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Ideas for Using Books to Support Social Emotional Development
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book coverOn Monday When It Rained

by Cherryl Kachenmeister
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1989

On Monday When It Rained is a great book for talking about feelings and emotions. The story is about a boy and what happens to him every day for a week. Each day, based on what happens, the boy talks about how it makes him feel. The pictures are very expressive and label a range of feelings and emotions (disappointed, embarrassed, proud, scared, angry, excited, lonely).

Examples of activities:

Concept of the Day: Rain

After reading the story, introduce the concept (rain) by asking if anyone remembers what happened to the little boy in the book when it rained. How did it make him feel when it rained? Ask how they feel when it rains. What do they like to do when it rains? Have there been times when they felt happy when it rained or disappointed or sad? What was happening when they felt this way?Sometimes rain can make you happy or sad! What does it sound like when it rains? Have a coffee can (with a lid) that has been filled with rice or rice on a pie tin. Shake the can or tin and ask if it sounds like rain. Have other instruments so children can make rain sounds (cymbals or cookie sheets for thunder, or wood blocks and sticks—can also tap fingers on the floor to sound like rain, rub hands together, pat legs, stomp feet for thunder). Children can chant:

Rain, rain go away.
Come again another day
We want to go outside and play.
Rain, rain go away!

Art: Let each child color coffee filters with magic markers. Place the filters on newspaper. Use a spray bottle containing clear water and have each child gently spray (“rain on”) the coffee filter. Watch how the colors blend together and form new colors. Allow filters to dry. As the children are making their filters, ask how they think the boy in the book would feel if he got to make rain filters. Remind them that he was disappointed when it rained- do you think this would make him happy or would he still be disappointed because he couldn’t go outside?

Make-Believe: Put 4 or 5 items in a paper sack that are related to rain. Possible items might include an umbrella, a sponge, a towel, a raincoat, boots, and a toy boat. Tell the children that they are going to create a story about rain (using all of the items in the bag) and how rain makes them feel. Let a child pull an item out of the sack and have everyone label the item. After all of the items have been removed and labeled, brainstorm as a group how the rain story should begin. If needed provide some suggestions for beginning the story that the children can choose from or modify. Write the beginning sentence on a piece of chart paper. Then take turns letting each child add a sentence to the story that includes something about one of the items that was pulled from the bag, what they might do with that item in the rain and how it might make them feel. After each child has had a chance to contribute at least one sentence, read the story aloud.

Science: Have materials for children to make a daily weather log. Children can draw rain, sun, snow, etc. for the log. There should also be a space on the weather log to report how the weather makes you feel. Children can draw faces (happy, sad, excited, etc...) for the log. As children are making the weather log, have conversations about the little boy in the book and how he felt when it was raining outside. Ask the children how they think he would feel if it was snowing outside? When the weather chart is finished, it can be used on a daily basis during large group time to discuss the weather as well as how the weather makes everyone feel!

Concept of the Day: Sharing

Introduce the concept of the day by asking the children if they remember what happened when the boy went to his cousin Janie’s house (she wouldn’t let him play with her new dump truck!). How did that make him feel? Ask the children what it mean to share? Discuss sharing and ask how they feel when friends won’t share with them. Ask for examples of when they have shared with their friends. Provide a snack such as a graham cracker square that can easily be broken into two pieces.Give a graham cracker square to every other child. Discuss how some children do not have a graham cracker and how the child with the graham cracker can share with the child next to him. Then have the child with the graham cracker break it into two pieces and share it with the child next to him.

Sing the Sharing Song to the tune of “Skip To My Lou”. They can continue to sing this song throughout the day as they share toys, crayons, etc during the day – just change the word for cracker to match whatever they are sharing!

Share, share, share your crackers
Share, share, share your crackers
Share, share, share your crackers
Share your crackers today!

Or use the sharing rhyme (Spark, 2001) or make up your own song/rhyme!

