Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here Google+

Archive for read aloud books

Shining Star Read Alouds – The Halloween Edition

Read aloud books, Halloween, halloween books, halloween picture books, halloween books for kids

We LOVE Halloween at our house, and nothing sets the stage for Halloween like a good story.  Here are some of my absolute favorite Halloween books for reading aloud with children.  I haven’t put ages along with the books because spookiness is subjective.  I have put the books in order of spookiness level.  The first books on the list have absolutely NO scary factor, and would be appropriate for the youngest readers and listeners.  The last two books on the list are  full on ghost stories that are fantastic, but will really scare young children and any sensitive child.

I hope that you enjoy these as much as we do!

halloween, halloween books, halloween books for kids, halloween read aloud books

Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

Spooky Spooky Spooky! by Cathy MacLennan

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kidsFive Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book by Joan Holub

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

The Spooky Wheels on the Bus by J. Elizabeth Mills

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’connell and Jennifer Barrett O’Connell

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

Splat the Cat: What Was That? by Rob Scotton

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

Click, Clack, Boo!: A Tricky Treat by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

big pumpkin cover

Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

The 13 Nights of Halloween by Guy Vasilovich (sung to tune of 12 days of Christmas)

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

The Spooky Box by Mark Gonyea

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting and Jan Brett

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

The Dark by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen

 

For Kids a bit older, or who can handle a good clean scare (spooky, but with no violence or gore)

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams and Megan Lloyd

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

The Teeny-Tiny Woman by Paul Galdone

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky and Arnold Lobel

Halloween, halloween read alouds, Halloween books for kids

The Tailypo: A Ghost Story (Paul Galdone Classics) by Joanna C. Galdone and Paul Galdone

Happy Reading!

Tracy :-)

Read Aloud Magic – Ignite a FLAME that becomes a Passion for Lifelong Reading

Flame read aloud, read aloud magic, read aloud to kids

*Warning, the post you are about to read is VERY long, but just may bring a little reading magic to your child’s life!

As parents, caregivers, and teachers we are bombarded with information about the need to read to children every single day. I believe in children needing to be read to like I believe in their need for nutritious food, for shelter, or for warm clothes in the winter. Reading to children is THAT essential. There is so much information about the benefits of reading aloud to children that I don’t need to write about it here. Many other people have already written about it so well. Here are just a few great places to learn more about both the benefits of reading aloud to children, and the research statistics that back up those claims.

Jim Trelease - The Read Aloud Handbook

Jim Trelease is the Grandfather of the read-aloud movement. He has written, The Read-Aloud Handbook, and it is one of the definitive books about reading aloud to children, Mr. Trelease has spent much of his adult life traveling the country trying to convince people of all walks of life to read more great books to children. If I were to recommend just one book about reading aloud to anyone, it would be his book. He also has a website, and lots of good information about the importance of reading aloud.

http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/brochures.html

Reading aloud to kids, flame read alouds, read aloud magic, mem fox

Another great book about reading aloud is Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by the terrific Australian children’s book author Mem Fox.

reading aloud to kids, how to get your child to love reading, flame read alouds, read aloud magic

One more resource that I really love is How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell.  It is filled with fun ideas and activities to pair with books.  She has a website too.

http://www.planetesme.com/

Some more good information from The Children’s Reading Foundation

http://readingfoundation.org/the-solution/for-parents/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwtvihBRCd8fyrtfHRlJEBEiQAQcubtLsKR4cnJ1iUqTAWmD8Y67_AsbweryQuWtLKoHYj_4UaArgh8P8HAQ

Even more good stuff from Reading is Fundamental (RIF)

http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/facts-about-reading-aloud.htm

 

But what I want to write about is how to make the most out of the time you spend reading aloud. It is one of the things that I am especially passionate about, and there are many simple ways that you can take an everyday read-aloud experience and SUPERCHARGE it, so that it has the magical power to draw your child into the life-long love of reading club! I don’t want to scare you. I know that you are overworked and underpaid! Sometimes it is really difficult to even get the reading time in, now I’m telling you to BOOST it up? To do even MORE? Don’t panic! I’m not here to stress you out. I just want to provide you with some information that you can use to make some simple additions to your read-aloud routine that will really make a difference for the children in your life.

