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For students in kindergarten, Where the Wild Things Are is a favorite book and a true children's classic. Kindergarten children love this story as they can easily identify with Max and his quarrel with his mother.
To introduce the book, gather the students around and look at the cover. Ask them to describe what they see. Ask them to guess what the story is about. Look at the author's name. Point out that he also drew the pictures. Share the book and then discuss: Why was Max sent to his room? Are the things that happened to Max real or imaginary?
Assessment of oral language:
- Are the students demonstrating understanding and critical awareness of the story?
- Are the students listening and responding to exchange ideas, to express opinions?
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As a class, generate a list on chart paper of things that the monsters are doing. e.g. I can hop. I can jump.
Provide students with large sheets of paper. Ask them to draw a picture of Max in the middle of the paper and print his name. Around the picture of Max, invite the students to draw pictures of their favorite monsters from the book. Encourage them to make each one different. Ask the students to print a pattern sentence from the chart for each monster. For students that do not yet write independently, print the sentence for them and ask them to underprint or overprint the words.
Assessment of writing activity:
- Did the students demonstrate awareness that the writing conveys a message?
- Did the students use classroom resources to help with their writing such as the pattern sentences from the chart?
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Provide students with sheets of paper divided into 4 parts. In each section invite students to draw Max and some monsters. Then ask them to print the appropriate equation. e.g. in the first section the child has drawn Max and three monsters the equation would be 1 + 3 = 4.
Look at each 'set' . Discuss which set has the most monsters.
Assessment of mathematics activity:
- Did the students demonstrate an understanding of numbers?
- Were the students able to compare the 'sets' of numbers and identify more or less?
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Provide students with three sheets of paper (or a large sheet divided into three sections). On the first section ask students to draw what happens before Max is sent to his room. What things does he do, what does he say? On the next section ask students to draw what happens in Max' room. Remind students of the boat, the trees and the monsters. On the third section draw how the story ends. Is it a happy ending?
- Did the students understand the concept of before and after?
- Did the students follow directions correctly?
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Art and Craft Activities
Provide mask-shapes on light card and invite the students to make a mask depicting a monster. Provide junk materials such as fabric scraps, felt, wallpaper scraps, buttons, ribbons so that the students may decorate their masks. Cut out the eyes and add ribbon ties. Have students share their creations using their best monster sounds.
Provide clean foam meat trays and invite students to use a variety of junk materials to create a picture of their favorite part of the story.
Assessment of art and craft activities:
- Did the students choose a variety of materials?
- Did the student show imagination?
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Finishing the Lesson Activities
Divide students into groups of four or six and provide them with large sheets of paper, crayons, markers, paint and paint brushes. Ask each group to make a picture of the wild rumpus.
Share the finished pictures with the whole class. Discuss the feelings that they had about the book as well as what Max's feelings were at the beginning and at the end of the story. Discuss whether the students consider the phrase "Where the Wild Things Are" as a good title for the book. Why or why not? Would kindergarten students act like that at their house?
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Author's own classroom experiences