P is for penguins and pinecones

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on December 8, 2012

in Children's Books, Easel, Penguin and Pinecone, Pine Paintbrushes

I came across this super sweet book titled, “Penguin and Pinecone” by Salina Yoon and just couldn’t wait to introduce it to the children. After reading the book by myself, I was able to think of so many possible ways we could expand on this book but knew we couldn’t possibly do them all…

“Penguin and Pinecone” is a story of friendship, kindness, and concern as well as a story that introduces concepts like forest, cold, hot, snow, climate, clothing, play, and more.  The book is very simply written and beautifully illustrated…

To give you a very short overview of the story, Penguin finds and befriends Pinecone but soon realizes that Pinecone can’t live in such a cold climate.  Penguin loads Pinecone up on his sled and takes him to the forest so he will be warm and safe. After time passes, the grown-up Penguin goes back to the forest and finds that his friend Pinecone has grown up into a beautiful pine tree…

Because we had a collection of pinecones gathered in our classroom, I decided to focus primarily on the pinecone aspect of this book. But honestly, I think I will read this book again during the winter because I feel like there is so much more this book shares that we could explore…

Mrs. Courtney and I decided to make each of the children a “pinecone pal” as a story token to take home complete with googly eyes and a little scarf (cut out of a sock).  Mrs. Courtney and I decided that the pinecone pals didn’t turn out all that cute like the one in the book but the children didn’t seem to mind. The one in the book didn’t have googly eyes and now I see why…

Before the children put their pinecone pals in their cubbies, Mrs. Courtney invited the children to compare the pinecones and organize the pinecones from smallest to largest…

After reading our book and comparing our pinecone pals, the children were off to explore pinecones and pine tree branches in some of our centers. At the easel, the children found pine paintbrushes to paint with….

I have a couple of pinetrees in my yard with lots of pine tree pieces on the ground so I gathered the pieces up and taped them to a craftstick to make pine paintbrushes. We were so busy all day that neither Mrs. Courtney or I managed to take a photo of the children painting at the easel but here is one example of how the paintings looked from using the pine paintbrushes…

We also invited the children to make a pinecone ornament. We wanted this process to be about color and glitter and so it was…

But I am going to wait and share our pinecone ornaments in my next post so I can share the entire process with you without making this post so long.  So be sure to check back tomorrow for more of our pinecone and pine tree explorations…

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