"Froggy Goes to School" is in the "Froggy" series of books by Jonathan London that is designed for children in kindergarten through second grade. "Froggy Goes to School" tells the story of Froggy's first day at kindergarten. Teachers can use the story to help children feel better about their own first day at school. Older students can relate to the story, which may make it easier for them to understand its concepts.
Brainstorm Shared Experiences
After you read the book aloud to the class, ask students to talk about how they felt on their first day of school. Choose a diagram to show how those experiences overlap. For example, create two columns -- one for Froggy and one for the students -- and draw connections between the items that overlap, such as "felt nervous" or "had an accident." Or create a Venn diagram in which Froggy's experiences are written in one circle, and the students' experiences are written in the other. Shared experiences can be written in the space where the two circles overlap. The activity will show students how many others share in their experiences.
Talk about "Firsts"
The first day of school is only one of many "firsts" that students will have experienced at that point. Other firsts could include losing their first tooth, having their first sleepover at a friend's house, going to their first movie or riding a bike for the first time. Ask students to draw a picture or create a craft representing that experience. Students can then share their pictures with the class and talk about how they felt during the experience, such as scared, excited or brave.
Students may not know some of the words used in the story. Before reading the story aloud, let students know that they will be hearing words they don't know. Some words might include "nervous," "squirm" or "adjust." Write these words on the board and explain what they mean. Ask students to share times they felt nervous, or when they felt like squirming or had to adjust. Tell students to raise their hands when they hear the word in the story. You can turn it into a game by awarding stickers or other small prizes to students who identify the words first and can say what they mean.
Make an Art Project
Ask students to create an art project that gets Froggy ready for his first day of school. Provide a paper with a frog on it, and ask students to use markers, crayons or pencils to draw the things that Froggy will need for his first day of school. They may draw items used in the book, such as a pencil or backpack, or they may include items they think are important. For instance, one student may think a special blanket would make Froggy feel more comfortable, while another may think that a picture of mom and dad would make him feel better.
Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.