 

I made up an acronym for my read-aloud plan to make it easier to remember. I’m using the term FLAME read-alouds because I want kids to be soooo passionate about books and about reading that they are drawn to them like moths to ….er, well, a flame.

 

To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.
—Victor Hugo

 

Tracy, I read to kids EVERY day! Why should I go to all of the trouble of creating special read-alouds?

~ Read-alouds are the VERY best teaching opportunities in your trick bag! They are the greatest occasions  you have for enticing a child into the world of reading.

~A child who wants to read will read, a child who reads has the WORLD at his or her fingertips!

~Even when a child has a disability that makes learning to read difficult, if s/he loves books, and loves stories, it will make him or her more likely to put in all of the extra effort needed to learn.

 

Frederick Douglass reading quote, reading to kids, read aloud magic,

This is one of my favorite places, right outside my favorite bookstore.

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.
   —Frederick Douglass

So what does FLAME stand for?:

FLAME

F – FUN

L – LOVE

A – ACTIVITY

M – MUSIC AND MOVEMENT

E – ENGAGEMENT and ENTERTAINMENT

 

F is for FUN!

Fun is the first thing you should keep in mind when planning a FLAME read-aloud!

Why fun? Because, if books are not fun, children will not want to hear them, or read them. If they do not read they will not be readers.

Read aloud magic, flame read aloud, babies reading

Don’t these sweet boys look like they are having fun?

 

A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.
—Mark Twain

Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty.  It should be offered to them as a precious gift.

—Kate DiCamillo

Read aloud magic, flame read alouds, babies reading

A room full of toys, and this boy wants books!

L is for LOVE

LOVE is perhaps the most important part of a FLAME read-aloud.

~Children learn to love reading when someone they love reads to them. The love transfers!

~Children learn to love reading when the people they love and respect love to read.

The LOVE is contagious!

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.
—Emilie Buchwald
I would add any person that children love and care about
-Tracy

real men read, read aloud magic, flame read aloud

 

read aloud magic, flame read alouds, grandparents read, kids reading

Grammas make lovely READERS too!

reading to kids, read aloud magic, flame read alouds

This guy likes to choose his own books.

 

A is for Active!

~Children should be active participants in the read-aloud experience (this includes being actively engaged in making book selections).

~Active is the root word for activity, and I think there can always be an interesting activity for a book that enhances and extends the experience. These special activities make a book memorable, and build the LOVE and the FUN.

reading aloud to kids, flame read aloud, read aloud magic

After reading activities involve children in the entire experience of a story. The best ones deepen understanding, and should be FUN. Because…
FUN + BOOKS = BOOK LOVE!

M is for Movement and Music!

~Kids need to move. If kids want and need to move, and we don’t let them, they will see read-alouds as restrictive. Restrictive = NOT FUN! Why not build FUN and organized movement into your read-alouds for young children?

~Music is fun, most kids love it, and it is another wonderful way to add activity, engagement and fun into your read-alouds. Music could include sing-alongs, recorded music, songbooks, or instruments.

 

A book is a device to ignite the imagination.
–Alan Bennett

Make the most of it.
-Tracy

reading to kids, flame read aloud, read aloud magic

E is for Engagement and Entertainment

You want to try to make the book so fun, so engaging, so interesting, and so memorable that kids are completely invested in hearing it. You want them to feel there isn’t anything that they would rather do!

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.
—Jacqueline Kennedy

Did you notice I didn’t mention learning?

But Tracy, What About the Learning?  We need to choose books children can learn from!

boys reading, read aloud, learning from books, flame read alouds

You cannot open a book without learning something
     -Confucius

You don’t need to choose books with good morals, good values, good lessons to learn, good vocabulary. Just choose good books! Kids WILL learn from them.
   -Tracy
It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations—something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own
—Katherine Patterson

Good books are the books that children LOVE!  Don’t worry about learning!  Worry about love!

boys reading, read alouds, flame read alouds, reading together

Only Two Things Truly Determine the Success of a Read–Aloud…
1. The Book

2. The Reader

reading to kids, flame read alouds, read aloud magic

1. Pick a Great Book!

A book with high entertainment value should be:

~a book YOU love, really like or have enthusiasm for.

