5 activities to go with “Today I am…” by Mies van Hout


Last week I reviewed the book “Today I am…” by Mies van Hout and started a worldwide giveaway of the book (8 more days till the giveaway ends). This week, I’m sharing with you 5 activities we did to enhance the reading experience and also to ride on the book to explore more about emotions and extend the learning to other disciplines.

#1 Oil pastels on black paper

The very first activity that came to my mind the moment I held the book in my hands was to let my girl explore with oil pastels on black construction paper. I just had to let her experience creating the vibrant colours!

I started by asking her what she wanted to draw (I didn’t limit her to drawing fish), but she requested to draw a fish. I want to draw a happy fish. Can? 

Can’t say no to that so I got her to draw the outline first with a light colour (yellow) and slowly fill in the details with other colours.

oil pastels on black paper

I taught her how to blend the colours together and she continued to do the rest herself. We totally loved the end product and its now hanging proudly on my fridge!

For activities #2, #3 and #4, I simply wrote 12/20 words from the book onto pieces of paper –

Today I am by Mies van Hout

To tell the truth, I’d actually only planned 3 activities in all, but my girl came up with two more on her own and so we have a total of 5 activities to share! My initial plan was merely to get her to recognise the words and then play charades but she had other ideas when she saw the words on the slips of paper.

#2 Match the word

She decided that she’d look for the word in the book to match what she had in hand. This is particularly good for kids to focus on the word and the spelling.

Today I am by Mies van Hout

 #3  Play hide-and-seek…

…with the words, that is. I used to play this game with her when she was younger, especially for Chinese word recognition. I’d hide the words around a specific area in the house and she’d have to hunt for the words and read the words when she found them. Apparently after such a long time, she still remembers the game! This time, she decided to do both the hiding and seeking on her own. It’s really hilarious how forgetful she is because she actually forgot where she hid some of the words and asked me where they were. And so I enlisted her brother’s help to look for the words (not that he can read yet!).

Today I am by Mies van Hout

#4 Charades

Ok, and so this is the one that I planned. LOL. We had great fun with this one, as expected! She was supposed to act out the expression and we had to guess the word.

Today I am by Mies van Hout

Can you guess which words she’s trying to express?

#5 Writing a book about emotions

A couple of weeks ago, she wrote an 8-page mini-book about herself using A4 paper and got hooked on creating her own stories. Since she loved doodling on black paper with oil pastels so much and kept asking for more opportunities to work with that, I decided to let her make her book with black construction paper (the piece I used was slightly smaller than A3 size).

As usual, I let her decide on the focus of her book but I told her to bear in mind what she’d learnt from reading the book. She decided without much hesitation that she’d pick out her favourite emotions from the book and illustrate that and she wanted to stick to using fishes rather than a human face.

I helped her with the drafting of the title and she did the rest of the blending and drawing on her own. I helped with some of the fishes too when she got tired of illustrating and I’d say I’m really pleased with her work.

Today I am by Mies van Hout

If you want to learn how to make a 8-page book from a sheet of paper, you can view the video here –

I hope you give some of these activities a go when you get a copy of this book! “Today I am” will make its debut public appearance at the Rise & Shine Expo, 27-29 September 2013 at the Suntec Convention Centre so remember to grab a copy of the book then!

View our other literature-based learning posts if you’ve found this useful! 🙂


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This entry was posted in Art, Homeschooling, Literature-based learning, Teaching English. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 5 activities to go with “Today I am…” by Mies van Hout

  1. Looks like you have a promising little artist right there.
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