Black Cat, White Cat is a children’s book appropriate for ages 2-5 and is a tale about two cats, one of which ever only goes out in the day, the other only goes out in the night. The juxtaposition is cleverly done with bold black-and-white art and accompanying nocturnal and diurnal animals when describing the tale of the two cats. The ending is quite a surprise — when the two cats fall in love and have a litter of cats, their colours are not what you would expect!
When I found this book in the library, I saw several lessons that could be achieved using this book as a lead-in. The best part is that the publisher has several printables to go along with the book. We chose 3 activities to focus on:
- Nocturnal and diurnal animals
- Shadows and light
- Creativity in art (thinking outside the box)
1. Nocturnal and Diurnal Animal Sorting
I created these cards, inspired by How We Montessori. First we talked about what nocturnal and diurnal animals mean, then we looked through the book to point them out. Then I left these sorting cards for him on the shelf for him to sort independently.
I created some definition cards for my 9 year old.
2. Shadow Play
These printables can be found from Minibombo and was an excellent way for the kids to explore shadows. Tip: Don’t throw out the “frame” from which you cut the pictures, you can use that too!
One of the best ways to make your kids crazy about reading is to leave props out together with a book on the child’s shelf. In this case, I left the nocturnal and diurnal sorting cards out for several days before switching them out for these shadow puppets.
The ending of the book is a quite a surprise when all the kittens of Black Cat and White Cat turn out to be orange! It certainly confused Zac for a while because through our colour mixing activities he had already learned that mixing red with yellow creates orange.
We mixed black with white and learned that the result is gray. Pretty drab.
Luckily, these printables are an exercise in creative art. The objective is to think outside the box in how you think the kittens would look. Markers were perfect for this activity. Matt was easily able to create so many colour patterns, whereas Zac is still not there yet.
I love it when brothers cuddle together to read. It is a good opportunity for Matt to practice reading out loud with expression.
I hope you’ve found this post inspiring! Do you know any other books that lend themselves really well to post-reading educational activities?