Thursday, August 19, 2010

Humpty Dumpty's Greatest Falls

When I taught preschool, I disliked the safety materials.  They were the "Sammy the  Squirrel Plays Safe" variety.  They  ignored  what happens when you didn't  play safe. That would make a lasting impression, but how do you sanitize it for preschoolers?     I had a hunch something like "Sammy the Squirrel gets Hit by a Car?"  would cause problems.
  How could I show the kids the consequences of  recklessness without giving them nightmares?

Humpty Dumpty was how   Every kid knew he was the egg who fell of the wall and broke.   Picture books showed him cracked and oozing!

I got out the magic markers and drew a series of  Humpty Dumpty cartoons.
Each came in two parts.  The first picture showed him doing something stupid: jumping from the swings, playing on railroad tracks, fooling with matches etc...  I'd tell the kids "Oh no, look what he's doing now!  What could happen next...?"
The kids would speculate, eagerly anticipating part two where Humpty got his comeuppance.
The second picture had him cracked, flattened, splattered, or poached.  "Uh Oh!" I'd say.  "Look what happened  Now he's broken!"  The kids loved it!
"Do you want to be like Humpty Dumpty?" I'd ask.
"No!" they  said.
"Are you going to wait until the swing stops before you get off?"
"Yes!" they'd promise.
Those kids are adults now.  As they  were growing up, did any of them ever face a dangerous situation and choose to be safe, thanks to Humpty Dumpty?
Or did the kids just look back and think Damn, that preschool teacher was warped!


Pile Girl said...

I love this!
It's egg-actly right.

Linda said...


Namowal said...

I'm scrambling to come up with a witty response... :)