Bookgarteners: Lois Ehlert

For an overview of the Bookgarteners program, please visit this post.

Lois Ehlert is one of my favorite author/illustrators of all time. Her book Color Zoo is the first book I remember my school librarian reading to my kindergarten class.

Group Program

To begin our program, I explained what an author was and what an illustrator was. I talked about how each book has one of each. Sometimes they are the same person and sometimes they are not. I had both options to show the kids — Color Zoo and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Then, we looked at her biography title The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life to learn how she makes her pictures. We didn’t read the whole title, but I shared some parts with the group.

Afterwards, it was time to read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom together.

Retelling Tree for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
2.B.ECb: With teacher assistance, retell familiar stories with three or more key events

I bought the Chicka Chicka Activity Tree from Lakeshore Learning. (I had this at my previous library and really missed having one.) This was perfect for this retelling activity. I gave each kid a letter and they waited for their turn to come up and put their letter on the tree, just like in the story.

Activity Stations

Four activity stations were spread out around the room. I had one teen volunteer in the room with me to help control the flow of kiddos.

Sensory Bin with Growing Vegetable Soup
19.A.ECa: Engage in active play using gross-motor and fine-motor skills.

This sensory bin was inspired by Mom Envy, via Pinterest. This activity was very easy for me to put together. I already had purchased the vegetables & garden supplies back when I did the Garden Shop play center. I did buy the colored rice instead of making it, but I have already used the rice a couple of times since…so an excellent purchase. My rice did accidentally transfer dye to hands though, so be aware. (It wiped clean with a sani-hands wipe.)

Pattern Matching with A Pair of Socks
8.A.ECa: Sort, order, compare, and describe objects according to characteristics or attributes.

This pattern matching activity came from Laugh, Paint, Create!, via Pinterest. The kids matched up the socks that I cut out of cardstock. This was a quick station, but they really enjoyed it.

Shape Art with Color Zoo & Color Farm
9.A.ECa: Recognize and name common two- and three- dimensional shapes and describe some of their attributes.
25.A.ECd: Visual Arts. Investigate and participate in activities using visual arts materials.

This art project came from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas, via Pinterest. This station took them a really long time to complete since I did not precut anything, but their creations were AMAZING. I did have to spend some time with one particular kiddo who had a hard time with their shapes not being perfect. It was a chance to talk about how even my shapes aren’t perfect and that’s okay.

Tangram Flowers for Planting a Rainbow
9.A.ECd: Combine two-dimensional shapes to create new shapes.
9.A.Ede: Think about/imagine how altering the spatial orientation of a shape will change how it looks.

This math activity came from Waddlee-ah-chaa, via Pinterest. This took a fair bit of time to set up. I had to purchase a tangram set and then build my flowers from there. I created the tangrams in Publisher, and they don’t 100% line-up with the pieces, but it was close enough for the kids to use the sheets as a guide to build and that was the whole goal to begin with.


I think the only adjustment I would have made with this program was to make the socks matching more difficult by making more socks. They zipped through the activity quickly…but that was because my hand got tired of cutting out socks during program prep, haha. Another successful edition of Bookgarteners.

3 comments on “Bookgarteners: Lois Ehlert

  1. Michelle
    March 15, 2018 at 6:01 pm #

    This is so inspiring! I was just thinking about starting something like this over the summer to prep kids going into kindergarten.
    Have you hear the “Author writes the words” song? I think it would work well with your program 😀
    Can’t wait to see more of your program!

    • Katie
      March 22, 2018 at 12:32 pm #

      No, I haven’t. Would mind sharing it, Michelle?

      • Michelle
        March 22, 2018 at 12:41 pm #

        There are a bunch of different versions that extend past the author and illustrator:
        Sung to the tune of the Farmer in the Dell:
        The author writes the words,
        The author writes the words,
        Hi Ho Librario
        the author writes the words.
        the illustrator draws
        the illustrator draws
        Hi Ho Librarios
        the illustrator draws.
        I found it here:

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