~ Appropriate for the age, development, interests, and number of children in your audience
~ a story with a strong plot (that begins quickly and moves along with good action), interesting characters, and an engaging problem/solution
~ well illustrated (if illustrated)
And will most likely be one or more of the following:
~ silly
~ funny
~ timely (matches an interest, activity, holiday, situation, etc., that is timely)
~ written with a strong, rhyme, rhythm, cadence, and/or drama

 reading to kids, read aloud magic, flame read alouds

  1. Read It Well!

This will take reading the book beforehand, and a bit of prep, but it is worth it!

~Make it a performance, but don’t stress. Fluency and effort go a LONG way.

~Look for ways to emphasize cadences, rhythms, sound words, or special words.

~Identify places where you can punch up a text with your voice…
~character voices and vocal sound effects
~changing the volume (both soft and loud)
~focusing on, and changing pacing (fast/slow) as appropriate.

 

The more you read, the better you get, the more better you get, the more you like it; and the more you like it, the more you do it.
– Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook

 

So, how do you create a FLAME worthy read aloud?

Why with three easy planning steps of course!

1.Planning for BEFORE you read

 2.Planning for READING

3. Planning for AFTER you read

 

Setting the Stage – Planning for BEFORE reading

~Choose your book very carefully.

~Make it a great “fit” for your audience.

-What does your audience like? What can they relate to?

~What is going on in the lives of children that you can tie a book to?

-How complex a story can your audience handle?

-Is this a story that will knock their socks off?

~Do a dress rehearsal. Practice the book out loud before you read it to an audience!!! This is a very important step!

 

A read-aloud is a very special experience, with amazing possibilities. There are many books that are wonderful, but are not the right fit for reading aloud.
-Tracy

reading to kids, read alouds, read aloud magic, flame read alouds

Ready to perform?! Yes, I am dressed like a wizard to read to my son’s preschool class!

Time to READ! Time to Perform!

It really does help to think of it as a performance

~ Use your voice!

~Use your facial expressions.

~Use gestures.

~Use pacing effectively. Use pauses to create drama, suspense, humor, etc.

~Use props when appropriate (puppets, signs, pictures, flannels, etc.)

~Think about how you can encourage your audience to participate (questions, allowing children to call out a predicted word, use hand movements, etc.)

reading to kids, read aloud magic, flame read alouds, celebrate a book

AFTER Party – Celebrate the Book!
There is always a cast party; why not throw a book party!

~Find a way to celebrate the book in some way…

~Talk about parts you liked or didn’t like.

~Put the book out for children to explore independently later.

~Extend or enhance the story with fun activities such as cooking, a craft, an art project, read a related book or poem, sing a related song.

~Retell the story with: puppets, flannel board, play mats, dramatic play, photographs, student created video, etc.

have fun with books, read alouds, flame read alouds, book activities

Make the experience ENGAGING and FUN.

I’ve got just one more question for you…

How will you help spark the LOVE of reading for the children in your life?

 

Cat in the Hat, Seuss, read aloud magic, flame read alouds, reading to kids

A winning performance!

 

If you are looking for ideas…I have been collecting some great ones.  I have created a list of

“Shining Star” read-aloud books that are all kid tested, and have always been winners with everyone I have read them with.  To check the list out, just click here.   I have also have many boards on Pinterest that are filled with ideas for activities.  Here are some of the boards, with great ideas from all around the web, that might spark and idea or a flame!

http://www.pinterest.com/school4boys/art-craft-ideas/

http://www.pinterest.com/school4boys/fun-with-books/

http://www.pinterest.com/school4boys/puppetry/

http://www.pinterest.com/school4boys/felt-and-flannel/

http://www.pinterest.com/school4boys/music-songs-and-storytelling/

http://www.pinterest.com/school4boys/storytime-ideas/

Shining Star Read-Aloud Books: Kid Tested and Mother Approved

Shining Star Read-Aloud Books pic

If you are like me, you are always on the look out for books that are just meant to be read aloud to children.  I compiled this list of books that have been no-fail, go to read-alouds for me both in the classroom and at home with my boys.  I hope you find something here that you, and the children in your life will love.

