Friday, March 16, 2018

School-Age: Lions

This week we featured a few more books that were nominated as part of our state's children's book awards vote. Since two of the nominees that the kids could vote for were about lions, we learned about lions and read both books aloud!

1. Reading
The first book we read was "Lion Lessons" by Jon Agee. This is a hilarious picture book about a lion trying to teach a young boy how to be a lion in 7 easy lessons.

2. Discussion
We discussed some fun facts about lion behavior and I shared a variety of pictures of lions. It was a fairly short discussion but some of the kids were very into big cats so they were a rapt audience.

3. Reading
Our second lion book nominee was "Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion" by Alex T. Smith. It was a cute retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and the illustrations are bright and cheerful.

4. Craft
We made our own lion masks out of paper plates. I cut large holes in the middle of paper plates and used scraps of construction paper for the kids to glue around the edge of the plates to make their lion manes. Then we taped a jumbo craft stick to the back of the plate so that the kids could hold the plate up to their faces as their own lion mane. 

5. Reader's Theatre
We had a slight reader's theatre activity using our lion's manes. I took some of the lion lesson activities from "Lion Lessons" and had the kids act them out with their manes.

I think the greatest thing about being able to read books aloud to kids on a regular basis is that I find a greater appreciation for some of the books I might have overlooked otherwise. There are books that I read, felt were nice enough, but when I read them to kids and see how much the kids LOVE them, I re-evaluate my own opinion of them. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

2018 Summer Reading Program Preview

Last year's Summer Reading Program Preview was pretty popular so I am doing it again! 

As a reminder, my library system participates in the Collaborative Summer Library Program as to deciding on our theme. We have some wiggle-room, as librarian's, as to whether we want to strictly follow the theme or not. It is there as a guideline but some years the theme can be a little easier than others depending on how creative and out-side-the-box you may be. 

The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) theme for Summer 2018 is Libraries Rock!

For May I am not following the theme much at all but after our Summer Reading Program kickoff in early June, all of June and July's themes will be related to the CSLP theme.

1. My Little Pony
Reading: "Meet the Ponies of Ponyville" by Olivia London
Discussion: History of My Little Pony
Craft: My Little Pony paper craft

2. Masterpiece Art
Reading: "Masterpiece Mix" by Roxie Munro
Discussion: Using the book as a guide, various artists and genres of art.
Craft: Tissue paper Monet & still-life watercolor art

3. The Grand Canyon
Reading: "Grand Canyon" by Jason Chin
Discussion: The different layers of the Grand Canyon and the history of the Grand Canyon over time.
Craft: Grand Canyon torn paper collage

4. Two Truths and a Lie
Reading: "Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive!" by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson
Discussion: Use the book for discussion about a variety of odd topics and play two truths and a lie.
Craft: Make their own plant creation

5. Homophones/Homonyms
Reading: "Bob, Not Bob!" by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick
Discussion: Homophones vs. homonyms
Craft: Homonym/Homophone print-outs

6. Junkyard Instruments
Reading: "Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay" by Susan Hood
Discussion: Talk about the real-life recycled orchestra and how the instruments were created.
Craft: Make your own recycled instrument

7. Wind Chimes
Reading: "Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World" by Allan Drummond
Discussion: Wind energy
Craft: DIY wind chimes

8. Sound
Reading: "Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic Adventure" by Wynton Marsalis
Discussion: What is sound? Show them sound waves with a few simple experiments.
Craft: DIY harmonica

9. Decoding/Inferences
Reading: "Du Iz Tak?" by Carson Ellis (with accompanying book, "Baloney, Henry P." by Jon Scieszka)
Discussion: How do we decode text. Show them using the book "Du Iz Tak" and decipher what the text means.
Craft: Alien paper craft

10. Garden
Reading: "Florette" by Anna Walker
Discussion: Neighborhood gardens/flowers.
Craft: Plant flower seeds to take home

11. Duke Ellington
Reading: "88 Instruments" by Chris Barton (share "Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra" by Andrea Davis Pinkney)
Discussion: Who is Duke Ellington? Share various instruments.
Craft: Thumb piano

12. Whale Songs
Reading: "Following Papa's Song" by Gianna Marino
Discussion: Whales and the music they make.
Craft: Paper plate whale craft

13. Rhythmic Folklore
Reading: "Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: a Nandi Tale" by Verna Aardema
Discussion: The meaning behind the folklore.
Craft: Rain sticks

14. Pulp Paper
Reading: "5 Little Ducks" by Denise Fleming
Discussion: The song in the book and how the art in the book was made.
Craft: Create our own pulp paper!

