This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase from one of these links I will get a commission.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
First Let's Talk about the Wonder of Knowledge
I will maintain that there is something magical about reading a good book to preschoolers. Their imaginations are ripe, and the desire for knowledge is infectious. As a literacy teacher, I can acknowledge that I’m a bit biased, but I truly believe that a foundation of literacy set children up for success in all other aspects of learning. Teaching children to love reading, to engage in stories, and a wonder for knowledge through books, instills in them a passion for learning.
I was trained in secondary education and my student teaching and substitute teaching after graduation was based in High School and Middle school. My heart still grieves for the children in Middle School that could barely read a sentence from a text book. My heart still hurts for the stereotypical athletes in my 10th grade history class, that absolutely hated school and anything that was academic related.
From simply my experience, somewhere between the wonder of early childhood and the cusp of adolescents our modern United States education fails. We fail to increase the wonder of learning and instead entrench students in the mundaneness of book learning.
My literacy students will probably never remember me in 12th grade. However, I hope that there is still a sparkle of wonder of learning somewhere in their minds and hearts. Maybe the work we do in literacy will foster a deep seeded wonder for learning.
The Book Activity Pairing
Which is why when I read this book I was hooked.
This type of story is the magic that increases the wonder of learning.
I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I’ll simply say that my own spark of imagination was kindled as the storyline progressed.
Finding enriched stories for imagination is the catalyst that draws children deeper into the love of literacy and sparks the love of learning.
Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W Martin and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill takes the reader on a journey with Charlotte as she navigates receiving a pet that was not quite her ideal dream. At first, she despairs when her pet rock cannot do all the things that she wishes, but as she plays, her grows fond of her ‘not so ideal’ pet. However, just as she is the most content with her pet, something changes. You’ll have to pick up a copy to find out if the change if for the worst or the best.
I find that the most ideal books that spark imagination for preschoolers are the books that can pair with activities. Sometimes these activities can be academic in nature, but sometimes they are just fun.
We did a little of both for this activity.
You can find the My Pet Worksheet here. The purpose of this worksheet is the bring the child into more abstract thinking. They get to place themselves into the story and come up with silly answers! Sometimes its more of a delight for the teacher than the students!
In addition to the worksheet we set out to create our own rock pets as well. From my experience there are two basic ways to best paint a rock. Either with acrylics or crayons. However the 'Ultimate' way to have preschoolers paint a rock is with a lovely invention called Sharpie Paint markers. You can find a pinable image below summarizing the processes.
The children loved showing off their new pet rock and the imagination that was flowing in the room was remarkable. I’d love to hear what you think of this book and the results of this activity book pairing if you tried it!