Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Virtual Book Club: Listening Walk and Book based on Bill Martin

So we missed participating in the Virtual Book Group for Kids in July and August for various reasons, but I was really excited when I saw the author for September was Bill Martin Jr. . I've only recently realized how many books he has written as many of them are illustrated by very different artists.

Although we've been reading several of his books, for our extension project this month we decided to use Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear?

We're big fans of the better known Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See." Big Brother and I enjoyed talking about the different animals and their sounds while reading and Little Brother was really engaged with the colorful and bold illustrations. 

After reading we went to the woods behind our house and went for a "listening walk." Listening walks involve stopping every now and then and listening for the different sounds one can hear. I've done this with older kids (five through eight year olds) but not usually with a kiddo as young as three. Big Brother did pretty well with it, but did need some coaching in staying quiet and naming what he could hear. 
The first noticeable sound we could hear in the woods was the sound on an airplane flying overhead. 
 It was the perfect day to be in the woods. Big Brother was enjoying going off the path, chasing our dog, and finding unusual sticks so we didn't spend the whole time listening. But we did stop at new sounds and a few key spots to listen. We kept a list of the sounds we heard. We heard: a truck, an airplane, a bird, the leaves in the wind, dried leaves crunching on the ground, crickets, and a crow.

When we returned home we started the project. The project actually took a few days to complete. I was inspired by a project the art teacher at my school has done in the past with kids around using Eric Carle's style to create a class book like "Brown Bear, Brown Bear." We used paint and household materials to create our textured paintings.
Materials included combs, clean tooth brushes, a scrubber, washable paint, and paper. All household materials will not be used for their original purposes again. 

Big Brother enjoyed using the different materials and colored paints. We tried to create colors which matched the items we had heard on the walk.

A few days later we started turning our papers and our list from our walk into a book. Big Brother is really into being called "Big Brother" so we decided to use that term in our book. Although the original book was many animals hearing, we left it as just Big Brother being asked the question for this project.

He helped cut out some on the images for the book, but for the most part I cut out the shapes. We worked together to brainstorm what each object/animal we could hear were doing. This gave us a good chance to really think about the types of sounds we'd heard and do some embedded vocabulary work. Some great words included crunching, cawing, and rumbling.

We bound our book by using a hole punch and rings. I love how crisp the images came out on the white paper and that our project gave us another book to read together.

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