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Read Banned Books: They're Your Ticket to Freedom


Preschool Activities - Library Week - Born to Read Bib
Born to Read Bib available at

Aristotle taught that the brain exists merely to cool the blood and is not involved in the process of thinking. This is true only of certain persons.
Will Cuppy (1884 - 1949) US writer, critic

Library / Book Appreciation Theme ~ Online Preschool Activities

~ on Preschool Interactive Daily Activity Calendar influenced by and preceding Banned Books Week
via the Preschool Online Activities Class ~

*Parent/Teacher Note:  Mix and match activities to your child's/children's interests, offering a balanced mix throughout each day.  Use your child's favorite books as the basis for learning this theme!  Introduce a couple of new books for interest.  For instance, choose some active and some quiet activities each day and be sure to read every day!  Tailor each activity to your child's specific interests and abilities.

Adobe Reader
view printable
.pdf version

Main Idea:   Learning about freedom of expression through writing and other art forms
Appreciating other points of view and books in general
Understanding that the library is a source of information for books and other media
Understanding personal emotions and showing empathy for other's feelings

materials list/Resources:

Books (book links available in right sidebar menu) Aside from the first two, books for this theme were chosen from the 150 Best Selling Children's Books of All Time.   A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein,  Where's Waldo by Martin Handford (both on the 100 Most Challenged Books List), Corduroy Goes to the Library, I Took My Frog to the Library, Ms. Davison, Our Librarian, Clifford the Big, Red Dog, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Me Too!, Goodnight Moon
Optional:  Sam's First Library Card

Social/Emotional Development:
Show & Tell Thursdays: 
Bring in your favorite book to share (or stuffed character from your favorite story!).
Morning Meeting/Circle Time (daily skill work including:  weather, calendar, counting, ABCs, patterning, colors, shapes, songs, music, finger plays, rhymes, creative Movement) (outside links) Library Song, A Book has Two Covers, Book Songs Playlist, Friendship Memory

Creative Activities/Art/Music/Drama/Aesthetic Learning (including Fine / Large Motor Activities):
Leaf Rubbings, Feelings Chart, Dramatize Clifford, the Big, Red Dog, Book Songs Playlist (below)
Theme Center: 
Library books, bookmarks,  listening center for books on tape/CD, blank paper stapled together (to make books), cardstock cut for making bookmarks

Book Songs Playlist

I've been creating playlists on my iPod with my thousands of songs.  I'm not affiliated in any way with iPod, Apple, etc.  I'm just a happy customer that highly advises creating a playlist!  If you are of the "iPod mentality", check out the Library / Book Appreciation Playlist!  Feel free to rate it while you're there to help out others).
Including:  The Story of My Feelings by Laurie Berkner, Tell Me Another Story by Barney Saltzberg, When You Start to Read by Russ, Go Wild - READ by Lucas Miller, Seven Nights to Read by The Good Rockin' Daddies, Hangin' Out with Heroes at the Library and Take Me to Your Library by Monty Harper, At the Library by Hap Palmer, Library by Meeka and her Cool Cousins, The Library Boogie by Tom Knight, The Library by Barney

Cognitive/Intellectual Learning:
Language Arts/Literacy Activities/Social Studies: 
Library Field Trip, Retell / Rewrite Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Our Trip to the Library Book, Bedtime Story Time, Name-O, Name Cards for Word Wall
Science/Math/Social Studies: 
Tree Walk, Grow a Giving Tree, Story Sequencing

Internet Links - supplementary (outside links - These links have not been extensively checked for appropriateness for your child.  Please monitor your child anytime he/she uses the internet.):  Depending on your child(ren), consider creating a favorites folder based on patriotism so you can find the sites quickly for your child to peruse.   story cube (for use with any story), American Library Association (with information on banned / challenged books), Shel Silverstein's Official Website, (I couldn't find any online Where's Waldo activities, so I thought I'd offer this alternative.  Play online or print to play Hidden Pictures.), Clifford's Interactive Stories and Games

Vocabulary Words:  (Spanish and sign language):  book "parts": (spine, front / back cover, title page, author, illustrator, pages, letters, words), library, librarian, feel / feelings

Motivation/Introduction ~ First Day of Theme:  Corduroy Goes to the Library
Benchmark Skills:
1.1 Demonstrates ability to make choices

Intro - Corduroy Goes to the Library: Look through the book with the children asking if they recognize where Corduroy is.  Lead into a discussion about the library and what the library offers.  Read the book together letting the children discover what is at the library. 
Take a trip to the library for the children to enjoy a story time and choose a book to take home.  Consider letting each child get his/her own library card.  Take pictures of the children at the library to make a book.  Make the library part of the children's routine.
Lessons (one main lesson a day which can be broken into parts as needed throughout the day):

1. Story:  The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
After reading and discussing the story, take a walk around your yard or neighborhood paying attention to the various trees that might live there.  Have the children notice differences in size (short / tall, fat / skinny), bark color and texture (rough, smooth, peeling), leaf color, size, shape, etc.  Gather a few leaves on the walk to make rubbings.

