When Is This Kid Gonna Get Married?

A couple of days ago I hung out with a group of four kids that range from ages 3-6.  They're all beginners, so we focus on increasing vocabulary through routines, making connections through experiences, and great books.

We started out, like always, singing a couple of songs.  Their favorite is "The Freeze Game" by Yo Gabba Gabba:

It's really great for verbs.  Yo Gabba Gabba comes on sporadically here in Italy, but I'd bet they watch it in Italian.  I have this song and the entire Yo Gabba Gabba album on my iPad, so we can listen to it anytime.  I often use the album for background music as we work.

Because Mother's Day is coming up, I used a book that I find to be sweet, endearing, and risky. You can hear it read by the author below.  I don't love his read-aloud voice, but I do love his writing:

It's an outright dangerous book to read aloud to children--especially if you're a parent.  It's the ending that's the problem!  I am physically unable to get through the last three pages without tearing up (and subsequently lying that I have something in my eye.)

I expected the light illustrations and sometimes difficult vocabulary to be a bit much for my young group, but I was wrong!  They were wonderfully attentive and narrated each page in Italian as I read in English.

Toward the end of the story, when the little boy has grown up enough to move out and get his own place, the 6 year-old in the group blurted out, "Ma quando si sposa questo figlio???!!!"  Roughly translated, that means, "But when is this kid gonna get married?!"  I cracked up and kept reading, finally arriving to the last page that shows the man holding his own child.  "Mammmmma mia!" she exclaimed clasping her hands together and moving them slowly up and down in the famous Italian way, "Finalmente!"

The kids ate a quick snack and doodled some.

Then I pulled out a short, great read:

There's something about "cookies" that kids just get...instantly.

After reading about cookies, it would have been cruel of me not to do something with cookies, but they'd already had their snack.  So we did the next best thing--play-doh cookies!

I overheard Luca counting 43 cookies in Italian.
"Let's recount in English," I said.
Yep, he was right.  43 tiny cookies.

The ideas that kids come up with are so cool if they have the time to explore.
The three year-old was the first to use stencils from our pencil box for cookie decorating.

Francesca used a marker as a rolling pin.

"Mine is a French delicacy," Luca said in Italian.  "That's why it looks so special."
I wrote down all of the new vocabulary words on our vocabulary chart that stays with them after each lesson and thought to myself, "French delicacies and commentary on marriage--these kids have it all figured out."

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