Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Border Queen Book Festival, Comanche, OK March

This would make a great fieldtrip for homeschoolers and a definite for classes to encourage children to visit authors and for teachers to come find some great titles. Visit the Border Queen festival blog for more infomation.

Monday, November 17, 2008


From their website: " How to you plan an event? Easy! Your local storytelling group, festival, committee, or even an individual storyteller, can simply plan an event for March 20th, and promote it as part of World Storytelling Day. The theme for 2009 is "NEIGHBOURS." Dream big, and let everyone know about your plans!"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Join Read Aloud.Org and Encouraging reading!

A delightful program encourages parents and children by emphasizing the advantages of reading daily to a child. Visit http://www.readaloud.org/

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Great for story times featuring books with a name in the title.....
Follow the instructions to find your new name.B. Once you have your new name, put it in the subject box and forward it to friends and family & co-worker s.Don't forget to forward it back to the person who sent it to you so they know you participated. And don't go all adult - a senior manager is now known far & wide as Dorky Gizzardsniffer! The following is excerpted from a children's book, Captain Underpants And the Perilous Plot Professor Poopypants, by Dave Pilkey, in which the 2 evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names...


1. Use the third letter of your first name to determine your New first name:
a = snickle b = doombah c = goober d = cheesey e = crusty f = greasy g = dumboh = farcusi = dorky j = doofus k = funky l = boobie m = sleezy n = sloopy o = fluffy p = stinky q = slimy r = dorfus s = snooty t = tootsie u = dipsy v = sneezy w = liver x = skippy y = dink y z = zippy
2. Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:

a = dippin b = feather c = b atty d = burger e = chicken f = barffy g = lizard h = waffle i = farkle j = monkey k = flippin l = fricken m = bubble n = rhino o = potty p = hamster q = buckler = gizzard s = lickin t = snickle u = chuckle v = pickle w = hubble x = dingle y = gorilla z = girdle
3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:a = butt b = boob c = f ace d = nosee = hump f = breath g = pants h = shorts i = lips j = honker k = head l = tush m = chunks n = dunkin o = brains p = biscuits q = toesr = doodles = fanny t = sniffer u = sprinkles v = frack w = squirt x = humperdinck y = hiney z = juice

Thus, for example, George W. Bush's new name is: Fluffy Chucklefanny. [no political commentary implied] And remember that children laugh an average of 146 times a day; adults laugh an average of 4 times a day.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Story of Books

In 1445, Gutenberg invented the printing press and an information boom followed. This new technology replaced the old system of monks copying by hand various written works. They had hand copied writing from parchment (animal skins scrapped clean and smooth). These had been painstakingly written out. In other parts of the world, plants created a writing surface, such the papyrus used in ancient Egypt. While in other places stone or clay was the writing surface.

Books were rare and costly and only the most wealthy and powerful actually owned books. Early monks and rulers traded books (called parchments) so they could be copied. A local church, school, or community was able to copy many books in a year. In fact, Irish monks helped save many ancient writings of Greece and Rome. They taught many people to read the books written in the Greek and the Latin languages. They also made copies of books found as they traveled across Europe in a time when education had become a rare thing in what known as the “The Dark Ages.”

The printing press meant books could be produced, and reproduced, in a less costly or time-consuming manner. That meant for the first time books would be available to a wider audience. As a result, more people learned to read, ideas were spread faster, and social changes occurred on a broader scale.

Try making your own paper. Find a recipe at this web address:
http://www.pioneerthinking.com/makingpaper.html or http://www.tutorials.com/06/0697/0697.asp

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Get Buggy!

Explore the world of bugs by going on a walk, use this site to identify things seen, and end up by reading a bug themed book.

Monday, July 28, 2008

NOT JUST FOR KIDS: Picture Books As Tools for Visual Literacy

Picture books are often located in a library's "easy" or "everybody" section of children's books. People often think they are just for beginning readers. Not so! The stories in some of the best of these "picture" or "illustrated" books can be surprisingly complex and suitable enough to challenge the comprehension skills of middle school students. Careful selection is a must, however, age appropriate titles can become a wonderful vehicle to instill an appreciation for the elements of visual literacy. As the reader blends together text and its interpretive illustrations new levels of meaning can emerge. The Caldecott Award for the best in children's book illustration is an excellent starting place and this site about visual literacy.


1. Talk with your children as they play, go shopping, or work around the house. Listen to what they say. Ask questions. When you talk with your children you are helping them learn to use words.

2. Read to your children. Try to read to them at same time every day. Bedtime or before a nap is a good time. Let them choose the story.

3. Let your children see you read. That is the best way to show them that you think reading is important, and that you enjoy it too.

4. Ask older children to read to younger ones. Older children will be proud of their skills.

5. Go to the library together.

6. Give your children books about special interests.

7. Keep books, magazines, and newspapers around your home.

8. Plan outings for your children. Children learn from what they see and do.

9. Say rhymes, raps, and poetry, and sing songs.

10. Tell stories about your family, and stories you enjoyed hearing when you were a child.

(c) 1989 by Reading is Fundamental, Inc. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute this publication for educational and non-commerical purposes only.