Infants (Birth- 1 year)

Hello Baby! by Mem Fox and Steve Jenkins

Oink, Moo, Meow (Say & Play) by Inc. Sterling Publishing Co.

It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Shaw

If I Were a Cow… by Anne Wilkinson (Jul 28, 2013)

Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children (Jul 1, 2007)

Fiesta Babies by Carmen Tafolla and Amy Cordova (Mar 9, 2010)

Tabbed Board Books: My First Words: Let’s Get Talking! (TAB BOARD BOOKS) by DK Publishing (Mar 17, 2008)

Hip, Hop by Catherine Hnatov (Sep 15, 2010)

My First Taggies Book: I Love You by Kaori Watanabe and Kaori Wantanabe (Sep 1, 2004)

That’s Not My Kitten by Fiona Watt (2007)

“More More More,” Said the Baby Board Book (Caldecott Collection) by Vera B. Williams (Sep 22, 1997)

Fuzzy Bee and Friends (Cloth Books) by Roger Priddy (Sep 13, 2003)

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd (Jan 23, 2007)

 

Early Toddler – Ages 1-2

Peek-A Who? by Nina Laden (Feb 1, 2000)

Trains Go by Steve Light (Jan 25, 2012)

Cows Can’t Jump by Dave Reisman and Jason A. Maas (Oct 19, 2008)

Where is Baby’s Mommy? by Karen Katz (Apr 1, 2001)

Bunnies Near and Far by Sarah Jones (Apr 1, 2014)

Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Rod Campbell (May 8, 2007)

Pooh (Giant Board Book) by A. A. Milne and Ernest H. Shepard (Jun 1, 1999)

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle (Sep 15, 1996)

Duck & Goose by Tad Hills (Jan 24, 2006)

One Pup’s Up by Marsha Wilson Chall and Henry Cole (Jun 15, 2010)

Joshua’s Night Whispers by Angela Johnson (Sep 1, 1994)

 

Older Toddler – Age 2-3

Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley (1992)

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You : Dr. Seuss’s Book of Wonderful Noises (Bright and Early Board Books) by Dr. Seuss

Little Blue Truck Board Book by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry (Oct 19, 2009)

Where Is the Green Sheep? / by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo by Kevin Lewis (Mar 5, 2001)

The Busy Little Squirrel (Classic Board Books) by Nancy Tafuri

The Pigeon Loves Things That Go! by Mo Willems

Come Along, Daisy! by Jane Simmons

My Truck Is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk

I Dream of an Elephant (Abbeville Kids) by Ami Rubinger

Jamberry by Bruce Degen

Dancing Feet! by Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown

From Head to Toe Board Book by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth and Laura Huliska-Beith

 

Preschool (Ages 3-5)

The Magic Hat by Mem Fox and Tricia Tusa

Dinosaurumpus! by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees

Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore and Nancy Carpenter

Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino and Steven Kellogg

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina

The Pout-Pout Fish (A Pout-Pout Fish Adventure) by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna

Red Truck by Kersten Hamilton and Valeria Petrone

Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London and Frank Remkiewicz

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin

Down by the Cool of the Pool by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood and Audrey Wood

Otis by Loren Long

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

Cows in the Kitchen by June Crebbin and Katharine McEwen

Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman, David Clemesha and Dan Yaccarino

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

 

Grades K-2

Press Here by Herve Tullet

Twenty Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street by Mark Lee and Kurt Cyrus

I Am So Strong by Mario Ramos

 

Zomo the Rabbit: A Trickster Tale from West Africa by Gerald McDermott

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (Aladdin Picture Books) by Lloyd Moss and Marjorie Priceman

Tops & Bottoms (Caldecott Honor Book) by Janet Stevens

The Adventures of Taxi Dog by Debra Barracca, Sal Barracca and Mark Buehner

Small Green Snake by Libba Moore Gray and Holly Meade

Three Hens and a Peacock by Lester Laminack and Henry Cole

Anansi and the Talking Melon by Eric A. Kimmel and Janet Stevens

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems

 

Halloween Read-Aloud Treats!

