Fall is in the air. Time to pull out your favorite fall read-alouds. Hopefully, you have Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep in that stack. It’s a delightful and informational book for preschoolers. There are so many ways to build early literacy skills with it. With this squirrel activity your preschoolers can build their literacy skills. This book is also great for a squirrel or forest theme.
Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep Literacy Activities
The literacy skills covered in this squirrel activity include:
- listening responsively to a book
- identifying letters and letter sounds
- increasing vocabulary
- identifying rhyming words
- Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep by April Pulley Sayre
- Sentence strips, index cards, or cardstock
- Permanent markers
- Handful of acorns
- Magnetic letters
Read the Book
Enjoy reading the book several times throughout the week with the children. Gather the students together and show them the front of the book, Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep. Read the title and ask the students to tell you the two words that rhyme. Ask the students if the squirrel on the cover is leaping or sleeping. Briefly talk about the saying “busy as a squirrel” with the students.
Ask the students to listen and watch for different activities that the squirrels do in the book as you read the book aloud.
On one repeated reading, you can emphasize all of the words that begin with the letter “S” on the cover of the book including the title, author, and illustrator’s name.
During another reading of the book focus on identifying other rhyming pairs in the story.
Pulling some words from the story will build vocabulary and reinforce letter identification and letter sounds.
Setting Up the Squirrel Activity
On sentence strips or cardstock, print the following words from the story: climb, leap, sleep, sniffing, chew, pick, chirp, drink, reach, rest, gather, stretch, yawn, munch, hide. Write the first letter of each word in a different color.
Scatter some acorns on the floor in front of the students.
Starting the Squirrel Activity
Gather the kids and describe the resources you have for the students.
Hold up one of the word cards. Say the word and invite the students repeat it. Ask one or two students act out the word. They can use the acorns as a prop for their actions. For example, with the word “gather,” the students can collect the acorns. Continue until you have acted out all of the words.
Extensions, Variations, and Modifications
1. Extend the learning during different sessions throughout the week. Students can even use their fingers to write the first letter in the air or on the floor.
2. Call out three words such as “rest,” “gather,” and “sleep.” Ask students pick the two words that mean almost the same thing (synonyms)–rest and sleep. Repeat with “munch,” “chew,” and “hide.” Students will identify munch and chew.
3. Place the word cards in a literacy center with magnetic letters. Students can match the first letter of each word with a magnetic letter. You could also do this as a whole group activity.
BIO: Jodie is the creator of Growing Book by Book. She believes that we can meet the needs of all our growing readers. She guides you through developmentally appropriate book lists, reading activities, circle time ideas and literacy-building tips for young children. Check out her Book Activities for your favorite pre-K titles. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
For additional fall literacy ideas and more check out the Fall Bundle.
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