Sunday, March 2, 2008
Story Stretcher: The Cat on the Mat
Expanding on a favorite children's book is a fun way to s t r e t c h the language learning fun. Here some of my friends play with the animals from the Cat on the Mat beginner reader book. This simple book with a focus on the 'at' sound is a funny story about a cat that would prefer to have the mat all to himself, but fellow animals keep joining him on it!
In the end the cat (feeling disgruntled) hisses at the other animals causing them to run away and leaving him with the mat to lay on by himself. The teachers use this story to help illustrate the importance of grace and courtesy and the 3 classroom rules:
"Be Gentle, Be Safe, Be Kind"
We ask open ended questions such as, "Do you think the cat likes sharing his mat?" (pointing out his grumpy face in the illustrations) and "How could the cat let the other animals know that he would like to have the mat to himself?" and "What would you do, if you were the cat?"
by asking the children these types of questions they become part of the problem solving process and together come up with more appropriate solutions than the angry cat chooses.
They LOVE this book and language extension work. As you can see in the photos, these children extended this work even further by beginning to build the words from the story with the movable alphabet.