One spring I was invited by an elementary school librarian to come talk about the public library's summer reading program. Since I didn't want to just talk about upcoming library activities, I told a humorous story relating to the theme with stick puppets. I also made a memory game using clip art from the summer reading program manual. I put the pieces on the flannel board and talked about the summer reading program and then I took the pieces off. I then asked the students if they could remember what was on the board. The students really enjoyed the game so I decided to use it to promote summer reading with other groups as well.
Every spring and fall our library has second graders visit. I use the memory game every spring to promote the library's upcoming summer reading program. The more items on the board, the more the children have to remember and the more difficult the game becomes. This makes it a good game to use with various age groups since there can be fewer pieces for the younger children to remember while more can be added to challenge older children. Another way to make it a challenge is to not mention the pieces at all while talking about summer programs. Talking about the pieces makes it easier for the children to recall what was on the board. Again, how it is presented would depend on the age of the group. Sometimes I give hints as well. It's fun to see the children get excited and work to get all the pieces back on the board. It's also interesting to see that there are always one or two particular pieces that all of the classes have trouble remembering.
Because the summer theme changes from year to year, I usually do not make elaborate pieces for our board. I copy and color clip art and then I glue it onto a slightly larger colorful piece of construction paper for a backing. Since we have a magnet board I add magnets. When I had a flannel board I glued pieces of craft interfacing to the back. Scrap pieces of flannel would work just as well. I use this method often when I need to make story pieces quickly.
Of course the memory game can be used as part of a storytime program. What I like best is the fact that it is a game that can be used with and adapted for various age groups and that it works well on a flannel or magnet board.
Below is an example of a quick and easy story piece - clip art glued onto construction paper.