Our classroom is so cozy and peaceful in the mornings! Usually before the kids arrive, I turn on the lamps and little lights and just have a moment before all the fun begins! It only took a few moments of quiet to completely change my plan for that day. I was sitting there thinking of how our room just looks magical. I needed to do something different today...
We are right in the middle of a Mercer Mayer author study (the author and illustrator of all the Little Critter books), and he has a few Little Critter versions of popular fairy tales--one being Jack and the Beanstalk. I quickly ran down to the teacher workroom to grab green paper. I really wanted the kids to walk into the room (no big lights overhead), and see a beanstalk growing over by the window. One big glue gun burn later (OW!) the beanstalk was stuck to the wall, and the kids were pointing and wondering all morning WHY it was there and asking what it was all about.
Later that morning, we read Little Critter's Jack and the Beanstalk, and the kids created posters in groups to illustrate the beginning, middle, and end of the story. They did an amazing job! But they didn't stop there. The beanstalk needed more details! One little one suggested adding vines. Another one said we needed a castle at the top. One friend wanted to draw and add the little magical beans. And of course, Little Critter needed to be on the beanstalk...so I found some velcro and stuck him on the wall! When it was done, the kids had helped to transform the reading area into a corner FULL of writing, illustrations, and imagination. I hadn't planned it, it just happened. Watching the kids get excited about a story enough to work for over two hours creating, drawing, discussing, and planning--it was a teacher's dream. It was one of my favorite mornings of teaching. One magical morning.
(One photo of a section of the beanstalk. I couldn't get the whole thing in!)