Let's Have Some Crafting Fun With Curious George

By Pam Cannon

Curious George is a monkey who lives with the man in the yellow hat! This series of books by H.A.Rey and his wife Margret Rey, has a wide appeal for children and is an excellent starting point for fun activities and crafts. While students are having fun they are also learning.

To Begin

Discuss why George is described as 'curious'. Tell the students a little about the author and illustrator. Ask what they think the H stands for in H.A.Rey's name (Hans). Although only his name appears on the early books, Margret (note the spelling), was responsible for most of the story writing.

For one of the Curious George Crafts, provide the students with a paper with a picture of Curious George on it and the sentences. "This is George. George is very curious. He is curious about you. What is your name?" Encourage students to tell about themselves and draw a picture.

Assessment

Did the student understand the concept of curious?

Did the student understand the duties of an author and an illustrator?

What do Monkeys Eat?

Ask the students what monkeys like to eat - bananas. Provide paper banana shapes of different sizes and ask students to measure them using a variety of non standard units e.g. How many small blocks to measure the length of each banana shape ? How many paper clips to measure the length of each banana shape?

Assessment

Did student use vocabulary pertaining to measurement : shorter, longer, the same length?

Did student compare lengths?

Yellow is George's Favorite Color

Ask students why they think that George's favorite color is probably yellow (his friend the man in the yellow hat, the color of bananas his favorite food)

Compile a list of things that are yellow. Provide students with large sheets of paper and invite them to make up a picture showing some of these things. Encourage them to print the word beside each of their illustrations. Print the word YELLOW as a title for the picture.

Provide materials for paper headbands and ask students to make up their own yellow hats.

Assessment

Did the student correctly spell the words from the list?

Did the student understand the concept of labeling?

This Monkey is WANTED!

Discuss with students what information a 'Wanted' poster would contain. For fun ask students to make up a 'Wanted' poster for George titled 'Wanted for Being Curious'. Details that may be included - color of eyes, age, height, weight, hair color, what crime he has committed, description, what to do with him when found.

Assessment

Did the student describe George the monkey?

A Miniature Puppet Theater

Demonstrate how to make a miniature puppet theater. Take an empty detergent bottle and cut off the top. Cut a rectangle out of the front of the bottle (where the label is placed). Draw small pictures of the characters e.g. George and the man in the yellow hat. Color them and cut them out. Attach drinking straws or pipecleaners to the backs of the drawings and then lower the 'puppets' into the detergent bottle. The front opening is the stage and you can manipulate the puppets with the straws or pipecleaners. Encourage the students to make up their own dialogue and for the more able students they could write their own scripts. Share with the class.

Assessment

Did the student use his or her imagination?

Did the student give a 'voice' to the puppets?

Did the student share with others?

Let's Celebrate!

What is a celebration? Ask for ideas to celebrate George being a hero.

Provide bananas and ice cream, paper dishes, various toppings and enjoy banana splits.

Provide light card, crayons, markers, wool. Invite students to make a medal to hang around George's neck.

Sing the song '5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed' - make up different words for the song e.g.' 5 Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree.'

Make a graph showing the favorite Curious George book.

In Conclusion

Curious George books are still favorites of young children after more than 60 years. They provide the basis for many Curious George craft ideas and fun activities. These activities can be linked to many areas of the curriculum in interesting ways.

Assessment

Did the students show evidence of their ENJOYMENT of the unit about Curious George?

Did the unit encourage students to read more Curious George books?