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Showing posts from October, 2013

Tween Book Club: The Graveyard Book

Last night at my tween book club, we discussed The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, one of my very favorite Newbery winners. It was a great choice for a spooky October evening, close to Halloween. Here's what we did:

Word Search
I always do a word search or crossword puzzle at the beginning of book club. It gives the kids something to do together while they eat their pizza. I try to alternate whether it's a word search or crossword each month.

Book Discussion
I always look online for good book discussion questions before I plan anything else. For this book, I found Multnomah County Library's questions really helpful, as well as those from Gaiman's official site for young readers, Mouse Circus. We watched the book's official trailer to refresh everyone's memory. The kids had some great insights this month. We talked for a long time about Gaimain's tendency to hint about the book's setting (pounds as currency, etc.) and characters (just what is Silas anyway?)…

Storytime Apple Picking

It's officially fall storytime season here in Michigan! That means the caregivers are toting pumpkin spice lattes and we're going apple picking in storytime! This week we talked about fall and read Leaves by David Ezra Stein, Fall is Not Easy by Marty Kelley, and The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri. Following the last book, the kids (and their grownups--some of the apples are still up on the higher branches--aka bookshelves) are dismissed to find some of the 70-ish apples hidden around the back half of our children's programming room where the craft tables are. After the kids are done, they come back to the circle and we recite "Way Up High in the Apple Tree" using the apples they found:
Way Up High in the Apple Tree Two red apples smiled at me.  I shook that tree as hard as I could, Down came an apple... Mmmmm mmmm good!
The apples were included in our storytime tub this week and suggested to go with that rhyme. Instead of passing them out myself, I thought it wo…

Prop Story: Halloween Hilda

Halloween Hilda
From Super Story Telling With Reproducible Patterns by Carol Elaine Catron and Barbara Catron Parks

This is basically a rhyming, Halloween themed version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It's similar to There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat, but much shorter, just perfect for my 2 and 3 year old storytime kids. I plan to tell it with our puppet" who swallows a few Halloween-y creatures like bats and monsters.

I traced the artwork from the patterns in the book but clip art printouts or small puppet objects would work just as well (if not better). The puppet has been at my library longer than I have and I couldn't find a tag, so I am not sure where it came from.

Here's Lisa Mulvenna's version of Hilda.

Jack O' Lantern Flannelboard Play Station

For Flannel Friday, I'm posting an activity that we have left out in our children's room for the kids to play with on their visits. This flannel board is on a support column between one bank of public computers and our official "play area". This has been one of the most popular felt board activities since I started this job in April.

I asked one of my coworkers to take some jack o' lantern coloring pages from the Internet and trace the pieces to make a Jack O' Lantern Flannelboard Play Station. Here's one way it has been put together as well as the extra pieces. You could do this as a storytime activity too by asking the kids what body parts make a jack o'lantern.

Pumpkin Decorating Program

One of the fun programs my new library has put on for a number of years is a pumpkin decorating program. I can take absolutely no credit for the idea or execution of this program. My co-workers even set the room up for me the day before the program (THANK YOU!).

This program is a great way to use any random leftover craft supplies that you have hiding in the crevices of your storage areas. Even if you can't think of a way to use something weird rest assured that the kids definitely will. Some of the odds and ends we put out (spread out over 4 supply tables in the back):

Plastic drinking strawsPlastic bottle capsTinselFoam stickersPipe cleaners/Chenille stemsRectangles of felt and foamPlastic spider ringsFake spider webLeft over die-cuts from other craft programsSilk leavesGoogly eyesFeathersDifferent colored paper and paper stripsSequinsButtonsPom-PomsCrepe paper stripsTissue paper squaresYarnShredded newspaper The kids were given paper plates to assist in carrying their chosen sup…

Halloween Storytime: 2013 Edition

Last week was Flannel Friday's Halloween Extravaganza Roundup, so at the same time I was working on my posts, I also was thinking about what other material I would want to include in my upcoming storytimes. My Halloween storytimes aren't until October 28th and 29th, so I'm sort of listing everything that could possibly wind up happening at the end of the month. Consider this my brainstorming list. If you see anything great that I'm missing, please let me know. As a reminder I do storytimes just for 2 and 3 year olds. I also wrote this post before the completed Extravaganza was posted, so bear in mind that I will most likely use one (or several) ideas from Flannel Friday too!

Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas
The Spooky Box by Mark Gonyea
If You're a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca and Ed Emberly
In a Dark, Dark, Wood by David Carter (in our storytime reference collection)

Flannelboard: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat (our set is by The Teacher Expr…

Halloween Draw and Tell Story: "The Pumpkin Patch"

Today is Flannel Friday's Halloween Extravaganza Roundup over at Storytime ABC's. This week I am sharing an original draw and tell story I wrote called "The Pumpkin Patch." I just wrote it on Monday so I haven't had a chance to share it with my storytime friends yet. I would love your feedback, if anyone does this with a group. It's a really short and simple one, so if you've never tried this storytelling form, it's a good one to begin with.

The words and drawing instructions are available here.

In the next week or so I will be posting the rest of my storytime plan (at least so far!) for our Halloween storytimes. I'm sure there will be lots of great new Flannel Friday ideas too that I'll want to add.

Looking for more Halloween or monster storytime ideas? Here's some I've posted previously:
Jack-O-Happy by Liz and Dick Wilmes--felt board story
Mouse's Halloween House by Judy Sierra--felt board story
Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Em…