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This week we have chosen to feature a series of books from a local Michigan author, Deborah Diesen. Diesen’s The Pout-Pout Fish was selected for the 2009 Michigan Reads! literacy program and the series has since blossomed to include board books, picture books, activity books, a sight word game and chapter books. With a four-year-old ready to embrace letters, rhyming and sight words, I am thrilled with the number of books and options available. In addition to the amazing illustrations, this Pouting fish and his stories flow in a rhythmic pattern and contain a signature repetitive phrase that lends itself well for interactive reading. Many of the titles in the series are excellent for helping children explore simple feelings making them a wonderful social/emotional learning resource. These books can also be used to open up a dialogue with your children discussing not only their emotions but recognizing the emotions of others as well as exploring different emotions and learning new ways to express themselves.
Read as many books from the series that you have on hand or find them in read alouds on YouTube. Look online for ideas and activities to do with the series and to further extend the fun and learning, you can:
Since summer is just around the corner, and hopefully we’ll be able to safely leave the house, a fantastic book for all ages to read is The Pout-Pout Fish Far, Far from Home. Anyone who has ever traveled can relate to the mishaps of detours and bumps in the road. Make sure to pay attention to the illustrations, which are full of humorous details and puns. For a fun activity, discuss where the family would want to go on vacation and then consult a map to see if this would be feasible. Even if it’s not feasible (my daughter insists we need to visit Paris,) perhaps see if there are travel guides available to order and order some. It’s always fun to receive mail. If the location is not doable, make alternative plans that you might actually be able to visit. Research the location and what it has to offer and then plan an itinerary, perhaps locating points of interest along the way. Then make a list of what will be needed and what you just want to bring along. If your child can’t write what they want to bring, have them make a list in pictures or stickers. There are so many possible activities for this title that can be both fun and educational. Think outside the box and remember that learning often occurs when you least expect it.
So, spend some time this summer exploring the series and let your child know that….
Oh, and be sure to keep an eye on our Instagram (@btbliteracy) to see photos of our Pout-Pout Fish inspired extended activities!
Happy reading and learning!
-Kate @ BTBL
We are three generations that seek a way to get back to basics. It’s not that we eschew technology, but sometimes simpler is better, especially in raising our children. Mom was a reading teacher, Amanda is an early childhood educator and Kate a children’s literature specialist and former school librarian along with the latest additions, a daughter (now 4) for Kate, and two sons (now 1 and a newborn) for Amanda. We advocate reading aloud, the simple toys that use imagination and encourage creativity and learning in the kitchen, which can be a fun mess but also teaches life skills. Join us in raising healthy, happy, inquisitive and intelligent children.
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.