Friday, April 19, 2013

Outreach Round-Up, 4/8/13 - 4/18/13

Psychiatric Institute: Monday, 4/8/13
Books: Make Way for Ducklings, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Matilda's Humdinger, Heroes of the Surf 
Notes: This was the smallest and youngest group of kids I have had at this location thus far, and they were not as attentive as the previous two groups. Still, it was a treat to introduce them - and their teachers - to Make Way for Ducklings for the very first time. I would not have read four books ordinarily but an administrator came in to see my story time, and she was late, so she requested one last book.

Catholic School 5th Grade: Thursday, 4/11/13
Poems: "Instructions" by Neil Gaiman, "The Adventures of Isabel" by Ogden Nash, "maggie and milly and molly and may" by e.e. cummings
Notes: I asked the students to rate each poem from 1 to 3. The scale they were given was as follows: "1= This was a great poem! 2 = This poem was just okay. 3 = I never want to hear this poem again!" After tallying their votes, The Adventures of Isabel was the winner. After three weeks of reading and rating poems, I will reveal their overall results and give them copies of the poems to keep.

Catholic School Kindergarten & First Grade (Two Separate Sessions): Friday, 4/12/13
Book: Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover  
Notes:  The kids in both classes liked this book, though they had some issues with suspending their disbelief. ("Um, Miss Katie, Rabbits don't talk.") They didn't laugh out loud as much as I expected, but they were quiet and engaged the whole time, which is very rare for them. The kindergarteners, who have a special affection for George and Martha, enjoyed it somewhat more than the first graders.

Rec. Center Cooperative Play Program: Wednesday, 4/17/13
Books: A Sick Day for Amos McGee, May I Bring a Friend?, ABC Zooborns
Songs: Shake My Sillies Out, Cuddly Koalas
Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big
Notes: This was a much smaller group than usual - only five kids! They loved the first two books, and were interested in and confused by the ABC Zooborns book. I think their teacher enjoyed it even more than they did!  Also, apparently, in two years, I have never used Shake My Sillies Out at the rec. center because the  teacher said she loved it and had never heard it.

Catholic School Pre-K: Thursday, 4/18/13 
Books: May I Bring a Friend?, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, Quiet! There's a Canary in the Library 
Songs: If You'd Like to Read a Book, Monkeys on the Bed, Shake My Sillies Out, These Are My Glasses 
Notes: I used two of the books from the Rec. Center story time, but added the Don Freeman title as both a tribute to library week and a third example of "zoo animals in unusual places." This was one of the best class visits I've ever had with this group. 

Catholic School 5th Grade: Thursday, 4/18/13
Poems: "Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright by Stephen Vincent Benet, "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost, "How to Change a Frog into a Prince" by Anna Denise
Notes: The group was pretty vocal about how much they disliked each of these poems, but the last one did get a five top ratings, mostly from the girls. I think they will be surprised how the voting turns out when all is said and done. Now I just need to find three more poems for next week that they will have some hope of liking. 


  1. I'm found of Jack Prelutsky's collections. And you can't go wrong with Shel Silverstein. as far as grown-up poets, I'm fond of Edgar Lee Masters, Emily Dickinson, and Carl Sandburg. I love that you're having them rate the poems.

    1. All great suggestions - thank you! I am amazed at the way they are responding when they actually have to assign a rating to a poem. There have been several heated debates, especially among the boys, over what makes a poem good, or even what makes it a poem in the first place. The only rule I've given them is that they have to give reasons for their positions - they have really taken that and run with it!


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