Friday, April 27, 2012

Spring Second Grade Visits

It's time for the spring round of second grade class visits.  This time around I not only talked about using the library but about our upcoming summer reading program and activities.

After talking about the library, I read a humorous picture book and tell stories.  This spring I chose to read The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems.  Surprisingly most of the children in this group were not familiar with the Pigeon books but that did not stop them from enjoying the story.  I had a grand time emoting as the Pigeon and then being a sweet little Duckling.  I then told the story, "Drakestail," using my duck prop.  (I substituted "Pot Luck" when I had to do the program at the last minute.)  That story was followed by a paper tearing story called "Lost, Left and All Gone" from Mudluscious: Stories and Activities Featuring Food for Preschool Children by Jan Irving and Robin Currie. 

Because I talk about summer programs, I do not tell as many stories as I do for the fall class visits.  The challenge is to keep the children interested while talking about the programs.  I use our magnet board for visuals and to play a memory game using clip art from the summer reading program manual (for more information see my posts for April 13 and April 20).  When I do tell stories, I make an effort to vary the types of stories I tell.  This helps to hold the children's interest because they don't know what kind of story I will do next.  Over the years I have gathered a collection of paper cutting stories, draw and tell stories, flannel/magnet board stories, stick puppet stories and prop stories.  I am constantly adding to it.

I change the stories every year.  Even though the children only come once, the teachers come every year.  Early in my career as a children's librarian, my next door neighbor, who owned a preschool, mentioned how boring her school's annual visit to the local public library was for her because the children's librarian did the same program year after year.  To her the librarian came across as uninspired and unwilling to try something new.  From then on I have kept notes of what I did for each class visit and varied my programs each year.  Teachers are not going to make an effort to bring their students to the library or invite the local librarian to visit their classes if they don't have a positive experience as well as the children.  I've been invited to additional classes after visiting one class because of teacher recommendations.  So although the primary focus is the children, it is also a good idea to keep the adults in mind as well when planning class visits.  After all we want both adults and children to enjoy the library and what it has to offer.

(Life has been crazy this week so I don't have a Flannel Friday contribution.  However, this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Kay Leigh on her blog Storytime ABC's.)

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