by Antoinette Portis
My FREE PDF work page and key (photo of page below): Kindergarten Diary work page and key PDF
This is another book about a girl worrying about how school will be scary or bad. What is so interesting about this book is the illustrations (by the author) are scaled to show how the kindergartener is feeling, not the actual size of things. For instance, on the first two pages she worries about big kids, and the illustration shows a mean big kid who is larger than the school, and she is very little and covered in clothing.
Have you ever had a child draw a picture this way, to show what seems bigger in their lives and what seems smaller? It is very interesting when children are told to draw this way as they come up with a reality adults are not aware of. Many times children will draw themselves as the biggest person in the family if they are in the egocentric growth stage. This kind of picture can help adults discuss the perceptions children have of the world. This entire book is drawn this way, from the viewpoint of the about to be kindergartener with her worries about school. Here is what Annalina says on September 1&1/2: “My mom says I have to go to Big School. So here is what I am going to wear: my rainbow bathing suit, my ballet skirt, my plaid shirt, my cowboy boots, and definitely no socks.” Don’t worry, parents, teachers know the days children dress themselves and you don’t need to apologize to a teacher!
On September 2nd we see the girl in a nice dress with socks. Mom has won. On September 3rd, we see an illustration of how scary the teacher would look if the Annalina’s worries came true, and the actual picture of the lovely teacher. The book continues in this way and would be a fun book to read the first week of school after some of the worries are alleviated.
This is what I really like about the book, off the topic of school worries: There is an idea for recess play! So often the games at recess are all versions of chase. I’m thinking this book has a fun nobody-gets-hurt idea for fun play at recess which could start a class discussion of good ideas for outside play. The children in this class don’t just learn to use monkey bars, they have an imaginary jungle or space theme above or beneath them as they climb across. Clever.
The Annalina (now Anna as she is going to save the lina letters for when she is bigger) makes friends who can whistle, jump rope, come over to play, are afraid to touch a snail, and have a birthday with cupcakes. Yes, children really do put frosting beards and mustaches on with the beautiful frosted cupcakes parents so kindly share with the class! After all these exciting events, Anna is planning to be nice when she is huge next year and a tiny kindergartner wants to use the ball.
The worksheet is a circle the right answer illustration and does not require written answers.
One is a page to draw people in the life of the child with the size relative to importance. This would be very interesting to show at conferences