Step 1: Read the title and author/illustrator on the front cover and talk about how the picture might go with the title.
Step 2: Go through a few pages looking at the pictures to help build vocabulary by discussing new or unknown words.
Step 3: Do a picture walk – Talk a little about what is happening in the pictures/pointing out details that will be important to understanding the story or characters.
Step 4: After setting the purpose for reading, begin reading. Try to use different voices for different speakers or tone to express the character’s emotion.
Step 5: As you read, stop and ask the kids what they think will happen next and give them time to share with a friend what will happen before reading what happens.
Step 6: Ask questions and give positive feedback: “Were you right?” “Very good ______, Happy did…I remembered seeing that in our picture walk. You have a great memory. I can tell you were paying attention to the pictures.”
Step 7: Be sure to point out Happy’s facial expressions- this will help them understand his feelings and what type of character he is (to learn more about feelings, emotions, thoughts and behavior).
Step 1: After reading through your Happy Heart™ book.
Step 2: Use a big heart shape bowl or draw and cut out a giant red heart from construction paper to place at your reading space/location. Next, create and cut out 3×5 (index card sized) printouts of items represented in the book (i.e., basketball, electronic toys, computers, paints, books, etc) to pass out to the kids after you read them the story.
Step 3: This exercise will help the children retell the story in his/her own words.
Step 4: As each child communicates what the picture represented in the story, he/she will place the item in/on the big heart (as if they were filling Happy’s heart with the things he was using to try to fill up his emptiness).
Step 5: Allowing the kids to partake in retelling piece (story) shows their level of recall/comprehension.
Afterwards, you can tie it in to a writing lesson by writing a letter to the author (Me). They each get a chance to draw, write and share with a friend their favorite part. Please email letters from children to: email@example.com
Step 1: Depending on time available to read the story, Exercise 2 may also be done using a bag containing real items (from the list: basketball, toys from the story, etc.).
Step 2: As you (teacher, parent, instructor) pull out and talk about the item (instead of a picture walk to open your story from Exercise 1). Pull a few things out of your bag and allow kids to tell you what they do with those items, then tell them they should look for them in the story to see why they might be important.
Step 3: Read to see if Happy does the same things they do with those items.
💛Please feel free to share the Good News and let other parents, teachers, and guardians know about the FREE resources and information to compliment the reading of Happy Heart; to help plant God’s Word in the hearts of children. The helpful guides, activities and book ordering information may be found at www.happyheartbooks.com
*Special thanks to kindergarten educator, Darla Eyster, for her contribution of the creative exercises to compliment Happy Heart: Fill’er Up!
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