Students will "take a trip" just like Toot, in the story Toot and Puddle.
- Toot and Puddle, by Holly Hobbie; ISBN 0-316-36552-1
- Toot and Puddle: Top of the World, by Holly Hobbie; ISBN 0-316-36513-0
- Toot and Puddle: Wish You Were Here, by Holly Hobbie; ISBN 0-316-36602-1
- Toot and Puddle: I'll be Home for Christmas, by Holly Hobbie; ISBN 0-316-36623-4
- The Amazing Pop-up Geography Book, by Kate Petty & Jennie Maizels; ISBN 0-525-46438-7
- How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, by Majorie Priceman; ISBN 0-679-88083-6
- Maps and Globes, by Jack Knowlton; ISBN-13: 978-0-06-446049-1
- Helping Your Child with Maps and Globes, by Bruce Frazee & William Guardia; ISBN 0-673-
- Toot and Puddle: I'll be Home for Christmas, National Geographic Kids, Warner Home Video;
- Rhyme Time: Harmony by Douglas Florian, National Geographic Young Explorer, January-
February 2007,1(4), National Geographic Society; ISSN 1930-8116
Background for Teachers
Children need to develop the understanding that maps and globes
represent real places and that there are many different environments
in the world. One way to begin to make this connection is to have
students locate areas on maps and globes and for the students to learn
a little about different locations, thus making the places seem "real."
In the book Toot and Puddle by Holly Hobbie, the character Toot travels
around the world for a year while his friend Puddle stays home. In
each different country, Toot sends a postcard to Puddle. The reader
learns what sorts of activities Toot does in different parts of the world
based on the climate. The reader also sees what types of activities
Puddle does back home in Woodcock Pocket, Massachusetts. After
reading the story, the students will have the opportunity to decide
where they would like to travel. Like Toot, they will be writing
a postcard home to their friends to tell them about their trip. As
teachers, we know that with scaffolding (carefully planned support),
a somewhat difficult activity can be accomplished by the students.
This increases learning and the value of the activity. We also want
to involve students' families in their education. Therefore, part of
this activity requires a home/parent involvement. However, it can be
adjusted to work using aides in the classroom.
Intended Learning Outcomes
5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal skills.
Invitation to Learn
Tell the students that they are going to learn about a pig who loves
to travel. They will get to learn a little about all the places that he
visits. Ask the students to pay close attention to the types of activities
that the pig is doing in each place that he visits and the type of
clothing he needs for each area. In the book, the pig's best friend stays
home. Tell the students to pay attention to the types of activities that
the friend does at home during the year. Before reading, place a sticker
on the map and blow-up globe to show where the students are and
where Toot and Puddle live (near Boston).
- While reading the story Toot and Puddle, each time Toot travels
to a new country, find it on the map and on the globe and mark
it with a sticker. Remember to compare where Puddle is to all
the places that Toot visits.
- Discuss the weather where Toot and Puddle are and the types
of activities that each pig is doing each month in the story.
Discuss what types of clothing they are wearing.
- After reading the story--if appropriate--ask the students where
they have traveled. Find some of the areas on the map and the
globe. What did they need to bring on their trip?
- Tell the students about a place where you would like to travel.
Locate it on the map and the globe. Talk about the types of
clothing that you would need to pack based on the weather.
Talk about the types of activities that you would like to do
there. Or, if possible, talk about a place that you have visited,
show pictures, etc.
- Show students a prepared copy of the suitcase, clothing,
airplane ticket, and postcard (these should match the area that
you talked about visiting). Instructions for assembling the
suitcase are included in the letter to parents. Show the students
how to pack the suitcase and the type of clothing that they
would pack if it were a hot or cold area that they want to visit.
- Tell students that now they get to go on an (imaginary) trip
just like Toot. They will be taking the blacklines home to work
on with their families. They will need to decide where they
want to travel to, fill in the airplane ticket, pack their suitcases
with the correct type of clothing, and write a postcard to the
class about their "trip." In a few days, they will need to bring
all their travel papers back to school. Then everyone will get a
chance to share their trip with the class.
