Skip to main content

Tween Book Club: The 100-Year Old Secret

Last week, my tween book club met to discuss The 100-Year Old Secret by Tracy Barrett. This is a short, sweet, clean mystery featuring siblings who, after moving from the U.S. to London, discover that Sherlock Holmes is their ancestor. They decide to team up and solve some of his old cases. This is the first book in the series. We discussed the book using discussion questions I found on Ms. Barrett's official site. (That link downloads a Word document.) The kids liked this book and it wound up being the most successful book club I've done since starting here last April.

For an icebreaker, we played "Don't Blow the Joker" from our previous Minute to Win It program. Playing these Minute to Win It games is something I've been experimenting with and so far it seems to be working really well. The kids get really into it! Since I was only expecting a handful of tweens (only 4 came), I only used one bottle and one deck of cards, all stuff we had lying around the library. None of us were able to complete this challenge (yes, they made me try it too!). The girls wanted to try this game again next month and they also wanted to repeat the Book Scramble from last month. So I guess I have some homework to do sourcing a bottle with a flatter top, older cards that don't stick to each other as much, and cutting up book covers.

Our last activity was a creative writing exercise, inspired by a people-watching game the main characters in the book (Xena and Xander) play where they people watch and try to guess the occupations of strangers. Before our meeting, I printed off about a dozen images of people of all ages from the Internet and hung the photos around our program room. During the meeting, I gave each kid a sheet I whipped up to guide them in making observations about one of the people in the photos. I asked them to do this silently. At the bottom of the sheet was a space for them to write a paragraph about the people answering the question "What happens to this person immediately after the photo was taken?" The kids took this really seriously and made great observations. Most of them were willing to share what they wrote and I really enjoyed hearing what they had to say. One of the girls asked if she could take all the photographs home with her so she did. Feel free to use or adapt my sheet for your purposes.

One activity I wish I had down would be to show the kids how to use our microfilm readers as one of the places Xena and Xander go to research the missing painting in this book is the library. They do some microfilm research and I thought today's kids might get a kick out of seeing how microfilm works and doing some of their own research.

Next month's book club is The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen, one of my favorite books from the past few years. I like to end book club by showing a book trailer for the next book. I showed the official video from Scholastic's False Prince site. Thanks for making this available, Scholastic! 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Program Idea: Parachute Playtime

This summer I offered a parachute playtime for kids 2-3 and 4-5. The idea for this program came from the genius that is my close personal friend Miss Lisa, so make sure you stop by her blog to see what activities she includes in her parachute programs. In addition to her program, I also got ideas from Parachute Play by Liz and Dick Wilmes

I like to do a lot of nursery rhymes with the parachute for a few reasons:
Parents/kids are more likely to participate in activities where the content is already familiarI already know them so I don't have to learn a whole bunch of material at once (just being honest here)Easy for the families to replicate this activities at home with whatever props they might have. If they (or you!) don't have a parachute, a bed sheet or blanket can be substituted easily. Even a beach towel would work for one parent and one child to play together.  This is my mean reason and I tried to hammer this in at all three programs I did the past two weeks! Parachute …

Summer Reading Program 2020 Ideas

Here is a list of ideas I have previously blogged that will fit the Collaborative Summer Library Program's 2020 theme of "Imagine Your Story" (Fairytales, Mythology, and Fantasy). I hope this list helps somebody out there!

Storytime Ideas
A-Hunting We Will Go puppet song
The Ant and the Grasshopper shadow puppet story
A Blanket for the Princess flannel board
The Dog and His Bone shadow puppet story
Dragon Egg storytelling with prop
Going on a Quest puppet rhyme
The Great Big Enormous Turnip flannel board
Humpty Dumpty puppet
I Had a Little Rooster puppet song
Little Gnome Hide and Seek prop game
The Little Red Bird Japanese nursery rhyme flannel board
Little Mouse Chinese nursery rhyme flannel board
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary puppet
Roll a Rhyme storytime cube
Two Little Bluebirds flannel board
Two Little Garden Gnomes prop rhyme
Two Little Unicorns prop rhyme

Programs
Mother Goose Games nursery rhyme Olympics-type program for preschoolers
STEM + Stories: Fairy Tales STEM program for school…

"Sleeping Bunnies" on the Parachute!

Here's one of my favorite parachute activities! I actually mentioned it a few months ago when talking about my summer parachute playtime but it's become a storytime staple since. We've been doing this here at my 2 and 3 year old storytimes and it's a great activity that I thought deserved its own post. I learned the song "Sleeping Bunnies" from Mary and I had the idea to adapt it to a parachute activity.

We use the version from Kathy Reid-Naiman's Tickles and Tunes CD.

Here are the words:

Sleeping Bunnies
See the little bunnies sleeping til it's nearly noon. 
Come and let us gently wake them with a merry tune. 
Oh, how are still. 
Are they ill? 
Wake up soon. (Here I yell "WAKE UP BUNNIES!" and the kids shake the parachute.)

Hop, little bunnies, hop, hop hop! 
Hop, little bunnies, hop, hop hop! 
Hop, little bunnies, hop, hop hop! 

Then we say "good night" to the bunnies and repeat a few times.

Today's Flannel Friday is hosted by Cate!