- Over in the Meadow, illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats. I choose this for our second book for a couple reasons. First, it's a classic counting rhyme, one that I wanted to make sure my children were familiar with. I also enjoy Keats's illustrations in this book, they are entrancing! Finally, I find it fascinating how many versions of this rhyme/story exist. Many people credit Olive Wadsworth for writing this rhyme in the late 1800's but it may in fact be even older.
- Vocabulary words to review
- Meadow - grassland
- Chirp - a short high-pitched sound
- Even - equal/same
- Bask - to lie in a warm spot
- Shady - free of sun and heat
- We read a couple other versions of Over in the Meadow.
- We read a few similar themed books but with different locations.
- Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef by Mariannne Berkes and Jeanette Canyon
- Deep in Swamp by Donna M. Bateman and Brian Lie
- Turtle Splash! Countdown at the Pond by Cathryn Falwell. This book is a bit different, it just about counting turtles and you countdown instead of up. You do, however, get some introduction to other pond animals as they scare the turtles away. The collage illustrations are captivating and if you challenge our children to look closely they may be able to guess who will be the next culprit.
- We looked up the animals mentioned, in Keats's book, in our Encyclopedia of North American Animals.
- The kids also memorized "One, Two, Three', from The Real Mother Goose.
"On, two, three, four, five,
Once I caught a fish alive.
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
But I let it go again.
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
The little one upon the right."
- Green rice with meadow animals and measuring cups.
- Clipping the correct numerals, the children arrange the cards in order and them put a clothespin over the correct digit. I have made this printable available (for free) here.
- Mimic the animals' actions. Have the children sit in a large area and then call out the animal and there action. For example: "turtles, dig".
- For this book we decided to recreate one of the books pages. The book uses a blend of watercolor and collage. So I decided to have the kids make marbled colored animals first and then glue them on to a watercolored background. We used the shaving cream method of marbling.
Supplies: large pan/tray, shaving cream, food coloring*, toothpick, white construction paper
squeegee, watercolors, paint brush, marker, scissors, glue.
*this will stain hands, you can use acrylic paint instead off food coloring which washes off easier
Step 1: Have children fill cake pan with shaving cream.
Step 2: Add food color (in the colors of your animal) to shaving cream
Step 3: use toothpick to swirl colors
Step 4: press construction paper down on shaving cream.
Step 5: Lift up and use a squeegee or other flat service to remove shaving cream from paper.
Step 6: While marbled paper is drying, use watercolor paints to create your background.
Step 7: Once the marbled paper is dry, draw your animals (we asked Jeremy to do this for us) on the marbled paper, and then cut them out.
Step 8: glue animals on to water colored background
Now you are ready to display your artwork with pride.
If you've done an Over in the Meadow activity/unit, please leave a link in the comments below.
Please check our homeschooling page for more children's literature and unit ideas.