Discussions Regarding the Preschool Observation Checklist and Evaluation Tool (POCET)

Friday, August 06, 2010

Activity Idea: Colorful Caterpillar Collage

As summer vacation begins to wind down and teachers gear up for a new school year, often much consideration is given to how to get children back into "the swing of things" after months out of the classroom. We hope that while children are enjoying the summer, parents and caregivers will encourage activities that help retain the skills and knowledge learned the previous school year - especially literacy.

We know from Head Start Activity QuickSource® that "literacy begins by immersing children in literacy-rich environments and fostering a love of language and reading." And that "Children who are exposed to a variety of books and are read to frequently develop a love and appreciation for books that will last a lifetime."

Ideally, this summer's vacation has included plenty of reading. But even if it didn't, here's a great activity called Colorful Caterpillar Collage that will get children excited about reading while ecouraging artistic expression.
The goals of this activity are:
  • to produce a growing interest in listening to and discussing a book; and

  • to encourage children to make predictions and test the results

Materials: For this activity, you will need: Eric Carles's The Very Hungry Caterpillar; white school glue; scissors; blue, red and yellow tissue paper; white construction paper; small paint brushes; smock, one for each child.

Before You Start:

Let's Get Started!

1. Begin this project by having the children cut or tear the tissue paper into small pieces.
2. Encourage the children to brush or drip the glue mixture over the pieces of tissue paper and then set them on the white construction paper.

3. As the colors overlap, new shades and hues will emerge. Invite the children to predict what will happen when two colors - such as yellow and blue, or red and blue - are layered.

4. After the collage dries, make a giant caterpillar for your classroom bulletin board! Simply cut each child's collage into a circle and place the child's name above or below his/her creation. Create the head of the caterpillar by cutting out a bigger circle and drawing eyes, a mouth, and antennae.

Expand this activity: Reread The Very Hungry Caterpillar to the children. This time, encourage the children to count the food items the caterpillar eats as you read the story. How many apples does the caterpillar eat? How many plums? What will the caterpillar eat next? Chart the results. Just like the caterpillar, children grow strong bodies by eating healthy foods. Talk with the children about what they ate for lunch or dinner. One peanut butter sandwich? Three apple slices?

If using POCET™, this activity correlates to Developmental Guideline: LT7 Shows Interest in Reading-Related Activities

For more developmentally-appropriate activities, visit Teacher QuickSource® and browse through all age areas, including Preschool, Kindergarten, Infant, Toddler, and Head Start. Don't forget to explore activities promoting environmental awareness at Environmental QuickSource®, too!

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