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Story Time: Yertle the Turtle

Story Time: Yertle the Turtle - Crafts and Activities for the picture book

Oh, Yertle.  You’re such a tyrant.  It’s only fitting that you end up in the mud.

When I decided to do a Story Time about turtles, Yertle the Turtle was the book that popped into my head.  Dr. Seuss is incredible at pointing out life-isms with silly, rhyming stories, and this book is a great example.  Yertle is king of all things in the pond, and he should be happy with that, because ponds are amazing places.  He just doesn’t get it, though.  Like most empire-builders, Yertle wants more, more, more, more.  So he climbs to it on the backs of his subjects.  Typical tyrant.

This book is fun and funny and a great way to start a turtle unit with your littles.  So let’s not waste time.  Let’s get to it.

Yertle The Turtle Activities

Story Time: Yertle the Turtle - Crafts and Activities for the picture book

Language

Yertle provides a great chance to combine a little history or science with your English Lesson.  This book offers up opportunities to discuss empires and conquerors from the past–the Romans, the Mongols, the Greeks, the Turks.  You can discuss with your littles how each of those empires died and why and the difficulties in taking over a new place and making people follow your rules.   Why not have your little write a letter to Yertle telling him why he should be happy with his pond and how he should treat his subjects better?  You could also have your little pick the mule, the cat, the butterfly, the sea, or any of the other objects Yertle decides he rules and have that object write him a letter telling him why he is not its king and how it cherishes its freedom.  This will give your little a chance to think about how the animal or landform works and what would make it want to stay to free.   As ever, there is a free download in my subscriber freebies to help him along.  The directions on it are for the first idea, but it could easily be used for both.

Dear Yertle

Science

The best science project you can do here is, of course, to head out to a pond and hunt up some turtles to observe.  Take your nature journals and keep notes on what you see.  If you want some great living books to go with this story, check out One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies and Box Turtle at Long Pond by William T. George.  Davies’ book chronicles the life of a sea turtle while George’s book… Well, obviously it’s about a box turtle.  You don’t need me to hold your hand there.

If you want a short unit to go along with all this goodness, try this Learn About Turtles download from me.  It’s 8 pages of fun information and puzzles for your littles.

A Mini Unit all about turtles for Story Tme: Yertle the Turtle

Craft

Well, we have to make a turtle, duh.  And we may as well make one with a cool shell.

Disposable Bowl Turtle

Disposable Bowl Turtle Crat for Story Time: Yertle th Turtle

What you need:

Disposable Bowl Turtle Crat for Story Time: Yertle th Turtle

  • 1 disposable (paper or plastic) bowl
  • Green and brown craft paint (you could probably use markers for this part, but it will take longer)
  • Green construction paper
  • Small googly eyes
  • Glue
  • Scissors

What you do:

Disposable Bowl Turtle Crat for Story Time: Yertle th Turtle

  • Paint your bowl green.  Set aside to dry.

Disposable Bowl Turtle Crat for Story Time: Yertle th Turtle

  • In the meantime, cut out a head, tail, and feet for your turtle from construction paper.  Since most turtles have 5 toes, I went with that for this turtle.  The head and tail are just different sizes of pointed ovals. Easy peasy.

Disposable Bowl Turtle Crat for Story Time: Yertle th TurtleDisposable Bowl Turtle Crat for Story Time: Yertle th TurtleDisposable Bowl Turtle Crat for Story Time: Yertle th Turtle

  • Once the green paint is dry, use brown to paint on the scutes (plates) of the shell.  You can really turn this into a neat geometry lesson for your little, asking her to paint certain shapes, or you can just let her go to town and come up with her own shapes.
  • Once it’s dry, it’s time to attach your head, tail, and feet.

Disposable Bowl Turtle Crat for Story Time: Yertle th Turtle

  • Glue head and tail to bottom of shell opposite each other.

20160509_133103

  • Line up legs and glue front legs opposite each other and back legs opposite each other.

20160509_133309

  • Glue googly eyes onto head.

Done! An easy peasy turtle your little can play with!

Disposable Bowl Turtle Crat for Story Time: Yertle th Turtle

Food

Um, chocolate and caramel?  Oh. Yeah.

Turtles are my beautiful husband’s favorite treat, so I learned to make them a long time ago.  Because I can make him a cookie jar full at home for the same price a box of 15 costs in the store.  Plus, I get to put the love in.