Friday, July 25, 2008


An informal survey of teens in several libraries revealed that almost all had been seriously frightened by clowns as a child. They did not like clowns. They were frightened by clowns. They found clowns "creepy". Yet, parents and others still, trot out the clowns (some even use it as a ministry in their churches..) A recent study in England revealed similar findings to conclude that children really are frightened by clowns: they are loud, scary looking, in your face, and do odd and surprising things. All of which creates high anxiety for many children. So, extreme caution should be used in bringing in clowns for library, school, church, or family parties and events. Make sure all children are prepared, the clown's act is age appropriate, and the appearance non-threatening.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The selection of fine quality children's books is broad. Many notable authors and illustrators have created wonderful books over the last 30 years to bring African-American stories and experiences to life. Some libraries have put together excellent lists of books and some good links are found at this sites.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


When used to extend a reading time or author study these activities can make it fun and memorable for children:
Papa Jan


Bible Coloring Pages-Papa Jan

Kids Explorers Coloring Pages

Color Pages And Certificates

READY Kids Coloring Pages

Presidents Coloring Pages (White House Kids)



Huggies – Toddler and baby Act.

National Geographic for Kids


DLK Printable Crafts

Family Education

Focus on the Family Kids

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Here are some fun activities for a special middle ages emphasis:
1. Make a coat of arms.
2. Make faux stained glass art.
3. Create an illuminated book.
4. Make a middle ages city from cardboard.
5. Learn games from the middle ages.


The following is a link to a listing of resources about India and Indian-American children. Have you found quality titles on the subject? Try: http://www.teachindiaproject.org/booklists.htm

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

RECOMMENDED READ: Shake-it-up-Tales!

Master storyteller and folklorist Margaret Read MacDonald, brings together stories to sing, dance, drum, and act out in SHAKE-IT-UP-TALES! This August House (2000) book carries the signature MacDonald hallmarks of easy presentation, valuable and insightful notes, and tips on presenting the tales. Also, her THREE MINUTE TALES and ...really anything by her!

Help! A Storytime with Toddlers and Preschoolers

These storytimes are a different world. Attention spans are shorter and their understanding of language is not as great. This means age appropriateness and interests of the children are a must. Look for these elements in the book selected:
A simple plot with easy to follow sequence of events (The Enormous Turnip).
Repetitive words or phrases (The Gingerbread Man or other version).
Predictable or cumulative storylines (I Know An Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly or The Rattletrap Car by Root).
Strong or interesting characters (The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Anansi).
Interesting, entertaining, or humorus situations (Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric Kimmel).
Action or suspense (Where the Wild Things Are by Sendak for preK but not younger).
An Exciting or satisfying conclusion (Henny Penny by Galdone)
Simple tales, easy to follow action, and happy endings are a must with this age!

Monday, July 14, 2008


The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County and City provides a series of research guides on many topics. One of them is on storytelling : http://www.metrolibrary.org/mls/mls_research/story_telling_2005-09.htm. Research guides provide basic resources to get started on a specific topic of research. The public libray is also a huge supporter of early literacy and offers ongoing programs of stories and reading for all ages. Get to know the libraries near you today!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Tips On Learning a Story:

Read the story over several times.
Do not memorize the story. Instead, learn how the different parts of the story follow each other.
Practice telling the story in the mirror or to a few friends or your parents.
Make sure you speak loud enough for people to hear.
Look into people’s eyes as you tell.
Add actions or make faces – whatever feels natural to you as the storyteller.
When you know the story very, very well tell it to your class, or other friends, or even at a local storytelling event.
Keep telling and making it better.
Begin to learn more stories to share.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


q Introduction / Welcome
q First story
q Activity (Finger plays, songs, etc.)
q Second story
q Activity
q Third story (depending on age and ability to sit)
q Concluding activity: Gross motor skills (large action play), craft, etc.

Children have different developmental needs at different times in their lives and each has its own unique learning style combination. This means that in a library story sharing time there should be adequate variety to capture the attention of children with various learning styles. This time should also supply the appropriate levels of stimulation (fun activities, various experiences) they need to really enjoy the story time.

When planning such times alternate sitting/listening activities with small movement activities to keep the children engaged and improve listening skills. Include experiences to capture the attention of visual, hearing, movement, and thinking learners.

Remember that very young children have difficulty focusing on one thing for long periods of time. This shorter attention span requires briefer format and diverse content that fluctuates between action and sitting. For the best story time management reserve very active movements (getting up, dancing, marching, games, art, etc. ) for the conclusion of the entire time together. This will end the session on a high positive note and maintain discipline.


