A LETTER TO AMY A Letter To Amy by Ezra Jack Keats (Harper) Themes: Multicultural, Friendship, Love Grade Level: K-2 Running Time: 7 minutes, iconographic A Letter To Amy is the story of a boy named Peter who is about to have a birthday. There is one person he would like to give a special invitation to-- a girl named Amy. Peter tells his mother that instead of asking Amy to his party he is going to write out an invitation and mail it to her. On Peter's rainy walk to the mailbox, a sudden wind blows the invitation out of Peter's hand and right toward Amy who happens to be coming around the corner. Peter doesn't want Amy to see the invitation. His surprise will be ruined! Peter bumps into Amy and grabs the letter just begore it lands in Amy's hand! Amy, not understanding what has happened, runs off crying. Peter mails the invitation and sadly returns home. On the day of the party, everyone comes except Amy. However, just as cake is being served, Amy arrives with her pet parrot. The end of the story finds Peter responding to Amy's request that he make a wish and blow out the candles on the cake. Objectives
• Children will learn about the meaning of friendship • Children will learn about writing and mailing letters • Children will explore the city environment Before Viewing Activities
Share the book A Letter To Amy with children. Then ask:
Later, allow several children to be the "mail carriers" and distribute the invitations to the invited guests.
Why do you think Peter sent a special invitation to Amy? The weather was very rainy when Peter went out to mail the invitation. How do you feel on rainy days? How did Amy feel when Peter bumped into her and grabbed the letter? How did Peter feel when he returned home? Why? How do you think Peter felt when Amy finally came to the party? What do you think Peter wished for at the end of the story?
Help children recall the different parts of the city they saw in the story. Then explore the city environment with children through photographs and illustrations in books and magazines. If you live in a large city, plan several "around the block" field trips with children. Help children learn to observe the sights and sounds of the city, including materials buildings are made of, the sounds vehicles make as they travel along the streets, the types of lettering and colors used to make store windows signs, etc. Later, ask: What would (do) you like most/least about living in a city? Where would you want to take a guest who might be visiting you from the country? Why? What are the most important things you would tell him/her about the city?
Talk with children about their own birthday celebration. Ask: What is your favorite way to celebrate your birthday? What special people do you like to have around you on this day? Have children describe rainy day weather. Ask: What do you wear outdoors on a rainy day? What do you take outdoors with you? What kinds of sounds do you hear? How do your feet feel on rainy days? What do you like about puddles? Have you ever seen a rainbow in the sky after a rain shower? What did it look like?
Discuss the way weather influenced what hapened to Peter. Ask: How do you think the story might have been different if Peter mailed the letter on a sunny day? a snowy day? Have children choose new weather conditions as a backdrop for the story. Then help children create new versions of the story, A Letter To Amy.
After Viewing Activities
Other book based films and videos about friendship/love are available from Weston Woods. These include:
Plan a classroom party. You might want to celebrate the end of the week, a special up-coming event, or simply have a party to celebrate sharing and friendship. Have children work together to create invitations to send to another classroom of children. Have children be sure to include the reasons for the party and the date andtime of the celebration on their invitations. Also encourage children to create drawings on the invitations that somehow reflect the theme of the celebration.
CORDUROY by Don Freeman GRANPA by John THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT by Edward Lear and illustrated by Barbara Cooney THE PIGS' WEDDING by Helme Heine THE SELKIE GIRL written by Susan Cooper and illustrated by Warwick Hutton THE SWINEHERD written by Hans Christian Andersen and illustrated by Bjorn Wiinblad
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