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“Where the Wild Things Are” is a good multidisciplinary place to read, compare/contrast, sort monster types, and learn about islands
Social Studies, Math, Language Arts
Title – “Where the Wild Things Are” Sorting
By – Pam Powers
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Math, Social Studies
Grade Level – K
1. Introduce the book, ” Where the Wild Things Are ” by Maurice Sendak. Tell the children that it is about monsters; discuss whether monsters are scary or funny (mention the “Sesame Street” monsters like Cookie Monster, Grover, Zoe, and other “funny” ones).
2. Discuss the ways that monsters look different, just like people. Point out the children wearing red, those with brown hair, etc. Ask the children to look closely at the monsters in the pictures while you’re reading, but not to say anything yet.
3. LANGUAGE ARTS: Read the book through. Then talk about the monsters. Were they scary? (Many will say “yes” at first.) Did they change? (Kids may be stumped.) Show the pictures of Max being carried by the monsters and the way they dance and play. Talk about feelings and emotions (the monsters and Max were not sure about each other at first, but then they grew to like each other and play together). Kids can draw monster faces depicting an emotion.
If you have puppets of these characters, you can use them to act out different feelings. Let the children take turns “being” one of the monsters that Max meets.
4. MATH: Using the pictures of the monsters playing, ask the children to help you group the monsters. It will help a lot if you are able to photocopy these pages in color, cut out the individual monsters, and use on a felt board. Sort the monsters by ones with tails, ones with claws on their toes, ones with stripes, ones with scales, etc. Get creative! This is a great way to introduce sets and subsets.
5. SOCIAL STUDIES/GEOGRAPHY: Ask the children where the story takes place (setting). Most will probably say an island. Show pictures of islands in the ocean and discuss the way they are separated from other land and are surrounded by water. Islands can be in fresh water lakes or in the sea. On the San Juan Islands outside of Washington State, people may use boats as their means of transportation. On an island like Manhattan, people would take their car or public transportation to reach the mainland. On tropical islands, there may be no people at all.
Ask the children to describe the place where the wild things are in their own words. What might be found in this place?
HAVE FUN! I love this book!
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