Monday, March 12, 2018

School-Age: Daylight Savings

Last week we learned about Daylight Savings Time, in preparation for Daylight Savings over the weekend.

1. Reading
We read "At the Same Moment, Around the World" by Clotilde Perrin.

The book discusses how all these different children around the world are experiencing a different time of day. At the back of the book, it teaches about time zones and who came up with the idea of time zones.

2. Discussion
Before getting into a conversation about Daylight Savings Time, I wanted to first teach the kids about time zones -- hence the book choice. The kids needed to understand a bit about how the entire world has different time zones (24 time zones in total) and why. Once we talked about time zones, I introduced the concept of Daylight Savings.

We talked about how long Daylight Savings has been around. The United States has been using Daylight Savings since the energy crisis in the 1970's, but different countries have adopted it (and gotten rid of it) off-and-on over time. There is a wonderful map of the world on Wikipedia that shows which countries currently participate in Daylight Savings, which countries formerly did, and which countries never have.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with the idea of Daylight Savings from a (humorous) letter he wrote the Parisians about saving candlelight. I shared a page from "Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin" by Gene Barretta that mentions this.

I would like to think Benjamin Franklin did not intend for anyone to actually use it, but many countries have adopted it during war times or energy crises in order to attempt to save energy.

3. Craft
For our craft, since we are gaining an extra hour of sunlight at the end of our day, we made sun catchers! I used paper plates that we cut holes in the middle of. I cut larger circles of contact paper. Before the program, my teen helpers attached one side of contact paper and put the paper plate with the sticky side up on our craft tables. 

The kids put down tissue paper and, once they were finished, the teen helpers and I put the other contact paper over the tissue paper to create a stained-glass effect. The last part was optional, but we used hole punchers to put a hole through their paper plate. They could use yarn to thread a string through and hang their sun catcher up in a window at home.

This was actually a very informative program (for myself and for the kids). I did not know nearly that much information about Daylight Savings until I researched while putting together the program materials. And I was actually surprised that none of the kids seemed to know much about Daylight Savings or time zones. There are usually always a few older kids that know a bit about the topic. So it was a hugely beneficial topic all-around!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

School-Age: Constellations

Ms. Carol planned and presented this week, since I'm out of town tomorrow, so I will share what she talked about at this week's programs.

1. Reading
For Ms. Carol's topic about constellations, she started the program off by reading Coyote Places the Stars by Harriet Peck Taylor

The kids and I loved listening to this story about the Coyote using his bow and arrow to move the stars into shapes of his animal friends. It was a beautiful Wasco folktale about the constellations that appear in the night sky.

2. Discussion
Ms. Carol had the kids help her define what a constellation was. Then she showed them a variety of constellations (just the shapes of the stars) to see if they could name any of them. There were plenty of facts that I learned about - like pointer stars! I had no idea that well-known constellations, like the Big Dipper, had stars that pointed to OTHER constellations, or stars, in them!

Ms. Carol also played night sky trivia with the kids.

3. Craft
At the end of the program, the kids got to make their own constellations. They were given a black piece of paper, a strip of 12 gold/silver star stickers, and chalk. They could put their stars down in any order and then, using chalk, could create their own constellation.

Here is one I made:

And a few our teens made:

It was fun to see the creativity of our kids at the program coming up with their various constellations! This was a great week and I enjoyed taking a break and observing Ms. Carol do her thing!

Friday, February 23, 2018

School-Age: Water Cycle

Every year our state has a children's book awards vote for a number of children's books. One of the books that was nominated was "Water is Water" by Miranda Paul. So this week's program featured it as a nominee and we discussed the water cycle.

1. Reading
We read "Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle" by Miranda Paul.

The book was poetic, with beautiful imagery, and discussed a variety of ways water makes its way through the water cycle. 

