So many lessons and concepts can be reinforced through the art of storytelling. I am going to be writing about different preschool picture books and how the lessons they teach can be extended into the classroom.
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go."
— Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"
The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
This book is a simple story about a little girl who picks up hearts that have come down like rain. It is great for this age because it shows sharing, generosity, and how to make and give valentines to people (or animals) you care about. I found my copy at my local library.
Setting the Stage for This Book:
While introducing the book come dressed for rain. Rubber boots, raincoats, umbrellas, all would work. I have an umbrella hat. Get your kids thinking with questions like:
1. What are all of these things for?
2. Can anything else fall out of the sky besides rain?
3. Have you ever heard grownups say "It's raining cats and dogs?"
4. Could that really happen?
5. Do you think it could rain hearts? It does in our book today....
Questions to ask While Reading or After Reading the Book:
1. Cornelia noticed all her hearts were different and she had to decide which one would be perfect for each of her friends. When you look at your valentines you will have to think about which valentine goes well with each friend. Boys may not want princess valentines and girls may not want Bob the Builder.
2. Cornelia put stamps on her valentines--why did she need these?
3. How do you think she made valentines after the valentine rain stopped?
Craft Ideas to Go With This Book:
Heart Lady Bug Craft from DLTK--I like this one because it has very few pieces to glue together.
Valentine Necklace from Alphabet Soup--This craft is also very simple with some cutting, coloring and pasting.
Valentine Hearts Flower from Best Kids Books Site.
Heart Shaped Box Song
I have used this song for years singing it with a small heart shaped box (eat the candy first :) )
A HEART-SHAPED BOX
(Tune: "The Farmer in the Dell")
I have a heart-shaped box
I put my mommy in.
I take her out and go
Kiss, kiss, kiss, (Kiss in the air.)
And put her back again.
Daddy - hug, hug, hug. . . (Hug.)
Friends - how-do-you-do. . . (Shake hands.)
Dog - scratch, scratch, scratch. . .
Continue naming other family members and pets.
A Great Game for This Book:
Have a heart hunt. Before the children come in, hide hearts around the room. Make sure you know how many hearts you have hidden so you can tell your kids how many they have left to find. Hide some in obvious places and others a little trickier. You may want to make these hearts look distinctly different from other Valentine's Decorations you have in your classroom. It is also wise to laminate these hearts or they will all come back to you wrinkled and torn.