Early Literacy: Extra Yarn

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If you haven't read the lovely book Extra Yarn, then hurry hurry to make it part of your repertoire.  Its got everything - a generous heroine, an evil villan, humor, magic, and mystery.  It asks kids to think deeply about the power of magic and giving, and encourages imagination and discussion.  And the book has some great vocabulary words, starting with knit, but also including ridiculous, fond,  twitched/quivered, and hurl.  Its also a great opportunity to talk about Asteya, one of the yoga yamas, meaning "non-stealing."

For the asana portion of this storybook practice, we focused on backbends and heart openers to "help our hearts get bigger and more generous" like Annabelle's, the main character in Extra Yarn. Often we "knit" our hands together behind our back for poses.  I will admit - the kids in my after-school activity, for which this practice was planned, were really tired this particular day (2:00 on a Friday, right after school - enough said...).  They struggled to get through the whole asana practice, so we modified it a bit by cutting out Bow, Windshield Wipers, and rocking on backs at the end.  

I also modified this practice to fit a 20-minute session with our early childhood students.  Essentially, we opened with three Sun Breaths, read the book and talk about all of the above, and then did poses such as forward bend (with hands "knitted" behind backs and arms stretched), Cobra, Shark, Camel, Bridge, etc.  We ended with LovingKindness and an OM.  

As mentioned above, I love this book for all the things you can discuss. Is the box magic or not?  Why didn't Annabelle just keep the yarn for herself? Why didn't the yarn appear for the Archduke?  Did the yarn re-appear for Annabelle?  Why did it work for her and not for the Archduke?  Its an incredibly engaging tale, and is a perfect fit for a "yogi" story about heartfulness.