Sunday, April 1, 2012

K-2 Book Adventure Program Summary: Wild Animals

 For our "Wild Animals" K-2 Book Adventures program we performed some old favorites, put a twist on a new favorite, and highlighted some excellent animal non-fiction.  We opened with something different:  We projected scans of the illustrations from Jerry Pinkney's amazing Lion and the Mouse.  At the same time we had musicians and students from our local music school providing string accompaniment.  This was very cool...the four musicians had chosen music ahead of time and had some sound effects for different moments in the story, like when Lion roars for help and when Mouse appears to save the day.  It was a little tricky timing our clicks/page turns to their music only because we barely had time to run through it beforehand, but the illustrations and the music really worked well together.

Scranimals  by Jack Prelutsky and Peter Sis was a nice poetry interlude.  We scanned two of the illustrations and read the accompanying poems:  "Oh Sleek Bananaconda" and "Sweet Porcupineapple," which got laughs from the kids and led them to check out our copies to read more.

We did a bit of Reader's Theater to present My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett and Ruth Chrisman Gannett.  This is one of my favorite books ever, so I love to introduce it to kids any way I can.  For this one, I introduced the basics of the story (Elmer Elevator wants to rescue a baby dragon from Wild Island), read the list of what he took in his backpack (with images popping up on the screen for each one (culled from Google images), including two dozen pink lollipops, seven hair ribbons of different colors, chewing gum, and more odd stuff.  Then we jump to the scene where he meets the tigers, who are played by kids (wearing simple paper tiger ears), each one reading the line from the book.  And once the tigers are ready to eat Elmer....."he opened the knapsack and took out the chewing gum."  Which is where we end it, with the kids wondering how some chewing gum might help Elmer escape seven hungry tigers.   

"Name That Wild Animal" was a fun segment where we projected an animal photo from a book, but revealed only a small portion so the kids could guess what it was.  Then we'd reveal another section, when most would be able to get it.  And finally the whole thing.  This is easy to do with PowerPoint, using Shapes to cover the picture and Animations to remove them in order with a click.  We took all the pictures from the "National Geographic Readers" series, which has several animal titles.  These are just right for our target age, plus since they all have the same kind of look, they made a very pleasing book display. 

The Gunniwolf acted out is always a success, and we had great fun with it again.  This was the story we also took to the schools for our quick promotion of the travels well also, since all you really need is a few flowers. 

We always need a stretch break for these programs, which tend to stretch beyond our 45 minute goal, and the natural one here was to do some simple animal yoga.  We did two interludes with poses from A Yoga Parade of Animals by Pauline Mainland, including Giraffe and Lion. 

Then we highlighted two excellent "Life Size" animal series: Actual Size and Prehistoric Actual Size by Steve Jenkins and Life-Size Zoo and Life-Size Aquarium by Teruyuki Komiya (English adaptation by Kristin Earhart). For these it was just a matter of showing a few of the most impressive examples: Squid's Eye, Rhinoceros Horns, nearly a whole Walking Stick.

We closed with a quick puppet show by me based on Jan Brett's Annie and the Wild Animals. This can really be an excellent puppet show, but on this day I was a little too hurried and the kids had been sitting a little too long, so it wasn't as good as it might have been.

Overall, though, the program worked very well, and allowed us to promote some excellent picture books, non-fiction, a chapter book, and poetry. 


1 comment:

  1. I LOVE My Father's Dragon! I'd love a copy of the power point you made if you are willing to share!