In "Silly Sally" by Audrey Wood, "Silly Sally went to town, walking backwards, upside down." Along the way she collects a pig, a dog, a loon and a sheep before Neddy Buttercup restores order. This simple story doesn't have enough meat to be a unit study, but it makes an excellent introduction to rhyming. Use it alongside other rhyming books or as part of an author study on Audrey Wood.
Language and Literacy
Silly Sally lends itself to all sorts of literacy activities. Before you read the story, review the sight words you've learned so far. Remind the children that words with endings that sound the same are rhyming words. As you read the story, ask the children to tell you when they hear words that rhyme in the story. Write the rhyming words on a chart and help the children think of new rhyming words, as well. Play a rhyming board or card game, such as rhyming word bingo.
Drama and Music
Cut construction paper or fun foam to make simple headband costumes of the pig, the dog, the loon and the sheep. Have the children take turns acting out the story of Silly Sally walking to town, backwards upside down with her animal friends. Activities could involve simply walking backwards, doing a crab walk, or doing a wheel-barrow walk.
The Writing Center
For a writing and drawing project, develop a worksheet that says, "__ went to town, walking backwards, upside down." Ask the children to write their names on the line and draw a picture of themselves upside down. Ask the children to "write" letters to Silly Sally offering advice on how she could get to town safely or what animals she could take next time. Children can dictate the letters to you to write down, or can draw a picture depicting their thoughts. Later in the year, some children may be able to write some of the words with assistance. Have the children lie on sheets of butcher paper and trace around them. Allow the children to decorate their own life-size Silly Sally selves. Hang the tracings upside down to display them.
Extend the Silliness
Talk with the children about other silly situations that might be backward or upside down. For example, try making a dinner food with the children, such as spaghetti, in the morning, or make pineapple upside down cake. Let the children wear socks on their hands and mittens on their feet.
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