A place to share ideas about play in a Prep classroom

Posts tagged ‘Oral Language’

R is for Rumpus – Where the Wild Things Are

Our sound for the week was /r/ and the timimg couldn’t have been more perfect because after lots of preparation, we were ready for our wild rrrrrrrumpus. We had been enjoying Maurice Sendak’s classic story Where the Wild Things Are and had made lots of preparations for our rumpus. I believe that children are capable and competent and in our classroom the children are given lots of opportunities to express themselves creatively. An example of this is when they decided to make masks. We discussed what kinds of materials they needed to make their masks and the children set to work. The children wanted to draw their mask shape onto coloured cardboard and then cut it out. (I rarely give them a template as I like the children to think for themselves.) The only input I had in this process was helping them with the eyes for their masks, as they needed to be able to see for the rumpus.The children either drew the shapes themselves or they told me the shape they wanted and I helped them cut it out. Once cut out, they decorated their masks any way they wanted using materials from the collage trolley.


With the masks underway, some of the other children made the forest where the wild things live. They used our waffle blocks for tree trunks and fabric for the tree tops, roots and forest floor.








Two of the children decided to make Max a boat so he could sail away to Where the Wild Things Are –




  When the boat was finished, the children used fabric, to make the ocean.




Our giant boa constrictor reminded the children of the first wild thing Max meets,( the one in the water), and so they decided to make him a wig and horns so he looked like the one in the book.


 It took a few tries before they had the horns the way they wanted them.

Sadly I forgot to take a photo of the “wild thing” boa constrictor!




Finally all was ready for the rrrrrrrumpus!

The wild things rrrrrrrroared their terrible rrrrrrroars…………..


and gnashed their terrible teeth………….


and rrrrrolled their terrible eyes………….










and showed their terrible claws…………..



Until Max said “Be still………………….”




and they made him king of all the wild things……………










and now said Max “let the wild rumpus start……………..”. We even had our own jungle beat to “rumpus” to.




Then Max sent them off to bed without their supper…………..



He wanted to be where someone loved him best of all. So he waved goodbye to the wild things………………………..


and sailed away back home…… We loved our rrrrrumpus and had lots of fun being wild things for the rrrrrrest of the term. 

Learning Statements –

Imagining and Responding

Oral Language

Fine and Gross Motor skills

Sense of Self and Others




Mystery Objects – developing oral language

The children were very interested in riddles. They enjoyed making them up and listening to the clues to guess the answer. To enhance this interest and their oral language we began a whole group session called Mystery Objects. Every night 3 children were given a calico  bag and after the child had chosen an object, parents were asked to discuss it with their child and help them to consider answers to possible questions using the guide below.










The first mystery object was a zip lock bag and no one guessed what it was, even with some really useful clues. 

  • It is made of plastic.
  • You can use it for holding things.
  • You can keep them in the kitchen.






I found it interesting that after being unable to guess what the first mystery object was, the children even further engaged in the guessing process and celebrated how clever they were when they did guess and, how clever the child with the mystery object was, when they couldn’t guess it. The children who brought an object that no one could guess really looooooved tricking us! Here is an example of what the children brought in as Mystery Objects –

A torch.



An Egg Whisk










I decided to record these sessions  and whilst listening to the play back, the children were very excitied to hear (or in some cases not hear) themselves speaking. They were able to discuss voice tone and volume and it was amazing how they, in later sessions, were very careful to use a “confident” voice so they could be heard. The recordings also provoked curiosity from those children who rarely participate, ( without direct questioning) in class discussions. They were curious to hear themselves speak and quickly became active participants to hear themselves again. The children also liked to guess who was speaking and overall their listening skills as well as their speaking skills were enhanced.

A wide variety of mystery objects were brought in and the children very quickly became aware of the kind of questions that were more useful for guessing the mystery object. They realised that asking “What colour is it?” was not as helpful as “What can you do with it?” and the children became quite creative about the questions asked. This was a great opportunity to observe who was using higher order thinking to ask and answer questions.

We decided to make a book about our mystery objects using a photo and the clues given to describe it. I kept the recordings as portfolio samples and they provid rich insights into the childrens use of oral language and their thinking.

Learning Statements –

Oral Language


Imagining and Responding

Personal Learning