Thursday, April 26, 2018

School Age Storytime & Craft: Earth Day


Earth Day Heroes: A non-fiction “un-common core”  K-2nd grade storytime featuring inspiring stories of diverse people who have made a difference to our planet. Introduces American and global environmental history and issues, non-violent change agents, along with a book about photosynthesis and the interdependence of all life on earth. Also includes songs, sign language and gorgeous images (visual and literary) of our planet. Not all items used with all groups.


Spring finally arriving – flowers outside – opened with poem  “Spring Is” by Bobbi Katz from Sunflakes: Poems for Children.

Book: The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock (The true story of how a camping trip in California with John Muir inspired Teddy Roosevelt to preserve America’s natural wilderness – long but the kids enjoyed.)  Could also booktalk John Muir: America’s Naturalist by Thomas Locker (gorgeous illustrations)  Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers by Kathi Appelt (President’s wife’s advocacy led to the beautification of America’s highways.)  and  Redwoods by Jason Chin (A boy is transported through the pages of a book into a forest of these magnificent trees.)  (Mentioned they can see a sequoia/redwood tree in nearby Buck Gardens.)

Book/Song: This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie
or Song: “We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands” (traditional – optional props/puppets: world globe ball, brothers/sisters, bird, fish – lyrics

Book: Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm (572.46 BANG) -- this creative and memorable explanation of photosynthesis will stick with kids for a long time.

And the Green Grass Grew all Around (flannel) – lyrics here: Song on Rachel Buchman’s “Sing a Song of Seasons” (Children echo words in italics)



Take a Walk Outside (from Pick Me Up, Fun Songs for Learning Signs – played the song from the album as we “danced with our hands”)

Book: Wangari’s Tree’s of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeanette Winter (The inspiring story of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner who spear-headed the reforestation of Kenya despite threats and jail time.)  (Mentioned “biography” – non-fiction about a person)

Action Book: Earth Dance by Joanne Ryder (Kids stood up and acted out this poetic tribute to our earth. Touches on the ideas of earth science, gravity, seasons, and planetary rotation)

Finished with:

(Younger classes) Book: I Love Our Earth by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson (Dan Lipow’s photographs are “eye candy” – a splendid look at the earth’s gorgeous diversity.)


(Older classes) Book: Mother Earth by Nancy Luenn ( personification of the earth “The ground is her skin, Mountains her bones, Trees and plants her living hair, Birds are her songs, And the listening stones her ears…”  remind listeners that we must use her gifts well, and return them with respect and love. Gentle watercolor illustrations by Neil Waldman)
Sign Language Song: “Walk the World Now Children” from Tom Chapin’s Album Some Assembly Required. Find signs here: – skipped at Bedminster 2018 because didn’t get album in time.  Used at Milltown.


Milltown afterschool program:

Book: The Camping Trip that Changed America

Book/Song: This Land is Your Land

Book: Wangari’s Tree’s of Peace: A True Story from Africa

Sign Language Song: “Walk the World Now Children”

Booktalked and read selections from other titles.

Craft – torn construction paper collage – earth, environmental, spring scenes (some kids asked, could they use “random”? – I responded “Sure” and introduced the concept “abstract art”)

(Played music from Tom Chapin’s album This Pretty Planet playing as kids made crafts.)  Didn’t remember to use Earth Ball with song “We’ve got the whole world in our hands. Could use next time.)

More Earth Day programs here:

Bedminster K-2, Milltown Afterschool 4/2018

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