Caps for Sale. E. Slobodkina.
The Rattletrap Car. P. Root.
Dogs Noisy Day: A story to read aloud. E. Dodd. 2002
Roar! A Noisy Counting Book. P. Edwards. 2000
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears. V. Aardema.
First Strawberries. J. Bruchac.
Clever Tom and the Leprechaun. L. Shute
Does a Cow Say Moo? J. Hindley
Splish, Splash, Spring! J. Carr.
Walk the Dog. B. Barner
Stand tall, Molly Lou Melon. P. Lovell. 2001


Ending Your Storytime
q Display the books you have read, give a cheer for the books, or have a closing song or chant. (see section on activating story times).
q Thank the children for being such good visitors and listeners to positively reinforce good behavior.
q Tell them when you or someone else will be reading again.
q Encourage them to visit the library for more good times and books to read.
q Finally, give yourself a treat for doing a wonderful thing! You are exciting children with a vital experience – the joyous adventure of reading and literature.

TRANSITIONS: From One Book to the Next

q A transition from one book to a subsequent one may be as simple as saying: “The next book I will be reading for you is called [title].”
q As you gain more comfort and knowledge of the books, you may wish to point out linking themes or similarities: “Here is another book about a curious animal and its adventures”; share information about the author or the illustrator in a sentence or two, maybe with a tag “…watch out in this book and see if you see any ways the pictures are the same.”
q Transitions may take the form of an action such as a fingerplay or a song. This is especially useful with smaller children.
q Always have a display of other books children (or parents) might wish to check out to read at home. Ideally, a page or booklet with book lists and activities is useful and good PR.


q When introducing each book, hold it to display the cover. Give the title, the author, and the illustrator.
q Hold the book open in one hand, on one side of your body, so that children can see the illustrations easily. Slightly tilt or turn the book so that all children can see the double page spread. Try to hold the book as steady and motionless as possible. Limit large motions with the book (such as panning the book across the audience), as this can very distracting. Instead try to maintain a steady posture throughout the sharing time.
q Introducing the first book is important. Have your body language, tone of voice, and language indicate how you want the children to respond. Your opening will set the tone for all that follows.
q Use your own voice (especially as a new reader): steady, natural, but animated.. Keep it simple. Do not rush and have good volume. Enunciate clearly.
q At natural times in the story turn to the children, make eye contact, and draw them into the story.
q Try to maintain the attention of the story – in a positive manner. Invite them back to the story without embarrassing them. This is where the adults in the room can be put to use to help maintain order.
q Allow the children to absorb the text at their own pace: meaning that you should read slowly (but in an interesting way) and pause before turning each page.
q Encourage children to have fun by participating in refrains or chants. Set this up at the start and provide a clear clue for them to join in.
q Be cautious of interrupting the story by adding unnecessary comments or by asking questions (save those for a second read through of the book). Although predicting can be a valid reading tool – it can be akin to someone talking
during a movie. Carefully limit and target the groups and times for use of this tool.
q It is best to ignore spontaneous interruptions from children or to simply indicate that they
wait. Through a simple hand gesture (finger to lips). It is always best to have a helper monitor the children if the group is large or boisterous.

Planning Before Your Storytime

(from "Off the Page! by M. Hudson)

q Read the book(s) yourself first. Think about the story and the intended audience.
q Practice reading it aloud. Hear the rhythm and pace of the text, become aware of the changes in emphasis in voice patterns or style. Note words that may require explanation.
q Note the pictures at which you wish to pause before turning the pages. There may be natural places that lend themselves to dialogic questions and you will want to know these and be prepared.
q Younger children (and older children unused to story times) need stretch and movement breaks. Rehearse any songs or finger plays you plan to use to respond to this need.
Starting Your Storytime For Preschool Children
q Greet the children with positive enthusiasm. Tell them your name and explain what you will be doing. Build rapport. Explain expectations of conduct. Assure them there will be times they can speak. Be positive in “selling” the activity.
q Take roll of children pre-registered giving a special word of welcome to each child.
q Arrange children in a semi circle, or pie wedge, shape for best visibility of the books or storyteller/storyreader. Chairs are optional as children can be most comfortable on the floor.
q Make yourself comfortable on a low, comfortable stool or chair. You should be able to slightly rotate your body to see everyone.
q Start and end the storytime in the same manner thus setting a pattern with which the children can become familiar.
q Have a special ritual, song, poem, or special finger play to help settle the children into the “wonder of the story time”. Ring a tiny chime, turn on a special lamp, do special movement poem to signal the time to start.


Story reading styles are individual and varied, but the following tips are suggestions for successfully SHARING A PICTURE BOOK WITH A YOUNG CHILD (Tips For Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers ):

Choosing a Book to Share:
· Choose a story that appeals to you (you will be reading it)
· Choose a story suitable for the children’s attention span (the younger they are the shorter their attention span will be)
· Choose a story with bright, large illustrations easily seen by young eyes
· Choose stories that have repeated verses or phrases and encourage children to join in

In Small Groups or Classes:
· Read the book yourself and get to know the story before you share the book
· Make sure all children can see the book’s pictures
· Read with enthusiasm – it is contagious. If you have fun reading the story it won’t even matter if you make a mistake!
· Follow the visual clues in the book about how to read the story. If the words printed are in bold or large try reading that part in a booming voice. If the character is a mouse try using a soft small voice when you read his part.
· Involve the audience to participate with sound effects or refrains. They are learning valuable listening skills when they join in.

