Family Magazine

The Mixed Up Chameleon

By Kristin1219 @kristinmarie55
Today during circle time in my preschool, I did the routine....we stretched our muscles, we talked about the calendar, we talked about the letter "A" and built a great list of A words together. The next thing we did, made my day. It left me smiling and remembering why preschoolers are so great and why I love teaching them so much! It also showed me the importance of books and how they can open up all kinds of learning opportunities for little ones! The Mixed Up Chameleon
We started by reading the book "The Mixed-Up Chameleon" by Eric Carle. I read the book out loud, showing the pages and describing the animals this chameleon wishes to become in a very in-awe fashion, all of them sat quietly watching, shouting out any "a" words they heard. Then came the giggles as the chameleon added more and more parts from various animals at the zoo, attempting to be all of them combined....for he felt he was VERY boring just being himself. As we came to the last page they even began telling me what they thought Eric Carle used to make the great pictures..."paint!", "markers!"....everyone had an opinion.
As the suggestions rounded out, I then asked the children...."Was the chameleon happy when he was all of those different animals?"--Nooooo! they called out to me. "Did the chameleon wish to be back to his old self?" Yessss!!! They cheered. "If you told the chameleon YOU wanted to be something else....what do you think he might tell you?" and surprisingly....a few of them called out, "To stay YOU!", "Be yourself!", "Don't change!" I was so happy they were finding meaning in this silly, mixed-up story!
I took it another step further and asked them if they could choose ONE animal to be mixed-ed up with, what would they choose and why? I got some amazing answers such as:
A lion so I can roar!
A cheetah so I can climb trees and run fast!
A fish...because I can NEVER catch them!
A bear so I can eat meat.
A donkey because they can kick.
A whale because they spout water out of their HEAD!
....every single child had a different, creative, fantastic answer that had me running for a piece of paper to write it all down. I was so proud of these little ones. They followed along with me and took this story from just a story to a discussion of art, animals and their traits, and morals of the story. I could not have imagined anything better from a group of 13 preschoolers. I dont think parents often realize just what might come from some simple questions you can ask your 3 year old. It is so important to not only read, read & read more....but to talk, discuss, question. They will surprise you! They will give you amazing answers you might never expect! I know I enjoy it....I know their parents would've too!
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