A lesson using Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw, focusing on rhyming words.
- Background Info
- Shared Readings
- Teaching Skills with Familiar Text
- Rhyming Activities – includes a sheep reproducible
- Integrating Other Curricular Areas
- Other Submitted Ideas
These are the things I did with my second-semester kindergarten class. We had just started focusing on rhyming words, and this book really helped it “sink in” for kids who were having trouble with the concept.
The kids LOVE this book. It meets every standard of a good shared reading book. It can stand up to repeated shared readings because it is funny, has rhyming and predictable text, and has rich illustrations. With the first reading, the kids can even complete some of the sentences, and after reading it several times, the kids don’t say, “Oh, why are we reading THAT book again??”
You’ll need the big book edition for shared reading.
Before the First Reading
We examined the cover of the book and the children noted the road, grass, jeep, sheep, etc. We took a picture walk before we read any of the text–we looked at the pictures (throughout the book) and discussed what they saw happening. Then we read through the book without interruption–except for the kids’ pointing out the funny details like the pigs’ tattoos, etc.
We noted that “sheep” and “jeep” are special words — they rhyme! I challenged the class to find the other rhyming words in the book as we read it this time. I followed up with the rhyme chart. (See more info under rhyming activities.)
We focused on rhymes for more than one day as we made a rhyme chart and sheep rhymes, so I stopped to let the kids fill in rhyming words as we read. After several readings, all I really had to do was point to the words and they read them.
Using familiar text to teach skills
Vocabulary: cheap, steep, steer
There was some vocabulary in the book my kids weren’t familiar with. For example, we were able to discuss the meanings of cheap, steep, and steer (as in, the driver forgot to steer!)
High Frequency Word: in
On the last day, we went through the book page by page to find the word “in.” I only had 5-6 students come forward to point out the words. However, I didn’t follow up with anything for the whole class, so most of them don’t recognize that word. Next time, to give them independent practice, I could copy parts of the text (onto sentence strips or into a kid-sized book, etc.) and have the kids highlight “in.” They could also find the word in magazines, etc.
Rhymes are abundant in this book! Read on for our rhyming activities.
Phonemic Awareness – Rhyming
Make a Rhyme Chart
I wrote the word “sheep” and drew a picture of a sheep. The class volunteered words to add to the chart that rhyme with sheep. I separated “eap” words by writing them in a different column. After writing with the class, each student chose “eep, eap” words to copy on their sheep paper. We had several so they just chose the ones they wanted, but most wanted to write them all. They then read me each word, as we looked at the beginning sound to help figure it out.
Make a Class Rhyming Book
We looked at the rhyme chart, and I helped the class find rhyming words that could be put together into a phrase or sentence about sheep. Most of them are found in the book already, for example:
“Sheep in a Jeep”
You could make a LOT of sentences with those rhyming words, but we stuck with these three simple ones to make a book of sheep rhymes. Each child chose a sheep rhyme to write (using the sentences/phrases that were created using the rhyme chart). Then, construction paper, cotton balls, and other materials were provided for illustrating their words. My children used red construction paper for the jeep, added details using other colors of construction paper, and added cotton ball sheep. Most added other details to the background by drawing them in with markers. The artwork was adorable, especially the sheep that were drawn sleeping in their beds.
Share the Sheep Rhymes & Illustrations
The next day, when all the sheep pictures were dry, the kids shared their illustrations and sheep rhymes by reading them to the class. Each page was hung in the hallway for a while, then bound into two books for use in the classroom. (Since the cotton balls made it thick, I made “Sheep Rhymes: Part 1” and “Part 2.”) Each page was reinforced and paper punched in the upper corner, then put together with a metal ring.
Make a Sheep Rhyme Manipulative
Here’s a sheep reproducible — it may need to be enlarged after you print it.
Letter size paper – I reproduced several copies of a sheep with a space then “e e p.” I used an exacto knife to cut slits where the space was.
Legal size paper – I reproduced several copies of beginning sounds (sh, d, b, p, k. sl) for eep words on legal size paper. I then cut them into strips. I had drawn stop signs at each end of the strips. (Wow! d, p, b – major confusion most kids at this stage.)
I showed the kids how to insert their strip and fold the ends so it wouldn’t pull all the way through. There were enough kids who caught on to help the rest of the class assemble their sheep. Then, they could practice saying the beginning sound before “eep” and read them to their parents at home!
Integrating other curricular areas
Next year, I hope to add more cross-curricular activities. We were able to check out a video from the library and view real baby sheep. That was about the extent of it. Of course, this could go along with a theme on farm animals, or March (comes in like a lion, and goes out like a LAMB!)
Other Submitted Ideas
We use Sheep in a Shop to practice “sh”
We write on the board “Sheep in a ___________________. Then children raise their hand and offer ideas. It is such fun.
Modifications occur leading to ideas like…. Sheep get the shivers. Sheep get shaved. Sheep in a shoe store. Sheep shrink.
Since we have 6, 7 and 8 year olds in our class we allowed a choice of extension. The kids chose between making a picture poster (detailed and colorful) writing a poem or writing a new version of the story. Our list of ideas had more than 40 options. Kids are still adding to it during morning exploration time. Lately they have started to seek out the dictionary.
I teach preschool special education kids. I have developed several activities centering around Sheep In A Jeep.
With our kids the trick is getting them to listen and focus on the pages, and perhaps repeat key words.
Nondisabled children will ask for a favorite book over 100 times, but our kids often lack the language to do so. For this reason, favorite books are read many times. This means creative follow up activities are needed.
I have extended the book by sitting kids in laundry baskets with cut out steering wheels. We “drive” our jeeps making driving sounds. We also practice “concepts” such as get in the jeep, get out of the jeep, behind the jeep to push, etc… The best part, of course, is when our jeeps fall over and we are sheep in a jeep in a heap.
Hope this gives someone else ideas. Christine
By: Amanda Post
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