We are very excited to participate in this year’s Virtual Book Club hosted by Toddler Approved, Mommy and Me Book Club and The Educator’s Spin On It. Each month a different author is featured. Everyone then selects a book by the chosen author and creates an activity to accompany the book. The featured author for September is Lois Ehlert.
Lois Ehlert is the author and illustrator of several wonderful books including Color Zoo which won her a Caldecott Honor Award. If you are interested in learning more about Ms. Ehlert’s work, head over to Reading Rockets to watch an interview with her.
Growing Book by Book has chosen Nuts to You! by Ehlert. It’s seemed appropriate that we get a book about squirrels since we are dealing with a few that have made a nest in our front porch roof and a few more that keep trying to eat the seeds out of our bird feeder.
In Nuts to You!, an adventurous squirrel gets into lots of mischief and then wanders into a city apartment through a hole in the window screen. A tempting treat of peanuts is just the lure needed to get the squirrel back to the outdoors. The book is full of wonderful collage illustrations. Facts about squirrels are also included at the back of the book. Did you know that squirrels live all over the world except for Madagascar and Australia?
So, what can you do after reading this great book? Here are three literacy ideas that you can do with children at home or school.
Grab a notebook or clipboard with paper and head out on a squirrel sighting walk. List all of the places that you spot squirrels. Younger children can draw pictures of the sightings. As the leaves fall off the trees, you will be able to spot their nests too.
Squirrels like to collect food to store for the winter. Why not have your child collect some literacy skills during an outdoor leaf collection? You will need red, orange and yellow 1mm thick foam sheets, a permanent marker and scissors to create your leaves. Cut out two shapes of leaves for each color. On each pair of leaves write a capital letter on one leaf and a lowercase letter on the other leaf.
Now you are ready to scatter the leaves on the grass. Give your child a basket or other container to collect the leaves. When the leaves have been collected, they can then sort and match the lowercase and uppercase letters.
For older children, you could write sight words or other words they are learning on the leaves. As they pick each one up, they should say the word and then put it in their basket. You could also call out a word and then they have to hunt through the yard to find the word you have called.
Now that you have worked up an appetite from your walk and leaf collecting, it’s time for a nutty snack. Print out the nutty snack recipe and have your child help to read the directions to make this healthy treat.
So, you have three fun literacy activities to accompany the book, Nuts to You! Be sure to check out other books and activities centered around Lois Ehlert’s work at one of the Virtual Book Clubs hosting sites. At each of the hosting sites you will find others who have linked up their ideas.
Stay tuned next month when the Virtual Book Club explores the work of Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
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