· Use flannel pieces to tell a simple story and allow the children to take turns adding the pieces and re-telling the story.
· Talk about what is seen in the pictures: What can they see in the picture? What colors do they see? How many people are in the pictures? (count them together) Is it cold in the picture or is it warm? How do the people/animals feel in the pictures (are they happy, sad, lonely, mad, etc.). Younger children will enjoy books where they can touch different textures.
· Children act out the story after you have read it to them.

Extending the Story:
· If there is an animal in the story learn about the real animal’s life and habits
· Have children draw a picture of the characters in the story (it does not have to be perfect)
· Learn a song, poem, or finger rhyme to go along with the story or book theme


What is a Story Time?
Although the definition of a story time could involve great debate as to form, methods, and function, for the purposes of this manual it will be defined as the intentional sharing of literature with children in the form of story reading and storytelling, usually in the public library.

Around the end of the 19th century libraries in various metropolitan locations began to offer a regular program designed for children. The Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh and the Pratt Free Institute in Brooklyn began to focus on the concept of a formal story program at the same time that vast numbers of immigrants were coming into American society, often with finely developed traditions of story sharing. The resulting “children’s story hour” concept proved successful with most citizens and libraries. Although a few appear to have had as a definite motive social change, most appeared to merely view the offering as a means of encouraging children to learn to love books.
For more detailed information on this period look for information on Anne Carroll Moore, Mary Wright Plummer, Marie Shedlock, and others.

Some of the earliest story times were oral recitations or readings of classics of western literature: Homer, Shakespeare, and Milton. There is a marvelous photograph from about 1900 of one large library’s children’s room. It is packed with children from small to early teen. They are listening in rapt attention to the librarian as she shares a tale. Behind her on the wall is a large framed lithograph of the statue of the “Dying Gaul” who is ruggedly defying his sure death in all his nude and marble splendor. I have always loved that statue and more than once wished I had that wonderful picture. What is amazing is that it was on the wall of the “children’s room”! It is an example of how things have changed in the course of a century because in most communities that would be seen as pornography and not as a masterpiece of great human artistry.

Over the last fifty years story times have become formalized with their customs and traditions. The resources for librarians to use have improved and have grown to include the latest findings in early child development, middle adolescent growth, and brain development. Where once a children’s story hour might be described in nursery rhyme phrases of “little children all in a row”, sitting quietly obediently while the librarian read a long book, the modern story time might include playtime, music, dance, and participative chants.

STORYTIME: Book Theme for 4+

CONCEPTS/SKILLS: Books and reading and authors; Libraries; Care of Books

OBJECTIVE: The children will make observations about books/reading/libraries from several books, pictures, experiences, and discussion.

· Briefly introduce a book by naming the parts: cover, spine, title page, etc.
· Briefly introduce the concept that each book has a “name” (title) and that a person wrote that book (called an “author”). The artist is the illustrator.
· Note that they too could be an author or illustrator someday.
· Talk about the library and things people do there (borrow books, CD’s, use the computer, study, go to story time or play time).
· For one page, illustrate how the words on the pages go from left to right by actually using your finger to point to the words as you read them.
· Have a couple of old beat-up books to illustrate good book care. Illustrate proper book care through positive, fun, and cooperative language.
· Leave time for children and parent or caregiver to get a library card if they do not already have one.


Library Lil
Check it out: the book about libraries
I like the library
I took my frog to the library
When will I read?
I read signs.
Harriet reads signs and more signs


Make a Book
Using construction paper, plain paper, brass brads or yarn, create books. Children decorate and draw/write in them. Variation is to make a counting book. Add stickers or colored dots or use rubber stamps on each page.

Give a Cheer for the Library!
Have a party marking the anniversary of the opening, of an author, etc.

Take “Book” Apart (Phonemic Awareness) (older children)
Make several large word cards of the letters “ook”. Make several large letter cards for initial letters. Play with these during the storytime by adding “B+ook”, “L+ook”, “T+ook” to encourage awareness of letters and combinations. Make up group stories using the new word.

Put the Books in Order (older children)
Make large “books” and on each one have a picture related to a letter. Have children take turns “telling” a story based on the pictures when placed in a proper order.

Create Rebus Storybooks
Give children a short rebus story to color and put together as a book. Stickers may be used to create the images in each rebus tale.

The [insert sticker of person or animal or object] went out to play.
There was a [insert sticker of an object ] in the yard.
It was [sticker of a color ] fun to play in the yard.

Book Time Boogie!
Using appropriate music encourage children to get moving as a closing by doing this dance.
Children pair up face-to-face. They put their hands together and clap; they step back and clap; step forward and clap. They wave both hands in the air and then clap. Have fun!

Up at the library we have lots of fun!
Big books, small books, purple books too!
Hurry, everybody let’s take a look-
All kinds of books for me and for you!

Books, Books On The Shelf (Home on the Range)
Oh, give me a book, a nice shiny book-
A book I can read all of the time.
A book that is fine. A book that is mine.
That I don’t have to share all the time.

