Monday, May 16, 2011

Caps for Sale: Monkeys, Peddlers, and Caps

Children have loved Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina since its publication in 1938. Little T from the 21st century loves this story of a cap peddler and several monkeys who got into a row over the peddler’s wares. Let’s dig in on some of the exciting things we learned from this wonderful book that I also greatly enjoyed!

MONKEYS We started this book about monkeys with… well, monkeys. I downloaded pictures from the internet and Little T and I talked about how each one looked like. I pointed out that like people, there are also different kinds of monkeys that look different from each other and live in different places. We planned to go to a zoo to see one but had to cancel because Baby Boy got sick.

FEELINGS The peddler was upset and frustrated with the monkeys that stole his wares. He shouted, waved his arms and stamped his feet – just like my little girl when she gets upset. We played with our Feelings chart (again, another hand-me-down from my sister) and acted out happy, sad, angry, etc. We then talked about the whys and whens of what we are feeling and what would be a good way to deal with it. I love it that we were able to talk about feelings outside the context of my impatience and occasional anger over her “toddlerness.” :(

FOOD PREPARATION What do monkeys love to eat? Little T and I prepared frozen banana pops to welcome her friends. Hopefully the exercise taught her a little life skill, if you can call melting chocolate and freezing bananas that!

MANIPULATIVES With the game Barrel of Monkeys, we practiced our fine-motor skill and hand-eye coordination. We also did a simple math game: I wrote numbers on paper and asked Little T to put the right number of monkeys and colored wooden beads. This reinforced number recognition and one-to-one correspondence. When she was done, she remarked that she had made a bunch of red beads, a bunch of orange beads, etc., like the bunch of caps on top of the peddler’s head. Natural vocabulary acquisition!

PEDDLERS There are a lot of peddlers around, and Little T and I talked about the different ways that peddlers carry their wares. We bought from our neighborhood magtataho who balances his taho vats on his shoulders. We also looked at the picture of the strawberry peddler we met in Baguio who walked with a tray of strawberries on her head.

IMITATION Caps for Sale is the author’s take on the saying monkey see, monkey do. When the peddler threw down his cap in frustration, the monkeys did the same with the caps that they stole from him. Little T and I sang Kindermusik's Monkey See, Monkey Do and had fun doing silly things with our rhythm sticks for the other to imitate.

CAPS We tried on different kinds of hats. We put on baseball caps, witch’s hat, Christmas hat, straw hat, one on top of the other. We sorted by color and size. We had the most fun though with our Filipino go-along book Ang Pambihirang Sombrero by Jose Miguel Tejido and published by Adarna House. It is a treasure about a girl who found a strange magical hat! We loved it so much that we made a mini-unit study and went on a field trip based on it. Read about our adventure on my next post! here!

Week of May 2, 2011

Caps for Sale
Ang Pambihirang Sombrero - go along book about a strange hat
Go Dog Go - go along book with lots of hats
Different kinds of caps
Rhythm sticks
Zoo Train CD
Barrel of Monkeys
Wooden beads
Feelings chart
Banana pops
Field trip (based on Ang Pambihirang Sombrero)

Have a fun, magic-filled week!
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Bhongabraham said...

ok thanks a lot... but there is no barrel of monkey available at hobbies and landes...

Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

Hi! Sorry, no it's not :) I think it's available at Hobbes and Landes :)

Bhongabraham said...

is the barrel of monkeys for sale??

kim/angeli E said...

We played monkey-see-monkey-do after we read this story! hope I find time to post the things we did during our "monkey month".

Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

Hi Anna! I'm glad you enjoyed the book! It's really magical, what books can do :)

Anna Lissa Ano said...

Hi Mariel

Caitlin loves this book so much :-) She used to be scared with monkeys but now, she find them funny! Thanks for introducing me to this book.