Mouse Paint, Go Away Big Green Monster Literacy

The “Sight Words Alphabet Program” was revised last summer.  All learning outcomes are based on related literature selections.  In this mini-unit the literature selections “Mouse Paint, Go Away Big Green Monster and The Nose Book” are used to successfully introduce key learning outcomes that are outlined below.

Literacy Follow-up

Literacy Follow-up


Shared Reading Follow-Up

The companion emergent reader “Monster Parade” would be used as a follow-up to model the reading process and to introduce the following:


Alphabet Letters:  Mm and Nn


Sight Words:  blue, red, yellow and come


All Pre-primer sight words are introduced within the program.  They are introduced in meaningful context followed-up with interactive games.  In this reader and color words and identifying shapes are the key focus.


Literacy Follow-up Emergent Reader Black and White Version






Alphabet and Rhyming Literacy Center Games and Activities

Spin and Print

Playing partners spin and print the letter of the focus initial letter sound represented in the picture they landed on.


Draw and Print

Students draw a picture card and print the letter of the focus initial letter sound represented in the picture.


Picture Mnemonic Printing Activity

Students will be involved with focus letter picture mnemonic printing activities.  The students would put a nose on the letter “n” template representing that letter and sound.  They would place a mouse head on the letter “m” as displayed in the photograph below.


Phonemic Awareness, Phonological Awareness and Rhyming Activities

Rhyming, phonemic and phonological awareness activities are always addressed within the units.  This unit includes suggestions and activities in relation to developing these skills.

Literacy Mouse Paint

Literacy Mouse Paint

Sight Word Literacy Center Games and Activities

Spin and Print

Playing partners spin and print the sight word.


Roll and Print

In this game focus sight words are printed on a blank die.  Students roll the die and print the focus sight word on the templates provided.


Roll, Move and Say

Playing partners take turns rolling a die and moving their game players accordingly and must say the word landed on.


Draw and Say

Playing partners take turns drawing a word and saying the word displayed.  They get to keep the card if it is read correctly.

Sight Word Activities

Sight Word Activities


Writing and Simple Follow-Up Crafts

In this craft activity the students would mix paint colors to make a new color using the mouse template below.  This activity would also coincide with your Science outcomes.  The students would use the mouse template displayed below that is provided within.  As a follow-up writing activity the students would draw a monster and describe it as displayed in the photograph below using the template provided.  This activity is a follow-up to reading the book “Go Away, Big Green Monster”.

Craft 1

Craft 2












Where Can I Access These Resources?

You can access the resources from the link below


Mouse Paint, Go Away Green Monster and The Nose Book Activities to Meet Curriculum Outcomes


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Pre-Kindergarten Science

Color Mixing

The Fall season is a great opportunity to introduce the science concept of color mixing. Here is just brief sample lesson plan related to this science concept.


Connection to Literature

Mouse Paint Simple Retelling

Mouse Paint Simple Retelling

Read the book “Mouse Paint” by Ellen Stoll Walsh to introduce the concept of color mixing.


Shared and Independent Reading

The emergent reader “Color Magic” found in the “Colors” theme unit is a simple retelling of the story.  It could be used for shared and independent reading.


Colors Theme


Color Mouse Follow-up Experiment

Color Mixing Experiment

Color Mixing Experiment

The students would dab one end of a Q-tip with one color and mix it on the mouse template. After they dab the other end with another color and mix it over top; this will make a new color.


Red and blue makes purple
Yellow and red makes orange
Blue and yellow makes green


After the paintings are dry, they can be cut and glued to the picture frame.  The picture frame can be colored and cut to make a “Color Mouse Magic” display.


More Fun and Independent Science Experiments

The “Kinderplans Science Program” was designed to include:

–  Experiments that align with curriculum outcomes and related themes
–  Experiments that are fun and engaging

Pre-Kindergarten Science Program

Pre-Kindergarten Science Program

–  Experiments are meant to be independently run at the Science Center in a fun and safe environment
–  Follow-up crafts and suggested literature selections included


More Information On the Program

More information on the program can be found in the link below:


Kinderplans Science and Experimentation Program


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Insect/Bugs Experiments

Caterpillar Larvae

Caterpillar Larvae


Observing Caterpillars Changing Into Butterflies

One of the most rewarding and fun experiences is observing caterpillars changing into butterflies.  If you have an opportunity for your students to experience this process, it is a sure winner when doing the “Insect” theme unit.  You would need to search different supply companies in your area that supply caterpillar larvae.  The site below provides a great explanation of the process in caring for your larvae and watching it change into a butterfly.


Taking Care of Butterfly Larvae


In the link below you will find a booklet that can be used to outline the changes that are observed during different weeks when the caterpillar is making its transition.

Crayon Resist Butterfly

Crayon Resist Butterfly


Butterfly Observation Booklet


Follow-up Craft Suggestions

Crayon Resist Butterfly Craft

The students color the butterfly template with wax crayons.  After, a thin layer of paint is brushed over the butterfly.  The template is found in the link below:


Butterfly Crayon Resist Template


Caterpillar Craft

Hungry Caterpillar

Hungry Caterpillar Craft

Using the circle templates below the students can make the The Hungry Caterpillar as displayed in the photograph.


