Tradebook Tips for Teachers from Children’s Author Sherrie Madia

Welcome to day three of Sherrie Madia’s 6-day NWFCC February Author Showcase tour where she discusses a Preschool Lesson Plan for her children’s book, Bumblelina.

Preschool Lesson Plan

Teachers can read this book to preschoolers as part of several different possible thematic units, including:  spring, bumblebees, the preschool experience, drawing, learning colors and the importance of trying.  The following lesson speaks specifically to spring and bumblebees.

Two underlying elements within the book are repeated sounds (“Bumblelina fumbles.  Bumblelina stumbles.”) that enable teachers to get kids thinking about these elements as an essential part of learning to read.  Also fun to include is a lesson on colors.  Each page of the book has one “hidden” spot of color, so it is fun for children to find the spot and identify the color.  Because the book is illustrated in line drawings, teachers might talk with children about using their artistic ability to draw their own bee character.  This can be a wonderful way to engage preschoolers in the story by having them draw their own bumblebees, using their imagination.

Another worthwhile exercise based on the notion of trying is to have children draw a picture of themselves trying to do something that was hard (e.g., buttoning a coat, zipping a zipper, pouring a glass of milk, writing their letters, etc.—and then draw the picture of them succeeding at the task).  The teacher might offer a story of something he or she had trouble doing as an adult—but succeeded at by practice and hard work. 

This exercise is a wonderful way not only to demonstrate to children the importance of trying, but also an exercise in enabling them to celebrate past accomplishments, thus serving as a means of building self-esteem and to reinforce the message of how important it is to try until you succeed.

Pages to Color

Here is a fun coloring page that also includes practice with the letter “B”:

Children will also enjoy this bee-hive coloring page, which lets them spend time imagining what it might be like inside a hive:


Rhyme and Movement

Every child like a hand rhyme, and learning simple rhymes and movements is an important component in teaching preschoolers. Children can pick up the rhyme and movement easily, and this reinforces both the topic of the book about a bumblebee, but the more important underlying theme, which is the importance of trying.  When used prior to reading Bumblelina, a rhyme and movement activity can help to focus children and settle them in for story time.

Here is The Beehive Hand Rhyme, which is a brief, easy-to-learn rhyme with hand movements:

To accompany your reading of Bumblelina during story time, here are some fun bumblebee crafts to make:

Paper Plate Bumblebee

Thumbprint Bees

Follow Day 4 of Ms. Madia’s tour tomorrow at Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix – at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Hey, Sherrie and Nicole,

    What great activities to go with Bumblelina! Teachers and homeschooling parents should love all these suggestions!


  2. Hi Sherrie:

    Thank you for presenting ways to tie in activities to reading. Well done!


    Thank you for hosting Sherrie today.

    Best wishes,
    Children’s Author
    Write What Inspires You Blog
    The Golden Pathway Story book Blog
    Donna M. McDine’s Website


  3. Wonderful how you can offer so many lessons form the one story.

    Margot’s Magic Carpet – all 11 of my books on one page


  4. Sherrie,

    I am so happy I got a chance to host you, I am going to pass your information to my elementary teacher friends.

    Nicole Weaver


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