Sunday, April 18, 2010

In the Tall Tall Grass

I really love the book "In the Tall Tall Grass" by Denise Flemming! -- It's a great way to talk about different kinds of bugs and other backyard creatures (although I don't think I'd like to have a snake in my backyard...), there are fun onomatopoeic* words, (my favorite being ritch ratch!) and there are lots of opportunities for the children to hear, identify and use rhyming words (the bees hum strum and drum).

 The other great thing is the main creature that we follow along each page is a caterpillar, so not only do they get lots of chances to learn the vocabulary, they also get a chance to practice using multisyllabic words! A lot of our students have trouble saying all syllables in words. Caterpillar, having four syllables, can be hard to say--some kids may say "capillar" or even just "capar." Talking about the ca-ter-pill-ar many times, clapping each syllable and emphasizing each syllable will help the student say the whole word.

We used "In the Tall Tall Grass" during both circle time and small group rotations this week to help teach the students bug vocabulary!

Vocabulary- bugs, caterpillar, bee, bird
Literacy skills
Requesting (for example- I want a bee)
Phonological awareness (rhyming)
Fine motor

For starters, we read the book during circle time, following the caterpillar through the tall grass and looking at all the critters he encounters until the moon comes out. We labeled the vocabulary items and matched them to the pictures on our vocabulary bulletin board. This was also a great time to ask the complicated question "which animals are not on the board?" (like snakes, moles, bats, etc)

Then, during small groups, the students got to make their own tall tall grass scene!
We gathered our materials-
 brown paper for our dirt, left over Easter grass, die cut flowers, a variety of bug stickers and stamps, glue

The students requested their grass (I want grass) and glued it on, and some flowers too. Then they requested their bugs (I want a bee, I want a spider, etc). We snuck in a counting activity by having the students hold out their fingers as we put the stickers on their fingers--1, 2, 3, 4, 5! (I love how fingers make for the perfect counting prop!!) Then they put them onto their scene, using those little muscles in their fingers.

We had a lot of fun making our own little world for bugs!

*Big kudos for you if you give me the definition of an onomatopoeia!! :)

Please leave a comment to let me know what you think! I love hearing what you have to say!!


  1. This is one of my favorite books! I love the tall grass artwork. And no, I have no idea what onomatopoeia is:)

  2. Love the art project, it's so cute!

    Onomatopoeia is a word that sounds like the sound it represents. Japanese has a lot more of these than English does.

  3. I too really enjoy Denise Flemings books. They're great for a wide range of ages.
    And they inspire fun art work like the one you did.

  4. Yay, Brandi!! :) *ding ding ding* ;)

    Thanks everyone!