We featured the Caldecott Medal for a recent "K-2 Book Adventure Program." There are a bunch of Caldecott Medal and Honor books that work with puppets and act outs for this age group...the problem was, we had already done several of the best ones for this K-2 program over the past 20 months, including Anansi the Spider, Strega Nona, Fables, Raven, Officer Buckle and Gloria, Click, Clack Moo, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Knuffle Bunny, and The Lion and the Mouse.
After ruling out The Adventures of Hugo Cabret (we decided let's not compete with Scorcese), we came up with a pretty good line-up, using stories, a guessing game, some mini-booktalks, and a lively stretch:
We started with the latest Medal winner, A Ball for Daisy (click for details), using a combination of acting out, scanned illustrations, and music.
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens is another excellent act out, with details on a previous post.
We finished by showing the video of Tuesday with music by Paul McCartney and a brief appearance by the voice of Dustin Hoffman, neither of whom mean anything to the 5-8 year olds, but maybe the parents appreciated it. The movie is pretty well done, though it ran a bit long for our program, so Brad edited out a few bits to get it down to 7 or 8 minutes.
I was tempted, as I too often am, to try to cram in as much information as possible along with the stories, but reminded myself that this is mostly a story presentation and not a classroom, so I cancelled my plans for Caldecott trivia, scans from Randolph Caldecott's books, a "what the world was like 75 years ago when the Caldecotts staretd" feature, and snippets from Caldecott acceptance speeches (but if I was a teacher I'd do all of these). Instead we did "Name That Caldecott Book" as an interlude between each story. We scanned an illustration and uncovered it bit by bit, giving the kids a chance to guess. Lots of fun, and it also highlighted the distinct artistic styles. I was amazed that many kids guessed correctly after just the first slide for several of the books.
We also wanted to show the range of Caldecott winners, so we made sure to include a couple of non-fiction titles, using these as interludes between the stories. We used scanned images and a mini-booktalk to highlight The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordecai Gerstein. Later, we highlighted Me, Jane by Patrick McDonnel, again doing a quick booktalk and showing selected illustrations.
Our program runs for 45 minutes, so we always need at least one good stretching activity somewhere around the 30 minute mark. David Shannon's No, David! was the perfect Caldecott choice. The kids mostly know this book, so we scanned several (not all) of the illustrations and just had the kids emulate whatever David is doing: Stretch for cookies; Swing a baseball bat; Run down the street ("but," I said, "please keep your clothes on"). We even showed the nose picking illustration, but it was immediately covered up by a big red circle/slash, which meant we were not supposed to do that one.
We always have multiple copies of the books we feature available for checkout with this program, and most are usually taken. This time we added a table full of other Caldecott titles, and they went pretty well too.