I was very excited to learn about the MeMe tales readathon and we downloaded the app and the first books a couple of weeks ago. However, as school had not finished yet we are a couple of weeks behind.
Week 1 of the Readathon was all about Animals. We have tonnes of animal books at home but it was cool that both of the books for the readathon were traditional tales. I am been trying to introduce the kids to nursery rhymes and fairy tales so this fit in perfectly.
We started with 5 Little Ducks.
The Five Little Ducklings
This is a familiar tale and instantly my girls started to sing the song. I went to iTunes and downloaded them the Raffi version. They listened to it over and over again and then decided that they were going to act it out for themselves. I sent them on a hunt to find as many toy ducks as they could. Michael’s favourite toy is his stuffed duckie but we managed to find a bunch more, especially when we got into the bath toys! We used two large pillows covered by my green table cloth for the hill (they called it the mountain), and we filmed in the backyard on a sunny day. It took a bit of rehearsing and distracting of one little brother but it ended up pretty cute!
I got inspired to create a special breakfast for the girls around the duck theme. I found a gluten free pancake mix in the pantry and decided pancakes and fruit would be perfect. The only problem was that most of my cool shaped cookie cutters are plastic. I found a tutorial at Time 2 Save that helped me use tinfoil to copy my pastic duck cookie cutters. This was supper easy and let me make duck shaped pancakes for breakfast. They asked why they didn’t have 5 ducks each but I am glad I didn’t make that many – they each ate only 2!
I wanted to tie our crafts from the Readathon to our routine as much as possible so since it was time for us to add a D to our alphabet wall, D for Duck was a perfect fit! We found an idea at Narrating Tales of Preschool Storytime and modified it to make it our own. I printed off Eileen a large D and Kaitlyn all the letters for the word Duck. I had some bright yellow cover stock so this worked perfectly. I had them cut their letters out all by themselves. This was perfect scissor practice for Eileen. She sometimes has very little confidence in herself but with a lot of positive verbal reinforcement she was able to to it out by herself. I cut out the centres of the D for both of the girls. Next we went to the craft centre to see what we could find to make our letters look like ducks. We got out the goggly eyes, orange felt and pipe cleaners. After we started Eileen informed me we needed feathers because ducks have feathers so I managed to find a few in one of the craft boxes. Kaitlyn make her word into a whole family of ducks – very cute!
Next we tackled The Donkey and the Wolf.
We didn’t enjoy this tale as much but we had some fun spin off activities. I am trying to find activies to challenge Kaitlyn and increase her critical thinking skills. After we read the book a number of times I asked her to come up with a number of questions about donkeys and wolves. Here is what she came up with:
- Where do donkeys live?
- What do donkeys eat?
- Are donkeys weak? (At first she said light but then we talked about opposites and figured out she really meant weak)
- What are donkeys predators?
- Where do wolves live?
- What do wolves eat?
- Why are wolves strong?
I took a quick look for kid friendly search engines and discovered KidRex. Of those I found this one was the simplest for her to use – the only problem is that it doesn’t list the sites by reading level. To save time I read the results to her and she listened for the answers to her questions. We found that National Geographic had a lot of great sites but sometimes the vocabulary is a bit challenging for Kaitlyn. Once she had her answers I told her she had to figure out a way to display her answers. I didn’t want to limit her so I had decided in advance to let her do whatever she wanted. She wanted to make a poster and insisted it have only words and no pictures.
We also had a short talk about making words plural that end in f (eg. wolf – wolves). She seemed to understand it pretty easy. While she was doing her research something interesting popped into my head. The Donkey and the Wolf is an Aesop fable, which are estimated to date back to the 5th century BC. In Kaitlyn’s research she learned that gray and red wolves have lived in Asia, North America, and Europe and maned wolves in South America. She also learned that donkey’s originated in the African Desert and only came to North America until the settlers brought them and George Washington owned the first to be born in North America. So I started to think how could a donkey and a wolf be in the same story written so long ago. Well first I checked to see if there ever were wolves in Africa and learned of the Ethopian wolf that looks more like a red fox. I then checked out when donkeys were first domesticated and found that it was at least 5000 years ago. My guess is that the fable is about a wolf and a domestic donkey in Europe. That is an example of me over analyzing everything!
I was going to leave it at that but the girls decided that since we read a book we had to do a craft. They are into putting on plays and shows right now so we decided to make puppets. I only have so much creativity so I used google and found templates at DLTK teach. I downloaded and printed off the templates for both the wolf and the donkey. I let the girls decide which colours they wanted to colour and they cut out all the pieces, and then I glued them together for them. Hours of puppet show adventure await!
Was hoping to link up our adventures but unfortunately the Linky is already closed – oh well! Looking forward to starting week 2 of the MeMe Tales Readathon!