Of course, we start by reading the book.
Then we make our own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Trees. My first few years teaching I traced all of the leaves ahead of time, since we do this the second week of school and I usually don't start teaching my students to use tracers until September. Thankfully, one of my teammates had the brilliant idea of copying the leaves on green paper (why didn't I think of that?). It's a total time saver.
In the past I've had my students draw a picture of their favorite part of the story. This year I spiced it up a little bit by asking them to choose their favorite letter. They were so sweet about trying to figure out which letter they liked best. The first letter of their own names seems to have been a popular choice.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Favorite Letter Writing
After we finish I hang them in the hallway. They look so cute! When they come down I save them for the children's end of the year scrapbooks.
I also like to incorporate science into our unit. Since we start off our year learning about our five senses I incorporate science by having my students observe a coconut. We begin by observing the outside of the coconut.
The students look at the coconut, feel the coconut, smell the coconut, and listen to the coconut (we shake it to hear the milk swishing around and we hit it against our tables to hear the sound it makes).
We record our observations on a chart that is divided into 5 columns (one for each of the senses).
Unfortunately I did not take any photos of our chart. After making the class chart the students record their observations, using the sheet below. They draw a picture of the outside of the coconut, and complete a sentence that describes the coconut.
Coconut Observation Sheet
After this we crack the coconut open. My students look forward to doing this all week. In fact, this year they were very concerned when I loaned my hammer to another class the morning we were supposed to crack it open. I had to reassure them that we would get our hammer back. J
After we crack it open we look at the coconut milk. Then we observe the inside of the coconut using our 5 senses, including taste. Then we record our observations on the class chart. Lastly, the students complete the bottom of their observation sheet by drawing a picture of the inside of the coconut and finishing a sentence that describes it.