Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
by Bill Martin and John Archambault
illustrated by Lois Ehlert
toddler - early elementary
toddler - kindergarten
"A told B, and B told C, 'I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree.' " When I think of teaching the alphabet and letter recognition I think of this book. The simple bold illustrations of letters rhythmically climbing to the top of the coconut tree all the while building suspense as we wonder, "Chicka chicka boom boom! Will there be enough room?" In the text the letters, A,B,C etc., are in upper case while in the illustrations they are in lower case. This offers a great visual teaching moment without being pushy. There are so many lesson plan ideas for letter recognition and rhyming patterns that you can really have fun with this book. Have a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom week and develop progressive lessons that will build on each other each day. Here are a few Lesson Plan Ideas to get you started.
Laptime and Story Circle Lesson Plan Ideas:
Climb to the top of the Coconut Tree (or the jungle gym)
Go to a park or playground with climbing play equipment.
Take with you:
- Index cards with the letters of the alphabet written on them, upper and lower case.
- tape or sticky tack
- A blanket on which to lay out the cards.
- A picnic including fresh coconut for snack. (Climbing works up an appetite)
When you get to the park:
- Lay out the letter cards on the blanket.
- Read the first section on the book, "A told B, and B told C, 'I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree.'"
- Have your child find the A,B and C cards and put tape or sticky tack on the back.
- The child should then climb as high as they can and stick the letter cards onto the bars or railing of the climbing equipment then climb down again.
- Repeat the process until all of the letters are up on the jungle gym.
- Be sure to repeat together, "Chicka chicka boom boom will there be enough room?" whenever it appears in the book.
- Finish the fun by retrieving the letters as you read about their rescue by the mamas and papas and uncles and aunts.
- Whew! By this time you are tired out. Stretch out on your blanket and enjoy your snack.
Boom Boom Rhythm Activity
The text in this book is so rhythmic. Use the rhythm to teach syllables.
- Clap, pat knees or, if you can take the noise, make drums out of pot lids and wooden spoons. If your class has access to a set of rhythm instruments, this is a good time to use them.
- Choose phrases from the book to clap or beat out: "Chicka chicka boom boom, will there be enough room?", "Skit skat skoodle doot. Flip flop flee. Everybody running to the coconut tree.", "Chicka chicka boom boom! Look there's a full moon.", "Dare double dare, you can't catch me. I'll beat you to the top of the coconut tree."
- Say the phrase in rhythm first until everyone is comfortable with it and enjoys saying it.
- Break the phrases down into syllables. For example - Discuss how Chicka would get two claps or beats and Boom would get one clap or beat.
- Then clap or beat out the phrase in rhythm.
- Stand up and move in place to the rhythm or march around the room as you beat out the phrases.
- Write "oo" on a large piece of paper or on the board.
- Make cards with one consonant written on each card.
- Show the children how adding the letter B to the front of the word and the letter M to the end of the word makes the word BooM.
- Allow the children to take turns choosing consonants to place at the beginning and the end of the "oo" sound.
- Read the word that was created together and then say "Chicka chicka _________ __________".
- Some of the words will be real words, like room or pool, but many of the words will be silly nonsense words.
- Have fun with this activity and laugh a lot.
- Try this activity with other one syllable words from the story.