Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blasting off the Year with High Flying Ideas!!

Back to school picture books and lessons are abundant this time of year!  We all love teaching Chrysanthemum and crumpling the heart to teach our students about caring for other's feelings and making name patterns so that we can see how unique we all really are.  We all love teaching The Kissing Hand and making little hand print paintings with heart stickers on them.  We all love teaching First Day Jitters and the big reveal that the teacher is actually just as nervous as the kids!  The list continues with Case of the Bad Stripes, Wemberly Worried, Wodney Wat, Molly Lou Melon, Tacky the Pengiun, and more!!

Today, I am hoping to share with you a story that you may not know about.  This is one of my favorite stories to read to my kids and I have a great lesson to go with it!

The story is Too Loud Lily.

This story is about a little hippo named Lily that is just too loud.  Everywhere she goes, she is told to be quiet because she is too loud. She starts school and seems to ruin everything and get everyone into trouble because she is just so loud.  Then she meets her music teacher that actually WANTS her to be loud.  I love this story because I am a mom of three very LOUD boys and can relate! =)

I love using this story to teach self control.  I explain to students that it is perfectly okay that Lily likes to be loud but she has to learn when it is okay to be loud and when she should try to control it.  She gets sent to the principal's office when she is too loud during class.  This is a time when it is not okay to be so loud because the other kids can't learn.  But when she is singing a song with her music teacher she is supposed to be loud.  This is a time when it is okay.

After our discussion, I introduce our self control bubbles.  This is just an ordinary bottle of bubbles from the Dollar Tree.  It is what we do with them that makes them help us with self control.

First I have the kids pretend to be Lily while I blow bubbles at them.  They get to run around the room being loud and popping all of the bubbles.  Then we practice being the Lily that uses self control while I blow bubbles.  This time the kids must be perfectly still and quiet while I am blowing bubbles at them.  This is really difficult for many of my littles.  Popping bubbles is just irresistible.  That is how these become self control bubbles.  Students must learn to control their urge to pop the bubbles, just like Lily needs to learn to control her urge to be loud.  Are there times when it is okay to pop the bubbles (or be loud)?  Sure! 

We also like to make some charts.  We brainstorm different scenarios and discuss when we should use self control and when we can let our urges go.  For example, we make a list of times when it is okay to be loud and when we should be quiet.  We make lists of times when it is okay to run and when it is better to walk.  We make lists of when it is okay to hit someone and when it is not (haha, that is a trick question!).

The great thing is that we can pull our bubbles and charts out at any time as a reminder.  One of my favorites is to take the bubbles with us as we walk down the hall.  I blow bubbles at them while they are walking down the hall, but they are not allowed to pop them.  Then, when we get outside to recess, I let them run and pop as many as they want!

Now blast off to another great idea!


  1. I absolutely must have that book! What a wonderful idea! Thanks so much, Jessica!

  2. How precious!! I'm sending this title over to our music teacher right now!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

  3. Never heard of this book but I love it! And you special bubble activity! Definitely going to share with my mentee! :-)
    BigTime Literacy

  4. What a fantastic idea!! I love that your activity actually lets the kids practice what they discussed with you! I've got to try this one!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  5. I have not read this book. I am really excited to read it and now I have a lesson to go with it!!
    Curious Firsties

  6. I think you may have mentioned every single on of my favorite back-to-school books in this post. Too Loud Lily is a great book! The bubble analogy is so powerful. Kids can really understand what it means to use self-control after participating in this activity.
    Read With Me ABC

  7. Too Loud Lily is such a cute book! Great activity to connect to it, too. Thanks for sharing! ;)
    Literacy Loving Gals

  8. What a great idea! I could so see how kids would really enjoy this lesson, and this book is adorable! It is going on my wish list for my son and his friends, and they are 10!

    Reading Toward the Stars