Happy NO – vember!

I always thought that the beginning of November was a perfect time to reinforce a few simple sight words.  After doing the calendar this month almost all children recognize the word ‘no!’  Check out my post from last November if you aren’t familiar with the poem/book – No green grass, no blue sky, etc.  We usually made that book on Nov. 1st.

I introduced this activity by giving each child a small piece of paper – about 3 x 4 inches, and asking half of the class to draw one thing they liked, and the other half to draw one thing they did not like.  Then I printed the sentence ‘Do you like’ and a question mark on sentence strips.  I also made some cards saying yes and no – which were the words I was trying to emphasize and reinforce.

yes and no

Then during whole group time I put one of the children’s pictures into the pocket chart, right after the words ‘Do you like’ and before the question mark.  Then we read the question as a group, I loved hearing the children make their voices go up at the end of a question!  I called on one child to come up and choose the word ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to answer the question.  Then I put another picture into the chart and called on a different child – this time asking him/her to read the question alone, and choose the answer.  I was sure to read the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ while showing the class those words because these were newer sight words.  After repeating this several times I demonstrated a booklet we would make, but I left out the materials for children to use at the reading center.

We made a simple little fold up sight word book.  I gave each child a page of clipart and we talked about which of these things we liked and which we did not like.

I put a dotted line ring around each picture to help children cut them carefully without cutting off any of the picture.  That was a skill I worked on all year, but inevitably many kids cut off half the picture if I didn’t give them a cutting guide.

Then I printed off this sheet and made a copy for each child.

Here is a printable link.

No and Yes

I folded this in quarters and made a small 4 page book.  If you wanted to give them more practice you could cut these apart and staple 6 or 8 together – or whatever you’d like.

Each child chose 4 pictures and glued one on each page.  I instructed them to choose 2 things they did like and 2 things they did not like.  After gluing on the pictures they answered the question by writing “yes” or “no” on the line at the bottom.



If you would like to differentiate for children who are more confident with phonetic spelling you could ask them to write the name of the picture they choose on each page.


The most important key to make this a meaningful activity is to listen to each child read his/her little book before sending it home.  Sometimes I called each child over to read it to me one at a time, other times I had the children bring them to a small group guided reading time and listened to each one read it, and listen to their friend read too.  I know it takes a lot of time to listen to each child individually but I think it makes a huge difference.  It also gives you information about the children.  You might notice if the child is able to point to each word, whether they remember the sight words in the question, if they do try to make it sound like a question, and if they remember how to write yes and no.  Of course you would get some of this information if they just turned them in for you to check, but I think it is important for children to understand that the reason we write something is so we can read it, and that we read to get a message from the page.

When the children created a book or booklet it usually had meaning for them.  I often had the words to projects in a pocket chart and we read and reread them as a group which helped them gain confidence reading.  Also I could made anecdotal notes about each child’s progress as they read to me.   There are so many ways to scaffold and guide children’s emergent reading.  Reader’s workshop, small group guided reading, and one on one reading are all important.  Just like any other skill – the more children read, the better readers they become.  They always love reading with a partner too!  Simple and quick to complete booklets like this give another opportunity to practice!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lucille
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 07:37:05

    I was wondering if you have any good ideas/projects for teaching kindergarteners about the Pilgrims?


  2. Lucille
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 19:28:21

    Thanks. Your post is perfect….just what I needed.


  3. Kalene
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 23:30:37

    I just found your site through Pinterest. I’m just a mom who is looking for ideas to help my daughter, Madaline who is in kindergarten. We didn’t have a good experience at our Pre-k class last yr. as far as preparing our her for kindergarten. Her Pre-k teacher had some harsh words to say at conference on day 7 of knowing her. Which we were blown away by. Such as having a hearing issue, finger painting a pumpkin blue & Madaline not recongizing her name or able to write it. I thought thats what Pre-k was all about was learning to write your name. Not to mention we had her hearing checked & an occupational therapist come in to deem her “normal”. It was just aweful! The OC even told the teacher to lay off Madaline that not every child will write at the age of 4. Just like every child doesn’t walk at the same age. I have really worked w/ Madaline to get her caught up to enter into kindergarten.
    I love your ideas! They seem very simple & very similar to what her teacher is sending home. In fact she has the same flag that you have on this blog & the little books folded in half w/ cut out pics. Madaline’s teacher is in her 42nd yr. of teaching! Can you believe it? Even though we are only in our 8th week of school I am AMAZED at what Madaline has learned. I know she still has a lot of work ahead of her, but she has grown she much! It can be very overwhelming as a parent to help your children learn everything they are expected to know in kindergarten. Her class is working hard on sit words. They started w/ all of the colors & now are working on I, I see. I’m interested in the site word chart you had. Do you do anything specific?
    Anyway, so for the long story about our life! It’s just been a rough start in Pre-k that I didn’t expect a teacher to behave like she did. I have learned life lesson & that is to work w/ your child & be involved w/ what they are learning. If I didn’t she woudl have not entered kindergarten this yr. w/ what she learned in pre-k. Thanks for your wonderful & simple ideas!


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