"Stone Soup" is a popular children's fable that teaches the value of cooperation. The transition from egocentric toddler to cooperative preschooler is a source of frustration for many young children. Preschool teachers provide the children with opportunities to practice pro-social behaviour. Use "Stone Soup" to teach the benefits of cooperation and practice readiness skills.
Read a simple recipe to the children. Ask the children to name the first ingredient that went into the mixing bowl, and talk about how the other ingredients were added. Read "Stone Soup" to the children. Talk about the story. Ask the children to name the ingredient that went into the pot first and what happened next. Tell the children to draw pictures to illustrate the correct sequence of the story.
Make puppets from the story to permit the children to follow directions and recognise colours. Print out templates for the pot, potato, stone, salt and pepper, carrot, herbs, onion, milk and ham. The templates can be printed in black and white, which permit the children to colour. Give them specific instructions for colouring the items. For example, ask the children to colour the carrots orange and the onions yellow. Tell the children to cut around the dotted lines. Tape each item to a drinking straw or wooden craft stick. Ask the children to wave an orange puppet and then a yellow puppet until all the puppets are waved according to the colouring directions.
Signing and Graphing Activity
Talk about the different ways people communicate. Introduce and discuss sign language as a method of communication. Teach the children the recognised signs for nine vegetables. Read "Stone Soup." Show the children how to sign the names of the vegetables in the story when the names are read. Integrate the vegetable signs in a math activity. Create a bar graph with the nine vegetable names. Ask the children to sign the name of the vegetable liked best. Count and graph the responses on the bar graph.
Stone Soup Lunch
Read "Stone Soup" during story time. Discuss that because every person in the story contributed a small amount, everyone in the village enjoyed a tasty meal. Remind the children that because every child in the room shares responsibility for putting away materials during the day, everyone enjoys the attractive classroom. Send notes home to parents requesting a chopped vegetable, herb or spice for stone soup. Place the ingredients in a crock pot, allowing each child to add the ingredient brought from home. Ask a child to add a scrubbed stone, cook and serve.
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