The Fathers Are Coming Home by Margaret Wise Brown
September 11, 2011 in Creative Writing activities, Elementary Educators, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Shared Writing Tags: picture books about family, picture books for preschoolers
First I would like to announce my winner of the Mari L. McCarthy’s e-book on journaling. It is KATE! From Kate’s comment, I can tell she is a journaler (is that a word?), and so I am very happy she won the book! Good luck to both Kate and Mari.
Second, my little one has her first cold. UGH! I realize this is no big deal, but I am a worry-wart parent; and I just feel sorry for the little thing trying to breathe through her nose and then through her mouth. I know how crappy I feel when I have a cold, and so I can only imagine poor Katie. But anyway, my post is short and sweet because I have been up with her tonight. Then our kitchen sink is leaking, from underneath!!!!!, and so I was trying to help my husband with that. All of these excuses. . . Anywho on to the book. . .
I chose to write about The Fathers are Coming Home to keep with my father theme from last week and Bob Shea’s Oh, Daddy!. Katie received this Margaret Wise Brown book as a gift, and she loves it. It is so simple (maybe too simple for some, but that’s why younger children may love it) with wonderful illustrations by Stephen Savage. It celebrates a father’s love–a human father, a bunny father, a fish father, and so on.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. If you are in a classroom, a book like this can be difficult for some students if they live with their mothers only or if their fathers are deceased. I like how Brown brings in the animal fathers, too; and so if you have students like this, you can focus more on the animals when you discuss the book than on the human father in the book. If you don’t have anyone in your class who might be upset with this book, you can always do a shared writing activity, such as: With my dad, I like to _______________________________.
2. What other animal fathers do children know about? Could they write a page or two (as a class) adding some more animal fathers to the book? Study the pages about animals, and how Margaret Wise Brown included them in the story. Then, write a page or two about a new animal.
3. I saw one mom on Amazon.com talk about how her child likes to count the kids in each illustration as all the fathers have different amounts of children. So, you can do a math type activity here, too. Once you count the children, you can ask questions: “Who has the most?” “HOw many more does _____ have than _____?” and so on.