While trying to think up a new preschool homeschooling lesson, I was inspired by my children’s love of books, crafts, and a newly found interest in totem poles. We had learned that totem poles were often a depiction of a story with the most important event on top. We had to find a book that was short and had an easy to identify goal for L (’09) and A (’11). We decided on Eric Carle’s The Very Busy Spider (truthfully I wanted The Very Hungry Caterpillar but the kids wanted to use the spider which worked out well because it has antagonists).
This project can be used with any book to illustrate parts of a story: the goal, protaganist and antagonist. Here is how we turned The Very Busy Spider into a totem pole:
1. First, we started by cuddling on the couch to read the book.
2. We identified the protagonist (The main character with a goal, who is the spider in our book) and the goal of our book (to catch a fly). Then we talked about the antagonists (characters attempting to get in the way of the protagonist reaching their goal. In our book that was all the other animals trying to distract the spider).
4. We decided the goal was the most important part of our totem pole because it is why the story was created, so we made a spider web out of toothpicks and some string and glued it on top of our totem pole.
5. Second we printed out clip-art of all the characters of our story (I just searched on the internet for “Free coloring page COW” for each of the animals and then resized them as I needed.) L (’09) helped by finding the words of the animals in the book and spelling them for me. The kids then cut out the animals and colored them in.
6. Finally we attached our protagonist under the goal and then figured out the sequence of the animals in the book and glued them on, in order, as well.
We were able to get in craft time, decision making, fine motor skills, history, vocabulary (protagonist, antagonist, goal and totem pole), reading, spelling and parent time in our activity!
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- Storybook Totem Poles: Preschool Homeschooling Lesson – March 13, 2014