An Old Favorite:
The Gist and…Why I LOVE it:
A cookie-cutter like gingerbread character shares his moods and feelings via colors. "Some days are yellow. Some are blue. On different days I'm different too. You'd be surprised how many ways I change on Different Colored Days." He takes you through all of the colors of the rainbow + pink, brown, black and even gray. It's a great book for helping students realize that they have a variety of moods and emotions and that these feelings are all normal and OK. It gives children vocabulary to help express themselves, and gives parents an opportunity to explain that they too feel this way as well. "Mommy's having a brown day today." May be all that is needed to explain an exhausted feeling after a hard day at work.
Dr. Seuss has not forgot to rhyme. Here he does it in couplet form. I love the simpleness of reading just a few sentences. The differing font sizes and types, add to the picture of the words and help me tell the story. For example the words "...Then I feel slow and low, low down..." for the brown bear are at the bottom of the page. They are typed in white on a black back ground and sink lower and lower 'til the word down is at the very bottom, way down low. Similar things are done for the purple color where the words sad and groan seem to droop, and the sentence "I walk alone." is small and off all by itself, almost lost on a huge page, typed just underneath the dinosaur.
The illustrators, Johnson and Fancher, are a husband and wife team. Seuss wanted someone else to do the artwork for this book, he was looking for something different than his usual whimsy and they seem to capture the very essence of what he wanted. The colors and textures of the pictures are captivating and I feel they really encompass the moods and emotions of the colors. I like that they take up two entire pages, so the illustrations are "in your face" and draw you into the book so that you want to touch the pages.
Story Telling Tips:
I pause when I come to a color word and have my students fill in the blank as I point to the object on the page. If the colors are happy, I make my voice light and cheerful; if the colors are sad, I read them with a deeper slower voice. I sound "sad" if the color is "sad". I sound "angry" if the color is "angry". I say the word LOUD very loud. I HOWL and GROWL after I read those words and then ask my students to do the same. They usually do it rather softly, so I'll say: "I can't hear you!" Then they are very loud! For the last page I also spread my arms and then point to myself. I have my students do the same. After I'm done reading the story I ask my students if they feel the same way. Which colors do they agree with? Which don't they? We graph our favorite and least favorite "mood color." Click on the link for color graphs.
We've been studying secondary colors so I put a red and yellow scarf in my change bag and ask them what color scarf will come out? An orange one does. Then I put a blue and yellow scarf in and ask what color scarf will come out? A green one does. Finally I put a blue and red scarf in and ask them what color scarf will come out? A purple one does. I have 3 change bags so all of mine are loaded ahead of time. If you only have one, simply distract them with some talk, or turn your back to them and write something on the board while you load the new color scarf into the change bag. If you have a double-load change bag you only have to do this once.
Run off the template of the gingerbread person on light brown construction paper. Students CUT it out and glue their school photo to the center of the face. Students then glue their gingerbread character to a sheet of white construction paper.
Put a dollop of each color paint featured in the story on a paper plate with a Q-tip for each color resting on the paint blob. Set a paper plate-paint pallet in the center of each one of your student tables.
Children WRITE their name on their gingerbread person. Using the Q-tip, students put a dollop of each color around their gingerbread person. Set aside to dry. If you don't want to mess with paint, use my heart master and have students color the hearts with crayons. (This is a sample.) Your bulletin board caption can read: ______________________'s students have many colored days! Click on the link to view/print the My Many Colored Days templates.
Each student can make their own color booklet or you can assign a color to several students and make a class book. Students TRACE then WRITE the entire sentence or just the color word. Students then think of how that color makes them feel and WRITE that descriptive word down. I have my class brainstorm before hand, and we write many words on the board for them to choose from.
Children draw a picture of their mood. It can be an animal, the gingerbread person, something else that represents that feeling/emotion or merely scribbles if they want. Click on the link to view/print the My Many Colored Days Booklets
Books for Comparison & Contrast:
These are other books in my "Moods/Emotions/Feelings" collection of books that my students really enjoy. They are great for further discussion and comparison-contrast Venn Diagrams. I've listed them according to my all-time favorites. They are all great.
Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods, By Jamie Lee Curtis; Sometimes I'm Bombaloo, Rachel Vail; Feelings To Share From A-Z, Todd Snow; and The Way I Feel by Janan Cain.
Whatever books you're reading this month I hope they color you HAPPY!