Poor Russell the Sheep, he just can’t manage to go to sleep! How many children have experienced that at some point in their lives? I know mine sure have!This book by Rob Scotton is a simple read that will entertain children and can even be used as an excellent teaching tool. Literacy, math, and even art concepts can be explored in this text, both in your home or in your classroom. Take a peek below at some great lesson plan ideas to go with Russell the Sheep. There is even a fun craft you can do using an old sock. Take a peek!
Russell the Sheep Lesson Plans: Ages PreK-3
You can complete these lessons in any order you wish. There is no right or wrong way to do them, just make them work for you and suit the needs of your child/children. Before starting any of the below activities, read the text out loud. Take time to point out and define any difficult words, take a look at picture clues, and make note of any pages that catch your interest. Take some time to get absorbed in the text and Russell’s story.
Fun with Numbers and Crazy Counting
Supplies needed: Construction paper, markers
Objectives: Students will be able to count in numerical order.
Directions: In this book, sleepy Russell tries counting to make himself sleep. He counts to over one million in fact! Ask children how high they can count. Have they ever tried counting to one million before? What is the highest number they can count to? Does counting help them fall asleep? Open up a discussion based on these questions.
1. Now, pair students up and give them the chance to start counting. You can even invite them to try and count themselves to sleep. Ask that they use a whisper voice and begin counting. Tell them to raise their hand when they can’t count any higher. Set a time for 10-15 minutes, otherwise some children may count for hours!
2. Ask students how they feel when they are done counting. Do they feel sleepy? Energized? Invite them to share.
3. Now, give each child a piece of paper and a marker. Invite them to take a walk through the book and look for some of the large numbers Russell mentioned. Have them write these numbers down. Go on a hunt and see how many different numbers can be found.
4. Conclude this activity by reconvening and allowing for questions, answers, and reflection.
Through Froggy’s Eyes
Supplies needed: Paper, markers
Objectives: Students will be able to retell a story from the perspective of another character.
Directions: Take a picture walk through the book. You may notice a certain little green character that keeps Russell company. This green frog seems to be Russell’s sidekick, but he never says a peep. Now, ask student’s what they think the green frog may be thinking. If he could talk, what would he say?
1. Give each child a piece of paper and marker. Have them draw a picture of the frog and give him an official name.
2. Now, think about the story of Russell from the frog’s perspective. You may need to define what the word “perspective” means and give some examples. Invite the children into a discussion about this word and this task.
3. Have the children write a few sentences from the frog’s point of view. Allow as much time as needed for this activity. This can be a few sentences or pages. Allow the child to decide where this activity will go as far as length and depth.
4. When done, allow for some share time. It will be interesting to see how the children make the frog tell the story. Invite children to read these pieces out loud. Discuss how the stories are alike. Discuss how they are different.
5. At the conclusion of the activity, gather for question, answer, and reflection time.
Russell’s Sweet Little Sleep Cap
Objectives: Students will be able to utilize fine motor skills to create a mini sleep cap.
Supplies needed: Old sock, blue construction paper, white pom pom, scissors, craft glue
Directions: You may have noticed how Russell is wearing a rather sweet blue and white striped sleep cap in this story. For this activity, children will have a chance to create their own little sleep cap, perfect for placing on their own dolls and stuffed animals. Here is how:
1. Cut a piece of blue construction paper into thin strips.
2. Add a line of glue to the back of each strip and press it to the sock. Hold it firmly into place until it has adhered well.
3. Continue gluing blue strips on the sock until you reach the top, closed toe portion of the sock. Add some glue to a white pom pom and glue it to the top top toe of the sock.
4. You can now use your scissors to trim the strips to fit nice and clean. Your finished product is a sweet little night cap just like Russell’s. These are perfect for placing over the heads of dolls or stuffed animals at night. Pretty cute, huh? As you can see, using the book, Russell the Sheep is a great way to extend some academic concepts and have some fun at the same time. Give these lessons a try and see how easy it is to further the fun with this text in all sorts of hands on ways!
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4. Plush Sheep