Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg is a great story to use with your preschooler to kindergartner. The fun rhythm of the story will engage the children. The pictures are fun to look at and provide the children an opportunity to use their observational skills. This story allows for various types of learning and reaches the auditory, kinesthetic, and visual learning styles so that all students will have a successful learning experience.
Building Background Knowledge
Before starting a lesson using this story, build background knowledge with the children by discussing and reading the nursery rhyme characters that are included in the story; Jack and Jill, Mother Hubbard, Tom Thumb, Cinderella. One way of doing this is by simply reading each of these nursery rhymes to the students. Another way to build background knowledge is to play a matching game. Find a picture of each of the characters and cut them out. Find a picture of an item that goes along with the characters nursery rhyme. For example, for the characters Jack and Jill find a picture of a pail. Place the characters pictures together on one side and place the item pictures together on another side. The children can take turns placing the item picture with the characters. For a small group, give copies of the pictures to each small group to work on and then discuss.
The students can pretend to be detectives or spies and tell them they are going on a character hunt. In the pictures, the characters are hidden, with only a part showing. The students locate the character before moving to the next page. This can be a jump to a lesson on teaching children to use pictures in a text to help understand the story and to find clues in the story. As they get older and are ready to use higher level thinking, pictures can help with making inferences and predictions.
This story is full of rhyming words. As the book is read, have students point out or name the rhyming words that they see and hear. Make a list of those words on chart paper. Continue to do this throughout the story. When you have finished the story, direct students to the list of words and recite them together. Discuss with the students that rhyming words have the same sound at the end. Point out that although they have the same sound, they aren’t always spelled the same. For example, plum and thumb, stairs and bears. But also point out the words that have the same ending spelling, like hunting and bunting, hill and Jill, wood and Hood.
You can extend this for higher level thinking and have the students add their own rhyming words to the list. Again, pointing out that some are spelled the same, and some are different. By doing this, you are also incorporating a spelling lesson for the students.
Arts and Crafts
After reading this book with your students, they may enjoy acting the story out by performing a play or a puppet show. The students could get involved with making scenery, props, and costumes. Performing a play or puppet show, the students become familiar with speaking skills and being in front of a crowd.