Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Together We Read: Shapes Mini-Unit Using a Wonderful Book

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

This is a very cute book! And you can get this book on Amazon.com for a penny! I know, I know, me and that penny again....lol...but really a book for a penny...hard to pass up (and it's a board book!). Keep reading and at the end of this post insha'Allah, you'll see why this book is not only cute but unique in it's presentation and method of teaching shapes.

I thought this book was so cute that I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to do some activities with it.

Here is the first (and here the most popular alhamdulillah) activity:

Over-head view

To make this, I took a box and made cardboard separators for each shape and the needle and thread. I placed three different shapes (which were all in the book) into the box with the needle. Because I demonstrated how to do a threading activity previously (in this posts' activity), there was very little instruction needed.

This activity is on the shelf and can be easily accessed whenever there is interest insha'Allah. So far the interest has been wonderful alhamdulillah. There are about 30 shapes in that box and each shape was threaded onto the string (more than once) with focus, joy, determination, concentration, and I even heard self-instruction! Subhana'Allah! (I heard that word several times by the way....from the child doing the activity!.....lol)

After the child has mastered the above threading activity, he/she can move on to more difficult threading cards such as this one:

You can find tutorials for these all over the Internet as they are easy to make and very popular with toddlers and pre-schoolers. It is amazing to watch them focus so intently on these subhana'Allah. As young as two years old (and younger), they are able to focus and thread with amazing accuracy subhana'Allah!

وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
{282, سورة البقرة }

and Allah teaches you. And Allah is the All-Knower of each and everything.
{Surah Al-Baqarah, ayah 282}

Next we had a shapes hunt and match. You can find this activity and its directions here insha'Allah.

Then we made shape bracelets and for the boys, shape ship key chains:

Next we made shape bookmarks (There are three different bookmarks in the file):

These can be used in two ways insha'Allah: 1). As an assessment tool. Give each child a book mark and provide the child with construction paper shapes that can be matched to the shapes on the bookmark. Invite the child to match and glue them to the corresponding shape on the bookmark. The finished product will give you an idea of what shapes need to be retaught insha'Allah. 2). You can invite the child to colour the shapes.

And I also put out PomPom balls (and a sorting tray) to be sorted according to colour insha'Allah (because they are round/circular).

We also played the Montessori Mystery Bag using different wooden shapes:

Mystery Bag Montessori Activity -- powered by eHow.com

Then, we made our own version of the book so when it is returned to the library insha'Allah,we can still enjoy our shapes.

Front Cover

Below are samples of the inside pages and here you can see how the book  (Eric Carle's book) is unique. The pages are cut in half and the shape on the top part of the page does not match the shape on the bottom half of the page. Children have to flip through the bottom half of the book to find the shape that matches the one on the top part of the page. Because the book is wordless (Eric Carle's book) it encourages discussion among parent/teacher and child. Children can see the contrast in the shapes as they page through looking for the matching shape. I think the concept is quite nice and the book can even be used with younger infants if the parent just uses three or four pages/shapes and discusses them (i.e. "This is a square but this one (point to the shape on the bottom of the page) is not a square. This one is a hexagon. Let's try to find a square to match our square here on the top insha'Allah").

Here, the shapes are matched. The top page is the last page in the book and the bottom page is not.

I also took out the shapes puzzle from this post and the shapes memory cards from this post and we had a nice game of memory alhamdulillah.

To end our mini-unit about shapes, I think we should bake sugar cookies in different shapes insha'Allah. Using cookie cutters is great fine motor skill work and fits right in with Practical Life Skills alhamdulillah. Plus, the results are tasty alhamdulillah! Hmm..yes, definitely need to bake sugar cookies insha'Allah. Oh wait! Maybe we can just make play cookies out of cardboard and decorate them - great for pretend play insha'Allah! Decisions, decisions.....

Photo Credit: Creative Commons Copyright: Patent and the Pantry
If your local library has this book, I recommend that you check it out but if you think a penny is just a great price for a book then you can get it on Amazon.com insha'Allah. Either route you take, I think your child(ren) will enjoy this book insha'Allah.

Enjoy insha'Allah! I hope you will link up and join us insha'Allah!

*When linking up, please link directly to your Together We Read post (and not your blog's general page) to allow everyone to easily and quickly find your post...Jazakum Allahu Khayran! 


  1. Jazak-Allah for the wonderful ideas on shape unit. Love how you've incorporated baking . . . my kids will love it. We have the book and Insya-Allah we will be doing these activities. Will share our outcome Insya-Allah.

  2. Assalaamu Alaikum!

    You have really been a busy body! I wish I could have done all that : ). Lovely ideas for toddlers! Great way to keep them busy too. Hope we could participate too Insha Allaah. Jazzakillaah kahyr sis for sharing! May Allaah bless you!

  3. Oh i like your ideas so much - again and again! thanks for sharing this - i want to do the booklet and the threading activity. JazaakAllah khairan sister.

    wassalamu alaikum,
    Umm Muhammad

  4. assalamu alaikum,

    wonderful book and activitities mashaAllah.

    We found the book in our library, InshaAllah we will start the next week with Together We Read activities.

    Somehow the link for the last two activities is not working (puzzle activity) and do you have a ready file for the shapes book you made?

    JazakhAllah khairan,

    assalamu alaikum

  5. assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

    Jazakum Allahu Khayran dear sisters. Somehow, I'm not quite caught up yet and so I've been slow to respond to comments. My apologies.

    Sis Umm Sara, the links are fixed and barak Allahu feki for telling me *smile*.

    Sis Umm Maimoonah, I hope you all can participate with us. Really, I miss your participation so I'm going to have to find a way to mail you a box of books to last you a few months insha'Allah!...lol.

    Sis Alizah, I can't wait to see your activities insha'Allah. I'm sure they'll be outstanding masha'Allah *smile*. Can't wait to hop over and see insha'Allah.

    Sis Umm Muhammad...((Hug)) and jazakillahu Khyar. I'll try to upload the file for the booklet tomorrow insha'Allah.


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