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.
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?
- The average male gorilla stands between 5 and 7 feet.
- The arm span of an average male gorilla is almost 9 feet!
- The average male gorilla eats over 40 pounds of food per day, the average American person eats 5-6 pounds of food per day.
- Gorillas are herbivores – they eat leaves, shoots, roots, vines and fruits.
- The lifespan of an average male gorilla is 35 years. Ivan lived to be 50 years old.
- There are 4 subspecies of gorillas: Eastern lowland, Mountain, Western lowland, Cross River.
- Gorillas are an endangered species, there are less than 300 Cross River gorillas left in the world.
- The One and Only Ivan is fictional, but was inspired by a true story.
- Ivan was a male Western lowland gorilla.
- Ivan was captured in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Ivan and (what is believed to be) his sister were captured as infants and brought to the United States. Ivan’s sister died shortly after arriving.
- Ivan was raised in a home until he became too big and unmanageable. He was moved to the B&I Circus Store in Tacoma, Washington.
- Ivan’s cage in Tacoma was only 40 feet by 40 feet!
- Ivan spent 27 years alone in his cage without seeing another of his kind.
- When the mall where Ivan lived went bankrupt (they didn’t have any money), he was moved to the Zoo Atlanta. Before his move to Atlanta, Georgia, Ivan spent a short time at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.
The library menagerie is constantly growing…
A few weeks back I planned to do an ocean-themed storytime to go with my Reader’s Reef genre bulletin board. What started as ocean-themed quickly turned into something attuned to Shark Week in the library. There are just too many adorable shark projects and ideas on Pinterest. I couldn’t help myself!
Shark Fin Hats, aren’t they fun! Pinned by Raquel Hernandez, I was unable to locate the original source. I simply cut strips of blue construction paper, stapled them together and added a fin (with some CHOMP marks). So easy and so fun!
The idea for this darling clothespin shark comes from Estefi Machado. The blog is in Portuguese and while I was able to translate the post through Google, it was still a challenge to understand. So, I took my best guess.
I did a sketch on white card stock, outlined it with black marker and added some color.
The fishy is attached with a small section of wooden toothpick, glued to the back of the clothespin.
Cute and fun!
Another fast and fun shark craft? The shark clothespin for developing fine motor skills, from Make, Do and Friend. Just paint, glue and play!
I painted my sharky with blue acrylic paint, added a construction paper fin, and squiggly eyes.
The white paint was tough… I had to clamp the clothespin open in order for it to dry and even then, the teeth stuck together. Still cute.
Following our Eric Carle author study lesson (check out the Feeling a Little Hermit Crabby, Part 1 post), our brilliant art teacher, Mrs. London took over our beautiful hermit crab shells. We were very involved in one another’s lessons throughout this unit and we were thrilled to be collaborating on such a fun project. It was so exciting to be able to tie one topic into the general classroom, the library and the art room. The kids were so engaged throughout the entire process.
Book: Animals Up Close: Zoom in on the World’s Most Incredible Creatures by Igor Siqanowicz
This book was the kids’ first opportunity to see a “real” hermit crab and they were enthralled. They were able to see all the details and made several observations between real crabs and Eric Carle’s character.