Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A copy of story, "Henry David Thoreau and the Cottage"
- Drawing paper, 11x17" or larger
- Drawing, coloring, and arts and crafts materials such as pencils, pastels, crayons, colored paper, stickers, and glue sticks
- Optional: Small natural objects, such as leaves, suitable for gluing on paper
- Optional: “Henry David Thoreau and the Cottage” coloring sheet, and crayons
Preparation for Activity
- Review, download, and print out story, "Henry David Thoreau and the Cottage." Distribute the paper and drawing, coloring, and arts and crafts materials where participants will sit after hearing the story. Large, open containers of pencils or crayons are easier than boxes for children to share and to clean up.
- Optional: Print the coloring sheet and copy for all participants. Place coloring sheets and crayons where children can use them when invited but will not be distracted beforehand.
Description of Activity
Invite the children to sit so that they will be comfortable listening to a story. Introduce the story by asking the group:
- How would it feel to live all by yourself in a house in the woods?
- What would you need in your house?
Allow some responses.
Read the story aloud or tell it in your own words.
After you finish the story, invite participants to sit at worktables, find a piece of large, white paper, and draw, color, and decorate the way they imagine Henry David Thoreau's cottage in the woods from the story.
Including All Participants
Offer children the opportunity to color the illustration provided for “Henry David Thoreau and the Cottage” to engage different learning styles and to help children focus on or relate to the story. A coloring activity can be a "preview" of a story. It can work as a quiet activity to help children physically settle. You might use it afterward to help the group recall and respond to the story.