Books, books, on the shelf!
Books I can get by myself!
Books red and green-
Books for boys and for girls.
Books everywhere in my home!

O, take me to the library-my local library.
The one we use all the time.
To get me a book – a new story book - that I can read at my house!

Going To The Library (I’ve Been Working On The Railroad)
I am going to the library – just to read a book.
I am going to the library – come along and take a look!
Hey! Take me to the library! I just love to read!
I am going to the library-there’s a book I really need!

I am going to the library – to visit story time
I am going to the library – we have fun all the time.
Stories there are so great, the stories are so fun!

Chorus: Won’t you come along? Won’t you come along?
Oh, won’t you come along with me?
Someone’s in the library I know. Someone’s waiting for me-
Someone’s in the library –waiting to read to me!

Story time Circle Song:

Story Time Is Here (Farmer In The Dell): Beginning and Closing
Story time is here, story time is here
Sit with me over here- Story time is here!
(or: sit right down and lend an ear – story time is here!)

Story time is done, story time is done.
Hurry back and bring a friend –
Cause story time is fun!

Closing (Twinkle,Twinkle)
Hurry back to story time
Lots of fun with friends of mine:
Clifford, Arthur, and Maisy too!
Bringing lots of fun to you.

Storytime Chant (clap or pound floor)
Books, books, books; to read, read, read ;
Hey everybody that’s what we need!
Books, books, books; to read, read, read ;
Hey everybody that’s what we need!
Read to me, read to me, read to me; Yeah!
Read to me, read to me, read to me; Yeah!

Rhythm Play
(word repetitions with emphasis on the capitalized words; break into groups or do together)
BIG books, BIG books, BIG books
Turn-THE-page, Turn-THE-page, Turn-THE-page


Reading Clubs and Book Discussions
Read Below The Surface

What is main theme running through the book serving to unify all the action and characters? Themes may include “good v evil”, “kindness is its own reward”, “ love conquers all”.
& Look at the style of the author’s writing. Does the author use lots of images, word pictures, lovely language, or a cut-and-style style writing? Does this style aid the author in the story goal? Does the author use symbols in the writing?
& Another element to be noted can be tone. Is the tone “preachy”, “bored”, or does the author seem to be writing down to the audience?
& How does the setting function in the story? Does it serve to help move the story forward (integral) or is it merely a background to the story (incidental)?
& What type of plot has the author developed? Plot is the order of events showing the characters in actions that move the story to its conclusion or climax. Remember plot equals action in a story. Action is usually conflict of some nature. A problem that must be overcome. Common types of plots are: person v person; person v self; person v society; person v nature.
& In most cases it is the characters who drive the plot in a story. Who is the main character of the book? How is their nature revealed to the reader? Is the person positive, negative, mystery? How does the author convey them to the reader? Characters are often depicted as “round”{ well developed presentation including details and motives) or “flat” {faintly developed lacking any understanding or motive). How the characters respond to the problems drives the story as they face a problem, overcome it, and face another one. Character + Conflict = Plot (need source)

When people share about books they have read they will be motivated to exercise higher level critical thinking skills. Book discussions are useful in introducing new books, broadening areas of interest, and improving reading/comprehension skills. Book discussions are therefore useful for many age groups. These discussions can be formal as well as informal times of sharing.

Book Discussion Group Agreement
& I will read the book or story selected
& I will respect the opinions of others
& I will communicate clearly and participate often in the discussions
& I will document my statements as often as I can by sharing the line or paragraphs that illustrate my view or my question
& I will express my opinions about the book/author and not other group members

Some Suggested Books for Children To Read and Discuss
Jazmin’s Notebook. Grimes
Shimmershine Queens. Yarbrough
The Well. Taylor
Smokey Night. Bunting
Donovan’s Word Jar. Degross
Babuska’s Doll. Pollaco

See also the standard lists of Award Books, best sellers, local history, and even popular titles not generally viewed as “literature”.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Locate the public libraries in any of the states at http://www.publiclibraries.com/. Modern public libraries offers a wide range of resources, classes, programs, and activities for anyone. New focus on children's programming means that families and children are a top priority. Awareness of the need to support the total community keeps libraries in touch with ways to assist all segments of the population from literacy programs (or information on them) to career resources to auto repair manuals to computer skills classes.....


Need a creative way to introduce the scientific methods, biology, logical thinking skills, classification, comparisons, map skills, and similar subjects who children who seem less than enthused? Bring on Bigfoot! Everyone loves a mystery and a challenge and this will do the trick.

Bigfoot Is Loose In The Library! Created by Marilyn Hudson

Purpose: An event designed to introduce scientific methods in a fun, exotic, and mysterious environment. It is adaptable to any age group or skill levels. May be used in a school setting incorporating geography, mathematics, problem-solving, and social studies areas.

Activities:Learn About Bigfoot (area 1)· Using books, video clips, articles, webpages, maps, review all available information on the history, legends, controversy surrounding the creature commonly called “bigfoot”.· Questions to ask might include when was “bigfoot” first reported? How has bigfoot acted (i.e., like a monster, a man, or animal?). How large is bigfoot?· Testimony may be shared as a storytelling session.· Learn about other “forgotten” animals or peoples (i.e., gorilla )

Track a Bigfoot (table or area 2)· Follow on a map a recorded "hunt"; what problems in geography are encountered? etc.

