This simple book with its expressive full color illustrations allows preschoolers to practice a variety of physical behaviors and to have a lesson on opposite words. Not only that; but it gives the young students an opportunity to learn about some new animals. All this in a book with only 31 pages!
Preschool activities to use with book I’m As Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood can be used when doing a lesson on opposites, a lesson on behavior or movement words or an animal lesson. Audrey Wood has teamed up again with her husband, illustrator Don Wood with whom she created The Napping House, Piggies and others.
First the movement/behaviors. Read the book all the way through one time so that your students can savor the writing and illustrations. Then read it again and focus on the words describing the action. Let your students move/behave the way the word tells them: quick, slow, small (Can you be very, very small?), large (Can you be very, very large?), sad, happy, nice, mean, cold, hot, weak, strong, loud, quiet, tough (How can you show that you are tough?), gentle (How can you show that you are gentle?), brave, shy, tame, wild, lazy and busy.
Were the students unsure about the way to act with some of the words? Say, for example, they are not sure about how to act “tame”. Write the words “wild” on one side of the board and “tame” on the other. Ask the children to brainstorm some things that might be wild and some that might be tame. Wild things may be easier to start on first. When they have a list of a few tame things, talk about how those things behave in a calm way. They don’t scare people. You may mention that someone or something who is “gentle” may act in a similar way. Some animals can be tame. Some animals, may seem tame at times, but are always meant to be wild.
If you are doing an opposite theme, this is one book that you can use. What’s good about this book is that it has a few opposites that you may not normally include for preschoolers: wild and tame, weak and strong, tough and gentle, brave and shy, lazy and busy. As you read the book, pause to ask the children which two words are opposites. They should mention: quick and slow, small and large, sad and happy, nice and mean, cold and hot, weak and strong, loud and quiet, tough and gentle, brave and shy, tame and wild, lazy and busy.
Animals and Opposites
As you do another examination of I’m as Quick as a Cricket, make sure you take time to mention some of the animals and the way they are included in the book. In fact, if you used the book earlier in the year, you may want to pull it out again when you are doing an animal unit.
Here’s some conversations you may start:
1. What do the ant and cricket have in common? They are both insects. They are both small.
2. What is a good word to describe a cricket noise? Chirping
3. Is a snail an insect? No, it is a mollusk and can crawl inside its shell. It moves very slowly.
4. Do you think the basset is really sad? No, that’s just the way he looks. He is a hound dog, good sense of smell, and short legs.
5. The page that has the phrase “mean as a shark” shows a shark that does not look like the sharks we usually see. It is a hammerhead shark with eyes and nostrils at both ends of the “hammer”.
6. The toad is labeled as cold because it is an amphibian–a cold-blooded animal. And maybe the water is cold, too!
7. What is a lark? A singing bird.