Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Second Grade Visits

Second graders from public and private schools in Hamilton Township spend a day attending a program about bicycle safety given by the police department.  It is held at the library with half the schools attending in the fall and the other half attending the following spring.  A visit to the children's room is included in the program.  We talk about what the library has for them, tell some stories and give them some time to browse the collection.  For our own sanity and that of the teachers, we like to vary our programs each year. 

I usually do a different program each spring and fall.  I like to read a humorous picture book and tell a story (or two).  I always promote the summer programs in the spring usually by playing a memory game.  In the fall, I tell an additional story instead.  This year I decided to use the same book that I read last spring simply because I haven't found anything I like better (that I haven't used before).  The book is Mr. Putney's Quacking Dog by Jon Agee.  It combines guessing, wordplay and silliness.  The children become very involved in figuring out each animal but it can take a long time to get through the book.  I also enjoy seeing the teachers and parents get involved in the guessing as well.

One of the stories that I am telling is "The Pearl Thief" from Travel the Globe: Multicultural Story Times by Desiree Webber.  It is based on a folktale from India and is told with props (I use paper lunch bags).  I really like this story but I may have to start leaving it out when we are short on time.  I need to work on making this one go quicker.

The other story that I am using is a paper cutting story, "The Royal Paper Puzzle" from Handmade Tales by Diane de Las Casas.  I just used this in Family Story Time (see my post for 9/27/11) and it was a big hit and surprisingly easy to do.  (I did skip the part describing the princess and making her curly hair.)  The children have been so fascinated by it that one of my colleagues starting doing it when she was doing the class visits and she does not do paper cutting stories.  (Maybe I'll be able to talk her into doing some more.)

So far I've been able to keep the attention of the second graders (and the adults that are with them).  I need to work on giving them enough time to browse the collection.  It's a fine line because if they have too much time then things can go downhill very quickly!

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