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The book Secrets of the Seashore written by Carron Brown is one in a series from
the Shine A Light Books available from Usborne and More. This series is an ingenious and
engaging way to wrap little people’s minds around the wonders of our world! You can order
your own copy of Secrets of the Seashore HERE
As with any picture book, repetition is key. Each time you read through with your child, focus on a different aspect. The first time you read through you may do a “picture walk” or simply focus on the pictures and making predictions. With the Shine A Light series, this is particularly true. The pictures are so engaging and fun– you will more than likely need to use a flashlight to make your hidden discoveries in the pictures many, many times before your child will be ready to focus on the words. Non-fiction books are amazing tools to increase vocabulary sets, make generalizations about the world, as well as sort and categorize objects within their world. Use Secrets of the Seashore as a springboard to explore these topics more in depth; How is a whelk and a snail similar/different? What is a crustacean? Why does the tide come in and out? What other kinds of animals are filter feeders? You may want to reference an encyclopedia such as Usborne’s First Encyclopedia of Seas and Oceans with Internet Links!
For our visual spatial learners we re-created our own version of a Shine A Light picture! You will need a piece of black construction paper, a piece of white construction paper, scissors, glue, a white crayon or piece of chalk, and crayons, markers, paint, etc.
Next we cut the images we traced out, leaving the rest of the construction paper intact.
We then put glue on all of the black areas, paying special attention to the edges.
After the glue is applied, carefully place a piece of white construction paper on top of the glue, making sure to line up the outer edges. Once the white construction paper is in place, color a scene using crayons, markers, or paint. We used a peeled crayon because I wanted to show Peanut how to color using the side of the crayon to cover a large area and give it an interesting texture.
Once your scene is complete, hold your artwork up to the light. Voila! Your own secret pictures appear!
In order to develop a healthy appreciation for number and math concepts, little people need to be exposed to and experiment with these numbers and mathematical concepts in all areas of life! Rather than saying, “ok, it’s math time,” it’s much more useful to our kids if we just incorporate counting, sorting, organizing, adding, etc. throughout our day. Believe it or not, they are not entirely sure that “8 seashells” is the same thing as “8 rocks” and so they must investigate and touch both materials, counting them over and over – making sure there are still 8 even if we move them around. So, for this example we are using seashells (mainly because I had them leftover from a previous book study) as our math manipulatives, but in reality we also counted and sorted the rocks we used in our kinesthetic activity. (As well as our tide pool creatures and the animals in the illustrations.)
Here we are sequencing our seashells in order from biggest to smallest.
Sorting by type
And sorting by texture
For our tactile kinesthetic learners we set up a mock tide pool to explore and touch. In our tidepool we used rocks, seashells, and assorted toy tidepool creatures such as sea stars, an octopus, sea weed, and several fish.
For our gross motor kinesthetic learners we decided to take the Shine A Light concept to the real world! I hid several of her tidepool objects around her room and turned off the lights. She then used a flashlight to find them! This was a particularly fun game for her and she wanted to do it again and again…
Experimenting with the natural sounds that seashells create is always a fun time! Let your little one listen to the sounds that each shell makes and compare them…is one a higher sound than another? Lower? Does the shape change how it sounds? How about the size?
Once they have had general exploration and play with the natural sounds seashells make…turn one of the larger, closed conical shells into a trumpet! Cut off the very tip of the shell just big enough to blow into and bore a hole into the side. Voila! Your very own seashell trumpet!
And of course seashells always make good drums! In fact, they are especially good for hearing the contrast in tones between differing sizes.
After a little exploration time, she was able to figure out on her own that she could put small seashells inside the larger seashell to make maracas!
Intrapersonal learners need time for reflection and introspection. Make sure to provide your little one with a comfy place for independent exploration.
…One can never have too many secret reading spots!
Interpersonal learners need to process their information with a buddy. They may need to verbalize their thinking – or – they just need someone to share in their experience!
Like these ideas? Check out www.rainbootsandrocketships.com for more!
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