Chocolate Turtles Candy

Make Chocolate Turtles to munch on while you read for Story Time: Yertle the Turte

What you need:

  • 14 oz package caramels
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp shortening
  • wax paper
  • butter for wax paper
  • napkins for wiping drool

What you do:

  • Unwrap caramels
  • In a medium saucepan, combine caramels with evaporated milk.  Drool while stirring frequently over low heat until caramels melt.
  • Add pecans and stir to combine.
  • Wipe your chin.
  • Remove from heat and drop by teaspoonfuls onto buttered wax paper.
  • Try one.  Preferably the first one you dropped; it will be coolest.  Restrain yourself to one.
  • In a different saucepan, combine chocolate chips and shortening.  Stir over low heat until melted and mixed smooth.  Inhale deeply while you do this–it enhances the experience.
  • Dip your caramel candies into the chocolate mixture and return them to the wax paper to set.
  • Try one more.  Restrain yourself if they’re for your husband.
  • Store at room temp in an airtight container.  If you can.

These candies are simple and easy and delicious.  Your littles will think you’re the best, most magical mama ever if you make these.  I am not making that up.  Plus, it makes about 2 pounds’ worth so there’s Plenty For Everybody.  But hoard a few back for yourself for stressful occasions.  Because nothing eases stress better than chocolate and caramel.

I’m loving this Story Time!  I think it’s made my list of top 5 faves.  (It could just be that I love turtles so much, though.  The real ones and the candy.)

Love wins,

KT

KT Brison
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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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24 Comments

  1. This looks like so much fun! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday this week!
    Tina

    By the way, I can’t seem to figure out how to access your subscriber freebies. I’ve subscribed and am getting your posts, but I’ve never seen a password to get into the freebie page. Did I miss it somehow? Would you mind emailing me and letting me know what I need to do? Thanks!
    Tina at Mommynificent recently posted…A Winner at Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #147My Profile

  2. I just pulled this book out for my toddler’s bookshelf. (Of course, my older children immediately grabbed it and re-read.) Thanks for sharing at the #LMMLinkup.
    Leslie recently posted…Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup: Life-Changing DevotionalMy Profile

  3. This sounds like such a cute story! I love the art craft and the recipe for candy turtles sounds so good! Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂
    Kelly @RaisingSamuels recently posted…ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review: Early Elementary K-3 Book OneMy Profile

  4. I love the Dr. Seuss books and Yertle the Turtle is one of the best. 🙂 Love your ideas of incorporating other subjects into the study. Your craft is such a cute and easy way to make a turtle. I’m sure kids would love it! Thanks for sharing at the #LMMLinkup!
    Gayl Wright recently posted…Literacy Musing MondaysMy Profile

  5. I totally did Dr. Suess’s ABC’s in February and did a craft for 10 tired turtles on a tuttle tuttle tree. So much fun!

    Thanks for visiting #EverythingKids this week and linking up.
    Hil recently posted…Vegetable DumplingsMy Profile

  6. Love the craft turtle, looks so cool and great to go with the book.
    Thanks for sharing with #LetKidsBeKids
    Let kids be kids recently posted…Cake top modelling with childrenMy Profile

  7. This is a really great unit study 🙂 I love it! Thanks for sharing your ideas at Together on Tuesdays.

  8. Thanks so much for the awesome ideas! You are so creative! Time for some turtle hunting! Thanks for sharing with us at Family Joy Blog link up!
    Laura recently posted…Family Blog Post 16My Profile

  9. What a great turtle mini unit! My youngest son has been asking for a pet turtle and I was thinking of pulling a little unit together for him. These are some fabulous ideas.
    Mother of 3 recently posted…Helping a HummingbirdMy Profile

  10. I love how you took one book and incorporated so much learning!!!! This is brilliant!

  11. We just attended a Ninja themed birthday party & now I see this, lol!

    Super cool, btw!

    Thanks for sharing at Practical Mondays!
    swapna recently posted…Art Studio Diaries: 10 Chapters (Practical Mondays #12)My Profile

  12. I love this!! And then to end up with turtles to eat!! Even better!!!
    I am a retired teacher and children’s librarian so I love this even more!
    also @ The Reader and the Book (book reviews)
    ~ linda recently posted…Resting – Sheep and ShepherdsMy Profile

    • ktbrison@gmail.com

      Linda, we should be fast friends, then. Thanks so much for the positive input. Love it, love it, love it!

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