If you don’t want to give what you have to a bear!
Just look for a friend and share, share, share
Sharing with a friend lets them know that you care,
So look for a friend and share, share, share!

Music/Movement: Share space. Use carpet squares, hula-hoops, or make circles or squares on the floor with masking tape. There should be fewer carpet squares than children. Explain that the children will move around to music but when the music stops - everyone will find a carpet square to stand on and share with other children. Show the children how several people can be on one carpet square together at the same time. They will share the carpet square. Play music and encourage the children to move to the music (they can also sing “share, share, share your square” as they move to the music!). Stop the music and tell the children to find a carpet square to stand on. Remind them that more than one child will be on a square, they will need to share the space! Remove one of the carpet squares and again playa segment of music. When the music is stopped, each child shares a carpet square. Continue to remove a carpet square each time until there is only one carpet square (if you have a big enough space to have a huge square!) or 2 or 3 carpet squares left and all of the children share the same space. Make sure the squares are big enough to hold all of the children!

Art: Have several cardboard boxes for the children to make a train together. They can decorate the boxes and then put them together like a train (or any other object that might be interesting to them).You could also tie this back to the story when the boy talks about a zoo. They could put stuffed zoo animals in their “train” and ride them around the room. Have limited supplies available to support children in sharing the materials as they make their train together. Talk about sharing while the children are building and decorating their train. Provide specific comments or praise when children share. Ask how it makes them feel when they have to wait to use the object that they want. What are some other things they can do while they wait their turn and share the materials (work on another part of the box, use crayons while they wait for the markers, make streamers for the train, etc.)? Talk about how sometimes it is really hard to share!!

Sand (water) Table: Have sand in the water table and dump trucks or any materials where the children can scoop the sand and dump it out. Explain that they are going to play dumping sand like Janie did in the story. Have limited items so children have to share. Talk about the story and how the boy felt when his cousin didn’t share. Ask why they think she didn’t share her new dump truck. Explain that it is sometimes hard to share new toys when you haven’t had a chance to play with them yet. Ask what they think they might have done. Would they have shared their new toy with the boy?

Concept of the Day: Cookies

Introduce the concept of the day by asking children if they remember what happened to the little boy when he drank his milk really fast before he ate his cookies (he burped and was embarrassed!).Share a time when you did something that embarrassed you. Ask if there have been times when they felt embarrassed—what was happening? What kinds of cookies do they think the boy liked best?What are their favorite cookies? Ask the children if they feel sad, disappointed, angry or happy when they get to eat cookies.Have the children sit in a circle on the floor (some cookies are shaped like a circle too!). Play an adaptation of the "Hot Potato" game. As music plays, pass a cookie (not a real cookie—play cookie from housekeeping or round construction paper cookie) from child to child around the circle. Stop the music and the child holding the cookie when the music stops names her favorite cookie. Repeat until all the children have at least one opportunity to name their favorite cookies. Everyone can sing this song as they pass the “cookie” around to the tune of “Skip to My Lou”. As each child says their favorite cookie—change the last verse of the song (chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, oreos, etc.)Cookies. cookies, make me happy!Cookies. cookies, make me happy!Cookies. cookies, make me happy!I like chocolate chip!

Art: Make cookies out of play dough. Provide scissors, cookie cutters, and tools to make imprints in the play dough. Encourage the children to decorate their cookies with different feeling faces by making imprints in the dough or adding small pieces of play dough to the top of the cookie. Talk about the book and the boy as they make their feeling faces. Ask what feelings they are making and why.

Make-believe: Make no-bake cookies and share (remind them when you talked about sharing yesterday!) them with everyone in the class (No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies, Butterscotch Haystacks, Peanut Butter Balls, Cathedral Windows). Add sprinkles or other candies to make feeling faces on the cookies. Talk about feelings as children mix cookies, etc. Ask how it makes them feel to make cookies? To eat cookies? To share their cookies?

