Friday, April 25, 2014

School Age Storytime – Earth Day & Celebrating Spring

Appreciating our Earth and the People Who Work to Save It (Also good for Arbor Day)
Stories, songs, and crafts encouraging understanding of and appreciation for nature and our planet.   (Includes creative non-fiction, an introduction to photosynthesis, inspiring biography, poetry, music and movement, sign language, and a song in multiple languages.  Ages K+)

Played “Someone’s Gonna Use It After You” and “Family Tree”  from Tom Chapin’s album “Family Tree” as kids arrived. (2016)
Read (Interactive Book): Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson (2014 – omitted 2016)
“Trees don’t grow by magic, does anyone know how they do grow? Anyone know the word “photosynthesis”?

Read (Creative Non-Fiction Book): Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm (572.46 BANG) --a splendid example of what I call “Uncommon Core” (sunlight converted by plant through photosynthesis breaking up water -- H20 -- breathing out oxygen for us to breathe in -- breathing in CO2 and building sugars (leaves, stems, juices, seeds, fruit) for us to eat -- we are living sunlight!) this creative and memorable explanation of photosynthesis will stick with kids for a long time.

"Now let's turn into the earth -- everyone stand up and act this out with me..."

Act Out (Interactive Book): Earth Dance by Joanne Ryder (811.54 RYD) – we acted out this poetic celebration of the earth as we read it (splendid language, imagination, poetry, images, kinesthetic learning.)

Sign Language Song: “Walk the World Now Children” from Tom Chapin’s Album Some Assembly Required. Find signs here:

"Here's a story about a real person who made a big difference..."  (brief discussion of “non-fiction” Living Sunlight (572.46 in the library) and true books about people = biography section)

Read (Non-Fiction Biography): Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeannette Winter (Inspiring true story of Wangari Maathai, courageous environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace prize, whose passion & determination inspired hundreds of thousands of women across Africa to reforest their continent.)

(Some classes) Book/Song: There Was a Tree by Rachel Isadora

2016 Read: Bloom by Doreen Cronin. (A mud fairy shows an extraordinary ordinary girl how she can save her crumbling kingdom of glass by making solid mud brick structures.)   Booktalked: Sidewalk Flowers by (little girl in a black & white world, walks alongside oblivious dad with cellphone picking sidewalk flowers. As she gives them away, the neighborhood gradually goes full-color.)

2014 Read (Non Fiction Picture Book): Lucky Ducklings: A True Rescue Story by Eva Moore. (True story of people in a town on long island assisted in rescue of ducklings who had fallen into a grate – text to text connection: Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings (trivia note; McCloskey kept ducks in his Boston apartment while illustrating this story!)

(When there was time) Read: I Love Our Earth by Bill Martin Jr. (525 MAR) (Gorgeously photo-illustrated multi-cultural appreciation of our planet) 
2014 Song: “Springtime Is Here” (multiple languages) original source unknown—contact me for tune or make one up:
Springtime is here!  (2x)
Birds are singing (2x)
Springtime is here! (2x)
(Spanish)   ¡Primavera aqui!  (2x)  Pajaritos cantan   (2x)   ¡Primavera aqui!  (2x)   
(German)  Frühling ist da! (2x)   Die Vögelein singen (2x)  Frühling ist da!     (2x)  
(Japanese)   Haru ga kita! (2x)   Kotori ga naiteru  (2x)    Haru ga kita   (2x)  
(Zulu)  Entwasahlobo! (2x) Inyoni ukucula  (2x)   Entwasahlobo  (2x)   
Sign Language:

2016 Book/Song: It’s a Wonderful World illustrated by Ashley Bryan – accompanied by CD of Louis Armstrong’s extraordinary vocals -- celebrating the wonderful world we live in and the plants, animals, and people of so many colors we share it with… 

“Happy Earth Day” – kids can do their part to make and keep this world wonderful

Exit music: This Pretty Planet from Tom Chapin’s album with the same name.

Great book for teachers! Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden by Edith Pattou. (Every September the principal at Mrs. Spitzer’s school gives her a new packet of “seeds.”  Mrs. Spitzer's "seeds" are duly planted and tenderly nurtured, and while some "grow quickly, pushing upward, eager, impatient," others "grow more slowly, unfolding themselves bit by bit." As the seasons progress, the little plants grow sturdier, until finally the school year comes to a close and Mrs. Spitzer's job is done in this tender metaphorical story.)

Bedm 4.14, 4.16

afterschool Adamsville w/craft 4.14 Craft:  Recycle scraps of construction paper/magazine pages into cut or torn paper collage art celebrating the earth (materials: assorted scrap papers, scissors, glue sticks)
Music: play album This Pretty Planet (730 CHAP) while children working on crafts.


