Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Book to Boogie: The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings

Book to Boogie is a monthly series that pairs picture books with dance and movement activities for preschool story time. The series is curated by Kerry Aradhya of Picture Books & Pirouettes and written by a different guest writer each month. We hope that children’s librarians, as well as classroom teachers and dance educators, will find these activities useful and fun!

by Jayne Gammons

Let me introduce you to my friend the color monster. His feelings are all jumbled up, but we can fix that. We just need some children, colorful scarves, music, and movement. Pretty soon the monster’s feelings — as well as everyone else’s feelings — will be all sorted out and easy to understand!

color-monster-coverThe Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings was designed by Anna Llenas for interaction with young readers. A young girl introduces the listeners to her monster, whose emotions are a mixed-up mess. She offers to help him explore his feelings and put each one in a jar. As the girl compares each emotion — happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and calmness — to a color, mixed-media art pops up on the page. Readers can even pull tabs on images of jars to reveal colorful emotions all sorted out for the monster. 

Ready to explore this book with children to see how they feel about it? Prepare for this lesson by obtaining colorful nylon scarves. (These movement scarves are available in school supply catalogs. Or, you can make a set of your own by purchasing lengths of nylon fabric in a variety of colors. Note: The latter is a less expensive option. However, since the lengths are not hemmed, the edges will fray and not last as long.) You might also want to find a clear tub that can serve as your “emotion jar” like the one used by the girl in the story.

As you read the book, stop on each emotion to explore possible movements. As the children consider each color and emotion, invite them to show how they might move their bodies to display that emotion.

“This is happiness. It shines yellow like the sun and twinkles like the stars. When you’re happy you laugh, jump, dance and play. You want to share that feeling with everyone!”

After reading the entire story, introduce your “jar” (or clear tub) filled with feelings (colored scarves). Invite each child, in turn, to pull out a scarf. Help the child think of what the color is like and how it might make him or her feel. To scaffold his or her response, you might help the child complete these sentences similar to the story. Of course, all answers are correct in this creative response activity!

This is _________ (color).

It is like _________ (object).

When you feel ________ (emotion),

you ____________ (movement).

This is purple.

It is like grape jelly.

When you feel silly,

you wiggle your arms.

A final, simple follow-up is to have each child choose a scarf. Invite the children to dance with their scarves (with or without music). As they move, ask them to tell how they feel. 

For another colorful lesson that will stretch bodies, vocabularies, and imaginations, take a look at My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss with illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. You’re sure to find ways to use your scarves again!

Jayne.Headshot.Nov2014Jayne Gammons is a teacher, blogger, and workshop presenter. Look for more of her ideas for integrating the arts with books at her blog, ABCs of Reading: Integrating the ARTS with BOOKS to Teach COMPREHENSION Strategies. Or, if you are interested in kindergarten and first-grade ideas, visit her primary blog, Smart Kids.

from Library as Incubator Project

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