Posts Tagged ‘rebus chants’

Speech Delay and ESL – Making Progress

Posted on March 27th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart


cover art for Breakfast for JackFor the past six weeks, I have been working with a four year old girl who is learning English as a second language and who has a speech delay. We meet once each week for one hour.

I have been using a variety of materials and techniques to support her learning. Today I thought I would highight a few of them.

Wordless Picture Books
During each of our sessions, we read one or two wordless picture books. These are books that have little or no text. Readers use picture clues to decide what is happening in the story. Wordless picture books invite discussion because, as you turn the pages, the story unfolds and there is plenty of opportunity for meaningful talk.

Although we have read several wordless picture books together, Breakfast for Jack has been our favourite. The book is a good size for sharing one on one. The story is relatively simple and yet the illustrator has included many interesting details. It is morning, the sun is rising. Jack wakes up and stretches. Soon Boy is awake. He and Jack go downstairs. Boy feeds the black and grey cat but, each time he starts to get Jack’s breakfast, he is distracted. Poor Jack is very hungry.

When my young student and I first started reading Breakfast for Jack together, she was only able to talk about small snippets of the story because of her speech delay and limited vocabulary. Now she explains that Jack is orange and white, the cat is black and grey, Boy wears purple pyjamas. We talk about the family’s breakfast of toast and cereal. We also talk about the cat enjoying a bowl of milk and then snoozing under the telephone table.

Breakfast for Jack is engaging. The illustrations ensure that the reader understands exactly what is happening. The story and illustrations draw young readers in and keep those same readers involved in telling the story.

Since Breakfast for Jack has become a favourite, last week I added dog finger puppets to our session. You may be aware that hand puppets and finger puppets are frequently used for play therapy because children often feel safe using a puppet to express themselves. In working with a child with a speech delay, it seems very logical to include puppets and encourage her to play with them. On Thursday, our three little dogs played together, they talked and raced at the park.

Illustrated Vocabulary
Keeping in mind that my student is not only dealing with a speech delay, she is also learning English as a second language. Each week I prepare one page of vocabulary that is related to a theme. The page introdues nine words that are illustrated and related by theme. We have done ‘Weather Words,’ ‘Things Families Do,’ ‘Clothing Words,’ ‘In My Neighbourhood,’ ‘Valentine’s Day,’ etc. We review all of the vocabulary each week. As well, she reviews the vocabulary at home each week. Her progress with these words has been quite dramatic.

Rebus Poems
Each week we add a new rebus poem to our program. Usually the poem is related to the vocabulary we are learning. For example, when I introduced ‘Weather Words,’ I created a rebus version of ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider.’ When I introduced ‘Things Families Do,’ we learned ‘Grandma’s Glasses.’ I like using rebus poems with young children very much. We track the text with our fingers (reinforcing that we read left to right and top to bottom). When reading rebus poems, we use picture clues to help us remember the poem / chant, we hear rhyming and we learn new vocabulary.

My young student’s mom and I are thrilled with the progress she has made to date. She is an enthusiastic learner and she is happy to enjoy stories, chants and learning new words. Next week, I will write again about our session together.

Breakfast for Jack at

Breakfast for Jack at

Rebus Chants

Posted on August 26th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Have you tried rebus chants in your early literacy programs? I present programs for 4,5 and 6 year old children. I use a variety of materials and have had considerable success with rebus chants. The chants are usually poems where several words are replaced with pictures. They are great for emergent readers because there is frequently repeated, predictable text. The young child does not have to decode all the words – the rebus pictures fill-in-the-blanks.

There are many sources of rebus chants. This is one that I created

image of PDF icon  Counting Snowmen Rebus

My favourites are created by Vera Trembach and published by Rainbow Horizons Publishing. Ms. Trembach offers seasonal and theme-related chants – there is truly something for everyone.

Whether you checkout the Canadian Rainbow Horizons Publishing website or the American website , you’ll find free teaching units and detailed information including previews of the chant books.

Snow and Snowmen for Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade School

Posted on January 19th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Snow and Snowmen for Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade School - #Free #printables from #prek #kindergarten

Our free “Building a Snowman” printable for kids has been enormously popular this month so I thought I would pull together some more snow-related materials that would be great for a preschool or kindergarten snow theme. I have added more Snow and Snowmen materials today. I would love to hear about your favourite resources and suggestions.

Board Books

cover art for Welcome Winter picture bookWelcome Winter written by Jill Ackerman, illustrated by Nancy Davis
Winter theme board book published by Scholastic

This sturdy, fun board book caught my eye and will have great appeal for toddlers. The illustrations and text are simple and yet very engaging. I especially liked the description of “snow crunching under boots” and a matching slippery, noisy surface that begs to be touched. Very young children will thoroughly enjoy checking out a variety of textures as they learn about the season of swirling snowflakes, cold temperatures and wind.

Welcome Winter at

Welcome Winter at

Winter and Snowman theme Picture Books

All You Need for a Snowman book cover imageAll You Need for a Snowman written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
Snow theme picture book published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

All You Need for a Snowman is a book that I have used with 4, 5 and 6 year olds many times. Bright, energetic illustrations and lyrical rhyming text tells the story of a group of children who build two enormous snowmen. This is a book that preschoolers gravitate towards – they enjoy watching the process of building a snowman and celebrate the end product, a giant, happy snowman.

