Sunday, April 15, 2012

After School Read-Aloud & Craft: Monsters Theme, 4/12/12

After the success of Wednesday's all-ages Jazz program, I decided to revert to the old afternoon story time format - songs and stories first, then a craft. I'm still not sure which format is better, but this program seemed pretty successful.

The Read-Alouds (and Songs and Rhymes):
All About Monsters

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book:  Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963)
This is one of my all-time favorite books to read aloud. 

Rhyme: Dinosaur Stomp
I intended to change this action rhyme to suit the monster theme, but somewhere along the line started saying "dinosaur" instead of "monster" and just went with it.

Book: The Patterson Puppies and the Midnight Monster Party by Leslie Patricelli (2010)

Song: One Little Monster

Book: There's an Alligator Under My Bed by Mercer Mayer (1987)

The Craft: Monster Faces 

I. Supplies
  • Paper Plates
  • Glue
  • Glue stick
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Feathers
  • Sticker eyes
  • Cupcake wrappers
II. Prep
My coworker came up with this project, so she did all the prep. This really only included making the example and setting out the craft supplies. I added the feathers and eyes to the pile of supplies at the last minute, when the kids seemed  confused as to what to glue on their plates.

III. Process
Eight kids came to this program, ranging in age from around 2.5 to 7, and each of them took a different approach to making a monster face. The smaller kids enjoyed coloring more than gluing, while the older ones experimented with multiple eyes and mouths. Some used feathers for hair; others, pipe cleaners. It was a great all-ages craft, and one I'll definitely revisit around Halloween!

The Display: More Monstrous Books 

Baby Lap Time, 4/12/12 and 4/13/12

Week Two was much MUCH better than Week One. So much better. I was better prepared. There weren't quite as many families. I picked better books. Everything was just calmer and more relaxed, and I actually got the chance to enjoy myself. This is the repertoire I used for both sessions.

Opening Song: Say Hello 

Rhyme: Cheek Chin

Rhyme: The Baby in the Cradle

Song: Mr. Sun

Book: Binky by Leslie Patricelli (2005)
I heard several parents say to each other, "That was a good one," as I finished this story. 

Rhyme with Puppets:  I'm a Little Bumblebee 

Song: Bumpin' Up and Down in my Little Red Wagon 



Book: Counting Duckies by Begin Smart Books (2010)
This book has a nice refrain to it - "Let's get wet!" The Thursday morning group got really into it, saying it along with me. The Friday group was a bit more reserved but they reacted more favorably to the ending.


Songs with Shaker Eggs: 

Song: Face, Fingers, Feet and Toes

Song: Tony Chestnut 

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It

Song: All the Little Babies (Session 2 only)

Goodbye Song: Open, Shut Them Goodbye Song

Caldecott Challenge Post #22

The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howett, illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi. Published 2002. Caldecott Honor 2003. Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 9780689852893

Tony DiTerlizzi’s interpretation of an 1829 English cautionary poem is exceedingly creepy. The spider, whose giant house is haunted by bugs who have gone before, does everything in his power to trick the fly, who is portrayed as an impressionable and dainty lady, to step into his web. The illustrations are completely grayscale, and every detail points to the fly’s inevitable fate. Things like the ladybug footstool on which the spider rests some of his legs and the book entitled “The Joy of Cooking Bugs” tell the reader exactly what kind of spider we’re dealing with, and make us anticipate the final outcome with morbid curiosity. This is definitely one of those picture books that works well for an older audience  - and probably for Tim Burton fans, too!


Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel. Published 1970. Caldecott Honor 1971. HarperTrophy. ISBN: 9780064440202

One of my earliest book-related memories is of the author studies we did in my first grade class. I remember just loving Arnold Lobel, and being sad when I discovered he had already been dead for two years. I don’t have any specific memories of reading the Frog and Toad books but I know I did because when I come across them, I have this sub-conscious sense of nostalgia and excitement. I love how gentle and understated everything is - even the art - and the fact that Frog and Toad are such an odd couple, but still such great friends. My favorite moment from this book is Toad’s frustrated pronouncement, “The whole world is covered with buttons and not one them is mine!”.



Hondo & Fabian by Peter McCarty. Published 2002. Caldecott Honor 2003. Henry Holt. ISBN: 9780805063523

Hondo the dog and Fabian the cat have different personalities, interests, and experiences, but at the end of the day, they always come back together again. My favorite Peter McCarty book will always be Henry in Love, but I like this one, too, for similar reasons - namely, the soft, dream-like quality of the illustrations, and the simple warmth and comfort of the story itself. I also love the way the two pets’ days mirror one another, even when they are not together. The only element I thought was unnecessary was the baby - she didn’t seem to add much to the story, and I think I would have liked it better with no direct human involvement.

See other Caldecott Challenge participants' blogs on the challenge page at LibLaura5. Follow my challenge progress here.

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