Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?

Posted by on Aug 15, 2012 in Early Learning, Integrating Knowledge and Ideas, Nature Smart, Non-Fiction, Print Motivation, Self Smart | 0 comments

It’s August, and there’s one big question everyone has been asking: Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? Thank goodness Audrey Vernick and Daniel Jennewein have made this fantastic book to help us find the answer. First of all, does your buffalo have a backpack? Yes? Well then, your buffalo is good to go! Tell your buffalo not to worry about being the only one in class with horns and a hump – your buffalo can be proud of being the state animal for Oklahoma! And, as author Vernick reminds us, one of the things we learn in kindergarten is that everyone is special in his or her own way.

After you read this story to your class and get the giggles out, talk about what might happen if a real buffalo came to your school. Would it fit through the door? How big is a buffalo, anyway? Time to pull out the nonfiction! (I love tying together great picture story books with informational books, and it’s a perfect way to hit the Integrating Knowledge and Ideas Common Core State Standard.) Read a simple nonfiction book like “Buffaloes” by Marianne Johnston to your class to find out just how big these animals can be. Then, use a huge roll of paper to draw a full-sized buffalo – see if you can find a spot for him in your classroom! In the body of the buffalo, you could make a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting kids with buffaloes.  Both kids and buffaloes eat plants, but only buffaloes (hopefully) chew, swallow, and regurgitate the cud to chew it again.

Find out what your state animal is, and make your own version of the book.  Let students come up with what your animal needs to do or have in order to be successful in kindergarten. It’s a great way to soothe any fears about achieving this major milestone, for students and their parents as well!

Audrey Vernick, extremely awesome person and the author of this book, has a free downloadable teacher’s guide for Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten available on her website! Gotta love free! Go to to get it. Visit the illustrator, Daniel Jennewin, at For even more buffa-loads of fun, check out their sequel: Teach Your Buffalo to Play the Drums.

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