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5-Day: "Help us Float, We're in a Boat...Umbrella in the Rain"

This week in 5-Day, we continued our author study on Jan Brett. Author studies are always fun and they offer the opportunity of getting to know and love a writer. They are a great way to support literacy development. The children were able to make connections by examining details and recognizing similarities and patterns in her work.

On Monday, we introduced The Umbrella. The story takes place in a lush cloud forest and, one-by-one, many animals crowd together into an upside-down banana umbrella, only to be tipped over by a tiny hummingbird. This book perfectly complements Brett’s The Mitten, where many animals crawl into a boy’s mitten, only to be blown out by a bear’s sneeze. These were perfect books to practice comparison and contrast as well as to get the class discussing the elements of a story. We were able to stop and identify the characters, setting and the endings of both books. We used animal masks and songs to act out the stories. This really helped with grasping the sequence of events in the story. Using the iPad, we showed the children what each animal looked like in real life and we watched a short interview video by Jan Brett.

For math this week, we counted different rainforest animals. Then, the children stacked together Unifix cubes to show the number of animals counted. The next day, we counted more animals, but, this time, the children used dot stickers to graph how many animals were counted in each picture. We were then able to analyze and discuss our graphs. They were able to see which animal had more, less or the same amount. These were great mathematical discussions! We also practiced patterning skills with pictures from Jan Brett’s The Hat.

This week, we used the game “Launch and Learn Alphabet” to build our alphabet skills! They love seeing who can be the fastest to grab a matching letter when it launches. We slowed it down a bit so we could stop and study each letter as they came. Some comments we heard include: What letter is that? What sound does it make? What word begins with the letter? It’s great to see them helping and learning with each other.

We also used pattern blocks and magnets to build letters. And, the children enjoyed stretching rubber bands to create different shapes with geo-boards.

For art, we created our own paper plate umbrellas, by cutting and gluing pieces of green scrapbook paper. Then, we colored all the rainforest animals from the umbrella. Now, they can sing the song and add the animals in just like we did in class with our masks.

Here is the song and sequence: (The tune is “The Farmer in the Dell”)

The umbrella in the rain

The umbrella in the rain

Help us float, we’re in a boat

The umbrella in the rain

The tree frog squeezes in

The tree frog squeezes in

Help us float, we’re in a boat

The tree frog squeezes in

The toucan squeezes in…

The kinkajou squeezes in…

The tapir squeezes in…

The quetzal squeezes in…

The monkey squeezes in…

The jaguar squeezes in…

The hummingbird squeezes in…

Try it…they will teach you!

Hope you all have a great long weekend.

See you Tuesday!

Caroline & Cathy

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