Friday, January 20, 2012

Let's All Go to the Circus! After School Program, 1/19/12

Yesterday was National Popcorn Day. Initially I wanted to have a popcorn day story time, but that quickly proved impossible (seriously, there are no books!), so then I opted to do a circus story time instead. And yes, there are plenty of books about the circus, but not so many rhymes, songs, or activities that work with a  circus theme. So I wrote my own. And that was mostly okay, except that my group didn't really participate very much. I did get some older kids - first graders - because of the promise of popcorn at the end of the program. (Our craft was popcorn bags.) But something still felt off. Never again for this theme. I'm already working on making my themes more general for Spring.

Opening Song: Roll Your Hands
I had great luck with this song during my class visits these past two weeks, so decided to stick with it. It went pretty well, though I think the first graders could have done something more complicated. 

Book: Circus by Lois Ehlert
I don't enjoy Lois Ehlert, but I tried so hard to show enthusiasm for this book anyway. Alas, the room fell silent. 

Action Rhyme: Under the Big Top 
I wrote this less than an hour before the program started. Creative juices flow so well at the last minute!

Book: Tree Ring Circus by Adam Rex (2006)
This book is a lot like Stuck. And Stuck is better.

Action Rhyme: Circus Clown, Circus Clown
I wrote this one based on Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around. 

Book: Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer (1994)
This book is strangely plotted and doesn't have a very satisfying ending.  I chose it for the popular character, but wished I had skipped it.

Book: You See A Circus, I See... by Mike Downs, illustrated by Anik McGrory (2005)
I loved this book a lot, but the kids didn't "get" the entire gimmick. There aren't enough cues in the text or illustrations to help the  reader understand that the circus persona and the true identity underneath are connected in any way. A lot of the kids thought they were each separate people, instead of two sides of the same person. I think for that reason it would have worked better one-on-one. But it's also a nice read-alike for The Little Bit Scary People by Emily Jenkins, which is a favorite of mine. 

We didn't sing a goodbye song. Instead, I handed out popcorn. I had planned on doing a popcorn action rhyme, but decided it wasn't worth subjecting them to anymore torture. They wanted their popcorn, so that's what they got!

1 comment :

  1. We are putting together a circus story time for our library and this was a huge help! I especially love "Circus Clown, Circus Clown". Thank you!


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