With panicked squawks, Chicken Little announced in terror that the sky was falling. Preschoolers just learning their way around a big and sometimes scary world relate well to this story. Make a "Chicken Little" day during a farm unit and try out a variety of related theme activities that can teach early literacy skills in a fun and exciting way for preschoolers.
Other People Are Reading
Begin any "Chicken Little" activities with a reading of the story. Give each character distinct voices as you read about the acorn falling on the head of Chicken Little and how he gets everyone else afraid as well. When you get to the end of the story where they all enter the fox's cave and are never heard from again, ask your preschoolers what they think happened. Give them a chance to tell their own ending to the story.
Assign each child a different part in the story. If you have a large class, let teams of children play each character. Read the story out loud again but have the child act out her character's part as you read it. For another dramatic play game, have the children create a soundtrack for the story as you read it. They can make clucking noises, barks, goose honks, and whatever else is appropriate.
Arts and Crafts
Merge the telling of "Chicken Little" with farmyard crafts for your preschoolers. Give each preschooler a paper plate with eye holes pre-cut into it. Let children make a mask using crayons, markers or by gluing pieces of coloured construction paper onto the paper plate. Let them choose whether to make Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Drakey Lakey, Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey or Foxy Loxy.
You can also give preschoolers empty paper rolls and let them glue feathers or cotton balls onto them to make different characters from the story. Give them googly eyes, strings for tails, and craft balls for other features.
Letters and Phonics
The names of many of the characters in the story rhyme. Make rhymes with the names of your preschoolers and have them join in a parade of characters who are alarmed that the sky is falling. This helps to teach phonemic awareness. You can also make large construction letters and put them up on the wall. When you say the name of a character such as Foxy Loxy, tell students to stand by the letter that Foxy Loxy starts with. With everyone doing it together, the more advanced readers will be able to help the less advanced ones.
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