Benchmark Skills:
3.19 Shows interest in exploring the environment
3.21 Uses words to describe the characteristics of objects (scientific process:  communicating)
3.23 Shows awareness of cause and effect relationships
3.32 Cares for the environment

Sequence the Story:  Close the book and help the children sequence the events.  (I've known some teachers that have copied various pictures in books for the children to put in sequential order.  I'm not sure of the possible copyright violation when used in this manner, so that's up to you to check out.  Its black and white sketched pictures lend itself well to this use (as well as Alexander), so I thought I'd mention it if you want to check it out for yourself.  I also know teachers that have purchased two copies of books and simply taken them apart and used a few pages as the ordering activity.  I would ASSUME that this does not violate copyright laws, but once again, that's up to you.  J)

Leaf Rubbings Book:  Make a chart listing the words the children use to describe the different leaves.  Attach one of each leaf at the top and write words under it in a column.  Consider copying this chart to include in each child's Leaf Rubbings BookUsing the leaves gathered earlier, lay a sheet of paper on top of each leaf and rub with the flat side of a crayon until leaf "imprint" is visible.  (My book has a page for leaves from an Oak tree, a Maple tree, an Apple tree and a Mimosa tree.  Add or subtract any as needed or simply print the first page (cover) and make your own pages. 
The dotted font used is called Primer Apples, available at

Grow a Giving Tree:  Maple trees tend to be really fast, easy growers and if reachable lower branches are left to sprout, would make good climbing trees in a few short years.  Meanwhile, the children can enjoy choosing, planting and caring for the tree.  Talk about how if the children give the tree lots of love (a nice spot, water, nutrients, removing decaying wood as needed, etc.) it will return the favor with beautiful shade and a climbing structure.  Take pictures to document planting and growth.

Lunch Story / Menu (This week all of our meals are based on stories we've read and will read again each day at lunchtime.)  Froggy Eats Out burgers, fries, ice cream

2. Story:  I Took My Frog to the Library:  More library appreciation with some humor.

Benchmark Skills:
1.3  Demonstrates ability to play independently
2.2 Participates in dramatic play themes that become more involved and complex
5.9 Uses language to problem solve

Feelings Chart:  Pull out the book, talk about the main characters (Emily and Clifford).  Look through the book to find more characters and discuss their feelings.  Read the story, Clifford the Big, Red Dog by Norman Bridwell.  This story conveniently relates to The Giving Tree from yesterday with its message of loving and caring for something outside oneself and introducing feeling words.
Make an Feelings Chart (mad, happy, sad, scared, surprised, etc.) using pictures taken of the children or cut out of a magazine.  Ask the children how each child feels in each picture.  Label each feeling with its appropriate title.  Look back through the story and have the children talk about how various characters feel by finding the corresponding picture.  Have the children come up with ideas on how to help that person feel better.

Dramatizing Clifford:  Provide some stuffed dogs, cars, similar clothing to those worn by the characters, sponges, small bowl for a washtub, etc.  Leave the book in the housekeeping center along with the props for children to enjoy acting out the story.  Help the children act it out by putting on a mini-play.

Lunch Story:  This is the Bear and the Picnic Lunch:  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, apple slices

3.  Story:  Ms. Davison, Our Librarian (a story inside the book I Took My Frog to the Library):
This story introduces the job of a librarian and the value of books.  Read and reminisce about a past trip to the library, comparing what is the same and what is different. 

Benchmark Skills: 
1.21 Becomes involved in solving social problems (conflicts)
3.14 Demonstrates the ability to order and sequence
3.6 Demonstrates an interest in using writing for a purpose

Using the pictures from the library field trip, compile them into chronological order and make an Our Trip to the Library book.  Either use simple words to describe the pictures or let the children help dictate what each page should say.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Background Building Questions (older preschoolers):  Have you ever awakened "on the wrong side of the bed"?  Are there times when everything you do is wrong?  Introduce them to Alexander and cue them to look for the things that go wrong in Alexander's day. 
Read the story, stopping to point out the pictures illustrating the various events that go wrong. 

