School started last week for me and with it came new students! It’s exciting and I am thrilled to have new friends in my classroom but I also knew that until my new students got familiar with the routine I would have to take a few steps back with circle time. In my classroom circle time is simple; we do a good morning song, a chant where we move our bodies, and then we read a story followed by a little lesson. These lessons have been getting progressively longer as the school year progressed but I knew I had to take a step back. This interactive read aloud was the perfect way of doing that. It was fun, engaging, and met the various needs of my students. Check out how I did it and get the free printables for circle time below.
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I wasn’t so sure how many teachers were familiar with this book, so I posted on my No Time For Flash Cards Facebook page to test the waters. Yep, so many teachers love it too. If you aren’t familiar with Ten On A Sled by Kim Norman, illustrated by Liza Woodruff it is a wonderful book that uses fun rhymes and alliteration to revamp the old tune of Ten In A Bed. Arctic animals all pile on a sled and as they zoom down the snowy slope each one falls off with a fun and descriptive verb. It is a complete blast to read aloud.
Gather your materials. You will need the free printables, 2 sheets of brown paper, scissors, a laminator, and magnets or velcro dots.
Print out the free printables here —> Click to print.
To make the sled I just freehand cut some brown paper and added magnets to the back. A paper grocery bag would work great for this!
Laminate, cut out, and add magnets to the back to use on a magnet board. You can use velcro for a flannel board too. I love these magnet squares, they are such good quality and work better than the magnet tape I usually buy because it’s cheaper.
Pop the sled on the magnet board with the Cariboo already on. Place the other magnets to the side.
Grab your book, it’s time to read!
As you read add the animals on, stop and count the animals with your students.
Now it’s time to subtract the animals one at a time. As you read the text try to match the action in the book with how you remove the animal. So when Walrus WHIRLS out, you can make him go topsy turvy as he falls off the sled. My students LOVED this and were giggling as each animal was subtracted.
Take some time to count how many animals are left on the sled before the next page. If this is too much for your group, just read, you can fit in counting as you go. Yesterday, I didn’t count with every subtraction, I started when we got to 4 which worked well. I’d say wait… help I forget how many are left, let’s count. Then read the next page. My students range from 2.5 – 3.5 so starting counting as a group when we got down to 4 was perfect, if you have older students you can do this with each animal. If your students are particularly wiggly skip it. You know your students and what they are capable of at the moment, adjust. However, don’t skimp on emphasizing the action of the animal, that’s the magic.
Oh and I doubt I have to say this but the book MUST be read to the tune of “Ten In A Bed”, using a sing-song voice for this read aloud is part of the magic.
After you are done the reading and the animals all make it back on the sled take the time to count to ten as a group. After my circle time we do art and yesterday we made these cork painted snowflakes. The children liked them but not as much as this circle time!
More preschool lesson plans
This book is one of the many that work perfectly with our winter thematic units Winter Wonderland and Arctic Animals. Check them out here!
Check out these other circle time activities matched with popular books here.