All You Need for a Snowman at

All You Need For a Snowman at

In the Snow book cover imageIn the Snow written and illustrated by Peggy Collins
Snow theme picture book published by Applesauce Press

In the Snow tells the story of a young boy who is excited when he awakens to snow. Eager to have fun, he dresses in warm clothes goes outside with his father. They fill the bird feeder and notice some animal tracks in the fresh snow. The father and son have a happy, playful relationship and soon get to work and build a huge snowman. Also vividly illustrated, In the Snow will be enjoyed best by preschoolers.

Note: the brief mention of animal prints in the snow as well as the action of filling a birdfeeder, provide opportunities for a discussion about urban wildlife and further extension activities.
In the Snow at

In the Snow at

Owl Moon – written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr
Winter theme picture book published by Philomel Books a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

In 1988 the Caldecott Medal was awarded to Owl Moon. A special 20th anniversary edition is now available and provides an opportunity to discover the picture book’s wonderful, timeless magic.

It is very late at night when a father and his young daughter venture into the cold. They are seeking a glimpse of a great horned owl. The companions walk together silently and eagerly under an Owl Moon.

Beautifully illustrated, this is a remarkable book that will be enjoyed by the entire family. The depiction of the young girl’s excitement will no doubt inspire parents to bend their bedtime rules and enjoy a moonlit, late night walk.

Owl Moon at

Owl Moon at

cover art for Perfect SnowPerfect Snow written and illustrated by Barbara Reid
Snow theme picture book published by North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada

Great for school-aged children, Perfect Snow features a combination of Plasticine artwork complimented by ink and watercolour illustrations. It tells the story of the excitement of a snowy day at school and the students’ decision to work together and build “The World’s Greatest Totally Massive Snowman Fort”

Perfect Snow at

Perfect Snow at

cover art for SnowSnow written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Lauren Stringer
Snow theme picture book published by Harcourt, Inc.

What could be more wonderful for a young child than waking up to freshly fallen snow? Ms Rylant’s evocative writing and Ms Stringer’s lovely paintings beautifully capture the wonder and delight of a snowy day in Snow. An exuberant young girl shares the special day with a friend and her grandmother. This beautiful book will surely leave you wishing for a magical snowy day to share with your youngster.

Snow at

Snow at

image of The Snow Day book cover artThe Snow Day written and illustrated by Komako Sakai
Snow theme picture book published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic

When an overnight snowfall grounds flights and forces the cancellation of kindergarten, a young rabbit spends a quiet day at home in The Snow Day. Mommy and her child play cards together and enjoy a day together at home. Late in the evening, when the snowfall stops, the two go outside for some quiet play in the cold, snowy darkness. Gentle, evocative illustrations beautifully depict the peace of a snowy day. A great choice for kindergarten.

The Snow Day at

The Snow Day at

image of cover art for The Three Snow Bears
The Three Snow Bears written and illustrated by Jan Brett
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

When Baby Bear’s soup is too hot and burns his mouth, he and his snow bear family leave their igloo and go for a stroll. Meanwhile, Aloo-ki is searching for her sled dogs. She happens upon the bear family’s igloo and is soon inside, tasting soup, trying on boots and sleeping in Baby Bear’s “just right” bed. Beautifully illustrated, this is a truly inspired adaption of Goldilocks’ story.

The Three Snow Bears at

The Three Snow Bears at

For New Readers

image of cover art for Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time, an early reader set on a snowy dayHoundsley and Catina and the Quiet Time – Written by James Howe, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

When Houndsley and Catina are unexpectedly snowed in, Houndsley is quite happy to relax and enjoy The Quiet Time. Catina is not nearly as content. She has things to do and places to go. Eventually the two settle in and spend an enjoyable day playing board games, baking cookies and writing poetry. In the evening, they join their friends for a snowy outdoor concert. The musicians “began to play so softly that the notes fell on the listening ears like snowflakes on waiting tongues, gently, softly, there for a flicker before melting away.”

Terrific for newly independent readers, the Houndsley and Catina books are also a very good choice for children who are ready to enjoy a longer read-aloud book.

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time at

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time on

Snow and Snowmen Theme Printables for Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade School

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Step 3 – Choose from any of our 250 free downloads, including these free Snow and Snowman theme printables.

Storytime Standouts #free #printable sequencing activity 'Making a Snowman' for #prek #kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Building a Snowman Sequencing Activity

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Snowman

Snow theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Winter Picture Dictionary

Free printable Winter picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

Storytime Standouts #free #printable Snowman writing paper for kids #kindergarten #prekWinter and Snow Theme Printables for Preschool and Kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Counting Snowmen Rebus

image of PDF icon  A Winter Alphabet

Free printable wintertime theme letters for preschool or kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Winter Fun Word Search

A free printable Winter theme word search for children

Winter Preschool or Kindergarten Circle Time

image of PDF icon  Winter Snow Fingerplays

Winter snow fingerplays for preschool and kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Five Little Snowmen

Use as a fingerplay or felt board story

image of PDF icon  Frosty the Snowman

We invite you to check out Storytime Standouts’Snow and Snowmen Board on Pinterest

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Snow, Snowmen and Ice for Preschool and Kindergarten on Pinterest.

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