As mentioned in our previous blog, Make Every Friday Fun with Fun Activities for Kindergarten, a great way to bring excitement and engagement into your classroom is by making every Friday a FUN Friday! One of our first Fun Fridays was based on the book Elmer, by David McKee. In the book, Elmer is an elephant who brings joy and laughter to the herd. Elmer’s great sense of humor isn’t the only thing that sets him apart; Instead of being elephant colored, he is a patchwork of rainbow colors! One day Elmer decides he doesn’t want to be a patchwork of colors, so he leaves the herd searching for a way to make himself grey. At the end of the book, Elmer learns a valuable lesson; It’s your character that matters most, and it’s okay to be different.
Elmer the Elephant activities are perfect for early in the year when you are getting to know each other, as they are cute, fun, and deliver a great message; Being unique is something to be celebrated, not ashamed of. As a kindergarten teacher, I have always loved this book and its message. As a mother of a child with a prosthetic foot, I love this book even more! Teaching children to embrace their differences and focus on what they have to offer, over how they look, is such an important lesson. Read on to learn more about how we make Friday fun with Elmer the Patchwork Elephant Activities.
Activities for Elmer the Elephant
Begin the day by reminding students it is FUN Friday! You may want to play some fun music, write a special morning message, do a quick cheer, anything to get your kids excited about the day! Then explain you will be reading an adorable book about an elephant who is unique. Ask, What does it mean to be unique? Discuss the meaning of being unique (different, unlike anything else, special, being the only one of its kind, distinctive). Hold up the book and introduce Elmer. Read and discuss it with your class. It is helpful to read the book ahead of time and create text dependent questions to complement the book. As a kindergarten team, we would write our questions together on sticky notes, and place them in the book for easy access. For ideas on how to add text dependent questions and make your read aloud better, read our blog, 3 Steps to Create Meaningful Experiences Through Read Aloud. Next, tell your kids it’s time for a beautiful Elmer the Elephant art activity! (Pause for cheering and clapping.)
Free Elmer The Elephant Activities
You can find many art activities to go along with this book on Pinterest or Google, but here are 2 of our favorites! As with everything in kindergarten, first model how to color, cut out and glue the patchwork elephant to colorful construction paper. You can use crayons, or for a little extra Friday fun, allow your students to use markers. Note that this activity takes a lot of coloring, so you may want to plan a quick break and have your kids get up and move. We love the Hap Palmer song, The Elephant; Our kids get up and dance around like elephants before (or after) finishing up their Elmer the Elephant art activity. As the class finishes up, play the animated version of the book for them to come and watch. Once the entire class is finished, it’s time to explain the second art project. This project is for students to take home and decorate however they want. They bring this elephant back the following week to share with the class and then decorate the halls with an elephant parade! If you don’t like to assign homework, or if you have a student who doesn’t return this assignment, don’t fret, this project can be added to your art center and completed in school.
Elmer the Elephant Writing Activity
For a fun writing activity, students can write about what makes them special. First, review what it means to be unique and what makes Elmer special (his ability to bring laughter and joy to the herd). Then have each child share why he/she is special using the sentence stem I am special because… Finally, everyone completes the Elmer the Elephant Writing Activity by writing the sentence and drawing a picture to match. Then, depending on your students’ writing abilities, you may want to write some words on the board to for them to copy, or you may have to record their writing. This writing activity also works great as an interactive writing lesson. For more information on how to teach interactive writing, read our blog, Interactive Writing: Fun and Engaging for Kindergarten. We like to keep these writing pieces to add to our end of the year memory books, which we present to each student on the last day of school. Not only is this memory book adorable, but it shows the incredible growth each child made throughout the year! Until then, we use these pages to create a class book called Just like Elmer, We are Special! Our students love looking at their work in this class made book.
Make Snack Time Fun
Frosted animal crackers make a great snack for Elmer the Elephant Fun Friday! You can also turn snack into a fun math activity. For example, have your students put 10 crackers in a line as if it were an animal parade. Then have everyone count their crackers (making sure they all point as you count, using one to one correspondence). Everyone eats one cracker at time as you all count down to zero. Snack time can be delicious and FUN!
More FUN Friday Activies
To get the FREE printables for these activities, visit our TpT Store, 4 Kinder Teachers. This is just one of many FUN Friday Activities. See the list below for some fantastic activities that pair with wonderful read alouds. FUN Friday is our favorite ways to end the week and keep our students excited about learning.
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Activities
- Fun, Really Fun, Rainbow Fish Activities
- Dr. Seuss Day
- The Mixed Up Chameleon Activities
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear Activities
- Harry the Dirty Dog Activities