Monday, February 20, 2017

The Gigantic Turnip

The Gigantic Turnip is one of those fun stories that I wasn't sure if the children would be familiar with, so I was excited to look at different versions of it with them. I was especially excited that it would give me an excuse to do some vegetable painting, something I've been wanting to try for a while now. 


Opening song: Put your hands up high 

Opening rhyme: Hands go up 

Story: The Gigantic Turnip by Aleksei Tolstoy & Niamh Sharkey 

Song: Fairy Tale Song 
Tune: Jingle Bells 

Once upon a time 
In a land so far away 
A princess kissed a frog, 
Well that just made his day 

Far across the town 
Red Riding Hood took fright 
She found a wolf in Granny's bed 
When she told her good night! 

Fairy Tales! Fairy tales! 
Read them every day! 
Oh what fun it is to hear 
How Goldilocks got away! 

Fairy Tales! Fairy Tales! 
Full of joy and laughter 
Do you know how this one ends? 
Why it's happily ever after! 

Source: First Grade W.O.W. 

Song: Pull the Turnip 
Tune: London's Burning 

Pull the turnip, pull the turnip 
Get more people, get more people 
Pull, pull! Pull, pull! 
It's enormous, it's enormous 

Source: Twinkl 

Story: Grandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip by Denia Lewis Hester

Coding Word: TURNIP 

TURNIP in ASCII Binary Alphabet. Purple=1 and White=0 And yes, technically these are chili peppers, not turnips, but it was the closest I had. 

Activities: STEM Force and Motion Activity Set from Learning Resources 

Craft: Vegetable painting 

Final Story: The Turnip by Jan Brett 

Goodbye song 

How it actually went: 

A couple of the kids had some familiarity with this story, but otherwise it was a new one for the group. As usual, I started with a fairly traditional version. This edition was one I first read in grad school when I was working on a Storytelling Bibliography for the Center for Children's Books. Lucky for me, it wasn't hard to find plenty of other versions of this tale. 

The kids really enjoyed Grandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip. For some reason the phrase "big ol' turnip" was hilarious to them, and they laughed every time I said it. 

We sang "Pull the Turnip" a few times through. When I started planning this storytime, I decided to sew a giant turnip to use as a prop. I had no idea exactly what I was going to use it for, but I knew I wanted it. When I found this song, I decided it worked perfectly with my prop turnip, and the children took turns pulling the turnip while we sang. 

I could probably do a whole post in and of itself about the process of sewing the turnip. Like most of my sewing projects, I went online for some ideas and then I winged it. I included a velcro opening so that I could add weight to try to make it heavy. I wound up putting 4 pounds of poly beads in it, and it still wasn't as heavy as I wanted, but it worked as a prop anyway. 

We practiced our coding again by spelling TURNIP in binary. Things started getting a little chaotic though, so after this week, I gave the coding a bit of a rest. 

Next I gave a brief demo with my Forces and Motion set to show the children the force required to pull a heavy object. It was a little difficult, because of course, everyone wanted to play, and we didn't really have time for that. I gave them the option of experimenting with the play set after they finished with their paintings. 

Now for the fun part. I had the tables set up with the paints and the vegetables already, and I had covered everything with table cloths so the kids couldn't see what we were doing until I was ready. I gave them potatoes, zucchini, celery, bell peppers, and of course a turnip, to paint with. 

The kids had a blast! I am so glad that I brought old t-shirts and put down lots of table cloths, because this was a messy one. The children were pretty well covered in paint, but they came up with some cool creations, which are now on display in the children's department. 

If you have any thoughts or questions please feel free to leave me a comment below? If you've tried something similar at your library, please, let me know how it went. 

*Disclaimer* I include links to Amazon and other sellers, but I am not an affiliate so I do not receive any compensation for any sales which may result. I am, however, an independent consultant with Usborne Books & More, so I do receive a commission from any sales placed on my Usborne website. 

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