I used this Pat Hutchins book during our weather unit, it was great to reinforce events in a story. In this particular book the order of the events is not really that important, but it is great for showing how a story can have a lot of things that happen between the beginning and the end. I used footprints as a graphic to reinforce this idea – or a gameboard maze.
The main idea of this story was that the wind blew, and took all kinds of things up into the air, then at the end – they all got mixed up and fell back down. My favorite way to act out this story was to bring in all the real items that were mentioned in this book. I did make a letter and a kite, but for the rest I brought in a hat, flag, scarves, etc.
It’s hard to tell from this scan but I took a legal sized envelope and addressed it to my class – then I wrote a letter to them and glued it so it stuck out the top.
For the kite I took a piece of 9 x 12 construction paper, cut the 2 bottom corners off and folded back the top corners. I taped them on the back. My children each made one of these kites in the spring, and drew pictures of things they liked to do in spring, to go along with their writing about spring. We taped crepe paper to the bottom point and glued on paper “bows.”
I wanted all the children in my class to be involved in the retelling so I cut enough light blue crepe paper strips for each child who would not hold one of the event items.
To act it out, each time we all said the words “the wind blew” the children holding the crepe paper strips would stand up – hold up their strips and spin around in a circle, then sit back down.
Then we would say – it blew the hat… and in between each item we repeated “the wind blew.” It was fun to bring in and turn on a real fan too!
At the end all the children with the items were standing and they walked (with reminders) around each other to mix up, then they all sat down.
Sometimes I used these picture cards instead of bringing in all the items:
Sometimes I held up this card for ‘the wind blew’ and sometimes we used the crepe paper streamers along with the picture cards.
You could also use these cards to review and reinforce the story after acting it out.
I made a set of the items from Pellon non-fusible interfacing too, and I left these out at a center for the children to use to retell the story independently.
Of course you could easily use pictures with magnets for this too.
Here are copies of the pictures – sorry – I don’t have blacklines, just my colored pictures.
Of course this book was great to use to talk about the concept of wind, my children loved an old activity from AMES called Huff and Puff. I put pieces of masking tape across the narrow width of a rectangle table, about 6 inches from each edge. Then I gave the children an assortment of objects and a recording sheet. They would place one item at the end of the table and blow on it – counting how many blows it takes to get to the other end of the table. We used things like a tissue, a paper clip, a small pebble, a marble, a crayon, etc. Then I encouraged the children to talk about what they noticed, why did some things take so much more effort to blow across the table? It was fun, and one more way for children to experiment and gather and chart information!