Spooky Spooky Spooky! by Cathy MacLennan

Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino

Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’connell and Jennifer Barrett O’Connell

Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The Spooky Box by Mark Gonyea

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams and Megan Lloyd

Happy Reading!

Tracy :-)

A Halloween Treat – The Spooky Box by Mark Gonyea

spooky-box

Tomorrow is Halloween, so I thought it would be a nice time to share a fun book that has become a favorite at School4Boys this week.

The Spooky Box

Written and illustrated by Mark Gonyea

Henry Holt and Co., 2013

 

What is inside the spooky box? It could be spiders, rats, or evil puppets, but the author/Illustrator won’t tell. YOU, dear reader, will have to just imagine that for yourself.

 

This book is fun, interactive, and just a little bit spooky. Utilizing just three colors and very simple shapes, the illustrations are bold and graphically stunning. Partnering with those fantastic pictures the text uses a nervous narrator, and the building of tension to tell the story of a box with unknown contents. The book invites reader participation by using sly humor, questions, and the reader’s natural curiosity to make for a rollicking good time of trying to figure out just what is inside the spooky box, and then the ever smaller spooky nesting boxes that are eventually found to be inside. The Spooky Box lends itself naturally to the making of predictions and inferences, creative thinking, and fun reading extensions.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥.5

 

The Spooky Box has provided a springboard for lots of fun for us at School4Boys.

 

A. really liked this book, and requested that we read it several times. He was drawn to the cover, amused by the premise, and liked thinking of possibilities for the contents of the box. After finishing this book’s open ending, I asked A. what he thought was in the last spooky box. He said, “ more and more boxes forever and to infinity.”

 

After our initial reading we decided to make some spooky boxes of our own.   A. had shown interest in Modge Podge while making some Halloween decorations last week. This surprised me because it is goopy and got on his hands, but he wanted to try it again. We decided to decoupage our spooky box. I purchased some nesting papier mache boxes specifically for this activity because it made it easier. You could obviously collect cardboard boxes in different sizes too.

 

Making Spooky Boxes

Having done this type of activity before, and wanting to improve on my last attempt (don’t ask), I began by covering the large box with black construction paper and Elmer’s glue. This didn’t take long at all. Then I set out black bleeding tissue paper, Modge Podge, and foam brushes. A. was happy to work on this for a while, but soon his hands were getting goopy and discolored, and he was done. I finished the messy tissue paper part, and then when it was dry, he was happy to put the final coat on the project. By using construction paper under the tissue, I only had to cover the box with one layer of tissue and Modge Podge over the top to get good coverage and opaque color.

 

For the second box we used paint (far less goopy, so A was happy to participate.) I sealed the papier mache box with Modge Podge and let it dry before adding the paint, and I found that this helped cut down on the number of coats of paint that were needed.  Cardboard and papier mache can really suck up the paint!

 

For the smallest boxes, I loved that A. wanted to make them “happy, not spooky,” so he chose to make them yellow.

 

After the boxes were dry, we devised some fun uses for them.

 

For our second reading of the book, I placed some Halloween themed party favors in each of the boxes. As we read the story, and the boxes inside the boxes got smaller I let A. open the boxes one by one and pull a trinket out of each box when appropriate in the story. This was a hit! I didn’t do this on our first reading because I wanted A. to draw his own conclusions about what was in the box on the first go-round.  A. also had fun stacking the boxes in different configurations.  Then he did something that I thought was great (but I am his mom, so I might be biased).  We had put an orange plastic table cloth on the table for our Halloween party pn Sunday.  It was both festive and functional as a table protector during our crafts, so I left it on after the party.  Adam noticed that the boxes on the orange background looked like the cover of the book, so he took some leftover scraps of black tissue and squished them together to make bats, and then recreated the cover illustration.   I love when spontaneous things like that happen!  I am always amazed at what kids come up with on their own if they have the opportunities of time, space, and materials.

