This year one of my goals is to use my collection of inclusive books more intentionally as lessons. While at home during COVID-19 I gathered the books I usually use for circle time, and when they were all piled together, I noticed they are not nearly as diverse as my bookshelf. So, I am going to be creating more lessons for my classroom and sharing them here for you too. Mary Had A Little Glam is an excellent fractured nursery rhyme and seriously fun book that teaches children that’s it’s fantastic to be yourself, and you can be flexible too. This Mary Had A Little Glam lesson plan helps teach children about personal expression as well as clothing norms, but it’s OK to challenge them while being yourself.
Lesson Plan PREP
Gather your materials. You will need the glam or play clothes printables, scissors, a laminator (optional), and the book. Materials for the accompanying craft are listed below.
Print out the images, cut out, and laminate. Set aside for the lesson.
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Mary Had A Little Glam by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley- Newton is a sweet fractured nursery rhyme that celebrates a little girl who knows how to shine. Mary is all in for everything shiny, glittery, and pink. She is off to school, and once there inspires everyone to get a little more glam with an excellent rhyming text that is fun to read to groups of kiddos. When it’s time to go outside and play on the playground, she realizes that maybe glam isn’t always the road to take. This book celebrates personal creativity and being yourself while also being honest about the restrictions to both. I love this take on an old nursery rhyme, as well as its focus on big vocabulary words. That makes this a wonderful book for younger elementary-aged kiddos as well as preschool.
MARY HAD A LITTLE GLAM LESSON – Play Clothes or Fancy Clothes?
Start with your circle time routine; you have a routine, right? If not, it’s not too late. For my now 3-year-olds, I sing a good morning song, do the circle time chant, and then it’s time for a book and quick lesson. That’s it. It’s always the same routine, which makes it predictable and sets my students up for success.
After reading the book, take a minute to talk about Mary and why she took off some of her glitz to play on the playground. Is it safe to be in high heels or have a long boa she might trip on while climbing on the climber? Ask your students if they always wear the same play clothes or if they change into fancy clothes sometimes for special occasions. Ask them if they will help you sort some photos of children in play and fancy clothes.
Show the children one photo at a time. Ask the children if the child is wearing play clothes or fancy clothes. Ask them where they think the child is. Remember, there is NO right or wrong answer to these questions. As a parent who had a child wear a crown on her head for four months straight (yes, to bed too), I know this. The purpose of this lesson is to differentiate between play clothes and fancy clothes and to think about where people wear them. We are thinking about norms, but we can absolutely welcome a challenge to them in the process. We can also take the time to talk about what the social or physical consequences might be if we wore our best tuxedo to the art table at preschool. This is a fundamental lesson about making choices and how to take responsibility for them.
Is it OK to ear fancy or dress-up clothes every day? Sure, but it might make some things harder, like going on the playground at recess.
End the circle time
Art Exploration – Glam Me!
This is a fun self-portrait art exploration for Mary Had a Little Glam, I’m using my daughter’s photo for the example since I am not in class presently due to COVID-19. The goal of this activity is to give your students a chance to glamorize their photos. They can do it however they want with whatever supplies you have.
Gather your materials. You will need printed photos of your students. You can use color or black and white, and I know color printer ink is an issue, so use whatever works for you. Grab some glue, paint, and sparkly things like glitter glue, sequins, and beads.
Be prepared that some children may not want to add anything. In that case, I’d ask if they want to make a frame around their photo.
When the art is done, ask your students to tell you about how they decorated their photos. Display prominently in your classroom.