On Tuesday, February 26th, sophomores in Story class helped bring the book, Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, to life for Pre-Kindergarten students in Mrs. Hummel and Mrs. Haines’ classes during their visit to Upper School this week.
A children’s book based on a folktale, the story is about a peddler who walks around town with all caps on his head, trying to sell them. With no one in town buying his caps, the peddler took a nap by a tree, only to discover that a bunch of mischievous monkeys had taken them. The peddler orders them to return his caps and scolds them, while the monkeys only imitate him. The peddler becomes so angry and he finally throws down his own cap in disgust. However, the monkeys throw theirs down as well, right at his feet. He stacks the caps back on his head and strolls back to town, calling, “Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!”
After reading the book together, the students played “Peddler Says,” similar to “Simon Says.” One student – identified by a special cap – played ‘Peddler’ and provided an action (ex. jump up and down, do a silly dance move, etc.) for the rest of the students to perform. If the ‘Peddler’ didn’t start his or her sentence with “Peddler Says” and the other students still proceeded, the Peddler had successfully tricked the group.
Following “Peddler Says,” the students acted out certain scenes from the book. Among the Pre-Kindergarteners, the favorite scene to act out was the monkeys stealing the caps and mocking the peddler (played by myself). The students rather enjoyed playing monkeys, shaking their fists and making a “tsk tsk” sounds as the peddler got angry. Other favorites included pretending to lift the peddler’s trunk of caps; creating and turning the lock combination for the “trunk”; and declining to buy the peddler’s caps as he circled around “town.”
Together, both groups of students proved that with a little bit of imagination and teamwork, any space – including the Walter Hall Gymnasium- can be transformed into a magical world.