A favorite book of mine is the classic A Hole Is To Dig (1952) by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Maurice Sendak before Wild Things made him a star. Anyone who teaches 5-year-olds can hear their voices in this "first book of definitions," just as I hear them all the time in my classroom.
Last week the Minnows and I were getting familiar with some images and vocabulary from the story of the first Thanksgiving. (I'm thankful for my subscription to Scholastic's Let's Find Out, which comes with lots of handy whiteboardable resources.) As we compared a Pilgrim boy's Plymouth Settlement house and a Wampanoag girl's home, we noticed the difference in roofs (rooves?), peaked vs. domed.
Then I indicated the rectangular prism on top of Pilgrim Boy's roof (no, I did not call it a rectangular prism. We have not reached Marking Period 3, Indicator 3.K.A.4 , "Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts and other attributes.") So I pointed to the chimney and said, "Look at this part of the house. Who knows what that is?"
So excited, Tonya shot up her hand. "I know! It's for Santa to come down and bring the presents!"
Christmas Eve Incantation
go, magic smoke, go high, go high
go rise into the Christmas sky
show the way to Santa's sleigh
burn a path to Christmas day!
oh chimney, open up your mouth
swallow Santa"s north and south
keep your ashes to yourself
bring Santa down into my house!
You can tell we've been reading Bartholomew and the Oobleck lately, can't you?