While patting my leg to keep a steady beat, I read From Head to Toe by Eric Carle with the Ducks, All-Stars, Seals, and Dolphins classes. Each page of the book has a picture of a different animal doing a movement, such as a giraffe bending its neck. I demonstrated the movement and then I said, “Can you do it?” Students respond with “I can do it!” and imitated the animal’s movement. Through the book, we stretched, moved, and acted like the animals while using different parts of our body.
After reading the book, I asked students to shared what animals they wanted to be. Some students named a hen, duck, and snake. Several of them named animals that they liked in the book (gorilla, monkey) and their corresponding movement. Great memory and attending skills! I made additional animal pages with the same wording found in Carle’s book and put them together in a binder. After reading the book for a second time, I read the extended pages. I choose a student to name the animal on the page and decide the animal’s movement. They were great in stating what an animal does and to demonstrate the action or sound.
Reading From Head to Toe and the extended pages of the story focused on print awareness, body awareness, animal recognition, motor skills, and reciprocal vocalizing. The rhythmic patting and chanting helped students stay together, feel a steady beat, and know when to respond with “I can do it!” After the repetitiveness, students were starting to speak the whole book. It was a great way for students to move their bodies and have fun using their body to imitate an animal.