How do you Hug a Porcupine?
Updated: Sep 23, 2021
Here is a little snippet of what Circle Time can look like at La Casa Grande Bilingual Academy. Obviously when I sent the camera to record I had no idea how exactly the children were going to behave or what they were going to do or say. That's the magic of Preschool am I right?
But here they are in all their glory and I wanted to point out a few things to my teacher friends out there.
Follow the children’s lead
I hope you can see that the children are engaged throughout the circle time. I’ve often said if the children are not engaged I must not be engaging so I’m the one with the problem not them! I am not forcing them to sit down on their mats. I am not “barking" at them the whole time to pay attention or to stop touching each other to come back and join us or anything of the sort. When they do go off on a little tangent about how they’ve all been in a hospital I don’t completely ignore them and yet I know that could be a rabbit trail. I quickly acknowledge it and just as quickly move on.
2. Props are your friends
Not only do I have a porcupine at the end to wrap up the story, but they were all given an opportunity ahead of time to choose an animal to hug during the story. I mean come on! We can't have a book full of hugging and be expected to keep our hands and arms to ourselves right? I love using props! I try to use props every chance I can!
3. Don't let the teaching moments escape!
This goes heavily with the first one. You may have noticed that I am somewhat quietly pointing out the "H" words since that is our word of the week. I also point out other cool vocabulary words like "frustrated" that come up in conversation. At the end one student notices that the porcupine hugs the child back. What a lovely observation! I am not going to let that slip right past us!
So no matter what book you are enjoying today or this week, follow the children's lead, props are your friends, and always find time for teaching moments!
Some of the materials I used for the lesson planning to go with this book are:
Velcro blocks.... Get it? They are pokey like a porcupine?
Tinker table with popsicle sticks, clothespins, and hair rollers (unused of course) https://www.walmart.com/ip/Abanopi-Hair-Rollers-Self-Grip-Salon-Hairdressing-Curlers-DIY-Curling-Tool-10-Packs/648586335
We made paper bag puppets with accordion arms (to have our own friends to hug anytime we wanted!)
And last but certainly not least, I of course love that this book is bilingual! I used the Spanish version for our Spanish Circle Time.