Sequence the story
:  Close the book and help the children sequence the events.  (see note above)

Retell / Rewrite "Alexander" into Alexander and the Terrific, Happy, No Bad, Very Good Day (Get the tape recorder ready to tape the children's new story and write out when time permits, if needed.)  Walk through the book again asking children to retell the story changing the "bad" parts to "happy" parts.  What would make Alexander feel better in this situation?  Let the children dictate the new story and then illustrate it.  Copy for children to have their own copy.

Lunch Story:  The Very Hungry Caterpillar sausage / cheese kabobs, fruit salad, crackers

4.  Show & Tell Thursday:  (Anybody out there know a cute Show & Tell song or chant?  I'm about ready to make up my own because I can't find one I like.)  Bring in your favorite book to share (or character from your favorite story!).  Have Mom or Dad help child write the sentence, "This is my favorite book because ________________." and have them read it to the children.

Benchmark Skills: 
3.9 Identifies some letters and makes some letter-sound matches
3.24 Finds more than one solution to a problem

Story:  Me Too! by Mercer Mayer  Read through page 22, "Today my little sister had a candy cane of her very own."  Stop and ask the children what they think the brother might want and how he could go about getting it.  Discuss all answers.  Finish the story.  Talk about how the brother felt throughout the story as well as at the end.  For transition into Name / Letter Recognition, ask, "Who has a brother or sister?  What is/are his/her name(s)?  and even, "Does your brother/sister have a brother/sister (themselves)This may confuse some children as they often don't include themselves in the response.

Name / Letter Recognition:  Give each child an index card with his/her name printed on it.  Sing Name-O for each child, pointing to each letter as it is sung.  Have the children help each other find the first letter of their names in his/her Show & Tell story.  If the alphabet or word wall is displayed, send each child to stand in front of "his/her" letter.  Hang a name card under the appropriate letter for each child's name.  (I attached little 1" pictures of each child on his/her name card to help with recognition.)

Friendship Memory Match:  Attach a picture of each child onto an index card and label the name below.  On separate index cards, print just the name of each child.  (One child per card.)  Mix the cards and play Memory with no more than about 7 - 8 pairs per 2 children playing.  (To play, lay all cards facedown individually.  Children turn over two cards to see if they match.  If they do, they pick up the pair and play moves to the next player - after some cheering, of course.  If they don't match, the cards are turned back over and the play moves to the next player.)

Lunch Story:  Bear Wants More: tuna fish sandwiches with crunchy sprouts, strawberries, honey cakes

5Closure ~ Last Day of Theme:  Bedtime Story Time! 

Benchmark Skills:   
1.8 Uses planning in approaching a task or activity
1.12 Demonstrates interest and participates in classroom activities
3.1 Shows enjoyment of books and stories and discussion of them

Children bring blankies, lovies and wear pajamas today.  The adult should dress for bed, too.  The kids LOVE that!  Start off by serving a "bedtime snack" like hot chocolate and animal crackers.  Then, spread out a comforter, snuggle up and READ!  Begin with:  Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.  Consider this for the pre-nap activity.

Lunch Story:  Lunch with Cat and Dog:  pizza, watermelon, cookie

See other Preschool Activities Lessons and Themes Preschool Activities, Lessons, and Themes! Preschool Activities, Lessons, Themes


Checking for Student Understanding:
Referring to our Main Idea and Benchmarks, do the children...
recognize that many different ideas and storylines are in stories?
enjoy listening to stories?  ask you to read to them?
realize that they can find books, books on tape/CD, and movies to read at the library?
talk about feelings they have (ex.: "I feel sad") and try to help others feel good?
Teacher/Parent Self-Evaluation:  Let's grow together!  If you have additional ideas, comments or suggestions, let me know!  (

There are many benchmarks that will be taught nearly every day, like "Demonstrates willingness to try new things" or "Shows enjoyment of books and stories and discussion of them".  Throughout the range of activities offered here, there will be a focus on one or two, although there are usually many covered in one simple activity.  Repetition is the key with learning - especially in early childhood.  However, even though you may do the same basic activity, it can be adapted to your child's level, interests, and theme.

Themed books linked to


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