Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Camp Visit, 7/5

The challenges just keep on coming! This camp has approximately 25 children, ages 5 to 15, and what they asked me to do today was a story time for their younger kids, and a craft for their older ones. I planned my story time for ages 5-8 (with 8 being almost too old for the books I chose), but when the group arrived, they decided to keep the entire group together, since not all of the kids came to camp following the holiday. So I wound up reading the books I chose to a group ranging from age 5 to age 10 or so. We also did one song.

Book: We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems
I picked this one because I think these books are entertaining for any age, and I could tell, from the moment I held up the cover, that the kids were pretty happy with my choice. The oldest kid in the group was the most engaged, I think. He wanted to know if the book actually ended on page 57 as Piggie mentions. (And of course it does!)

Book: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
I chose this because half this group asked me for it when they were here for their own private reading time last week. And again, they were absolutely glued to the pages. The teacher says they have heard it too many times before, but I don't think you can ever have enough Seuss in your life.

Song: Taba Naba
This was a big hit. Just difficult enough that the oldest kids had to try hard to get it perfect, and easy enough that the youngest kids could do at least half of the movements.


 
Book: Loose Tooth by Anastasia Suen, illustrated by Allan Eitzen

This was a third book I didn't really intend to read once I saw the age range of the group, but the other two were done so quickly, I wound up throwing it in there anyway. And they liked it. Again. I think it was the basketball stuff more than the tooth stuff, but still.




At the end of this session, the teacher informed me that the books I read were not "mature" enough, or "engaging" enough. Despite the fact that the kids were dead silent, staring at me and listening not just politely, but interestedly, I would say that they were plenty engaged. Sure, easy readers aren't going to be great for ten-year-olds, but I didn't know ten-year-olds were part of this until a minute beforehand! But she said that even for the younger kids, it needed to be more interactive, and more exciting. So now I'm on a quest to find books that can be read to the entire group next week - ages 5 to 15 - that won't bore anyone. Which basically means I'm on a wild goose chase, because the interest levels are so different for a five year old and a fifteen year old.

But I'm trying anyway. I had some suggestions from Seth, Mary, and Sharon on Twitter (thanks, guys!), but I'm still working on compiling a list of longer picture books that are funny, if at all possible. This is what I've got so far:


Princess Hyacinth: The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated by Florence Parry Heide, illustrated by Lane Smith (This is my standard go-to book for mixed-age story times, and it's been successful with other groups, but I'm iffy about it for this one. This teacher has made me so paranoid!)

When Dinosaurs Came With Everything by Elise Broach, illustrated by David Small (I thought I had read this, but realized I have not. It seems pretty laugh-out-loud funny, but

The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean (This book is creepy, but some kids like that. If  they have nightmares, the teacher will know better than to say "mature.")

Dear Mrs. LaRue by Mark Teague (I have read this with kindergartners before, at my previous library, and the humor went over their heads. These kids are a bit older than that, so maybe they'd get it.)

Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave by Marianna Mayer, illustrated by K.Y. Craft (I read this to my wonderful fifth graders on their last visit of the school year and they loved it. But I look at the youngest ones in their group, and I know it's not going to work for them. *sigh*)

I've also considered short stories (my boyfriend's suggestion), and maybe some sort of call-and-response story, but haven't investigated those any further so far. Sharon also suggested story telling, but I have never done anything like that without a book, so I'll probably have to take longer than a week if I want to learn a story well.

What do you read to "big kids?" What would you read to this group?

Baby/Toddler Story Time, 7/5

Not quite record attendance today, but still up there! Roughly forty kids at each of my three sessions.


Opening Song: Hello, how are you?
 Book: Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? by Eric Carle (2005)
I wasn't thinking when I chose this that we might have kids in our story time group who don't have mothers, making the refrain, "A [fill in animal here] has a mother just like me and you!" somewhat annoying,  but no one complained. And they loved all the animals, especially the kangaroo!

Song: Cuddly Koalas
This is such a great song - simple, fun, and easy to learn, but not boring if it's your 100th time singing it. 


Book: What Does Baby Say? by Begin Smart Books (2008)
This is a basic lift-the-flap book, about what baby says when she sees cookies, juice, mommy's purse, and more. They absolutely loved this one - lots of little eyes were just absolutely glued to the book!

Song: Shake My Sillies Out

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Flannel Board Rhyme: Three Melting Popsicles
Stay tuned - this rhyme will be featured in my Flannel Friday post this week!

Song: The Wheels on the Bus (Raffi version)
This is my compromise. I couldn't take another week of my usual version of Wheels on the Bus, which is almost 4 minutes long, so I gave this one a try, using photographs I printed out to cue each verse. I think it was a success. 


Song: ABCD Medley

Song: One, Two, I Love You (Numbers Are Our Friends)
During session three, the CD started to skip, and I had to sing this song without the music. I did just fine, but it shows why it's really important to know your songs well!

Song: Chickadee

Song: Monkeys on the Bed (session 3 only, by request)
A little girl who drew me a picture last week asked if we could do this one, and I couldn't say no.

Goodbye Song: Skinnamarink
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