Students became teachers during a recent unit in Mrs. Ingenito’s Home and Career Skills class at
After studying the developmental stages of young children, students were asked to read the children’s book Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd and come up with a lesson plan and age-appropriate activities they would teach to kindergarten students to spark their interest in reading.
They partnered with Mrs. Ciccone’s seventh grade classes for help with sewing stuffed dogs for the kindergarten students to use as a learning prop. They secured felt spots on the dogs with Velcro, so the younger students could add or remove them as the story was read to them.
Other activities they prepared for their students included an art center, where coloring pages of dogs were available for the students to color and decorate, and a sewing center, where students could simulate sewing with colorful ribbon. Eighth grade artists also drew an oversized image of the dog on a large sheet of plastic and laminated spots to play a game of “pin the spots on dog,” where the younger students could pick up story cards that reviewed the number and color of each spot in Dog’s Colorful Day.
The eighth grade students welcomed Mrs. Monahan’s and Ms. Winters/Mrs. Zito’s kindergarten classes from on the library’s balcony. After an initial reading of the book by Howitt librarian Mrs. Bleicher, the eighth grade students guided the youngsters through the various learning centers, bringing the book to life.
Eighth graders Tim Cullen and Brian Gilmore composed and performed a rap song about the dog's colorful adventure and the seventh graders were actively engaged in helping the kindergarteners learn how to sew.
The whole process provided the middle school students with valuable work experience. The program served as an exercise in counting, color and number identification, sequencing and cause and effect for the kindergarteners.