- Give each student the parent letter, suitcase blacklines, three
sets of Velcro to seal the suitcase, both clothing blacklines,
airplane ticket blackline, and postcard blackline.
- Pick several days to have the students tell the class about their
"trip." As students talk about the places that they "visited,"
locate each area on the map and the inflatable globe and mark
it with a sticker. Students should show their airplane tickets,
suitcase with vacation clothing, and read the postcard to the
- If this activity needs to be adjusted for a center or to work with
aides/volunteers directly in the classroom, pick several different
areas that the children can "visit" (e.g. Disneyland, Hawaii,
Paris, etc. ) Briefly talk about these areas and the type of
clothing the children will need to "pack" in their suitcase. Then
let them choose one of the discussed areas to visit and direct
their work on the airplane ticket and postcard accordingly.
- Graph how many students chose to travel to a warm climate
versus how many chose to travel to a cold climate. How many
traveled to the same location?
- Use a calendar to track where Toot is each month. Talk about
what the weather is like each month for Puddle, who stays
- Use Google Earth to locate the places that Toot visits. Also, find
your school, the students' homes, etc. Use Google Earth any
time that your class is learning a new location.
- Put travel brochures and blank postcards in the writing center.
- Ask a mail carrier to visit the classroom, or take a trip to the
post office to see how mail gets from one place to another.
- Invite students' family members to the classroom to talk about
places they have visited.
- Have students ask family members or family friends to send
postcards to the class when they go on trips. Remember to
mark the locations on the map and the globe.
- Collect stamps from mail that students and their families receive
and locate the country of origin on a map and globe.
- Observe students as they present their "trips" in front of the
class. Check to see that they have a general understanding
of the locations that they "visited." Do the pictures on the
postcards match the general climates of the locations? Did they
"pack" the correct type of clothing? Do they know the general
areas of the world where they took their trips?
- Check for the basic understanding that maps and globes
represent real places.
- Check writings and drawings for developmentally appropriate
Bredekamp, S. & Copple, C., (eds.) (1997) Developmentally appropriate practices in early
childhood programs (rev. ed). Washington DC: National Association for the Education of
Young Children. 22, 99.
A developmentally appropriate classroom is strengthened by the
teacher's knowledge of how each individual child learns. In an early childhood classroom, it is necessary for the teacher to learn about
each child through a positive relationship with the child's family. A
positive, strong, reciprocal relationship between teacher and family
requires "mutual respect, cooperation, shared responsibility and
negotiation of conflicts toward achievement of shared goals"(pg 22).
Teachers and parents need to work together on a child's education.
According to Vygotsky, children need opportunities to work in
challenging learning situations where, assisted by adults or peers, they
can achieve tasks that would otherwise frustrate them. When given
a difficult task and given assistance with positive adult guidance,
children are more likely to take initiative and work through the task
thus feeling success and acquiring important skills and concepts.
Frazee, B. & Guardia, W. (1994). Helping your child with maps and globes. Glenview, IL.
GoodYearBooks, Scott Foresman. 155
As quoted from the authors, "As children begin to understand and
work with maps, they should also begin to locate places on the globe.
Familiar locations can be discussed and located on a map and then
compared to the same area on the globe. The teacher should use every
opportunity possible to compare and refer to the globe when studying
maps because the globe shows the whole earth. Early exposure to the
globe is essential because it shows worldwide relationships."
Haury, D. & Milbourne, L. (2000). Helping students with homework in science and math.
ERIC Digest. Retrieved 11/28/2006. From http://www.eric.ed.gov
Teachers need to develop meaningful homework. One benefit of
meaningful homework is that it can help students develop mastery of
a concept that they have been learning in the classroom. Homework
needs be a good learning experience for students and should be
carefully planned by the teacher to have meaning to the students.
Parents who help their children with homework naturally become
more involved in their child's education and are more aware of what
is happening in the school. This in turn can lead to a more positive
relationship between teachers and parents.