My youngest squirt’s first-grade book club met to discuss Janell Cannon’s Stellaluna, the story about how a bat and birds befriend each other regardless of  their differences.

stellalunagroupSince the bat in question is a fruit bat, various fruits were offered for snack such as kiwi, pineapple, and grapes.  Once eating was underway, I had each girl lift her plate in order to find a sentence describing either a bird, a fruit bat, or both.  After reading her clue, the bookie then told me where to put her name on the Venn Diagram.

As bellies neared fullness, each book club member shared a picture she drew of a favorite character or scene and shared a discussion question with the group.  Open-ended questions ensued with . . .

What makes Stellaluna brave?

Which is your favorite character from the book, and why?

What amazed me the most was how thoroughly the girls had read the book, remembering even minute details.

From here, the girls watched a video adaptation of the book entitled Stellaluna (2004), directed by William R. Kowalchuk Jr.  Book Club Babes II were also given the option of creating their own bat by following “How to Draw a Bat” instructions found on Pinterest.

Miss Elise, the young lady who selected the book for discussion, sent fellow readers home with a goodie bag filled with Stellaluna activity pages, a birdhouse, and paints.  My squirt wasted no time in decorating her house.

Next discussion:  Miss Piper’s pick of Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Book Club Babes II: Strega Nona

Our latest first-grade book club discussion covered Miss Avery’s selection of Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona, a Caldecott Honor Book.  Yum, a book which revolves around pasta, my carb-loving body as well as my squirt’s are more than sold.

Finding a Scholastic DVD, Strega Nona . . . and more stories about magic, of the story at our award-winning Glen Carbon Centennial Library, we began the evening with a viewing of the picture book.

IMG_1523Once this was complete, participants ate an endless bowl of spaghetti much like Big Anthony followed by cake (okay, not an element of the story, but definitely a necessity).

Then, the real learning disguised as fun began under the direction of Miss Wendy, momma and teacher extraordinaire.  Covering character analysis using adjectives on slips of paper, each book club member was given an opportunity to decide whether the descriptive word in question described Strega Nona or Big Anthony.  So cool!  Even my third-grade-daughter assistant could not resist joining in on the characterization.

IMG_1541Bookies then shared from their journals . . . a picture depicting a favorite character, scene, etc. from the book and one discussion question.  Open-ended questions evoked thoughtful answers such as, “Why was Big Anthony told not to touch the pasta pot?”  Yes, tears of joy were streaming from my face at this literacy in action.

To conclude, Miss Wendy had the young ladies create a house identical to Strega Nona’s complete with a “yarn” of pasta overflowing from the pot.

Next book discussion:  Miss Elise’s selection of Stellaluna

Book Club Babes II: Knuffle Bunny

Book Club Babes II member Miss Riley selected Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny for our latest discussion.

A successful search on Pinterest resulted in the discovery of the Kids Activities Blog and the coolest activity to use as means of experiencing Knuffle Bunny.  In preparation for the meeting, my squirts and I visited our favorite park, Droste Park in Maryville, IL. and took several pictures of the playground, walking path, and dock.  At home, we converted these pictures into black and white before printing onto 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper.

When members arrived, they were allowed to choose from the scenes offered.  Then, they drew a color picture of themselves, glued it onto the black and white page, and added a caption.  Completed artwork was laminated so that further people, objects, etc. may be added and erased again and again to the picture using dry erase markers.

Discussion followed with each member sharing her journal picture and favorite part of the book.

For snack, supplies of bagels, thin carrots, raisins, peanut butter, cream cheese, and Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies were provided by Miss Riley’s mother so that each member could create her own Knuffle Bunny.

Next discussion:  Miss Morgan’s selection of The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

Book Club Babes II: Where the Wild Things Are

Miss Sofia selected Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are for this book club discussion (each member selects a book of her choosing).  On arrival members had their pictures taken disguised as a wild thing.

Poster Created by Miss Corinna, 3rd Grade Assistant

Then, borrowing from Mrs. Lemons’ blog, Step into Second Grade, we discussed activities we do when we are feeling wild.  After brainstorming, members wrote their personal wild activities on this FREE printable and decorated the top of the monster’s head before attaching.

While chowing on a meal we thought protagonist Max would enjoy, ham and cheese sandwiches and watermelon chunks, my 3rd grade facilitator reread the book to members in preparation for an oral quiz.  For dessert, layer cake and ice cream seemed appropriate because this is what appears on the table in Max’s room.

Watermelon Boat Courtesy of Miss Sofia’s Parents

Miss Colette Iced the Layer Cake

After dessert, the remainder of book club was spent being wild.

Next book club:  Miss Morgan’s pick of The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

Book Club Babes II

So, my oldest daughter and I were discussing the details of her second-grade book club.  My youngest, a kindergartner, was listening and started asking me questions about her sister’s book club, “Are they all reading the same book?”  “What are they going to do?”  She then declared, “I want to do it, too!”  This did not come as a surprise as she loves books and is an aspiring author as our bookshelf is beginning to overflow with her and her sister’s creations.  

Thus, the dawn of Book Club Babes II, a book club for kindergartners emerged.  My daughter’s pick for the club is Greg Foley’s Thank You Bear.

Visiting Foley’s site above, I found complimentary stationary.  I think my youngest squirt will think this ideal for sending out invitations for our first meeting.