Stellaluna

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