Before you work on this story, check out the ideas from this website. There are some great pictures in the resource section of this portion of the lesson come from this website, too.
To begin this lesson, I give each child a piece of green modeling dough that I have made. I demonstrate to the children how to make a sphere and ask them if this "green ball" reminds them of anything that they have seen before.
When I have modeling dough in my hands, I usually like to start out making a ball-shape. Does anyone remember a different name for ball-shape? It is a sphere. Does this green sphere remind you of anything else? It looks like a pea. How many of you like to eat peas?
Then there is generally conversation about how the children either like or dislike peas. As the children chat for a moment about their pea experiences, I take a pencil and poke two holes to the green sphere to create eyes and then carve a smiling mouth. I show this character that I have made to the children, and introduce him as "Little Pea".
Look at my little friend here. His name is Little Pea. Today I will be reading a story about Little Pea. Little Pea has a unique problem; his parents insist that he eat his dinner of candy. Do you think this would be a problem for you? Come join me at the rug, but leave your "little peas" at your table.
When the children gather on the rug, I tell the children that I overheard some of their conversations with their friends about eating peas.
I heard some interesting conversations while you were at your seats talking to your friends. Do you think your parents would want you eating your candy, or do you think they would like it better if you were eating vegetables?
I choose 3 children to tell me what they had to say about eating their vegetables. I ask the children questions for review, like which letters are at the beginning of the words, peas and vegetables.
Why do you think your parents want you to eat vegetables, in particular peas? I think that parents want their children to grow up healthy and strong, so they often insist that their children eat their vegetables. Little Pea's parents feel the same for their little pea. They want him to grow healthy.
We have now set up enough background to read the story. The first time that I read the story to the students, I do this for the pure enjoyment of the story, but without interruption. The second time through, I will ask questions to support their comprehension.
How do you think Little Pea felt about the candies that his parents wanted him to eat. Would our parents think that candy was a good choice for dinner? What do you think your parents would choose as good choices for dinner?
On a piece of chart paper, I had previously wrote out each letter of the alphabet. I begin inserting the good food choices suggested onto the chart with the corresponding initial letter.
As we go through the alphabet, I would like your help to think of a healthy foods we could add to our chart. For example, if I say "A" you might answer apple. If I say "B" you might say banana or beans. Once we finish our chart, I will give you a paper to illustrate the word that goes with our healthy ABC.
When we have filled in every letter, then I will give each child a letter and food word for the children to illustrate on a sheet of paper for our class "Healthy Foods ABC" book.
The purpose of alphabet books is to encourage young children to learn the alphabet and
to associate a specific letter with objects that have that particular initial letter. It is a basic kindergarten skill to recognize the letters of the alphabet. In this case, the concepts are related to learning the alphabet and matching beginning letters and making the connection to healthy foods.
Each child will receive one product from our list to illustrate. The child will take the word given to them, and glue it to the top of the paper. Then the child will color a picture about the food. When the child is finished, they will bring their work up to me to discuss, referencing the story.
I ask the children questions about their favorite foods: Do you think Little Pea would like this food? Have you tried any of the foods that we talked about on our pages? By asking these type of questions, I am encouraging the students to think critically about the story.
I ask the children about their writing to see if they have made any real-world connections to the story. When all the pages are completed they will be put together to create a take home book.
When the children have finished their book page, they can finish creating their own "Little Pea", set it on the window sill until it has dried. The children can keep their "friend" with them for the day unless they are too distracted by it.