I loved using puppets in my Kindergarten class as teaching tools for lots of concepts. This was Shape Monster, and I used him at the beginning of the year. In one of my pocket charts I had an interactive poem that I found online:
Shape Monster, Shape Monster
Munch! Munch! Munch!
How about a red circle for your lunch?
I put a large mouth picture next to the Munch, munch, munch. For the word red I wrote it in red marker, and I put a red circle by the word circle. Then I had other color words written in the matching color, and a square, triangle and rectangle in different colors.
Using a pocket chart allowed me to talk about the exclamation points, question marks, using expression reading, spaces between the words – pointing out letters within words, etc. etc.
After reading the poem with RED CIRCLE for a few days I introduced Shape Monster. We were doing other things to reinforce circles that week – bingo markers, etc. I kept my teaching puppets in a castle that my husband built for my classroom, when Shape Monster came out he had different sizes of foam circles stuck on his fur. I had chosen several children to find things around the classroom that are circles, and I asked one child to find a shape that was not a circle to try to trick Shape Monster.
One at a time I had these children come up to show their circle things to Shape Monster. Of course I was very dramatic with him, and used a funny gruff voice. He looked closely at the circle, smelled it – talked about how it didn’t have any flat sides or corners – he would say – it looks like a circle, it smells like a circle, etc. Then he would gobble it out of their hand and eat it! Of course they howled with delight!
You can see in this picture that a special feature of this puppet was that he has a slit in the back of the mouth – so he could actually swallow things. You could do this with any puppet I think, but this one was made this way.
Then the child who had a different shape would bring it up and after sniffing and looking Shape Monster would try to taste it and yell “PATOOEY!” and spit it out.
Then Shape Monster would go back into the castle.
Our district math curriculum requires students to recognize, create and describe circle, square, triangle and rectangle. Helping them learn and remember how to describe the shapes was a challenge – but I found simple songs that really made a difference. We made a very simple shape book that used the words from the pocket chart, and included the songs that reinforced describing shapes. I really felt like most children came in recognizing those 4 basic shapes, they sometimes confused triangle and rectangle – but describing them was new. I did one shape a week to give lots of time and practice rereading the pocket chart and singing the song, so this book was not completed for a few weeks.
The last week I changed the pocket chart to
Shape Monster, Shape Monster
Munch, munch, munch!
What do you look like eating your lunch?
Please click on this link to download a copy of this blank book.
This page with the song was opposite the page where the children simply cut out a circle and glued it on. I used to have them turn the circle into an object – but I didn’t feel like it added to my objective for making the book. Of course we made a group list of things that are circles and posted it in the room. The circle song was to the tune of Frere Jacques –
This is a circle, this is a circle
How can you tell? How can you tell?
It goes round and round.
No ends can be found
It’s a circle, it’s a circle.
The tune was You are my Sunshine
This is a square, a pretty square
It has 4 sides, they’re all the same
It has 4 corners, 4 pointed corners
It is a square, that is it’s name.
I changed this song after I photographed this page to make it easier for the children to remember the description.
Tune – Row, Row, Row your Boat
This is a triangle
Look and you will see
It has 3 corners and 3 sides
Count them 1, 2, 3!
Tune – London Bridges
2 sides long and 2 sides short, 2 sides short, 2 sides short
2 sides long and 2 sides short
It’s a rectangle.
For this page I gave the children an assortment of shapes to cut out and assemble as their own version of Shape Monster.