Saturday, March 17, 2012

After School Read-Aloud & Craft: Sea Theme, 3/15/12

I spend more time planning for this program than any other, which is strange considering it gets the smallest number of participants each week. We did finally attract the right age group for this week, though, so it might be that the hard work is paying off!

The Craft: Shiny Sea Scene

This idea was inspired by a post I saw on Pinterest.

I. Supplies 
  • Aluminum foil 
  • Markers (mine were washable, but permanent works better)
  • Foam stickers of sea creatures (I bought some at Michael's)

II. Prep
The only thing I had to do was cut the aluminum foil ahead of time so the kids wouldn't hurt themselves on the sharp edge of the foil roll. 

III. Process 
The basic idea was to create an underwater scene using the foil as the water backdrop and the markers and stickers to add animals, bubbles, seaweed, and whatever else fit the ocean environment. 

My example looked like this: 

Most of the kids got into right away, and I heard some of them talking about how they were including the animals they heard me mention in the stories. 

The Read-Alouds: Books About the Sea 

Book 1: Swimmy by Leo Lionni (1963)
This group of kids was really very quiet, so I have no sense of how they liked this book. It's got beautiful illustrations, though and a couple of girls looked up from their crafts to stare at the book, which seemed like a good sign.

Book 2: Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle (2004)
This book talks a bit about fish mating habits, which might cause some adults to object, but no one seemed fazed by it that this particular program. I like the book because it pays tribute to fatherhood - each fish in the story is a male fish whose job it is to care for their young. The story drags on a bit, and doesn't really have an ending, but the kids still liked seeing the different kinds of fish - the seahorse was by far the favorite.

Book 3:  Cat and Fish by Joan Grant, illustrated by Neil Curtis (2003)
A cat and a fish become best friends despite their very different lifestyles. The striking illustrations were what made me choose this book, and though the kids didn't react much, they did seem interested in at least looking at the book as it was read. 

The Display: More Ocean Books
The display worked so well this week. When I was finished reading, every adult in the room found a book and shared it with the kids under their care. I am still trying to figure out the best format for this program, but putting books on display is an absolute must! 

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