Hi! I am Em from Curious Firsties and I am so excited to be here today. This upcoming school year will be my 11th year teaching! Currently, I am a Title I reading and math teacher for first grade students. But I have a preschool and Kindergartener at home. So my brain is bouncing around, always looking for great primary material!
I wanted to share one of my favorite books with you today…actually two books! Both books are based on an old Yiddish folk song.
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback and Bit By Bit by Steve Sanfield are similar books about a man that has a favorite overcoat. But as time passes, the fabric gets worn out and the main character must create something new with the fabric. By the end of the story, there is nothing left of the fabric but the story to tell.
As I think about this story, there is so much that can be done with it at any of the primary ages! It just depends on the direction that you take it in. When I was working with preschool age children, I decided to read this story. I created the main character from Bit by Bit, Zundel.
(Now he was one of my first sewing jobs. Sorry about that!) To make Zundel, I just used felt, stuffing, and yarn for his hair. But really, you could make him 2-dimensional on a felt board or even on just a big piece of paper.
Then I cut out all the articles of clothing that were represented in the book.
I used black felt and colored puffy paint to make each of these garments. I wanted them to stick to Zundel, so I put Velcro on the back. But, again, you could make these pieces out of black construction paper.
Then it was time for the students to act out the book with Zundel and the articles of clothing. This allowed them to visually see what was occurring in the book and how the fabric became smaller and smaller as it worn.
For Kindergarten and 1st grade students, this story is great for sequencing. They may still enjoy the Zundel doll and clothing; however, even sequencing pictures of the clothing is a great way to help them retell the story. I wonder if your students may even have some personal connections to this happening to their clothes. I know my two girls wear out their clothing with no problem at all!
Both of these stories can lead to some other great conversations. The main characters in both stories are tailors. Students can discuss what this means and what types of products or services they provide. We did discuss this in my first grade classroom. Then I asked the students to create a vest using construction and scrapbook paper. We were studying combinations of nine at the time; therefore, we tied that learning in too
The possibilities for these two books are not all listed here. I did not even touch on the fact that the stories are based on an old song!! But this is a start! I love both stories and each author/illustrator provides so much detail in the pictures and words. It just makes you fall in the love with the story.
I hope your children enjoy these stories (and Zundel) as much as I do.