Friday, April 12, 2013

Book of the Week: "Little Cloud"

My book of the week for you this week is one of my all time favorites - "Little Cloud" by Eric Carle.

"Little Cloud" is somewhat similar to "It Looked Like Spilt Milk" by Charles G. Shaw in that both stories feature cloud shapes.  The main difference is that, in "Little Cloud," you know from the beginning that the shapes are created by a cloud. Whereas in "It Looked Like Spilt Milk," you don't.  
Because of the similarity between the two books, the extension activities I'm going to share could easily be adapted to either story.  

1.  Cloud Shapes:  I used the die-cut machine in my last school to create various shapes out of white paper.  I made sure to include all of the shapes from the story in addition to other shapes.  After we read the story, we work on naming the other cloud shapes.  You can use the shapes for a simple naming task, category naming, descriptions, articulation etc.  You can also lay them on the floor and work on receptive language (find a kind of food, find something that swims, etc.).  Since there's a line in the book "A sheep and a cloud sometimes look alike," I took advantage of this and asked the students to compare two of the objects (e.g., shark and octopus, duck and sheep, plane and butterfly, etc.)

2.  Cloud Sorting:  I didn't take a picture of this, but once my groups named all of the cloud shapes we sorted into shapes that were in the book vs. shapes that were not in the book.  I've done this using 2 hula hoops, placing the book in one hoop so that all of the shapes featured in the book go in the same hoop.  I've also done a graph using masking tape (make a T-shape with the tape and sort the shapes).

3.  Matching/Lotto Game:  I created this game in Boardmaker (and they don't allow me to share with you, so sorry about that!).  Basically, I used black and white images on cells with a blue background.  I then created the little cards in the same manner, adding "lose a turn" and "try again" cards.  After printing and laminated, I realized that I should have made the game boards and draw cards in different colors so the contrast was easier to see, but the kids still liked the game and it was a great way to reinforce the vocabulary and work on increasing MLU (e.g., "I picked a shark cloud").

4.  Play Dough Clouds:  When I can find it, I like to give kids a piece of white play dough on laminated sheets of blue construction paper.  Then they smoosh the play dough and make a shape in their clouds.

5.  Cornstarch Clouds:  I can no longer use food items in my therapy sessions, but when I could, I sometimes mixed cornstarch and water in a large tray and have the kids draw shapes in the "clouds" by using their fingers.  For kids with sensory issues, I also place some in a plastic ziplock bag (you may want to double bag).  They can use their fingers through the baggie.

6.  Free Printable Story Patterns:  After I originally published this post, Alicia from Chalk Talk Speech Therapy directed me to these free printable story patterns from KizClub.  Thank you Alicia!!!

Do you use either of these books in therapy?  What's your favorite activity to accompany the book?

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