Saturday, January 25, 2014

What's In The Box?

No need for expensive gizmos or gadgets...just a box!

You ever notice what happens when you give a child an unopened box? Their imaginations are set all a glow, their creativity is suddenly unleashed! Their thoughts immediately start to race on the endless possibilities. What could possibly be inside the box???

Is it a submarine? A spaceship...oh oh, I's a great big, hairy, blue elephant!

So how is this all possibly tied into literacy?  Simple, have the kids share their story with you. Suggest older kids write down their story idea...Is it a submarine in the box? How did it get there? Who does it belong to? What colour is it? Does it take you to magical places? What adventures would you go on?

Younger kids might want to draw their story, get them to tell you all about their picture after.  Some kids may simply want to tell you all about their story idea and that's OK ;-)

Literacy goes well beyond the pages of a book!

Have fun! ~Dale

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

*BOOK REVIEW* Meeting Miss 405

I got a chance to share Lois Peterson's  'Meeting Miss 405' with the kids in our Young Readers Group before we took a break for the Holidays, here are some of their thoughts on the book...

"I thought [the story] was sad because the main character's mom has depression. It must be very hard for her because she doesn't get to see her mom and people in her class are teasing her about it." 
~ Isabella 

"Tansy didn't like miss 405 at first because she didn't think she needed a babysitter but miss Stella taught Tansy lots of new things like calligraphy after school. Miss tansy didn't have computers and TV so they played games and talked together every-time. I like the end of the book, Tansy ended up liking Miss Stella a lot, Tansy's mum came back and Miss Stella made her a special present For Her Eyes Only!"

"Miss 405 was a awesome story. The book is about Tansy meeting and staying with Miss Stella while her dad was at work and her mom was away.  I liked Miss Stella because she was so nice to Tansy and taught her calligraphy.  Tansy is bullied at school by Devon because her mother suffers from depression, I like how Tansy dealt with her bully at the end of the book." ~Nick

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Make Your Very Own Alphabet Puzzle

This is an easy to make literacy based activity idea.

You'll need:
A pair of scissors
Old magazines or newspapers
Tape or Glue
Index cards or construction paper
A Marker

To make:
Clearly print a capital letter on the left side of an index card and print the corresponding lowercase letter on the other side. To make the puzzle piece cut the card into two pieces using either wavy or zig zag lines.

Activity extension:
Instead of printing the lowercase letter on the right side of the index card, go through some old magazines or newspapers and pick out pictures that begin with that letter, paste them on the right side of the index card instead.

You might also choose pictures that end with the letter.

Monday, January 06, 2014

*BOOK REVIEW* Fortunately, The Milk

Pirates, spaceships, aliens, dinosaurs and'll find them all in Neil Gaiman's 'Fortunately, The Milk', a book where imagination and creativity have NO boundaries!

Read what Joshua (aged 7) had to say about it....

"My favourite characters of all are the Wumpires!!!! I even loved how they were illustrated.

It's all about two kids and their dad, he goes out one morning to get milk for their breakfast and ends up aboard a pirate ship and has to walk the plank, he also travels back in time and meets professor Steg. (Another one of my favourite characters!!!) and they travel around in his Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier thing.

This book is FUNNY and has tons of adventure in it!!!  The dad's imagination in the book is crazy cool!

I think the illustrations in this book are all awesome" :)

Related Activity:

This book is not only a great read aloud for the kids but is ideal for initiating storytelling for children of all ages, whether they use them as writing prompts or for oral storytelling.

Go through the book and pick out any part that makes for a great story prompt, the following is exerted from page 70...
"Would you like to press the button?" said Professor Steg.  I pressed the red button.  There was an ear-popping noise....
Have the older kids write their own story ending, you can scribe for the younger ones or they can tell you the story, remember...there are no limits to where imagination and creativity can take you!

~Happy Reading!