Friday, September 16, 2016

Opposites Story Time

This week we combined a little early science with our early literacy, and focused on opposites. As I told parents, this is a concept that can take a little time and practice, and they shouldn't fret if their child doesn't 'get it' right away. I wanted to use this story time to demonstrate different ways we can introduce and reinforce the idea and have fun at the same time.

We started off talking about how very HOT it was this summer, and then solicited the opposite. "What about happy? Let's see your happy faces! You just got a bowl of ice cream, what does your face look like? Okay, so what would the opposite of happy be?" I was so pleased to hear both "mad" and "sad", because that segued into talking about how more than one word can work, as well as emphasizing our pre-reading skill this week of vocabulary.

Next we read:

Fortunately, Unfortunately

There's some new vocabulary right there in the title! A silly story the kids and grown-ups both seemed to enjoy, and if the kids are into it, you can ask them where they think the story will go next.

Speaking of next:

Opposnakes: A Lift-the-Flap Book About Opposites

One of the few lift-the-flaps I keep in our collection (and, in fact, I just had to get a new copy.) Fun illustrations of snakes demonstrating opposites from hot and cold to thin and plump. Again, great opportunity for vocabulary building, since most kids will say "fat" rather than plump. What other words can we use? Thick? Stout?

Finally, I wanted to introduce the idea of relativity. "Someone might call this young lady a little girl, but next to that girl over there, she is a big girl! So, which are you, a little girl, or a big girl?" (I'll bet you can guess her answer.) That led into one of our newer books:

Big Bug
$14.99 HC

It's not a NEW book, mind you (c 2014), but new to our library. The bug on the cover is big, but compared to the leaf, it is small, and the leaf is big! Or, is it?

I didn't do a rhyme or finger play because we had several activities planned, but Jack and Jill comes to mind, as well as the Hokey Pokey. You could also play In the Pond, Out of the Pond, and get some wiggles out!

We moved instead to a simple craft - blank piece of paper with suggestions for labeling (good or bad, like or dislike, etc.) and magazines to cut up. Both days, I was pleased to see all the kids filling up their 'like' sides, and just a few pictures of napping or pollution on the 'dislike' sides. (Lemons also made a few appearances under 'dislike').

Around two sides of the room I also had simple sorting centers like this one:

We also had big and small pom-poms, long and short strings, hard and soft, black and white, round and square, etc. I encouraged talking about them, saying there are not necessarily right and wrong answers - this string is longer than that one, but shorter than the other, so where does it go? What if we put them in order first? The Q-tip is soft on the ends but hard in the middle, where does it go?

So much fun! I can't wait until next week, when we go full-on science with our buried treasure program!

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