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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Kate McMullan - January 16

Happy Birthday Kate McMullan - January 16

Two years ago, I began creating memorable reading experiences with my family.  My then 2 year old son's reaction to an I Stink cake we made for Kate McMullan's birthday in 2010 inspired me to celebrate children's author birthdays with my children.  I never thought that by pulling a box of cake mix out of the cupboard would have been a life changing experience, but it was! Since then, my family has celebrated over 120 children's author birthdays and read thousands of books together.  We have also made three really great cakes to celebrate Kate McMullan's birthday.

The I Stink cake that started it all in 2010!
 I'm Mighty Cake in 2011!
The past two years we enjoyed eating these cakes ourselves, but this year we would be sharing our latest creation with my son's preschool class.  My son's teacher gave me an open invitation to come into the classroom to read when it was convenient for my family.  I saw Kate McMullan's birthday as an opportunity to allow my son to share his favorite books with his classmates.

The day before the visit, my son and I prepared two activities for his classmates.  There was lots of cutting, gluing, mixing and decorating going on at our house.

I told my son that he and his classmates were going to make their own I Stink Garbage Trucks. We printed out clip art pictures of many of the garbage items mentioned in I Stink including lobster claws, fish heads, and rotten radishes. My son helped me cut out the images that would eventually be pasted onto the cardboard box garbage trucks.
My son used I Stink to help him write the correct matching letter of alphabet on each image.
We prepared the large cardboard boxes by covering them with white paper so there would be a clean area to draw and color.  The "Glue Guys" did an awesome job preparing for this activity!
My youngest son went down for a nap then it was time for my oldest and I to get to work on our favorite reading tradition... Kate McMullan Book Cakes!  This year we created an I'm Fast cake to celebrate her new book about a freight train who races a red car to Chicago.  
We first applied a base of white frosting to the cake.
Then, I sketched out the design with a toothpick.
I traced the sketch in black cake icing.
Then, we added the color.  My son was so determined to apply the frosting.  He used all his strength to squirt the frosting from the can.
The little red car was a tight area but he stayed in the lines.
Two mini oreos for the wheels! 
Tada! We were quite pleased with the results!


My son's preschool class is comprised three and four year olds.  It is considered an integrated preschool as it takes typical students and students with special needs.  Not only was I spending the morning in the classroom but it was also Dad and Donuts Day.  It couldn't have been a better day to spend at preschool!
I opened the lesson with a quick introduction to trash -- Where do you put your trash?  Where it goes after the trash can is full?  Then, I read one of my favorite read alouds, I Stink! The preschoolers loved it!
After reading, I told the class that they were going to make their own garbage trucks.  I modeled drawing a face, wheels, and a hopper.  This box then became the garbage truck used by students who needed a little more support to complete the task.
Once the students designed their garbage truck we cut a side door for the students to be able to get in and out of their garbage truck.
The last thing that the students needed was for their garbage truck to "EAT SOME TRASH!"  The clip art images were added using glue sticks.
My time in the class was coming to a close, but it was time for the grand finale.  I read I'm Fast! and got the preschoolers chanting "Chooka-Chooka" just like the freight train in the book.  I was so impressed with the participation from the students!
I left them with the cake to enjoy during their snack time.  I want to thank my son's teacher, Miss Lauren, and her co-teacher Miss Jaime,  for allowing me to come in and celebrate Kate McMullan's birthday. I truly had a blast!

If you enjoyed this Kate McMullan, check out the other birthday celebrations:
2011 - I'm Mighty Cake, Kate McMullan shares a birthday memory, and lots of links
2010 - The Kate McMullan birthday celebration that started my blog in the right direction.

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