Bedminster K-2  2017:

Tidy by Emily Gravett (Pete the badger tries to tidy up the forest but finds concrete doesn’t make a good place for anyone to live)  Mind-boggling math about how many leaves  on a typical big tree:
Earthday by Joanne Ryder (acted out this figurative poem about the earth)
Sing: “We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands”
Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm
Song (sign language): “Walk the World Now Children” (track #8 from Tom Chapin’s album Some Assembly Required)
Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeannette Winter (one woman’s campaign to bring back trees to Kenya despite government opposition)
I Love Our Earth by Bill Martin Jr. (beautiful photo-essay)
Sidewalk Flowers by Jon Arno Lawson (wordless)
Beautiful Hands by Kathryn Otashi (gorgeous pictures made from handprints accompany great figurative ideas of what hands can do  (plant ideas, touch hearts, lift spirits, stretch imaginations, reach for love, peace, faith, truth, hope and dreams…) great art project idea.
Closed with Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World” (track #1 on album The Best of Louis Armstrong, showing pages from book illustrated by Ashley Bryan)


Links to Earth Day crown and other craft ideas:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pre-School Storytime: Spring has Sprung!

Pre-School Storytime: Spring has Sprung!
A storytime for ages 2-6 celebrating the season, with a nod to seasonal changes, growth cycles, rain and ducks plus a dollop of imagination!  Incorporates music and sign language, world languages, numeracy, non-fiction, poetry, and demonstrates sharing a wordless book.
Opening Music: McCutcheon’s “Family Garden” from same album.
“We’ll begin with an imaginary walk outside…but we’ll walk with our hands!”
Sign Language Song: “Let’s Take a Walk Outside” Track 15 from Pick Me Up: Fun Songs for Learning Signs  alternative: “If you look you’ll see spring all around”  (tune: If You’re Happy & You Know It)
If you look you’ll see spring all around
See the flowers coming out of the ground
See the blossoms on the trees
Hear the buzzing of the bees
If you look you’ll see spring all around
Book (Action elements):  Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson (this interactive book goes through a tree’s seasonal changes, similar to Press Here by Herve Tullet)
Flannel/Song: “And the Green Grass Grew All Around” (cumulative narration literacy skill)
“Speaking of eggs…April is National Poetry Month so here’s a poem that will give you a whole new look at your breakfast!”
Poem:   “Spring Is” by Bobby Katz from the poetry collection Sunflakes by Lillian Moore  

“What hatches from eggs?...”
Non-Fiction Book:  Lucky Ducklings: A True Rescue Story by Eva Moore (similar to Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey)
Puppet/Glove/Numeral Cards: “Five Little Ducks Went Out to Play”  (I always end this song by having mother duck quack VERY loudly  after no ducks have come back…and saying that sometimes parents have to shout a bit to get their kids to listen to them!   Can mention Tom Chapin’s funny song about this “In the Nick of Time” from his album Family Tree.)


“Ducks like water…but look what happens on this rainy day!”
Wordless Book:  Chalk by Bill Thomson
"You probably know about a spider on a rainy day..."
Singable Book: The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani
“What if sunshine was magic too?..."
Poem: “Sunflakes” by Frank Asch (of Moonbear fame) from the poetry collection Sunflakes by Lillian Moore.

Song:Springtime Is Here” (multiple languages) original source unknown—contact me for tune
Springtime is here!  (2x)
Birds are singing (2x)
Springtime is here! (2x)
(Spanish)   ¡Primavera aqui!  (2x)  Pajaritos cantan   (2x)   ¡Primavera aqui!  (2x)    
(German)  Frühling ist da! (2x)   Die Vögelein singen (2x)    Frühling ist da!     (2x)   
(Japanese)   Haru ga kita! (2x)   Kotori ga naiteru  (2x)    Haru ga kita   (2x)   
(Zulu)  Entwasahlobo! (2x) Inyoni ukucula  (2x)   Entwasahlobo  (2x)   
4/2014 JCC & BW
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Opening Music: McCutcheon’s “Family Garden” from same album 730 MCCU 
Book: Wake Up, It’s Spring – Ernst (am) Rabbit’s Good News – Bornstein (pm)
Song: Springtime Is Here (multiple languages) original source unknown
Book: Old Bear – Henkes
Sign Language Song:  “Let’s Take a Little Walk” Track 15 from “Pick Me Up!”
Poem: “Spring Is” – from Sunflakes (promoting Thursday’s “Poem in Your Pocket Day”)
Book: and then it’s spring – Fogliano
Flannel/song: “Green Grass Grew all Around” (cumulative narration literacy skill)
Book: Little White Rabbit – Henkes
Book/song: Over in the Meadow – Over (Wkrm) numeracy (omitted 2013 no time)
Glove: 5 little freckled frogs (omitted 2013 no time)
Song: If you look you’ll see spring all around. (lyrics above)
Video:  A Boy A Dog & A Frog (on Mercer Mayer Frog Stories – WGL PPR)
Read:  A Good Day – Henkes  (reassuring day after Boston bombing)
Hand-Stamping to Tom Chapin’s “This Pretty Planet” (730 CHAP)


Additional flannels:
Fran’s Flower by Lisa Bruce
Titch by Pat Hutchins
Spring Flowers
Spring is Here (What the Robin Told)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Earth Day: Invention Convention!

