Surely everyone can remember how nervous they were their first day of school. The start of any new beginning can be exciting, scary, and a nervous time all rolled into one. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is the perfect book for helping children know that their feelings are real common, and there is a way to move forward with bravery, just as the main character Chester did. The Kissing Hand Lesson Plan has some excellent activities that you can do with your classroom, homeschooling group, or even your own children to help them dive deeper into the text and learn some excellent lessons on the way.
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The Kissing Hand Lesson Plan
The Kissing Hand Lesson Plans: Ages PreK-2nd
Book, The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Old magazines (look for science, zoo related magazines)
When completing these lessons, you can approach them in any order you please. You are also free to move at your own pace, doing one lesson a day or even one a week if you wish. Feel free to be flexible.
Nifty Nocturnal Animals
Objectives: Students will be able to define the word “nocturnal” and identify nocturnal animals such as those found in the book.
Supplies needed: Poster board, markers, book, old magazines, scissors, glue
Directions: Before beginning this activity, take some time to explore the book. Begin with a read aloud, taking plenty of time to discuss questions as they come up, make personal connections to the text, and define any tricky words.
1. First, ask children if they are familiar with the word “nocturnal.” Define the word together and write it in a piece of paper so they can see what it looks like. Ask if they know why the word nocturnal is important to this text. What is the connection?
2. Give each child an old magazine, scissors, and glue. Encourage them to take a picture walk through the text. When they see an animal, they should snip it out and set it aside. Give 15-20 minutes for this project so you have a good sampling of animals.
3. Now, you are going to create a poster board chart that separates the nocturnal animals from non nocturnal animals. Make a divider down the center of the poster board and invite children to come and glue the animals they cut out onto the appropriate side. For some of the animals, there may be some confusion as to which side they go on. This is an excellent chance to do some research and discover the answer!
4. To conclude this activity, review your findings and reflect on the role of the nocturnal animals in the text.
The Kissing Hand Feelings Book
Objectives: Students will be able to identify and express their feelings in writing form.
Supplies needed: Construction paper, markers
Directions: On the first day of school, Chester is feeling a variety of uncomfortable feelings. His mother helps him overcome these fears by the use of the kissing hand concept. Ask students to recall a time they felt nervous. It could be before a doctor’s appointment, a big test, or a ballet or piano class eve.
1. Give students a few minutes to reflect on this scary time. You can share a time that you felt scared with them if you wish. This will help open the conversation up.
2. Once students have had time to reflect, give them each a piece of paper. On this paper they can write a few sentences about this time they felt scared and who helped them through it. How did the person help then through it? How did that make them feel? Invite them to write these thoughts down on the paper. If they are not of writing age yet, simple pictures will do.
3. When the children are done, invite them to share what they have made. You can place them in a “share chair” to sit and read or explain their illustration.
4. After everyone has had a chance to share, glue or staple the pages together to create a community book. Keep the book displayed where it can be enjoyed by everyone, especially during times of fear or anxiety.
5. You can conclude this activity by gathering and reflecting over the text and activity.
DIY Kissing Hand Craft
Objectives: To use personal creativity to design a kissing hand craft that will serve as a reminder of the people who love them.
Supplies needed: Construction paper, scissors, glue
Directions: In The Kissing Hand, Chester’s mother reminds him that her kisses are in his hand should he ever need to feel her strength. For this activity, student’s will make their own kissing hand to remind them of the people who love them.
1. Begin by tracing each child’s hand on the paper. Cut it out.
2. Invite each child to trace or cut out by hand a small heart. This does not have to be perfect and even holds more charm if it is in fact a little rough.
3. Glue the heart at the center of the hand. Press it firmly into place.
4. When the heart is dry, the child can give it to someone who gives them strength. They can have the person kiss the hand and give it back to them, or they can kiss the hand and present it to someone they love. Allow the child to choose which way they wish to use their own kissing hand.
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As you can see, The Kissing Hand is an excellent book for helping children understand and identify feelings and even learn an important science concept. Enjoy this book with your classroom or child and see what an excellent teaching tool it can be.