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June 14, 2014

Guest Post from Jayne Gammons: Arts, Books and Comprehension Strategies

Jayne Gammons Guest PostJayne Gammons Guest Post

Hi, terrific teachers. This is Jayne from Smart Kids.

I’m a Kindergarten teacher who loves all things creative, musical and movement-motivating for little learners. At one time, I was the editor of the preschool edition of The Mailbox magazine. Now I get my creative kicks working on my two blogs. I’d like to share an idea from ABCs of Reading. It’s a place where I give teachers ideas for integrating the ARTS with BOOKS to teach COMPREHENSION strategies. Sound fun? Try out the idea below. When you are ready for more, hop and dance on over. You can also find me on Smart Kids Facebook, ABCs of Reading Facebook, Pinterest and TPT. To make sure you get future book ideas, just follow by email when you get to the blog.


Title: Cindy Moo
Lori Mortensen (Author)
Jeff Mack (Illustrator)
Comprehension Strategy: Questioning
Art Modality: Creative Movement
One night on the farm, the cows overhear a fantastic tale. “Hey Diddle Diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon!” Inspired by this classic rhyme, a plucky cow named Cindy Moo sets out to prove that cows really can leap over the moon. The other cows laugh at her, but that doesn’t stop Cindy from trying—and failing—night after night . . . until a trick of nature shows Cindy a way to triumph. As delightfully silly as the original nursery rhyme, this hilarious picture book will have readers of all stripes (and spots) cheering for its determined heroine. (HarperCollins)
Cindy Moo
hula hoops
white paper plates
It’s time to get your kids “moo-ving!” All you need is a copy of this book and some hoops. (Real rain puddles would be best, but…well, they’re wet.) Begin by making sure that all of your little ones are familiar with the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle.” For fun you can check out the many versions of the rhyme/song on YouTube. Here are two I liked. The first has the words and a pleasant version of the tune. The second video is from vintage Sesame Street.

And now introducing…Cindy Moo! She’s the determined cow that is going to help your young readers practice our comprehension strategy of the day: questioning. After all, Cindy Moo wouldn’t be where she is today (famous) if she hadn’t asked the question, “WHY can’t a cow jump to the moon?” Let the questions begin before you even open the book. Just look at the cover. WHY is the cow jumping? WHAT are the three cows on the back thinking as they look on?
Now on to the first pages…WHY is the cow peeking out of the barn? WHAT is the girl reading? And before too long, the burning question…”WHY can’t a cow jump to the moon?” Give your listeners time to discuss the issues, just as the cows in the barn did that very night. To really stretch their thinking, insert a question that isn’t in the book. Ask students to problem-solve with partners. If a cow wanted to jump over the moon, HOW could it be done? You might get some pretty creative answers! Continue reading to find out how Cindy Loo finally makes it over the moon.
After the book, show your kids a mighty-fine, bovine time with this movement activity. First locate some hoedown style music on the internet. I found this fun music
Take your kids to a gym or open area. Arrange your hula hoop puddles throughout the area. Place a paper-plate moon in each puddle. Now just play the music and encourage the kiddie cattle to start jumping puddles. Yee-Haw!
For an inside peek into the book click here!