to read is, Should I Share My Ice Cream?  A great follow up activity for any of these books are to have students do activities that involve sharing, whether it's putting together a puzzle, playing with a limited number of Legos/building blocks, sharing a limited supply of something (View Masters and the Train Table are two big ones we have to work on during the year!), or whatever you think students would enjoy but need to remember to share.  You can also do the inclusion in there as well, reminding students that not everyone plays the same or looks the same, but we can all find a way to play together!

BookGroovy Joe by Eric Litwin
Materials:  ice cream cone patterns, ice cream scoop patterns (3 per child)

Groovy Joe Ice Cream and Dinosaurs is a great one for sharing and like the Pete the Cat books, have that repetition the kids love to join in!  Since it talks about sharing during the story, there isn't much to stop and discuss, but it's fun to have the students predict what will happen next!
After, for our activity, students had a lot of fun coloring a cone and then creating 3 different ice cream scoop flavors, then gluing them all together.  For the sake of time, some classes I had the scoops precut and laid out on tables (for those that were still struggling with scissors and cutting).  A triangle ice cream cone wasn't too difficult for most of them.  We created ice cream cones to remind us of Groovy Joe and we sang, "Love our doggy ice cream!" when the teacher came to pick them up!

BookSnatchabook by Helen Docherty
Materials:  stack of books (4-5)

I love the story of Snatchabook!  It was one of our state reading books a few years back and I was happy to "revise" it for this unit.  If you're not familiar with the story, it takes place in a forest village of animals and each night, the bedtime books keep disappearing!  Eliza Brown decides to get to the bottom of this mystery and captures the "Snatchabook" who was only taking books because no one would read to him.  So, Eliza offers to read to him IF he returns all the books, which he does.  It really resonates with this age because too often, it's the "I want" and then they grab it without thinking of the consequences.  We have some great discussions on other ways Snatchabook could have asked to be read a bedtime story, even if he felt shy. 
For our activity, we then play a game where I show students 4-5 book covers and then stack them up.  I pick a student who goes out of the room and I "snatch" a book from the stack and hide it.  The student has to figure out which book is missing when they return.  Very similar to the "Doggy Doggy Where's Your Bone?" game.  Since these are quick rounds, I try to give everyone a chance to play.  We then go out to our tables and students draw and color a picture of Snatchabook and his new friends.  Many will draw Eliza reading to him.  It's very cute what they come up with!  I walk around and students share with me what their picture is about (because at this age, sometimes it's hard to tell!). 

So that is my unit for Friendship and Sharing!  Next is two mini units on Emotions and a fun one:  Monster Needs a Costume.

I blogged two weeks in a row!  I have to admit, this is a great way for me to review my year as well as share some ideas that worked pretty well!  I hope you're able to use some!  Thanks for reading!

Image result for snatchabook


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