Tag Archives: school visit

Suprise Second Grade Visit

So apparently I scheduled a 2nd grade visit while I was in the middle of a long reference question, and now do not remember what I said I would talk about. Yeah, not great. I plan on calling on Monday before to double check, but in the mean time I am planning a simple class visit. We have some fun programs coming up at the library and ideally these class visits will encourage more kids to come to the library.

Spot the Plot: A Riddle Book of Book Riddles While the schools I visit are all pretty close to the library, I’m always amazed how many of the kids have no idea where the library even is! So I like to start with an introduction to me and where the branch is located. I’m hoping to include more poetry in my school visits, but I’m always tempted to read a few of the poems from Spot the Plot, though I’ve used it a number of times.

Interrupting Chicken After that I encourage the kids to come to the library and ask me for book suggestions, or to find a book they can’t quite remember. Then I read a longer story, this time I want to try Interrupting Chicken, which I love, but haven’t had a chance to read to any kids yet. I think it will work well for the second graders.

A Picture Book of Harry Houdini I’ll finish with a book about Houdini to promote our magic show, I’m thinking A Picture Book of Harry Houdini, by David Adler.

This will work, so long as the teacher doesn’t tell me they had something specific in mind!


Twisted Fairy Tales

After I did my historical fiction book talk in February, the teacher e-mailed me to invite me back to share books again. *happy dance* I was also invited to visit another fourth grade class in the school. I’m planning on sharing the same books in the two classes, as there shouldn’t be any overlap of students. My theme for this set of book talks is twisted fairy tales/old fashioned fairy tales, with the Adam Gidwitz’ A Tale Dark and Grimm as the inspiration. In my library system it is in the teen section, but I think it is suitable for the 4th grade audience. Most of the kids are good readers, reading Percy Jackson and the like.

A Tale Dark and Grimm After introducing myself and announcing upcoming programs, I’ll read the introduction to A Tale Dark and Grimm, which lays out the theme for the book talk: fairy tales, and how they once were awesome and still are pretty good adventures. It is a good introduction to the tone of the book, as it is the narrator talking. I’d describe this book as a cross between the Brother’s Grimm and Lemony Snickett.

Then I plan on reading an original Brother’s Grimm’s tale, one of the more grim tales. I’m thinking the “Seven Ravens.” Grimm’s Fairy Tales are available from Project Gutenburg for free. We just got a new copy at the library, and I’ll bring that to show them where they can find these stories. I also have another collection of Grimm’s fairy tales called Grimm’s Grimmest, which is a little scary for them. I do warn them that it is violent, but that just gets them excited. Grimm's Grimmest

The Frog Princess (Tales of the Frog Princess, #1) Next I share something lighter, The Frog Princess, which is not as girly as the cover suggests, though there may be too much kissing for much crossover appeal. Honestly, if they cut a few of the kissing scenes this could be a good boy book. There are good parts about eating bugs, and adventure scenes running away from snakes. I was surprised that none of the kids had read it in the first class I visited.

How to Save Your Tail*: *if you are a rat nabbed by cats who really like stories about magic spoons, wolves with snout-warts, big, hairy chimney trolls . . . and cookies, too. After that, I introduced them to a pretty easy read How to Save Your Tail*: *if you are a rat nabbed by cats who really like stories about magic spoons, wolves with snout-warts, big, hairy chimney trolls . . . and cookies, too. It is sort of a Geronimo Stilton meets the Brother’s Grimm, with a little Arabian Nights. It is fun and not too scary, but also an easier read for struggling readers.

The Ordinary Princess I wrap it up with a book I loved from my childhood: An Ordinary Princess, it is kind of a girly book, and like the last book, it is easier read. I introduce the basic premise, but there is no cliffhanger in this book. At the same time, I think it is a gentler read and a nice counterpoint to the scariness of the first books.

For the first group I also did a little blurb for the Sister’s Grimm, but I think I’ll cut it for this final talk.
This post is part of Book Talk Tuesday, at Lemme Library, check out the other great posts!

And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street

Last week was Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and I had the opportunity to share some stories and activities with students. Including a surprise visit on Dr. Seuss’ birthday to share a story with two grades of students. The school librarian called and invited me to come read to 4th and 5th grade classes to help celebrate Read Across America. I’d already planned a pre-school visit for 11 am, so I wanted to squeeze this visit in before. So I had to find something I could share with these kids that wouldn’t take more then 10 min. This was harder then it seemed, because most Dr. Seuss stories are long, and could take twice as much as that easy! So I decided to read And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street which is both one of my favorites and much shorter. And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

It was interesting to read the same book for each class because no two classes reacted the same. One fifth grade class had a girl who just kept saying “that would be crazy messed up!” While one of the fourth grade classes had a group of girls whose response to my question about what could be added to the story Marco invents was to say “you could turn the page, that would make the story better!” Some kids had the book and followed around, while in one class kids muttered that they hated that book. My favorite part was asking the kids what things they could add to the parade to make it more exciting. There were lots of creative suggestions, a potato, dragons, missiles, talking animals. I hope that the kids take the message of the book and look at the world to find all the exciting things there are to see!

