Archive for October 2010

Playacting in Mrs. Lee’s 2nd grade class

October 27, 2010

Often in library class in the lower grades, I read a book and the class says, “let’s act it out!”

Mrs. Lee’s 2nd grade class is always up for a good play.  A few weeks ago, after we read Muti’s Necklace, the students were really excited and came in the next week ready for action.  Muti’s Necklace is a picture book set in ancient Egypt and the second graders always love it.  Muti is a strong girl who knows her own mind, the pictures are exotic and beautiful,  and the book has a surprise ending.  In the picture at left you see the girls rowing the “boat” while the pharoah (Harley) lounges in the back and Muti (Julianna) leads the rowers.  There is an exciting part where the pharoah’s magician parts the waters with his magic spell so Muti can find her special necklace, which has fallen in the lake.   Doesn’t Mario make a wonderful magician?  (He is using a dragon puppet to simulate the magician’s cobra!)

Last week we read Erica Silverman’s The Halloween House.  It seemed to be another “natural” for acting out, so we tried it this week.  I was really impressed when a number of students came to class today with parts of their Halloween costumes to make the “play” really come to life!  Here is the entire class after having a good time being vampires, ghosts, witches, cats, monsters, etc.:



Big Nate Strikes Again by Lincoln Peirce

October 26, 2010

I just read  the second installment in the Big Nate graphic novel series, and it is just as funny as the first one.  Nate Wright is a typical sixth-grade boy who has some good friends, a girl he likes, and a girl he DOESN’T like:  Gina.  She is the “teacher’s pet” who brags about her A+ average.  Nate just can’t seem to get away from Gina:  she sits behind him in class, he winds up with her on his fleeceball team,   (she has NO talent in the athletic department),   then he winds up with her as his science project partner!  In a humorous turn of events,  they both unexpectedly save the day for each other.  Check it out to see how it happens.

Lincoln Peirce is the creator of the comic strip Big Nate, which runs in 200 newspapers and has been around for 20 years.  He also lives in Portland, Maine!  How about that??

Touchblue by Cynthia Lord

October 18, 2010

This is a wonderful MAINE story!   You can practically smell the salt air and hear the seagulls  crying when the author, a Maine resident,  describes the main character going out in the lobster boat with her father.

Tess is a strong 11-year-old  girl who loves her family and her island way of life.  Her  small  island has a one-room schoolhouse that is in danger of closing because there aren’t enough students.  Some families on the  island decide to take in foster children to add to the school population.  Tess’s family takes a chance on Aaron, a 13-year-old boy who has been in a few different foster homes because his mother hasn’t been able to take care of him since he was five.  Tess goes out on a limb for Aaron, trying to help him feel at home.  Will he stay?  Will the school close? Read this hopeful book about what it means to belong.

*For those of you who have read Seal Island School by Susan Bartlett, here’s another look at living on a Maine island.

Nicole loves this series!

October 13, 2010

Nicole, a fourth grader in Miss Haines’  class,  has been reading Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events for awhile now.  Listen to what she has to say:

This series is about these three children who have unfortunate events, of course.  I did this picture because there’s a lot of adventure and evil, and I said, “I wonder if Mrs. Raymond will like it?”  So I did it and now she loves it.  I think you will like this book because it has a lot of adventure, evil, and you’ll get a goosebump once in awhile.  Who doesn’t want a goosebump?  I think you will like this series just like I do!

The great outdoors

October 12, 2010

I hope everyone is getting out there and enjoying this beautiful fall weather we’re having.  One of the best ways to view the colorful leaves and feel the crisp air is to go hiking, and that’s exactly what I did this past weekend and the weekend before.   Here is a picture from the top of Goose Eye:

While I was hiking through the woods, I couldn’t help thinking about one of my favorite books, My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.  In this classic book, Sam lives in a hollow tree in the forest for almost a year and learns how to forage and hunt, make his own clothes from deerskin, and observe and “befriend” some of the animals of the forest.  What a great adventure!  Sam knew a lot more than I do before he left home to live in the wilderness, but I still think it sounds like a pretty awesome way to spend the summer.

Another excellent book about the great outdoors is Lost on a Mountain in Maine by Donn Fendler.   Of course Donn wasn’t having quite as much fun as Sam in My Side of the Mountain!  Donn got separated from his hiking group and spent many days alone, desperately seeking rescue.  My hiking group and I felt a little of Donn’s panic this weekend, as our hike took a little longer than expected, it was a lot colder at the summit than we thought it would be, and we found ourselves beginning the descent at almost 4:00.  There was ice on the rocks and we sure hoped we could get safely off the mountain before dark.  Luckily we did, and we all enjoyed a hearty dinner and a great sleep that night.   Next time we’ll start our hike a little earlier…