Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Advanced Level Products

I think all Kindergarten students are capable of more than we give them credit for. Every year I change the chapter books I use for read-alouds. Sometimes I go with something new, sometimes the classics work, every class is different but I am always reading to them a story several grade levels above their recommended level. This is fabulous for building vocabulary and listening comprehension skills.

Anyway, we're reading "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and I was very proud of the projects they made. Before we got to the chapters where Willy Wonka shows off his magical inventions-I asked my kids to invent their our out-of-this-world candy. They decorated the triorama and then modeled their candy out of clay. I also had them write about their creations. One invented a candy cane that lasts forever, one a chocolate that looks and tastes like a hot dog and my favorite-gum that makes you smarter! Who couldn't use some of that.

I think this is a really good example of asking kids to apply what they are learning and it's an activity that fits right along with their ability levels.


  1. I am impressed that you're reading, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to kindergarten children. Since preschool age, I read chapter books to my own children, but knew that they weren't doing the same thing in their kindergarten classes.

    Now I'm a sub, and have never seen a chapter book when I'm in the younger-grade classes.

    I'm sure your kids love it, and it teaches them to sit still for longer periods, and pay attention to a story thread over days.

  2. Thanks for your comment! I truly believe in reading above grade-level text to children of any age. I think it's the best way to build vocabulary as well as for the reasons you noted.

    I have fond memories of my mom reading chapter books to us when we were little. My students get so excited to hear more of the story. We have a time set aside just before lunch I ask them to make a circle on the carpet and one of them will get the book and they all just sit there listening intently. I love it! As soon as we finish a story they want to know who they will meet next.

  3. I agree that we should read more advanced books. I am currently reading the Far Away Tree by Enid Blyton to my year 1 class.