Earth Day - Invention Convention!   (For ages 5 - 11)   REDUCE**REUSE**RECYCLE!
Join us as we celebrate Earth Day by making new things out of old materials....our only limit is our imagination (and the materials we have on hand)! Please bring in (clean) cardboard food boxes, bottle caps, yogurt containers, paper towel rolls, old cds, egg cartons -- and anything else you can think of to share with the group as our building materials -- then we'll see what we create!

  • As kids arrive, have them browse invention books (Dewey 608-609’s, assorted inventor biographies, plus titles below)
  • Showed book segment from: Reading Rainbow: Galimoto
  • Shared: pages from Imaginative Inventions (609 HAR), So You Want to Be an Inventor (608 St. George), If I Built a Car (Van Dusen), Weslandia (Fleischman) (left-out kid invents a whole civilization from a stray plant that grows in his garden one summer)
  • Briefly booktalked:   Dotty Inventions (& Some Real Ones Too) (609 MCG),    Horray for Inventors (609.22 WIL),  Now and Ben: The modern inventions of Ben Franklin, Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci, Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed our Lives (all 609.2 BAR), Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women (609.2273 THI), inventors biographies e.g. The Real McCoy and All Aboard: Elijah McCoy's Steam Engine (JBiog MCCOY), JBiog Edison, Marvelous Mattie and In the Bag (JBiog Knight) Mistakes that Worked (609 JON), The Kid who Invented the Trampoline (609 WUL), Galimoto (Williams), Hoover’s Bride (Small), Ruby May Has Something to Say (Small), If I Built a House (Van Dusen), Going Up: Elijah Otis' Trip to the Top (JBiog Otis), It's a Snap: George Eastman's First Photograph (JBiog Eastman), Spic-and-Span: Lillian Gilbreth's Wonder Kitchen (JBiog Gilbreth)
  • Defined the word "prototype" -- mentioned they can make either real or imaginary inventions. 
  • Recycled materials inventions --Materials: egg cartons, bottle caps, shoe boxes, oatmeal cartons, etc. plus tape, scissors, pipe cleaners, markers, paper, pencils, etc. 
  • Music playing while constructing: Deep in the Jungle by Joe Scruggs (started with song "I Gave Mom a Skateboard for her Birthday.")

Consider: Reading Rainbow: Alistair's Time Machine (DVD: How is it Made?) -- includes amusing inventions that never quite made it.

Additional Book possibilities:
The Most Magnificent Thing -- Ashley Spires (2014) -- humorous title shows value of not giving up

Picture This: ALPHABATICS: The Art of the Alphabet

Grades K-6: 
Come see how picture book illustrators have transformed ordinary ABC’s (and D’s & Z’s!) 
into wonderful shapes and magical creatures, then we’ll do the same.  

Join us for a romp through some amazingly original alphabet books -- then turn ordinary ABC's into some fantastic creations of your own!  To get an idea what it is all about, 

  • As children arrive, have them browse a display of alphabet books (including those below)
  • Open with Z is for Moose (Bingham) – thinking about the alphabet differently!
  • Depending on the age of the group, can share Alphabetical Order: How the Alphabet Began (411 Sam) – show specific pages: from drawings to letters, the first alphabets, the worlds alphabets, other alphabets, artists and alphabets (optional: could also relate to concrete poetry e.g. A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems (811.008 POK), Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building (Hale), Meow Ruff (Sidman), A Dazzling Display of Dogs (811.54 FRA))
  • Looking at letters imaginatively --  share some of these: The Graphic Alphabet (Pelletier), The Turn Around Upside Down Alphabet Book (Ernst), Alphabatics (McDonald), Alphabet Under Construction (Fleming), Gone Wild (591.68 MCL),  Take Away the A (Escoffier)ABC3D: Pop Up (Bataille) -- show How to Make Super Pop-Ups (745.592 Irvine) and other pop-up design books.
  • Booktalk: On Beyond Zebra (Dr. Seuss) – if care to make up a new letter!, The Butterfly Book (598.789 SAN) – alphabets in nature, ABC NYC (Dugan) – seeing letters in the city, Alphab’art (Guery) – hidden letters in paintings, I Spy: An Alphabet in Art (Micklethwait), If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet  (McGuirk),  Handmade Alphabet (Rankin),
  • Watch Bembo’s Zoo (on Youtube):
  • Craft: “Creative Alphabatics” (children select a letter and play with the design inspired by the books they've seen).  Materials: paper, markers, pencils, rulers, scissors, construction paper scraps, glue, google eyes, any other materials you care to give them (feathers, wallpaper scraps, etc.)


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