Bigfoot Game: two teams play a relay type game where a “sighting” is reported (leader calls out a location in the room marked by a numbered “footprint”; a player or players must rush to “investigate” (measure footprint, collect any samples left etc.), and a player must “track” the bigfoot on a map with a marker or pin. (see separate sheet)· Casts of a bigfoot track are made using foam paper and a plaster cast of the footprint.· Draw a bigfoot picture (using a sponge “footprint” and watercolor paint)

Examine the Evidence· Photos, hair samples (various hair samples to show how difficult id can be), testimony (table #3)

File a Report· Fill out official reports (in writing, or on tape, or video).· Properly filled in reports become eligible for a drawing for a prize (backpack, etc.)

Just for Fun (table or area 4)· Have photo taken with the “bigfoot” (a large painted image of a big foot.· ;Receive certificate as official bigfoot investigator.· ;Have a “bigfoot” snack. Sing a bigfoot song or “we’re going on a bigfoot hunt”

Setup:Table 1. Table 2. Table 3. Table 4.books maps evidence image,video clip bags certificates audio snack

Resources:Bigfoot. (Ancient Mysteries). Color; 50 minutes; documentary; VHS. A&E Home Video. 1994.Byrne, Peter. Bigfoot: monster, myth or man? Washington, D.C.: Acropolis Books, 1975.Christian, Mary Blount. Bigfoot. (The Mystery of…). New York: Crestwood, 1987.Miller, Carol. All about monsters. (Usborne World of the Unknown). London: Usborne Publishing, 1989.Mysterious Creatures. (Mysteries of the Unknown). New York: Time-Life Books, 1988.Pyle, Robert Mitchell.


Readers Really Do Succeed!: Summers at the Library and What Every Parent (And Grandparent) Needs to Know. M.Hudson, M.L.I.S.

What is the best deal around for families during the summer? The local public library. Each summer libraries across the country gear up for an exciting invasion of children. Special themes are adopted, libraries decorated, and the word spread that long days of reading fun are just around the corner. The best part for parents is that this exciting educational program is free. The public library has a long history of encouraging children to read; they invented the summer reading program in the 1890's. While schools teach the mechanics of reading, it is the library that encourages people to love reading for a lifetime.

Why A Summer Reading Program?Lovers of libraries have long been convinced that reading makes a difference, and now research is proving that when children are involved in library reading programs over the summer it makes a positive impact. Recent research
[1]has shown that this is indeed true. Children who read over the summer are better prepared to return to school, achieve better grades, and do not have to play "catch up" as much as those children who do not read over the summer. When children are ready to go when classes start, the teacher does not have to waste time re-teaching but can plunge right ahead into teaching the new skills for that grade!

How Do They Work? All libraries are different. Libraries are funded (usually) through property taxes and this can limit how much money can be spent on bringing in special programs, providing prizes, or even new books! Community business partners are crucial. Local businesses or professionals can support literacy in their communities by donating funds, prizes, funds for new books, or volunteers to help. About May or June, libraries begin seriously promoting summer reading programs throughout the community. If you don't see signs - ask the library! I guarantee they do not bite. If you don't have a library card the process is quick and painless. Be sure and take along some identification (driver's license and other items) to speed the process up.

How Communities Can Help? Any community concerned with improving its future will want to support the annual summer reading program among its youth (children and teens). Some libraries, because of funding, can only do a four-week program. Children, however, are out of school far longer than that. Often the children who most need to attend cannot because of lack of transportation or other issues. Community groups could work with the library to establish "satellite" reading zones in community centers, shopping centers, and local schools. Schools can assist by not only promoting the program to their students but recognizing their participation when school starts again, by opening their schools (or corner of the playground) one day a week for "storytimes" operated in collaboration with the local library's program. Community members can volunteer to be readers, help sign children up, or any of a dozen other activities that will assist in this wonderful effort to help children achieve.

Marilyn A. Hudson is experienced connecting kids, parents, and libraries as both a certified Public Librarian and a School Library Media Specialist. Her library summer programs were always vastly successful with each year bringing in more and more children."--Mary Innis

[1] Information on research :Highlights on Research on Summer Reading and Effects on Student Achievements at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/summer/research.htm

[2] To locate a library near you: www.metrolibrary.org; www.pioneer.lib.ok.us; or www.tulsalibrary.org. Other locations may be located on the Oklahoma Department of Libraries online directory at www.odl.state.ok.us/go/pl.asp

[Permission is granted to reproduce this for distribution in promoting summer reading with children and teens]

EAGER READERS: Starting early - Going Strong

It is never too early to start reading to your child! In the womb or in the rocking chair - read! Let them hear your voice, let them hear the language, and connect reading with a positive experience from an early age. Talking, reading, and interaction with small children stimulates mental development and helps them develop the skills to not just learn to read but so much more.

