And my goodness it was fun!
Every year I plan a new program that reflects the national library summer reading theme. This year's theme is Build a Better World. I took a little different approach, at the request of one library; rather than addressing bricks-and-mortar building, I planned a program that focused on building community and working together to make this world a better place.
And stories teach this so well, not in a beat-you-over-the head way, but with humor and excitement and thoughtfulness. Research proves that we learn best through stories, after all, and the best part of that is that we enjoy the learning.
To illustrate my theme, I used cardboard blocks (ordered some sturdy ones meant for children's play) on which I attached a world map cut into pieces. I told stories from all around the world: from Ghana and Burma and China, the US and Thailand, India and France.
I used puppets, chants, drums, mbira (thumb piano), a flannelboard story and songs to keep the audience engaged since there is usually all ages present, and we all learn differently.
|Telling Margaret Read MacDonald's story Grandfather Bear is Hungry, using puppets and audience participation|
|Handing out feathers for the story How Vulture Got His Bald Head. We also used little plush birds that "sing" the bird's call, adding a little more learning to the story.|
This time I also used a crankie story, something most children have not seen.
|Not the best photo as this was between frames. The pictures scroll as I tell the story and turn the crank.|
At the end of the program, we used the blocks to put the world back together again, building a world that I hope might be a tiny bit better because of the stories we shared.
We had a blast at the Craigsville library, and I am looking forward to presenting this program at more libraries around West Virginia. Truly, the world will be a better place if we will listen to each other's stories.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.