2. Discussion
We discussed what the water cycle was and the different steps of the water cycle are. I showed them a short video about the water cycle but our volume on our computer is so low that I ended up narrating the video myself.

After the video, we went back over the four main steps of the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection. I showed them pictures of different parts of the water cycle and had them name the step. 

Then we had water cycle trivia, where the kids learned fun facts about water like how much of the Earth is covered by water or how much of the water on Earth can we drink. 

3. Craft
We experimented with water color paint this week. I have done water color with salt before and it creates a neat effect as the salt and water dries. 

This was a super fun week and I loved seeing how creative the kids were with their water color masterpieces. Next week my library assistant, Ms. Carol, is presenting a program on constellations - and our regulars are super pumped to have her lead the program!

Friday, February 16, 2018

School-Age: Allergies

This is one of those topics that is informative but also is a neat way to learn about the kids that come regularly to our programs. Some kids may not have much knowledge about what allergies are and learned about what may happen to their friends or classmates who have allergies. And, the kids that have allergies, were able to share their own stories. 

1. Reading
We read "Pigs Make Me Sneeze" by Mo Willems to start the program. The Elephant & Piggie series is hugely popular with school-age kids, but it was also perfect for this topic. 

In the book Gerald thinks because he is sneezing he is allergic to his friend, Piggie. In the end he learns that he actually has a cold, instead.

2. Discussion
I defined what an allergy is and we talked about what could happen when someone has an allergic reaction. Some of the reactions are less severe, like sneezing or having a runny nose, but we also talked about more serious reactions like having problems breathing.

We also talked about different allergens and the kids got to share what they, or people they know, are allergic to. 

3. Reading
I wanted to share another book about allergies called "Dixie Wants an Allergy" by Tori Corn. I read until the page when her classmate gets a broken arm and her friend asks if she now wants a cast on her arm. The ending to the book was not my favorite and a bit mawkish so I did not feel like sharing it.

However, I felt it was a good book to share since the kids were sharing their own allergies. It may look neat for a friend to have a medical condition but, when you experience it for yourself, it really isn't.

4. Trivia
I gathered up some neat allergy trivia to ask the kids a variety of questions and see what they already know about allergies. Some of them were mentioned in our discussion but most were not. For instance, I asked if they could grow out of an allergy. Or, how they could prevent an allergic reaction. 

5. Craft
For our craft we made Elephant and Piggie puppets out of paper bags. 

I was not able to find a free template online after finding similar crafts on Pinterest and online, so I traced Piggie & Elephant to make my own and then scanned them onto my computer. Then, I printed out the parts on pink and grey paper.

The kids LOVED having their own Piggie & Elephant and began acting out parts of the book once they had their own complete set of characters.

This was a very fun and interactive week. The kids and their parents got to share their own experiences with allergies and we all learned about one another. It was interesting! Plus, you can't go wrong with Piggie & Elephant!

Friday, February 9, 2018

School-Age: Toads

Our topic this week was toads!

1. Reading
We read the book "The Toad" by Elise Gravel.

I loved this book but I wasn't sure, initially, how it would be as a read-aloud. But the kids LOVED it and thought the gross facts were wonderful (as they usually do!).

2. Discussion
The book shared some illustrations of a variety of strange toads. I showed them pictures of the Emei mustache toad, Venezuelan pebble toad, and others that were in the book. 

Then we talked about a variety of toad facts and trivia that I compiled from the book and from different other sources. 

3. Craft
We created frog fly-catchers. A librarian at a nearby branch had shared a similar craft that she had done. I decided to make my own version. 

The frog fly-catchers are made out of toilet paper rolls. I painted a bunch of them green prior to the program but ended up also offering plain brown ones to the kids since I had an over-abundance of attendees at my earlier program this week.

I printed out frog arms and legs on green paper, and the flies on white cardstock.

I had them knot both ends of the red string which helped keep the string in the bottom end of the frog, and helped the staples have something to catch onto when we stapled the fly to them.

The kids LOVED the toad book, loved learning all the interested toad and frog trivia, and absolutely adored the fly catchers. It is always great to have a craft that turns into a game/toy as well! It was a huge success and turned out to be one of those programs that you find is a favorite.