Concept of the Day: Monster

Introduce the concept of monsters by asking the children if they remember what the movie was about that the boy watched with his sister (big monster ate a whole building—the monster was green and had a long tail and scales!). Remind them that his sister tried to tell him that monsters aren’t really real—but … how did the monsters make him feel (scared!)? Ask how stories or movies about monsters make them feel? Have children share movies or stories that they have read about monsters and how it made them feel. Refer back to any books that you have read in class that had a monster. Talk about being scared and what that feels like. What kinds of things are scary to them?What do they do when they are scared?

Music/Movement: (Walk like monsters). Have the children create a name for 2 or 3 different monsters using feeling words (Hank the Happy Monster, Allie the Angry Monster, Lulu the Lonely Monster, etc.). Then brainstorm together how each monster might move. For example, Hank the Happy Monster might skip around and jump for joy, while Allie the Angry monster might move by stomping her feet and raising her arms above her head! Then create a game by saying that the children will move like the monsters you name. When you call out the name of one of the monsters, the children will move like that monster. Change the way the children move by calling out the name of different monster. Give verbal reminders as needed to help them remember how to move for each monster. You might want to play "monster" background music while the game is played.

Art: (Create a “feeling” monster). Let each child make a monster by using a paper cup or toilet/paper towel tubes and attaching various items to it such as yarn, buttons, pipe cleaner, dried beans, pom poms, pieces of paper, ribbon, rick rack, etc. Have children make “feeling” faces on their monsters– disappointed, embarrassed, proud, scared, angry, excited, lonely. Children can give their monsters a feeling name!

Concept of the day: Feelings

This would be the last day of the week—so the concept of the day is “feelings”. The children may be able to tell the story or act out the story (different children make faces to show how the boy was feeling and see if the other children can guess). You could also have them read their books if they made books with pictures of everyone in the class! Ask the children if they remember the different feelings that the boy felt as things happened to him during the week. Talk about the fact that feelings change all the time! We might come to school feeling a little lonely because we really didn’t want Dad to leave to go to work that day, but then someone might share a favorite toy with us and we wouldn’t be lonely any more – we would be excited! How did they feel when they came to school /childcare this morning? Do they still feel the same way or have their feelings changed. Sing, “If You’re Happy and You Know It” with all the different emotion and feeling words that you have talked about during the week (ex. if you’re proud and you know it, stand up tall!, if you’re scared and you know it, get some help, HEEELLLPPP!)

Art: Make a “feelings” collage by cutting pictures of different faces out of magazines and gluing them and other items such as sequins, glitter, etc., or make a mural of things that make them feel disappointed, proud, embarrassed, scared, angry, excited and lonely.

Music/Movement: Play a game like musical chairs only no one is eliminated. Place chairs in a circle. Make animal tags using pictures of zoo animals that children can hang around their neck (refer back to the book when the boy drew pictures of animals in the zoo – his teacher said his picture looked just like the elephant she saw at the zoo last summer and that made him feel proud!). For each animal tag have an identical tag to place on a chair. Allow children to select the animal tag they want to wear. Be sure each tag selected also has a tag (picture of the animal) taped to the seat or back of a chair. Have the children move around the chairs to music. When the music stops, each child sits on the chair that has a picture of a zoo animal that matches the zoo animal on the tag they are wearing. Have the children name the animals. Continue to play the game encouraging children to switch tags so they have an opportunity to match various animals. Encourage children to move like various animals (crawl or wiggle like a snake, walk tall and move like a giraffe, move fast (on four legs) like a lion, move like a elephant swaying your arms back and forth, hop like a kangaroo,etc.). Play music that sounds happy, sad, etc… and get them to move to the music based on the sound. Talk about feelings as they move. Ask why they are moving like they are to happy music, sad music, lonely music, etc…

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This material was developed by the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (Cooperative Agreement N. PHS 90YD0119). The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial projects, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. You may reproduce this material for training and information purposes.

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