Classroom Activity Inspired by Frederick
by Alana Pedalino and Hisami Aoki
Frederick’s powerful poetry helps his fellow field mice visualize spring, warmth, and happiness—and ultimately he helps them all survive the brutal winter!
Now, let your students experience the same power of poetry with this engaging Color Collage classroom activity. Here’s how:
Give each student a worksheet with a word bank and “color bubble.” Download it here:
Now put your students in the field mice’s shoes by encouraging them to close their eyes while you call upon your inner Frederick! You can read aloud from the text:
“Close your eyes,” said Frederick,
as he climbed on a big stone.
“Now I send you the rays of the sun. Do you feel how their golden glow…”
And as Frederick spoke of the sun
the four little mice
began to feel warmer.
Was it Frederick’s voice?
Was it magic?
Or describe spring in your own words. Here’s a sample script that kindergarten and first grade teacher Brian Smith uses with his class:
Then spring came. The blanket of white snow had melted away so that the new green could be seen. (What would the green be in this sentence?) The air smelled like the evergreen pine trees. (What did you just hear should be in the picture?) And the dandelions danced in the breeze. (Does anybody know what dandelions are?) The yellow daffodils looked like an audience lined up in rows waiting for the cool stream to sing its springtime song. (What two things did we hear in that sentence that we should add to the picture in our mind and on our paper?) The children were running in the field like newborn deer! (What was running in the field?)
Students can visualize your spring scene by focusing on the colors they imagine. They can then craft their own Color Collage by decorating and coloring their color bubbles with whatever they like (e.g., crayons, color pencils, construction paper). Finally, students can use words to describe the scene by cutting and pasting from the word bank provided, or write their own!
Check out these Color Collages created by Brian Smith’s students in Taylorsville, North Carolina.
We hope these Color Collages help sustain your students through the winter months—or any tough period—until the warmer seasons arrive. And don’t forget to share your students’ creations on social media with the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs. We love seeing what you come up with!
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