I think it's safe to say I will never do another Groundhog Day story time. What a silly holiday! Somehow I got the idea that kids were into it, but they really are not, and quite honestly, neither am I. I thought the focus on shadows would be interesting and fun, but the entire story time, though not a disaster, fell flat compared to most of my others. I also had to beg kids to participate, and the group who actually was interested was far older than I'd expected, so they didn't even really get much out of it. But there were some good moments, and I'll note those for posterity below.
Groundhog Day! by Gail Gibbons (2006)
I thought Gail Gibbons was some kind of non-fiction genius, but this book is so disorganized, and it just drags on and on. It starts out talking about groundhog day, but then gets into this whole section about the size and weight of groundhogs and the length of their tunnels which made for some very dry reading. Not to mention the mating! How did I not think that would be awkward to read about? Ugh. Never again.
Groundhog Stays Up Late by Margery Cuyler (2005)
This book was just okay. It wasn't the book I wanted, but I let books circulate before I pulled what I wanted and thus got stuck with the leftovers. Again, I will never repeat this mistake.
Song: Shadow Song
If the actions for this had been more complicated, the older kids would have liked it a lot more. As it was, the two or three preschoolers who came loved this song and danced around like nobody's business.
Shadow by Suzy Lee
This book was the surprise highlight of the story time. The kids loved trying to figure out what was going on in the illustrations, and even though they didn't get the ending, one little girl told me it was an interesting book "even though it doesn't have any words." I had never really shared a wordless book in story time, so I was proud of myself for giving it a try.
Rhyme: My Shadow
This fingerplay is cute, and again, perfect for preschool. My elementary school kids did it, but sort of just went through the motions. I so wish I had known there would be so many school age kids this week. Everything could have been different!
Flannel Board: Guess Whose Shadow?
This guessing game was a little too easy, but I had their attention for all ten shadows and their corresponding objects. It turns out I didn't have time for Flannel Friday this week, but since this idea will also work for the summer reading theme, I'll probably still post about it next week.
The Shape of Me and Other Stuff by Dr. Seuss (1973)
I didn't need to include another book, and I don't really know why I did. I was so thrown off by this point, it didn't make any difference.
This story time is a perfect example of why themes are a bad idea. I advertised this program well in advance, before I realized there weren't very many good groundhog day or shadow books. I will never make that mistake again!