Friday, March 2, 2012

Little Pig, Little Pig: A National Pig Day After School Story Time, 3/1/12

This was the last after school program on my Winter schedule. I will continue offering a Thursday afternoon activity, but from now on, it will be marketed as a read-aloud and craft for school-age kids rather than a story time. I learned rather late that none of  the Winter after school programs were properly promoted on the library's website, which might explain why my attendance has been so sparse and skewed so young. Yesterday's group consisted of five kids under the age of 4. Though the group was young, I still used the same format as my Presidents' Day story time two weeks ago.

The Craft: Three Little Pigs Stick Puppets

I. Supplies

 II. Prep

To prepare for the craft, I set out a puppet sheet at each available spot at each table. I also set out a pile of colored popsicle sticks, a bottle of glue, a bowl of crayons, and several pairs of scissors at each table. I didn't create an example, but I did explain to every child that they could turn their pigs into puppets. I kept the copies of the play to the side and handed them out at the end as an extra take-home activity.

III. Process
Because the kids were a lot smaller than I'd really planned for, the craft process required a lot of parental involvement. Toddlers aren't particularly great at sitting still or paying attention, so my reading distracted them from the craft and vice versa. The parents said they had fun, but quite honestly, they seemed highly stressed by the whole experience and far too worried about the kids hurting themselves with scissors or making a mess.

The Read-Alouds: Books About Pigs

Book 1: Happy Pig Day! by Mo Willems (2011)
I thought it was a great idea to read this on National Pig Day. The kids really seemed to like it, and one of the moms admitted that she didn't know these books were a series, while another didn't know Mo Willems had written anything after Knuffle Bunny. This is what I love about story time. You never know when something you're presenting is a new discovery for a child and/or his family.

Book 2: A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (2011)
Michael Ian Black is the only celebrity who has my complete permission to continue writing children's books. This book is hilarious, and with the right age group - kindergartners and first-graders, in particular - I really think it would have been a huge hit. As it is, a toddler boy got very excited when the pig's snout got all messy and he called out, "Yucky yuck!" It was worth reading for that reaction alone.

Book 3: If You Give A Pig A Party by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond (1998)
A third book was really pushing it,  but one little boy came late, and I wanted him to have at least one story. Most of the kids recognized the story as one they'd heard before, and I breezed through it pretty quickly since hardly anyone was paying attention.

The Book Display: More Piggish Books

Only two kids really took an interest in the books I put out on display, but here is the list of pig books I selected: 
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