Early Childhood-Head Start Task Force. Teaching Our Youngest: A Guide for Preschool Teachers and Child-Care and Family Providers. U.S. Department of Education & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002.A booklet that includes strategies for teaching children to develop their language abilities, increase their knowledge, become familiar with books, learn letters and sounds, recognize numbers and learn to count.http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/early/teachingouryoungest/teachingouryoungest.pdf

Zero to Three

Raising A Reader: Read Me A Story

Choosing Toddler Books – Excellent Guide from the Duluth Library

Every Child Ready to Read at Your Public Library


(c Marilyn A. Hudson, 2008)

1963 - Oklahoma City

Oh no! It had happened again.It was a warm afternoon at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Men and women strolled around looking at the animals. Boys and girls stared and pointed as they walked.Right inside the entrance was a big concrete pit. Inside was a pretend ship for monkeys to climb and play on. “Monkey Island” was a fun place to visit.

Today, the huge ship, with its tall masts filled with monkeys, was missing one animal. Zookeepers ran here and they ran there. They looked in the trees. They looked in the trashcans. They looked in the bushes. They were looking for the missing monkey.The monkeys on the ship hooted and screeched watching the men hurry about. They jumped up, flipped over, waddled around, and laughed.Clyde had escaped – again!

Clyde was a twenty-pound brown pigtail macaque monkey. He was always trying to get out to have another big adventure.Clyde did not know it, but some very important people were coming to see him. The zookeepers hurried around to find Clyde before these special visitors came.Nearly everyone in town knew about Clyde. He was famous for escaping from the local zoo. He had escaped from the zoo more than once.The police had chased him to bring him back. The zookeepers had chased him.The police asked, “How does he get out?” The zoo workers asked, “How does he get out?” They did not have an answer. They looked around and asked the little monkey, “Clyde, how do you get out of the cage?”

Clyde never answered, he just laughed as he ran away!

In 1963, the United States was in a race to be the first country to send a man to the moon. Scientists were hard at work to figure out how to send a rocket into space.

They thought and they planned. They tried one thing and then another.

“10 - 9 -8 -7.”

Huge rockets shot high into the air shooting across bright blue skies.

“6- 5- 4- 3.”

Some exploded like a balloon before they ever shot into the sky.

“2- 1- BLAST OFF!”

Some simply fell over flat!

Sending a human to the moon was not going to be easy! All the people thinking about reaching the moon came up with a plan. They would send monkeys first!The monkeys would ride the big rockets, test out the machines, and help the people send a man to the moon!

They would need special monkeys. They needed smart monkeys and strong monkeys. They needed hero monkeys! In Oklahoma City, there lived a monkey named Clyde. He was smart and he was strong. He was also bored. That was why he was always escaping!

One day some men from NASA (the new space agency) went around the country. They carried notebooks and wrote in them as they looked at each animal.They were looking for monkeys they could test. They were looking for monkeys special enough to begin training for space. They might not ever get into space, but they would train for it anyway.They wanted smart, lively, and good monkeys.

Clyde watched as the people all looked into the cages. He sat up a little straighter. He looked up and smiled! The people made many notes as they watched Clyde.Clyde seemed just about right. He loved adventures because he had run away so often. He was smart because it had been hard to catch him. Most of the time Clyde was a good monkey…he just liked to have fun.Clyde just might be a good space monkey.

The newspapers carried a picture of Clyde and said he might go to space! Soon visitors were coming to see Clyde.He smiled and showed off and laughed. People at the zoo said, “Clyde, you could be a real hero for the United States.”The boys and girls who came to visit told him, “Clyde, you might go up into space!”CLYDE went away to train to be a very special monkey – a space monkey from the State of Oklahoma. A real live “Sooner Space Monkey”!

Men came and took him to a big white building. There are white halls, white floors, and white doors everywhere.Clyde climbs, races, eats, and learns to push buttons. He eats lots of bananas and fruit and plays in the big yard.

He also tries to have fun by having a game of chase. The people in the white coats say, “No Clyde!” They continue to test him and Clyde gets bored. He also got a little grumpy.One day they did not come to let Clyde do tests. He had to stay with other monkeys. He stayed in a corner of his new cage feeling sad and lonely.Soon, Clyde became bored. He looked at the door. He looked at the lock.

He remembered how he had often got out of the cage at the zoo.Maybe he could do that here…So Clyde climbed high into the top of the cage and looked at the lock. He laughed.Soon he was hurrying down the shiny hallway in search of more bananas or the people in the white coats. A man saw Clyde and yelled.Clyde went down another hall and skidded to a stop as a soldier came out a door!

He quickly turned and bolted down another hallway. Soon he was running through the hallways as people in white coats, soldiers, and office workers all chased him!He laughed as he ran. He dashed into a big room where many people were listening to a man speak. They all climbed on their chairs.“Catch that monkey!” a man called but Clyde was out the door. He had just turned one corner when BAM! A big, black net came down on him and the soldiers and people in white coats carried him back to the yard.Clyde sighed as they carried him back. He was already missing the fun chase!

