Tag Archives: predictable books for children

A House is a House for Me – Animal Habitats

Animal habitats (which animal lives in which environment) is a commonly-covered topic in preschool and kindergarten programs and curricula.  A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hobermann is a book that uses sing-song repetitive text and fun illustrations to run down an extensive list of animals and objects and the homes they “live” in.  The line “A House is a House for Me” is repeated throughout the book, making for a fun predictable reading experience.

Here’s a free animal habitat printable activity to go with A House is a House for Me that I worked on over the weekend:
A House is a House for Me blanks.

This activity goes with the book but can be also be used as a stand-alone.  It looks like this:

A House is a House for Me blanks

A House is a House for Me blanks 2

There are three sheets of fill-in-the-blanks (only one is shown) and one page of cards to cut to use to fill in the blanks.  I made these up as PEC boards – laminated all the pages and cut the page of fill-ins.  Then opposing Velcro to the empty squares and the cards was applied.


Read the text, “A (fill in the blank) is a home for a . . .” and allow your child to pick out the correct animal and place it in the empty square.  Remember, if your child has special needs, he may need more time to process the question than typical children.  If you give him extra time and he is still struggling, silently point to the correct card and allow him to pick it up and put it in the right spot.  This way your child experiences success no matter what is ability level is.  Depending on where he is in cognition, you may find it will take a few times of you pointing to the animals before he will be able to select them independently.  No worries – give your child as much support as he needs to be successful.  Also, don’t forget to say the word on the card once your child has selected it.  If your child tolerates repetition, now that the card is in the box, go back and repeat the entire sentence from the beginning.  Repetition is so important for our special little ones.

Fabulous Book Reviews for Children’s Literature – www.turtleandrobot.com

Have you ever heard so much about a friend of a friend that when you meet them for the first time, you already feel like you know them . . . and love them?

That’s how my new friend, Jennifer, over at www.turtleandrobot.com makes me feel about each and every children’s book she reviews.  She doesn’t waste space reviewing bad books – you’ll only find bona-fide winners on her site where she reviews books appropriate for ages newborn through 16.  Of course, my favorites are the picture books.  Her reviews are warm, colorful (poetically and literally – you’ll find lots of book illustrations in between the lines of her reviews) and very informative.  You’ll come away from each review not only loving the reviewed book but also understanding what concepts you can find to work on between the pages.

Recently I asked Jennifer if she could recommend a few books to help us work on key language concepts.  Here is an excerpt of her reply:

“Predictable Books:

 The Little Red Hen (a more modern spin on this classic story is Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza). In fact, many nursery rhymes would fall into the predictable category; The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears also come to mind.
Peek-A-Who by Nina Laden, this is a board book so maybe too young but fun for guessing different animals.
Bark George by Jules Feiffer, George won’t bark, but he moos, oinks and meows so his mom takes him to the vet to find out why. I call this the reverse of The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.
Repetitive Books:
Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathman, the zookeeper is saying goodnight to all the animals in the zoo. One by one they follow him home.
Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you See by Bill Martin, illus. by Eric Carle, another good book with animal characters.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, Illus. by Helen Oxenbury, lots of great sound effects in this one.
Others, just because I love them and think they might be good options.
Press Here by Herve Tullet. A great “interactive” book with different colored dots to “press.” It’s a standard book with paper pages but directions are given and the illustrations on the following pages show what happens after you follow the directions.
Giraffe and a Half by Shel Silverstein. A little boy has a giraffe. But if he stretched him, he’d have a giraffe and a half. This story builds and builds and is done in rhyme. If you get a good rhythm going you can read through this fast and it is a hysterically fun tongue twister!
What Can You Do With a Shoe, by Beatrice de Regniers, illus by Maurice Sendak. A fun and silly book about all the things you can do with a shoe; wear it on your ear, or turn it into a turtle!
What Am I? by Leo and Diane Dillon. This book is tragically out of print but is available used on Amazon. Children are given clues about shape and color and must guess the fruit.”
Don’t these look great?  I’m amazed that even with my love of children’s literature and 11 years of homeschooling, almost half of these titles are new to me.  How absolutely refreshing!  What Can You Do With a Shoe is definitely going on my “must have” list.
Treat yourself to a peek at Jennifer’s website at www.turtleandrobot.com for some great  book titles that are sure to become fast friends with your family.