Circles for Caterpillar Craft



More Bugs Theme Ideas

In the link below you will find more Bugs theme ideas.


More Bugs Theme Ideas




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Plant and Seed Experiments

Can Seeds Grow Under Different Conditions?

Environmental Experiment

Environmental Experiment

Environmental Experiment One

In the last week my students have been planting lima bean seeds (they grow the fastest).  The students are experimenting to see if the seeds can grow under different conditions. The seeds are planted under the different conditions as described in the book “The Tiny Seed” by Eric Carle (placed into a cold refrigerator or freezer, water, sand with no water and in a garden like setting).  Observation booklet and explanation of the experiment is found in the link below:


Environmental Seed Experiment Observation Booklet One


Germination Experiment 

Experiment Two

This is another experiment I found to be really interesting.  The students placed a bean seed in a CD case and then watched it grow and labeled the plant parts.  This project is outlined in the link below:


Seed Planted In CD Case Steps


Follow-up Activities  – Observation Booklets

Seed Planted In CD Case

Seed Planted In CD Case

In the links below you will find a simple observation booklet where the children just draw picture of what they observed or draw and describe.


Observation Sheet – Students Draw Pictures of Their Observation


Observation Sheet – Students Draw Pictures and Describe Their Observation


Life Cycle of A Bean Plant Booklet – Cut and Assemble in Order

In the links below you will find two booklets that children can make where they cut and order the pages according to the life cycle of a bean plant.  After the booklet would be stapled together.


Life Cycle of Bean Plant (Cut, Assemble and Staple) Booklet

Life Cycle of Bean Plant (Cut, Assemble and Staple) Booklet

Cut and Order Pages Booklet According to Life Cycle of a Bean Plant- Pictures Labeled


Cut and Order Pages Booklet According to Life Cycle of a Bean Plant – Students Label Pictures


Tiny Seed Literacy Unit

Tiny Seed Literacy Unit

More Plant Theme Ideas – Literacy and Math Connections

More related plant theme ideas can be found in the link below:


More Plant Theme Ideas


More Science Ideas

In the link below you will find more information on the Kinderplans Pre-Kindergarten Science curriculum found in the link below:


Pre-Kindergarten Science Curriculum



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St. Patrick’s Day Free Resources

PowerPoint Presentation from Teacher’s Conventions

I  spoke at two teacher’s conventions a few years ago.  It was a huge hurdle for me but with the encouragement from co-workers and family, it was less daunting.  The session focused on how I use a balanced literacy model successfully within both my Kindergarten and grade one classes.  This approach to teaching was the most positive and profound change in my teaching career.  A number of teachers have requested that they have access to the PowerPoint presentation that was used in this session.  You can access the presentation from the link below:


 PowerPoint Presentation


St. Patrick’s Day Fun – Four Day Event

Science and Shared Reading

Day One – Monday

This year I decided to make St. Patrick’s Day a four day event.  On Monday I am going to integrate our Science unit “Building Things” by having the children build leprechaun traps with boxes.  For shared reading, you can use the reader “The Leprechaun Wish” found in the link below.

Leprechaun Writing

Leprechaun Writing

The Leprechaun Wish


Day Two – Tuesday – Focus on Writing

I am going to pretend a leprechaun visited the classroom the night before and left the message displayed on the right.  We will discuss how he may have escaped the traps, what his name is and how he looks (describing words).  In the link below you can access the message and writing booklet I am going to use.  Since I teach grade one this year, I will expect my students to give the leprechaun a name, describe how the leprechaun looks (from the picture) and write about what they think the surprise will be tomorrow (story beginning).  With kindergarten students, I would only expect them to write about what surprise the leprechaun will leave.


The Leprechaun Message

The Leprechaun Writing Booklet – Easy Version


The Leprechaun Writing Booklet – Hard Version


Leprechaun Template

Leprechaun Template

Day Three – Wednesday

The students will walk into the classroom and there will be some changes (desks and books scattered are just a few changes).  The leprechaun will have also left some gold nugget chocolates and badges (bought at the dollar store) for each of them.  They will write in their booklet as to what surprises the leprechaun left (middle of story).


Day Four – Thursday

There will be no signs of the leprechaun and the students will write about what they think happened to him (story ending).


Possible Craft Suggestion

The children can color and cut the leprechaun template found in the link below. It can be attached together by fasteners so the head can move.


Leprechaun Template



More Possible Craft Suggestions

In the link below you can find more possible craft suggestions.


More Possible Craft Suggestions


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Pre – K Science Lesson Plan

Science Lesson Plan

In conjunction with the Dinosaur and Easter theme we are talking about animals that lay and don’t lay eggs.  I wanted to share the related Science lesson plan that I did with my students.  The book Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones is an excellent source of information for introducing this topic.  This plan also can be used to assist you in meeting  the RI.K. common core outcomes.


