Archive for the ‘Preschool Read Alouds’ Category

Writing Process

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Writing process starts with reading. Reading stories to little babies ignites imagination within them. Reading is a pre-requisite to writing well.

When my boys were at an age where they can speak but can’t write, I used to ask them to dictate a story. I’ll be their transcriber. I’ll ask questions such as why is this happening or how did this work, etc. so that the story makes sense and is complete. All these stories were bound in a folder, which is kept in our living room and whenever they want they can read it. They are amused and feel a sense of pride whenever they revisit these stories even at this age.

When they were older and were ready to write their own stories, the quality of the story deteriorated because they had to do their own writing. So, the solution for us was using computer. I let them make notes on paper and then I will type their story on word processor while they dictate. Gradually, they could type their own story on word processor. Using word processor took away the laziness of editing and rewriting the story. So, the stories were complete and sensible. The other element that really helped them was introducing a third person – an English teacher. So, they will sit with this teacher and edit all the stories when completed. The key is to take most of their compositions to a stage where it is complete and has been edited at least 2-3 times.

Again, all good stories that they have written so far are bound in a folder and it stays in our living room so that they can read them whenever they want. It serves as a source of inspiration and self-esteem.

Have you ever used shaving cream for an art project?

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

When my brother wrote the poem “Children of The Sun,” we loved it so much that we wanted to get it illustrated. I really wanted to do the illustrations. So, my mother spoke to our art teacher, Ms. Vicki Farmer. She agreed and guided my brother and me in illustrating this poem. I was very excited when we started doing them. Here I’ll describe the steps of one of the illustrations done by me.

1. First I took a can of Barbasol shaving cream and sprayed it on a foil-covered tray.
2. Then I put dots of brown, gold, and blue acrylic paint all over the shaving cream.
3. Next I took a pencil and made swirls in the shaving cream.
4. Then I put a piece of paper on the shaving cream and pressed down lightly.
5. Next I took the paper off of the shaving cream and scraped the extra shaving cream off with a squeegee.
6. Finally I let it dry for one hour.

In all, this took half an hour for the creation and one hour for the drying. I hope you like my illustration, and feel free to try it out.

– Arjun Gupta (co-illustrator of Children of The Sun)

Please buy this book at Lulu.com (you should be able to find coupons).  It’s a 50-page full color book.  Here’s the Facebook page for Children of The Sun.

The Quiltmaker’s Gift, A House for Hermit Crab

Monday, October 27th, 2014

We enjoyed reading one of my favorite books, The Quiltmaker’s Gift and each day we read the book, Arjun added a paper patch to his paper quilt.  We did try to convince him that each time he is good and kind, his grandmother will add a “good behavior patch” to his quilt and make him a real quilt.  It worked for maybe 2 patches and then he decided that he doesn’t need a quilt at all.  I was so disappointed as I really thought it to be a great idea but it didn’t work with him.  We did eat berries and honey like the bear in the book.

After this book, we enjoyed reading A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle.  Kids made crabs and then we went to PetSmart to look at the real hermit crab.  I got the idea for paper plate crab from the Internet.

We used this story to learn the names of the months and also, we tried to memorize the sequence of the story.

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I downloaded the House for Hermit Crab printable and we worked with most of them.  Arjun loves working with worksheets.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed reading We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.  After reading the story we ate berries and honey.  Also, I made an edible bear for Arjun using crackers, olives, raisins and fruit loops.  Kabir made his own edible bear including grass (olives), river (blue fruit loops), mud (brown mushed bread), forest (olives), snowstorm (almonds) and cave (meatballs).

I printed out printables from Homeschool Creations.  We enjoyed playing the game based on this book.

Arjun did a good job sequencing the events.

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The most memorable moment was to act out the entire book using props.

Then, we went back to:

We’re not going on a bear hunt!

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

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

If you have never read Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina, I suggest you do.  It’s a very cute book for children.

At first, Arjun was reluctant to act as the peddler in the book.  So, I had to recruit Kabir.  His enthusiasm inspired Arjun and they together enjoyed acting out peddler and monkey from this book.

Both of them enjoyed playing the game “Monkey see, Monkey do”.  Also, we did a little math and art and craft projects to go along with this book.