Dr. Seuss Celebrations, Part 1

It was Dr. Seuss’s birthday last week, and we went all out to celebrate one of our favorite authors. Not only did we host 2 second grade classes to present stories, activities, and crafts, but we held a party, and are continuing our festivities by going to a Spanish immersion program (my assistant is the Spanish speaking one, she is actually the one doing that program).

Our first program was a returning group of 2nd graders, the same students who came to learn about Shakespeare last month. The teacher left the topic up to me, and I was going to share books from the county reading program. When the teacher heard about our Seuss program, however, she requested I share Seuss with her students.

And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street I started with some stats on Seuss. There is a nice bio of him here. I especially liked the information about And To Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street my favorite Seuss book. It was his first book, and received 27 rejections before it found a publisher. Seuss based the scenes in the book on streets from his childhood home, even the name of the street is a real place in Springfield Massachusetts. After reading the book we worked to create a story together. All of the students walked down the block from their street, so we started
“As I walked to the library today, I saw a ______________. It couldn’t be a _________________. No, no. What I really saw was _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________. And to think that I saw it all on the walk to the library!”

I encouraged the students to help me build on what they saw to create a story of their own.

My Many Colored Days After that, we talked about how the things we could have seen made us feel. Then I introduced one of Dr. Seuss’ last books My Many Colored Days, which we read and then wrapped up with a quick craft. I had wooden stick people and tissue paper. The kids could color the stick to represent their emotions.

I’ll post more about the other programs later!

Shakespeare for Second Graders

This was an interesting dilemma, how do you present the Bard to 2nd graders? Seventeenth Century London might as well be outer space, so I decided to take the students on a trip back in time. In another life, I used to be a graduate student in Early Modern English History, so it was fun to go back to my own past.

This group walked down from a nearby school, and for second graders were a very attentive audience. I started by reading Will’s Quill, or How a Goose Saved Shakespeare, Will's Quill and then took them back in time with a PowerPoint based loosely on this book: Shakespeare's London: A Guide to Elizabethan London

It was a lot of fun, and I was invited to give the presentation to the other half of the 2nd graders at that school.

Third Grade Visit

Just a quick post about a visit I made to the 3rd grade classes of a local school. We met in the library, 91 kids who squeezed into a teeny storytime cove. My goal was to share information about the public library with the kids, but more over just to have fun. I shared three books and talked about some of the fun things we do at the library. It was hard with such a big group to keep them all focused, but well worth it.

Spot the Plot: A Riddle Book of Book Riddles I read Spot the Plot first, which is a series of poems/riddles that describe classic children’s books. The kids really enjoyed guessing which books the poems describe. I’ll share this one again, but probably just a selected few poems.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School Next I read a chapter from Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Many of the kids had already read it, so I probably will not read it again.

Tadpole's Promise (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards)) Finally, after talking about programs and services we offer, I read Tadpole’s Promise. The whole group was in stitches, even the teacher cracked up. I told them it was a Valentine’s day story.

Biographies for Fourth Graders

One of my first outreach visits this year was to a fourth grade class in the school right up the hill from where I work. The teacher requested I talk about biographies, so that the class would be ready to do their book report. I was already familiar with this assignment, as every winter we are deluged with 3/4 grade students who need to read a biography. They usually end up with a dry bio of Abraham Lincoln, or a 10 year old biography of Britney Spears (I exaggerate, I TOTALLY weeded that one out). So I found some fun bios to share with them. Here are a few highlights:

I opened reading a passage from Bad News for Outlaws Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal (Exceptional Social Studies Titles for Intermediate Grades) Which depicts the gun fight between Bass Reeves and a fugitive, and leaves the audience wanting more. We talked about how many people have lived that we’ve never heard of, and how we can read biographies to find out about new people or new things about people we already know.

Ain't Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry Biography of a legend.

Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean A Graphic Novel Biography.

Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country) Another perspective on an old standard.

And the best of the best, this is the book that I had to rip out of the hands of a crowd of excited boys: Knucklehead, more of a humorous memoir, but very well received. Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka