With the Core Curriculum being used nationally, why not carry over these skills when reading a book? We wanted to take these standards and apply them to reading The Monkey Balloon so it would be helpful to both educators and parents. We used Common Core State Standards Initiative’s website for my reference. To check out their site, click here.
To learn all about using pictures books with the Common Core Curriculum, click here.
These common core standards are for Kindergarten, specifically language arts. All of the standards that we have written below are taken verbatim from the website (see reference). We have added our own suggestions to the standards that are based our experiences as both a special educator and speech language pathologist. Most of the standards are listed below that apply to the book. We decided to choose the standards that best fit when reading The Monkey Balloon.
In the future, I will be working on 1st grade, stay tuned!
English Language Arts-Language-Kindergarten
Conventions of Standard English
1. Print many upper and lower case letters. Practice by having your child write the title of the book, The Monkey Balloon. This will give them the opportunity to practice upper and lower case letters.
2. Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs. Check out our vocabulary lists here.
3. Form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/. When the monkey balloon finds his friends, ask your child to count the monkeys. One monkey, two monkeys, etc.
4. Understand and use question words. Encourage your child to ask questions throughout the book. Write a question mark on a card and give it to your child intermittently to cue him or her to ask a question. This will also help the child learn punctuation better. However, questions naturally should come up when reading the book so the question card can be used as needed. You also tell your child that you are going to take turns asking questions. You model a questions and then have your child ask you the same question or something similar.
5. Use the most frequently occurring prepositions. In The Monkey Balloon, emphasize the prepositions “in” and “on”. You can also point out other pictures in the scene to encourage the use of prepositions. For example in the fish scene, you can tell your child ” I see a trash can under the bench”.
6. Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities. When reading the book, encourage your child to share information in grammatically full sentences (e.g “The Monkey Balloon found his friends”). Use fill in the blank prompts such as “The Monkey Balloon is ________” or prompt your child by saying “Tell me in a full sentence”.
7. Recognize and name end punctuation. After reading a sentence in The Monkey Balloon ask your child to point to what ends the sentence. For example, when “Maybe the Monkey Balloon is going down the slide!” ask your child to point out where the exclamation marker is and explain how it ends the sentence.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
1. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases on kindergarten reading and content. When reading The Monkey Balloon, discuss the different meanings of various words. For example the noun “monkey” is the animal and the term “monkeying around” is a verb. Another example is the word “school”. School can mean the actual school building and “school” can also be used when referring to a “school of fish”. Different meanings, same word!
2. Sort common objects into categories to gain a sense of concepts the categories represent. Point out different pictures of animals, people, places and things. Ask your child, “Is the monkey an animal or a place?”, “Is the ice cream store a place or an animal?”
3. Identify real life connection between words and their use. For example, when the Monkey Balloon finds his friends at the end of the book, ask your child about their last visit to the zoo. Did they see the monkeys? What was their favorite animal? You can do the same thing with the playground scene (e.g. ask your child when they last visited the playground and what their favorite activity is there)
4. Distinguish shades of meaning among verbal describing the same general action (e.g. walk, march, strut, prance) by acting out the meanings. For example when discussing the word “eat” use other verbs such as lick, consume, munch, nip, etc. Act out these meanings during mealtime!
Key Ideas and Details
1. With prompting and support ask and answer questions about key details in a text. Ask your child “wh” questions when reading the book. For example, you can ask “Where is the Monkey Balloon?”, “How does Mimi feel when she loses the balloon?”, etc.
2. With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details. Ask your child details about the story. There are many details in The Monkey Balloon that you can discuss with your child. One detail that you can mention to your child is what Mimi is carrying in most of the scenes (e.g. she carries an ice cream cone in one scene, a fish in the next, etc). Discuss the different places Mimi went and ask your child where Mimi bought the balloon. If your child needs help, provide choices (e.g. “Did Mimi lose her balloon on a walk or when playing in the playground?).
3. With prompting and support, identify characters, setting, and major events in the story. For example, ask your child “Who is the main character in the story?”, “What happened to the Monkey Balloon?”. If your child needs support, model the language and then give prompts as necessary.
Craft and Structure
1. Ask and answer questions about the unknown words in a text. Ask your child questions about words they might not recognize such as “ocean”, “uh-oh”, etc. This may range depending on the age of the child. For an older child, you can create synonyms and review those words (e.g. “munch” for “eating”)
2. With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role. Ask your child to point to the authors and illustrator’s name. Discuss the difference between the two.
3. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between the illustrations and the story in which they appear. For example, when Mimi is losing her balloon discuss the picture and what is occurring. How do you think Mimi feels and what is she doing?
4. With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories. Compare The Monkey Balloon with a similar story of a child losing something such as Penguin in Love.
“English Language Arts Standards » Language » Kindergarten.” Common Core State Standards Core Initiative. Common Core Standards, n.d. Web. 04 Sept. 2014. <http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/L/K/>.