Sunday, May 13, 2012

After School Read-Aloud and Craft: Henry and Mudge, 5/3/12

I read through all the Henry and Mudge books in a couple of days at the end of April, and learned that Henry's birthday is May 1st. When it came time to choose a theme for the Thursday after school program, I decided to read some Henry and Mudge books and give the kids the supplies for making mastiff puppets.

The Read-Alouds: Two Henry and Mudge Tales
Book One: Henry and Mudge and the Careful Cousin by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Sucie Stevenson (1994)
I chose this book because it was checked in, for one thing, but also because it introduces Annie of the Annie and Snowball series. I think this book gets ignored by our Annie fans because they don't realize she's in it! As it turned out, my group was all boys, and none of them had ever read Henry and Mudge before, so it might have been lost on them, but they still seemed to like the differences between rough-and-tumble Henry and prissy Annie.

Book Two: Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Sucie Stevenson (2005)
I chose this book because it was an award-winner, and I needed some way to narrow down my choices. The kids seemed to like it, though they didn't have much to say when prompted.

The Craft: Mastiff Puppets
I. Supplies 
  • Mastiff coloring page
  • Crayons
  • Tape
  • Popsicle Sticks
II. Prep
I created one puppet just to show how it was to be put together. This was a last-minute craft, so I didn't get too fancy. I did, however, post the puppet on my sign promoting the story time so that Henry and Mudge fans might be drawn in. (None were, as it turned out.)

III. Process
The particular group I had was mostly regulars who are familiar with my "take your supplies and do whatever you want" approach to crafts. Only one girl, a kindergartener, felt that she absolutely must make her dog look exactly like Mudge. The others all had rainbow dogs, or red dogs, or whatever.

The Display: The Henry and Mudge Series, plus Annie and Snowball
I put out an array of books from both series, but the kids didn't pick them up and read them as they usually do with displayed books. This might have been because they all look kind of the same, or because they were so engrossed in their craft projects.

I want to do something for Henry's birthday again next year, but this time, I'll give myself more time to come up with more activities!

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