Men in dark suits and people in white coats came to stand around his cage after that. They spoke too low for Clyde to hear.“Clyde, we may have to send you back! You are just too hard to handle.”Some of the people nodded their heads.

Clyde sat down to pout. It was not fair! He did not mean to cause trouble. He tried to be good. He just did not like being bored.He had wanted to be a space monkey and make the people at the zoo proud. He would try to be good and not be too much trouble. Clyde grabbed the bars to the cage and hooted loudly but the people were already going out the door.All but one man, that is.

He pushed his glasses back up his long nose and came very close to Clyde’s cage. He bent down to look at Clyde.“You are a good monkey, aren’t you?” the man said softly. “I think you are all right.”One of the men in the white coats came back in to look at the cage as well. “How did you do that? How did you get the cage open?” they asked.Clyde just smiled.“We need to get you to help us work on the escape hatches!”

Soon they had him testing all the escape hatches to see if they worked right. He loved it! He did not become bored again.He trained and tested to be a space monkey but never actually made it into space. That was all right because he had done something very special.

He had become “CLYDE –THE SOONER SPACE MONKEY.”It was the biggest adventure of his life!


Hall of Space Monkey Heroes (Marilyn A. Hudson 2008)
For Parents, Teachers, and Librarians

Space research was very dangerous business and the monkey heroes did not always survive. They are special monkey heroes, however, who made it possible for people to actually go into space, go to the moon and, one day, go to other planets. We should remember and honor these very special animal heroes.· 1st U.S. Monkey was Albert. He flew 39 miles in a V-2 rocket in June 1948.· 1st U.S. Monkey to reach space was Albert II. He flew 83 miles, and into space, in June 1949.· 1st living things to successful return from any flight were in 1959: Able, a rhesus monkey and Miss Baker, a Squirrel monkey.· 32 monkeys actually flew in space.· Just as with human astronauts, there were backups. Backup monkeys went through all the training, but never made it into space.


WEBSITES (Always work with an adult)

FUN STUFF:Can you do the Monkey? In 1963, a “novelty dance” became popular called, “The Monkey”. Imagine all the actions a monkey might do and put it to music: sway your arms, pretend to swing from one arm, hoot, hop around, and scratch under your arm. What else could you do?

THE EENSY WEENSY MonkeyThe eensy weensy monkey Went up the tall, tall, vine
Down came the rainAnd got the monkey wetOut came the sun
And dried up all the rainAnd the eensy weensy monkeyWent up the vine again,

MONKEY PLAY (do the actions)Monkey, monkey Munch on bananas (Pretend to eat)Monkey, monkey Stomp your feet (Stomp feet)Monkey, monkey Clap your hands (Clap hands)Monkey, monkey Cover your eyes (Cover eyes)Monkey, monkey Jump up and down (Jump up and down)

MONKEY CHASE (Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)The monkey got away, the monkey got awayAll around the town and backThe monkey got away.The monkey drove the car; the monkey drove the car,All around the town and backthe monkey drove the car.The monkey wore a hat; the monkey wore a hat,All around the town and backThe monkey wore a hat.The monkey got away, the monkey got away,All around the town and back,The monkey got away.The monkey flew in space, the monkey flew in spaceZoom, zoom, the monkey flew. The monkey flew in space!


Native Americans in Children’s Literature

Native Writing

Children’s Books By And About Native Americans – ALA

Native American Languages

Children’s Literature – Reviewed by Native Americans - Note the section on fakes; Some of the titles can still be found in schools and libraries as authentic "Indian" history or events.
[Image, U.S. Gov]

THE DAY THE STARS WENT OUT (Marilyn A. Hudson, 2003)A story where the audience decides what happens next.
Deep in the darkest corner of space there was a cluster of stars. They stayed together all the time lighting up their own corner of space. They watched all the space travelers as they sailed past :The comets on their long journeysThe asteroids plodding through spaceThe planets on their courses around the sunAnd the clouds of gas chasing each other through space.One star, however, always felt that the others stars were just too bright and too far away to notice him. He was just an ordinary star…nothing special….just a little splinter of light in the darkness of space. If I went dark tomorrow no one would notice. I am so ordinary he would think to himself:I am not a comet on its long journeyI am not an asteroid plodding through spaceI am not a planet following its course around the sunAnd I am not one of the clouds of gas chasing each other through space.The star became so convinced that he was not important that one day he suddenly went out…POP….The other stars looked at each other in confusion….oh no….they would never be as bright now as they had been with one less star….never, never!One by one the stars felt less and less important and one by one they went out too.POP, POP, POP!Into the darkest corner of space, now even darker than before, sailed theComets on their long journeysThe asteroid plodding through spaceThe planets on their courses around the sunAnd the clouds of gas chasing each other through space.“It is so dark” they said. They passed the space where the now darkened stars huddled feeling so sorry for themselves.“Where are the bright stars who guide us and say hello?” said the comets as they passed.“How can we see where we are going?” asked the asteroids as they sailed through the inky black space.“It is so dark” -they said as they passed the space where the stars went out. "Where are you.....?
What do YOU think happened next?