Curious George is one of the most beloved story book characters; always a favorite for my kids. These activities are great to do alongside reading the stories and will guide your students through an exploration of some of his exploits.
Why is George so Curious?
Before jumping into the Curious George activities, have a discussion with your class about what it means to be curious. Give them your textbook definition, but then let them share some examples of things they are curious about. Or, maybe they even have a story when someone or something got into a little trouble because they were so curious!
Tell students that you are curious as to why "the man with the yellow hat" doesn't have a name. Brainstorm a list of what they think his name is, and why the author does not tell us his name.
If your students have computer access during play time, the Curious George site on PBS has great, kid-friendly games.
Curious George and the Pizza
"Curious George and the Pizza" is about the mischief George gets into when he and the man in yellow hat visit their favorite pizza restaurant. After reading the book, here are some activities to accompany the book.
- Discuss with the students that an important part of many stories is the problem faced by a character and how they come up with a solution. Discuss the problem in Curious George and the pizza (The delivery man was late and the gates were locked.) and what the solution was discovered (George was able to climb over the locked gate to deliver the pizza.).
- Discuss cause and effect and come up with examples from the story. One example is: cause: George was scared; effect: he ran and hid in the back of the delivery truck. Connect this with the problem/solution discussion. If George had not hid in the truck, he would not have been there to help the delivery driver.
- Have students draw a large circle on a piece of paper and come up with their own pizza recipe. They can draw and color their toppings on their pizza and come up with a catchy name for their new creation.
Introduce or review fractions. Use the circle fraction templates to work on basic fraction concepts. You can work on naming fractional parts, comparing fractions, or ordering fractions. Would the students like 1/3 of a pizza or 1/8?
- Make a Curious George acrostic poem with the class. Talk about using juicy, descriptive words.
Curious George Goes to School
In "Curious George Goes to School" George gets himself into trouble when he attends open house at his school. George is left alone in the art room, and then he finds himself in the middle of a mess.
Discussion Questions and Activities:
- What would you like to share with your parents if they came to school for an open house?
- Did George's curiosity get him into trouble this time?
- Make a cause and effect chart on the board. List the following causes, and see if students can come up with the effect: (1) The man in the yellow hat has to talk with George's teacher. (2) Alice's painting is missing. (3) George gets hot. (4) George finds Alice's painting.
- Have students make their own paintings of George getting into mischief. Make a star chart just like the one in the book. Students can add a star next to their name as they complete their painting.
Curious George Makes Pancakes
In this book, Curious George finds himself getting into a sticky mess at a pancake breakfast fundraiser.
- To continue with your discussion about cause and effect, talk about the following causes and what the effect was: (1) George smelled something good. (2) George saw a basket of blueberries. (3) George added blueberries to the pancakes. (4) George was sticky from the syrup. (5) George made the fundraiser the most successful ever.
- Students can make place mats and add pictures of their favorite breakfast foods. Laminate to help them last longer.
- Have a pancake breakfast and invite families to attend. The easiest way to do this would be to have parents sign up to make batches of pancakes ahead of time and bring them to school. Heat up batches in the microwave just before serving. Have other parents sign up to bring syrup and milk and orange juice. Students can even wear their pajamas to school for the event.
- Talk with the class about why people hold fundraisers. Think about a local charity that your students can identify with and brainstorm ideas for an easy fundraiser. It doesn't have to be complicated, even just a bake sale. It's not about the amount of money raised, it's about teaching the children about giving to those less fortunate.
- Work with the class to make up your own version of "5 Little Monkeys" that go with one of the books.