Storybook Sessions: Garrett Morgan
In each Storybook Sessions post, I highlight a book that I have used, or plan to use in therapy as well as associated, extension activities that can be paired with the book to increase vocabulary comprehension, provide opportunities to express yourself verbally, written, creatively, etc., sensory exploration, fine motor practice, gross motor movements, etc. Some extension activities will focus on all of these components while others will focus more specifically on one area.
Author: Megan Stewart
Illustrator: Symbols by Boardmaker 7
Do you ever have an idea for an activity to do, book to read, etc but can’t find exactly what you are looking for? Anyone else, or is it just me?
This happened to me while I was planning for my February sessions. I knew I wanted to highlight a famous black person from history to celebrate Black History Month with my students but while looking for a book to lead my activity/session, I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for. I will say that there are a TON of great kids books featuring and highlighting famous black people, however I waited too long to put these on hold or check out from my library, so I decided to create my own.
My Book Creation Process
I chose to highlight Garrett Morgan, who added the yellow light to the stoplight as we now know it, within my lesson. With a quick Google search to find a picture of him, and learn a little more about him and his inventions, I took that information, opened Boardmaker 7 software and got to work! Using the printable book template, I was able to easily add in pictures, symbols and text that told the story of who Garrett Morgan was, why we need to learn about him, what his invention was (Mr. Morgan did invent items other than the stoplight, (i.e., the gas mask), but I thought this invention was most appropriate to highlight for my PreK students), and how it has affected our world. Here’s a sneak peek of the book:
Now that I had the book, I needed to decide on the extension activities to continue our learning after we read the book. I chose activities that focused on color, shape and number recognition & labeling, spatial concepts, fine motor skills, bi-lateral (both sides) hand coordination, sorting, following directions, and gross motor skills.
Creating A Personalized Stoplight
In the first activity, the students create their own stoplight.
First, I cut black construction paper into rectangles and drew 3 circles down the center with a white crayon.
Second, I cut color coding stickers from Avery into strips of yellow, green and red.
Each student was given a stoplight template and, after a model from an adult, placed all of the colored stickers onto their stoplight template. Hopefully the students placed the stickers in the right place based on color, but if not, that’s ok too – I am all about fostering independence and creativity and this is not a test!
Additional Skills Addressed While Creating the Stoplights
While the students were making their stoplights, we were able to focus in on the topics of:
- Location words (prepositions)
- Quantity (numbers, more, less)
Don’t forget all the Core Vocabulary!
And of course we used our core vocabulary communication boards to chat, modeling words, individually and in short phrases, such as:
The Fun Doesn’t Stop There!
After students finish their stoplight you can:
- Help them write their name on their paper and send home to share with families.
- Laminate their stoplight to use in additional extension activities such as sorting by color.
- Use this sorting template to find items that are red, yellow and/or green in their environment.
- Watch some fun “stoplight videos” such as:
- Play “Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light” to help get the wiggles out. You can use these visuals to further show students if they are to “GO”, “SLOW” or “STOP”.
- Play with cars and other vehicles, using your traffic light to tell the cars to “GO”, “SLOW down” or “STOP”
This Sounds Great! Where Can I Find These Resources?
If you are interested in doing these activities and/or reading the book about Garrett Morgan to your students I have linked them here for you to download:
If you create stoplights in celebration of Garrett Morgan and his invention, I’d love to see it!
Post pictures in the comments below or tag me (@senseableliteracy) in posts online!
Until next time – Happy Reading!