September Freebie! The Kissing Hand
Hi Friends! Whoa! Can you believe September is here already? Most of us are back at school and in full swing at this point. I know how chaotic the beginning of the year can be. And I also know that many of us have a go-to story for back-to-school…The Kissing Hand! I mean, it’s kind of perfect. You’ve got a sweet little raccoon leaving his mama for the first time and feeling a little nervous about making friends at school. Everyone can relate to that. So it’s also perfect that our September give-away is for our unit on The Kissing Hand. Like all of the Read It Once Again curriculum, this activity can be used in lots of different ways depending on where each child is developmentally. I know, it’s from one of our level 2 units, but don’t let that scare you! It can work for everyone! If I were using this with my class, which is made up entirely of children with special needs, I would be using it as a teaching tool for large and small group instruction. Let’s take a look!
Okay, so it should go without saying that this activity is one that you would use after several readings of the story. After all, kids have to be familiar with the story before they’re ready to answer questions about it, and for some, begin to identify the images in the story.
Once they are familiar with the story, you can introduce the tree above. It might seem like kids have to be able to write words to be able to do this, and if they’re ready for that, by all means! But you can also easily laminate this to write on it yourself as a model, or you can use these handy-dandy visuals that are part of the activity.
Some of your kiddos might be able to cut these out themselves, which is great! But if they’re not ready to do that yet, you can still use them. Cut them out yourself, laminate them, put some velcro on the back, and you’ve got an activity that you can reuse over and over again. You can also laminate two copies for a matching activities for those friends in your class will just need to start to visually discriminate the pictures. This type of differentiated instruction is the same concept that was explained in our blog, Literacy and Language in One Freebie. Kids have to be able to visually discriminate before they are ready to identify. If they are ready to identify by pointing, that’s fantastic! Then they might be able to identify through expressive language. From there, they can start to complete the statements on the tree by answering simple questions about the story. What kind of animal is Chester? That’s right! Chester is a raccoon. His picture can then go on the tree. You see where I’m going with this, I think.
For kids who are ready to start writing, their name is the perfect place to start. They might need help at first, so you could start with a copy of this sheet with their name already filled in. If you laminate the sheet, they can practice tracing it over and over again with a dry erase marker. Some kids might just need an example of their name to copy, and some some might be ready to write their name. You can use this method for all of the words in this activity.
The activity also provides this Venn diagram.
This might be something that some of your kiddos can do as a worksheet by either cutting out the pictures or the words and putting them in the right circle on the diagram. You could then talk about what is the same and what is different about Chester’s school and your school. You could also do this in a group setting using two different circles cut out of poster board, or if you use Handwriting Without Tears, you might have wooden circle pieces that work nicely for this. However you decide to do it, this activity is a great way to talk to kids about your school, and work on literacy and language at the same time!