Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wockets in my Pockets - Celebrating Dr. Seuss

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!  

When I was about 4 years old my mother brought home The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss, and I was completely hooked. When she brought home The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, I was ecstatic. This was the late 50s, and the books were not only brand new, but they were a brand new kind of children's literature. Learning to read has not been the same since.

Book: There's a Wocket in my Pocket

This is not a narrative story - it's a list of wacky rhymes describing unusual household creatures. You could stretch this book by asking kids to make up their own wacky rhymes.

Action Song: Five Wockets in my Pocket
I adapted this song from Music with Mar, Five Fingers in my Pocket, which you can download or purchase on CD   

I've got five wockets in my pocket      ~   hold up five fingers
Five wockets hidden away                    ~   put hand in pocket or behind back
Five wockets in my pocket, Look!        ~  hold up four fingers (back of hand facing children)
Oh, no! One went away.                    count fingers, then start song over

I've got four wockets in my pocket, etc.        (Be sure to act this out with facial expressions,
                                                                      look disappointed when a wocket is missing, make
Repeat till you have NO wockets:                   your voice sound sad. The kids think this is hilarious.)

I've got no wockets in my pocket
No wockets hidden away
No wockets in my my pocket, Look
Oh! Five wockets here to stay!                 ~  pull hand out with five fingers showing

Book: Green Eggs and Ham

This was my son's favorite book when he was about 2 years old. He asked for it so often and I read it so many times, he memorized the text, and would sit and look through the pages and recite it. When I read this book in storytime many of the kids recited the lines along with me.

Action Rhyme:  The Green Egg Tree

I took the traditional rhyme, Way up High in the Apple Tree, and adapted it for this storytime. I also created a felt board to go along with it. 

Way up high in the green egg tree,             ~ point way up high
Two green eggs smiling at me!                   ~ make 2 fists up high 
I shook that tree so hard and fast,             ~ with both hands shake imaginary tree trunk
And Noooooooooo!!!!                            ~ look up horrified
Down came the green eggs                       ~ lower fists quickly toward your face
Splat! Splat!                                             ~  Splat hands over face

Here is my version of a Dr. Seuss tree, cut out from stiffened felt. The eggs have google eyes and smiles drawn on with a sharpie. The eggs are also double-sided.
During the last two lines of the rhyme, I took the eggs off the tree and held them way up high over my face and brought them down in slow motion while I cried, "No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!" Then I flipped them over on top of my eyes so the yolks showed. They look like big eyeballs. The kids loved it and laughed and laughed. And we had to do it again.

Book: The Cat in the Hat

Echo Song: Cat in the Hat
For this song I used the tune and style of the Crazy Moose Song (although I can never remember tunes correctly - the kids didn't seem to care). I dashed off new lyrics, and then realized after I printed the song sheets that I had mixed up both Cat in the Hat books (the cat cleans up the mess with Mom's dress in the second book.) Oh well, everybody makes mistakes.

Leader sings the line and kids echo. Each line is sung twice.

There was a great big cat               ~ make whiskers with fingers
He liked to wear a great big hat     ~ raise hand high over your head
There was a great big cat
He liked to wear a great big hat
Sing wayo wayo wayo                 ~ swish hands and arms back & forth over head
Sing wayo wayo wayo                ~  swish hands and arms back & forth in front of knees

The cat came in one rainy day     ~ hands wiggle down for rain
He had a lot of tricks to play       ~ rub hands together and smile
The cat came in one rainy day
He had a lot of tricks to play
Sing wayo wayo wayo
Sing wayo wayo wayo

But the goldfish said NO NO!    ~make fish with hands, shake finger sternly
Tell that Cat in the Hat to go!    ~Jerk thumb over shoulder
But the goldfish said NO NO!
Tell that Cat in the Hat to go!
Sing wayo wayo wayo
Sing wayo wayo wayo

Then that cat made such a mess   ~ wave arms haphazardly OR put hands on hips and frown
But he cleaned it with Mom's dress  ~ make feminine hourglass shape with hands
Then that cat made such a mess
But he cleaned it with Mom's dress
Sing wayo wayo wayo
Sing wayo wayo wayo

Now the cat has gone away           ~  wave bye bye
But he'll come back again someday   ~  smile knowingly
Now the cat has gone away
But he'll come back again someday
Sing wayo wayo wayo
Sing wayo wayo wayo

I was inspired to make wockets after reading Miss Alison is Blogging. I used a slightly different pattern for our wockets from 30 Minute Crafts and also included the yottle in a bottle craft from the same cool website. The kids colored their Wockets and Yottles and then I laminated the creatures and adults cut them out. My little Scotch desktop laminator is my new favorite toy.  On the back of the Wocket picture are instructions to take your Wockets in your pockets wherever you go, then take picture of the Wockets and send the digital pictures to the library. We will post the pictures on our website, FB page, and this storytime blog.

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