And my consistent, immediate response is, No.
And I really don’t. I get my fill of heart aching growth and flashes of learning at home.
Except for one teeny tiny classroom pull, that is: Books.
For such an introvert, I crave cracking open a book in front of a group of children. Smoothing down the first page and drawing them into a new story, a new world, a glimpse of someone else’s imagination.
Luckily for me my kids are forgivingly indulgent even when I’m in teacher mode. Sit nicely! What do you think will happen next? Let’s make our own version! pausing only for Jason’s gentle nudges, So what happens next in your lesson plan?
When I saw this month’s Families, Create! theme, Animals, thoughts of the zoo, animal research, and animal puppets breezed by in the background as I scrolled down to what I really wanted to see: The Book List.
And when I found Mo Willems on the list, out went the zoo and in came Mo.
After much hemming and hawing we chose, We Are In A Book. In this gem the main characters Piggy and Gerald find out that they are in a book and take control by forcing the reader to say a really funny word: Banana.
Weeks after that first giggle, our family still says Banana! if we’re in the mood for some silliness. Like in the middle of a store. Or dinner. Or bedtime. Sigh.
After many laughter infused reads I asked the kids in my best teacher voice, What should we do with the book?
And after some thought, they responded in their loudest voices, We could be in a book!
And that became our project.
Over the course of a few days, we planned.
And created a book centered around the kids, the laugh-out-loudness of Banana and Brody’s recent fascination with divers.
We talked about beginning-middle-and end, the problem, punctuation, talking bubbles, animal characters that have people traits, and how very funny they thought they were. We covered that last one a lot.
And their book is amazing; Not that I’m biased. It reads:
A Kayli and Chloe and Brody Book: Hey! Let’s Talk Fruit
Kayli: Hey! I want you to say banana!
Chloe: No, say strawberry!
Kayli: No, say banana!
Chloe: No, say strawberry!
Kayli: No, say banana!
Chloe: No say strawberry!
Kayli and Chloe: Whisper, whisper.
Kayli and Chloe: We want you to say strawberry banana smoothie!
Brody: Hey! I want you to say DIVER!!!
Kayli and Chloe: Hmmm?
Kayli, Chloe and Brody: DIVER!!! HaHa! HeeHee!
After the smoothies, I couldn’t help but pepper them with annoying questions What did you like best? What’s your favorite Mo Willems book? Why?
Round two of our talk time is below. In it, they review Mo Willems, summarize We Are In A Book, read their book and, of course, yell DIVER as loud as they can. Why? Because it’s almost as funny as BANANA!
(*Turn up the volume for the beginning, but don’t get scared when they yell DIVER, Yes. It’s that loud.*)
March’s Families, Create! challenge was filled with awesome animal-themed posts. From Mo Willems to monkey finger puppets, our writers and crafters kept busy getting creative with the little animals in their lives.
Visit Code Name: Mama and Living Peacefully with Children to find out how you can participate in the next Families, Create! Carnival. Our April theme is “Fantasy” – childhood is a fascinating time, filled with magic around every corner. What can your family imagine and create?
Please take time to read the March submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Lizz at Am I a Funny Girl turns a family outing at the zoo into a picture book to keep.
- Maman A Droit shares her easy pattern for a felt monkey finger puppet with you!
- The kids at Living Peacefully with Children celebrated the emergence of Spring with butterflies. Check out their Coffee Filter Butterfly mobile and Pipe Cleaner Art.
- Aunalise at My Sweet Potatoes offers helpful ways for a child to remember calming techniques with a “Calming your Beast” basket.
- Most of us have monkeys running around our house at times. Or lions. Or elephants. Make your child’s creative animal play even better with stuffed animal tails! Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares an easy tutorial.
- Galit Breen at These Little Waves shares an easy way to get creative with Mo Willems’ “We Are In A Book.”
- Maman A Droit shares her pattern for a felt bunny finger puppet-a perfect Easter basket filler!
- Brenna at Almost All The Truth shares a look at butterflies through metaphor, books and a coffee filter craft.
- Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children knitted some simple Nugget Bunnies for her children’s Ostara baskets while practicing a new technique.
- Amy at Anktangle shares photographs of crocheting a lovable stuffed turtle for her son to play with.
- Aunalise at My Sweet Potatoes knows a few ways to bring beneficial birds to the garden.
- Megan at Purple Dancing Dahlias shares a fun little first sewing project.
- Lauren at Hobo Mama has a fun and easy game to make to stimulate your preschooler’s memory.
- Using her children’s artwork as inspiration, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children woodburned wooden eggs for them to color in honor of Spring.
- Aunalise at My Sweet Potatoes is making nature bags or field bags for nature journals and the other things we may need as we explore our planet.
- Animals are the inspiration for this set of handmade clay items for an I Spy bag at Living Peacefully with Children.