Video Version of the Book

Reading Rainbow does an excellent job of reading this book and providing information related to it.  I showed the video found in the link below to my students on my Smart Board.  After, we sorted animals according to if they lay and don’t lay eggs.  I have many of the plastic animals listed in the book (not sure where these were purchased from as they were already in the classroom).


Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones Video 


Graphing Activity

Sorting and Graphing Pictures

In the links below you can find larger and smaller pictures that can be used for sorting and graphing.  Each child would be given a picture card and then they would determine what category that picture would fit (lays or doesn’t lay eggs).  After, the smaller pictures can be used to make a picture graph to relay information (math outcomes).


Larger and Smaller Pictures Used for Sorting and Graphing


 More Science Ideas

More science ideas can be found in the link below:


More Science Ideas


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Winter Science Activity

This science activity experiment allows for creativity and relates to other outcomes within the Science curriculum.  The students will learn how crystals are made using borax, what causes water to boil, how water vapor and water magnification is created.  It relates well to the Winter theme.


-see through cups that can hold hot water (you should use disposable ones as the crystals will also form inside the cup).

-pipe cleaners (different colors)


Creating the Art Work

-The students will create a sculpture using pipe cleaners (could be a snowflake, spirals or different shapes).  They will need to be small enough so they can be submerged into the cups.  Some will need to be cut.

-wrap another pipe cleaner around it so it can be hooked on to the edge of the cup and allow it to be submerged into the crystal water solution.

The Borax Crystal Solution

-Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.  Discuss what caused the bubbles to form (heat caused the water molecules to go into different directions and hit against each other).  Point out how the heat caused the evaporation to speed up. Point out the formation of the water vapor.

-Add about 4-5 tablespoons of borax.  Stir after each addition until dissolved.

-Fill as many cups as possible with the solution.  Submerge a few of pipe cleaner creations into the cups as possible.

-Print the name on the cup

Water Magnification

What did they notice when they submerged the pipe cleaner creation into the cup?  It should have appeared larger.  Discuss how water acts as a magnifier.

Note:  If you have a large class you will not be able to do this in one sitting.  You will likely have to do a few when the students are not around.

Allow the crystallization process to last about 24 hours.

Follow-up Discussions

1.  Have the students observe the crystals that were formed on their creations and in their cups. Explain why this occurred.

The borax molecules are attracted to each other even when they are in the water, first forming small crystals and then larger ones as they attach themselves to the pipe cleaner.

Borax is a crystal and when placed in hot water the molecules move farther apart which allows more room for dissolving. When the solution no longer dissolves; it has reached its saturation point.  When the solution cools the crystal’s water molecules move closer together.  Crystals begin to form by building onto one another as the excess water evaporates.

Explain that a snowflake is also considered a crystal.

2. Allow the students to observe the crystals formed on all the different creations at the Science Center.  Several magnifying glasses should also be added to they can take a closer look.


More Science Activities


Science Activities for Five Senses

Your students will have fun experimenting with their visual senses by participating in the activities outlined in this post. They will be asking do further experimentation.  They will learn about the magic of illusion and how their eyes or sense of sight can be tricked into believing that something is occurring when in fact it is not reality.  The students will view the images found in the links below.  Each image will appear to be moving but in reality they are not.

Optical Illusion 1

Optical Illusion 2

Optical Illusion 3

Optical Illusion 4

More Optical Illusion Activities
The link below provides more experiments and activities in relation to developing the concept of illusion.  Well worth taking a look at!

Great Optical Illusion Activities

More Science Related Activities

The website outlines more science related activities.  Click on the link below to preview these.

More Science Activities

Camouflage Science Experiment

This experiment will allow students to understand the concept of camouflage. This can easily be integrated into the “Zoo or Family and Pets” theme units.  This experiment also integrates math in that requires the children to graph their results.  The results of their graphing will help them better understand why some colors were selected more than others and relate this to better understanding the concept of camouflage.

Directions for the Experiment

Cut small squares of colored construction paper (yellow, red and blue one inch squares).  Place these on a large sheet of yellow construction paper.  Set a timer on for a few seconds.  The object of this experiment is to pick up as many squares as possible within the selected time.  The students will likely choose the colors red and blue because they contrast to the background.  Generally our eyes are drawn to contrasting colors and this is how animals are able to camouflage themselves.  The children will graph their results as to what color was selected the most (the color yellow should have been the least selected).

Follow-up Discussion
Discuss what color was chosen the most and least by looking at the results of all the graphs completed. Discuss the reason why this may occurred and introduce the concept of camouflage.

The following children’s book will also help further develop this concept.

1. What Color is Camouflage?  (Lets-Read-and Find-Out Science, Stage 2)  by Carolyn B. Otto

2.  How to Hide and Octopus and Other Sea Creatures by Ruth Heller
3.  Pop-up Hide and Seek by National Geographic Society

Click Here to View More Science Activities