Hands on Stories

Eli Whitney Museum

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For School Groups


Listen, look, and build. We offer a whole library of projects to help our students get in touch with wonderful stories by honoring them with a design that allows even the youngest child to make his own vision of that story character. Great for literacy and dexterity. See descriptions below.

Past programs include Six Crows or Frederick by Leo Leonni; From Head to Toe by Eric Carle; My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me by Maya Angelou, and more.

Meets Connecticut Science Standards

  • Pre-K.1:  
  • K.1: Objects have properties that can be observed and used to describe similarities and differences.
  • K.2: Many different kinds of living things inhabit the Earth.

Meets Common Core Standards

  • K-PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  • K-LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

For Families

Strictly No Elephants

Strictly No Elephants <em>story</em>

Strictly No Elephants, a book by Lisa Mantchev and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo. A story of true friendship and one that demonstrates that friends, like pets, come in all shapes and sizes.

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Dear Dragon: A Pen Pal Story

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A story of friendship and looking past perceived differences. Josh Holt's Dear Dragon: a Pen Pal Tale is a friendship story in rhyme to help all of us appreciate the person underneath physical differences.

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Life on Mars

Life on Mars <em>story</em>

A young astronaut lands on Mars to search for signs of life but is comically unaware of the Martian following him on his explorations. An introduction to the kind of book where the reader knows more information than the main character does. Jon Agee's Life on Mars is a treasure.

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Pete the Cat

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Another favorite makes homage to Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons. A great counting story, and you'll find the song truly infectious.

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Frog Sings Songs

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New in 2015 and inspired by a Vietnamese folk toy and a book by Yvonne Winer and Tony Oliver, Frog Sings Songs, we celebrate the joy of frog sounds and colors in the hope that they will live on undisturbed in their natural habitats.

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Little Hoot

Little Hoot <em>story</em>

Little Hoot the owl is our 2016 design to accompany the charming book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace about a little owl who can't wait to grow up and let his kids go to bed as early as they want. Sweet and funny. Little Hoot

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Leo the Late Bloomer

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Robert Kraus' Leo the Late Bloomer is the story of how a little tiger named Leo bloomed in his own good time is another one of our favorites.

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Not Time for Sleeping

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Nearly any book with a dog is beloved but we found one about a little boy who is struggling not to go to bed, and is playing with his dog while he tries to stay awake. It is Not Time for Sleeping, is a perfect story about a little boy, his dog, and........sleep.

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The Clumsy Dragon

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Inspired by Tomie dePaola's The Knight and the Dragon. A sweet story of a sheepish knight and a clumsy dragon who discover there's more to life than fighting.

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