Eric Carle's "The Mixed-Up Chameleon" tells the story of a little chameleon who hates the fact that he changes color to match his surroundings. He notices a zoo and all the wonderful and distinctive animals there. He begins to wish for (and receives) various elements from the animals ("I wish I was tall, like a giraffe" is one). The chameleon ends up as an assemblage of parts which look great on the original animals, but don't do very well all together. The rub comes when the hungry chameleon cannot reach the fly to eat it. He wishes to be himself again and regains his true form. (Amazon)
Before reading the story, ask children if they know what a chameleon is. Provide a few facts about chameleons, such as: A chameleon is a lizard that is able to change it’s skin color; they can turn pink, brown, blue, red, orange, green, black, and yellow.
Have the students identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of the book.
Read the story aloud to students
Every time the chameleon changes colors, have students point to that color found somewhere in the room or outside the window.
After the story, have children to draw and/or write about how they would feel if they (the students) could change colors. Which colors would they choose to represent?
Language Arts: K.1.1: Concepts about print: Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page. Science K.2.2: Draw pictures and write words to describe objects and experiences. Howard Gardner: Verbal-Linguistic
Copy the animals that are in the back of the book (already labeled for copying). For each animal, create a different shape. For example: fish=triangle, bear= square.
Have students to cut the animals out after being copied so that each student has a set.
Have students to create simple patterns by arranging the animals on their desks. After they have created a pattern, have students to raise their hand so that you can check to make sure their pattern is correct.
Next, have the students to create a short story using the animal cut-outs to show the logical sequence they come in. (For example, the bear went looking for berries, when he came upon a turtle walking through the woods, etc.)
Science K.3.2: Identify, copy, and make simple patterns with numbers and shapes. Language Arts K.7.5: Tell an experience or creative story in a logical sequence (chronological order, first, second, last). Howard Gardner: Logical-Mathematical; Visual-Spatial
With its lovely, humorous illustrations and wonderful narrative about a hungry caterpillar growing up to be a beautiful butterfly, Eric Carle's story touches anyone who still has some growing to do. Along with reassuring repetition--"He was still hungry ..."--the book includes some wonderful interactive moments: what youngster can resist sticking a finger through that hole in the page as his ravenous friend makes his way through various delicacies? (Amazon)
Begin reading the story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. As you flip each page, have a different student to distinguish between letters and words. (For example: Say point to a word, and point to a letter.)
Next have images of the caterpillar going through the different stages. Use patterns of the life cycle of a butterfly and have students practice sequencing them. (little egg on leaf, little caterpillar on leaf, larger caterpillar on ground, very large caterpillar on big leaf, other leaves nearby have been eaten, caterpillar building a cocoon, caterpillar inside of a cocoon, butterfly emerging from a cocoon, and butterfly flying away) Go on a nature walk and look for butterflies (spring;summer) or for caterpillars. Prompt students to ask about the natural cycle of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.
Language Arts K.1.5: Distinguish letters from words Science K.1.1: Raise questions about the natural world Howard Gardner: Naturalistic
Initially, the caterpillar in the story is small. Provide each group of students eight caterpillars of various sizes (made out of construction paper) and 8 index cards for each caterpillar placed around the room, showing the inches of one of the caterpillars. Have the students work together to measure the caterpillars and then match the caterpillar to the correct index card by describing how it is alike or different. If the cards are alike then they should be a match. Walk around the room and check each groups responses.
After all of the cards have been matched, allow groups to use pictures and context found in the book to tell how and why caterpillars transform into butterflies.
Science K.6.1: Describe an object by saying how it is similar to or different from another object. Language Arts K.2.2: Use pictures and context to aid comprehension and to draw conclusions or make predictions about story content. Howard Gardner: Interpersonal
Have students to form a circle around the room and pick ant one to start the song. Begin singing the ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah, etc. until every student is in on the dance. After every student is dancing to the song and is a numbered ant, then drop off the first ant until the very last ant is the final ant. (Teach students the motions to the song.)
After the song activity, have students to go back to their seats and write to a friend about a time that they have seen ants, describing and drawing what they looked like and what they were doing.
Mathematics K.2.3: Describe addition and subtraction situations Language Arts: Draw pictures and write words for a specific reason. Howard Gardner: Bodily-Kinesthetic; Musical
Before reading the book about shapes, have students to point the direction that the reader should read: from left to right, top to bottom. Make copies of the book pages so that students may follow along as you read, pointing the direction that the words are being read. Read the book to the students.
After the story, have students to individually go around the room and record objects in their journals that represent the following objects: circle, triangle, square, rectangle, and cube.
After they record the objects they found, share a few examples with the class.
Math K.4.1: Identify and describe common geometric objects: circle, triangle, square, rectangle, and cube.
Language Arts K.1.2: Follow words from left to right and top to bottom on the printed page.
Read the story, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to the class.
Make a magnetic Chicka Chicka tree for students to practice letter recognition and retelling Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Directions: Tape together 3 or 4 small coffee cans, stacked on top of each other. Spray paint the cans brown. Use green felt to make the leaves of the coconut tree. Save one lid for the top of the coconut tree and keep the magnetic letters inside. Let the students use the magnetic letters to retell the story and practice letter identification. Have students to name all letters (lowercase and uppercase) of the alphabet.
After the students have practiced retelling the story, pull all of the letters off of the tree. Put up letters on the tree to represent simple subtraction problems. For example: 5 letters – 4 letters= 1 letter remaining.
Mathematics K.2.2: Model subtraction by removing objects from sets (for numbers less than 10). Language Arts K.1.6: Recognize and name all capital and lowercase letters of the alphabet. Howard Gardner: Logical-Mathematical
Read the book, Boom Chicka Rock to students. Have them to distinguish with a partner whether the book is a fantasy or a reality. Explain why you think this. How can you tell that this book is a fantasy?
Go back through the book and ask students the concepts of time. When is the story taking place in the morning and at night?
Write the following times on a chart: morning, afternoon, evening, yesterday, tomorrow, week, month, and year. Under each heading have students to list things that they did this morning, yesterday, in the afternoon and evening, etc.
Mathematics K.5.2 Understand concepts of time: morning, afternoon, evening, today, yesterday, tomorrow, week, month, and year. Understand that clocks and calendars are tools that measure time. Language Arts K.3.1: Distinguish fantasy from reality. Howard Gardner: Visual-Spatial
Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme Activity
Read the book, Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme, to the students.
After the story, put a few sentences on the board from the book. Have students to come up and circle individual words. Explain that sentences are made up of separate words, just as words are made up of separate letters.
Make a chart of plants and animals that were seen in the book. Have students to describe how animals are alike and different and how plants are alike and different.
Classify animals on the chart into insects, arachnids, worms, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Make sure students understand what these terms mean; supply examples.
Science K.4.2: Observe plants and animals, describing how they are alike and how they are different in the way they look and in the things they do. Language Arts K.1.4: Recognize that sentences in print are made up of separate words. Howard Gardner: Logical-Mathematical
Over in the Arctic: Where the Cold Winds Blow Activity
Read the book, Over in the Arctic: Where the Cold Winds Blow, to students.
Pick a few words from each page and clap the syllables as a group. Then have the students clap by themselves and count the number of syllables the word has.
Go to http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Photos/Arctic-animals and look at different pictures and descriptions of arctic animals. Discuss the different ways these animals move. Model their movement throughout the classroom.
Language Arts K.1.13: Count the number of syllables in words. Science K.3.2: Investigate that things move in different ways, such as fast, slow, etc. Howard Gardner: Bodily-Kinesthetic