- Encourage students to use biodegradable, vegetarian or vegan food products (something that grows)
- Ask students to create displays on biodegradable plates or platters so the whole thing can be thrown away (you can’t imagine having to scrap it off in the compost and then wash those glass platters, yuck!)
- If you are making it a competition, have the school vote on their favorite
- Set up a long table outside of your library, cover it with a tablecloth, and encourage classes (and parents) to come check out the work
- Do this in the colder months so it doesn’t get smelly so fast
- Do this as part of an all-school celebration or library-themed week (Homecoming, School Library Month, ect)
- Have creations be depictions of favorite books
When one of your students realizes their school librarian loves pirates *almost* as much as they do… And you have matching costumes. Best day of kindergarten. Ever.
- The Pirate Jamboree by Mark Teague
- Magic Marks the Spot (Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates) by Caroline Carlson
- Pirates Don’t Change Diapers by Melinda Long
- Pirates Love Underpants by Claire Freedman
- A Year on a Pirate Ship by Elizabeth Havercroft
- Pirates Past Noon (Magic Tree House) by Mary Pope Osborne
My fourth grade students do a huge Westward Expansion and Lewis and Clark unit with their general studies teacher. In an effort to support what is happening in the classroom, I created this bulletin board:
I. Love. Owl. Storytime. Between the plethora of resources, the adorable owl crafts and the way that even my youngest kiddos enthusiastically say, “Hooooooot,” it’s easily one of my favorites.
Do you remember studying the layers of the earth when you were in elementary school? Yep, me neither. If I had made a clay model of the earth that was later cut open to expose the layers, that might be a different story…
This project came about after talking to the third grade classroom teacher and the art teacher, we all worked together to incorporate our areas of expertise into one cool experience for our kiddos. The students have been learning about the earth for a few weeks now so the kids have a great deal of background knowledge.
Before this project even began, I bought (lots) of Crayola Model Magic, this stuff is great to work with, dries over time and comes in lots of fun colors. I bought six colors, one for each of the layers of the earth the students were asked to represent:
I then divided the clay into individual bags, one for each student. I also included handouts for all of the tables and made my sample earth model:
This week’s storytime post comes as both a sharing to fellow librarians and an instructional tutorial to families. Never have I sent a craft home as an extension activity, but this week the craft was too cute and the amount of time was too short.
We finished our storytime with I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie and as I was reading, the kiddos brought up the different pieces of food and dropped them in the old lady’s mouth. Too much fun. They loved being part of the story.
To make your own Old Lady puppet at home, follow these steps:
Step One: Color the Old Lady and the pieces of food.
Step Two: Cut the Old Lady (including inside her mouth, big people help will be required here) and the pieces of food. I cut the rectangle outline of the food so they were all the same size and shape.
Step Three: Lay the paper bag on the table with the seam of the bottom of the bag, face up. Glue the Old Lady’s face to the bottom of the bag. I suggest using a glue stick for this part, anything else will soften your brown paper bag.
Step Four: Glue the Old Lady’s body to the bag, make sure your hand can still fit inside the bag and the seams all move.
Step Five: Here comes the tricky part… Use a scissors to cut out the mouth of the Old Lady, I used tape to reinforce her mouth to the bag.
Step Six: This step is option, you can tape the plastic sandwich bag inside of the brown paper bag to catch the pieces of food.
Step Seven: Retell the story and enjoy!
I am a huge fan of cross-curricular collaborations to make learning more meaningful. My second graders are reading The One and Only Ivan in class so I recently constructed a bulletin board to feature the book and share with the community what is happening in one of the classrooms. Check out the bulletin board post here. Needless to say, the bulletin board worked. Everyone loved it, faculty, students and visitors asked second graders about the book and were encouraged to read it themselves.
When I found out the second grade kiddos were studying character and setting, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for another collaborative project. I contacted our amazing art teacher and she showed me a 3-D diorama that her daughter created for a book and we knew it was perfect for this project. I created my example using a different book so the students could be free to create without a per-conceived piece of art in their mind:
I wish I could figure out the official name of this process, I know there are other educators out there doing this and I would love to give them credit. If you have seen this process done before, or if you’re doing it yourself, please contact me in the comments section.
The students received three pieces of thick card stock, each piece is slightly smaller than the one behind it. For example, the back piece of paper is 8.5″ x 11″, the middle sheet is 8.5″ x 10″ and the front sheet is 8.5″ x 9.” This makes it so the final product curves inward and makes the diorama stand up on its own.
- The back page (the largest piece) is to show the setting. Where did Ivan live? What did his cage look like? What was on the walls?
- The middle page (the medium-sized piece) is to show the character(s). What did Ivan look like? How large was Ivan compared to his cage? Were there other important characters in the story?
- The front page (the smallest piece, already cut into a frame) is to tell others what book you’re sharing. What is the title of the book? Who is the author? Who created this diorama?