 

Spooky Box collage 2

 

After reading it was time to play an inferring game. A. has already shown strength in making inferences, so I want to build on that during read-aloud activities. For the game, I found objects of different sizes that would go in the boxes. I created clue sets for each object (a series of four clues moving from broad information to more specific information) and taped them to the appropriate boxes. Then I read the clues one at a time. After each clue I allowed A. to make two predictions about what was in the box. He really enjoyed this activity. So much so, that he wanted to play the game too. So, he then selected secret objects and put them in the boxes. He gave me the clues orally, and really came up with some really good clues. He asked to play the game again tomorrow!

 

Here are two examples of my clue sets:

I am round.

I grow in the ground

I am orange.

I have a face and a smile.

I am a jack o’ lantern.

 

I am a toy.

I am made of wood.

I have wheels.

I run on tracks.

I am a train.

 

You get the idea.

 

The Spooky Box was a really fun read-aloud book, and it gave us the opportunity to work on comprehension, do crafts (great fine motor work), and have a good time without feeling forced. Not a bad deal!

 

My friend Jodie at the terrific early literacy blog Growing Book By Book, created a super fun book-themed game to develop inferring skills too.  You can find it by clicking here. 

 

I hope you check out The Spooky Box and have some fun with it.

 

Happy Reading!

Tracy  :-)

 

 

 

TEN TIMID GHOSTS – by Jennifer Barrett O’Connell

Picture book of the day - Ten Timid Ghosts

 

Halloween is one of my very favorite holidays (although I’m a holiday loving girl to begin with). So, I don’t know if I have forced my Halloween glee on Big A., or if I have just rubbed off on him, but it feels like Halloween central around our house. There are many decorations to be made, a party to plan, and of course, many super Halloween books to read. I just shared one of our very favorites (even Mr. Wizard loves it) as a Picture Book of the Day recommendation, so I thought I would add in a few of the activities that we have come up with to go along with this gem of a book.

A. and I are working hard to develop letter recognition and formation right now. On Monday A. actually asked me how to spell a few words so he could write them down. I was so excited about this because he has NEVER done this before. I thought this would be the perfect time to introduce a book writing activity that gave him the opportunity to write just one word on each page. He gets overwhelmed easily, so we will be doing this book over several days, and we are sharing the writing responsibility. A few of the words he is writing himself, and a few he is dictating to me. I made up this book as a School4boys rendition of Ten Timid Ghosts. I have left the pages black and white intentionally so that A could either color them in or use watercolor paint to add the color himself.  I am adding a few pictures of an example book.  I apologize that the pictures are awful, and that I did the first page myself.  The book is still a work in progress, so I didn’t have any of the finished pages that A. did to show you yet.  I promise to add better pictures with A. and his work as soon as they are ready!

Ten Timid Ghosts - homemade book cover Ten Timid Ghosts - homemade book first sample page

 

I am adding the template pages (including the cover) that I made for the book as a PDF.  If any of you might find it useful, feel free to use it. All I ask is that if you share it, please share the link to this post rather than the pdf file itself.

 Ten Timid Ghosts follow-up book

 

This book also lends itself well to many math activities. You could easily make addition or subtraction sentences with the ghosts. We are doing an activity with cardinal numbers (1), ordinal numbers (first or 1st), and number words (one, first).  To do the activity, print out the ten ghosts and the numeral and word cards.  Lay out the ghosts horizontally in either ascending or descending order.  Then have the child match the number and word cards under each ghost.  These could then easily be glued to paper.

Ten timid ghosts - math activity pic 2

 

Here is a PDF version of the activity if you would like it. Again, if you share it please share the link to the post. ;-)

Ten Timid Ghosts – number activity 

 

I hope Ten Timid Ghosts, or a related activity, find their way into your Halloween repertoire.  Happy Reading!

Tracy  :-)