Friday, April 2, 2010

Summer the beginning

One of the pleasures of my job as a librarian in a very large  OPL children's library is to help plan for our Summer Reading program!

- This year we were granted a traveling Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine display on July 14–August 13.

- Our Fall Big Read, granted by the National Endowment of the Arts, book is going to be Ursula Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea.

Naturally we wanted to tie into these two events and so our Fantasy Summer Reading theme was born:

Through the Looking Glass

We will start with a grand kick-off in June with our Teddy Bear's Picnic, an annual summer tradition. This year's TBP theme will be The Mad Hatter's Tea Party!

Then, each week we will have themed programming that dishes up a heaping helping of fantasy and whimsy served up with a dose of hands on non-fiction fun.

-Our Process-
if you are interested...
We start brainstorming in January.
What theme do we want to go with this year, what talent do we have that we can tap into, what will the kids absolutely love and what can we do that we can support with our collection (do we have enough books on the subject).

We start contacting local businesses for coupon donations in January.(I've been told by some of the businesses that they are getting over 30% return rate - over 30% of the coupons are getting redeemed. Apparently this is an extremely high rate and much desired by businesses)

In March and April we start contacting local talent (authors, illustrators, storytellers, magicians, zoos, museums, clubs and such) to see if they would be interested in donating their talents to the local library in return for free advertisement, or if they will come for a reduced fee. We have a working budget of ZERO dollars and the only way to offer money is if we get a grant.

Some weekly themes that we are considering are:

Mythological Magic~

Make your own mythological beast
Mythology and the natural world (earthquakes, mammoth skulls=Cyclops)
Pop-up monster maker - ala Robert Sabuda
Create your own mythological beast:
1. Pick animal or human
2. Choose evil or good
3. Draw physical characteristics from a bowl (spiky tail, head of a lion)
4. Pick emotional characteristics (kindness, love, anger, silliness, prankster, etc.)
5. Create a name

Books to Highlight:
Percy Jackson
Tales from the Odyssey
Young Heroes
Companions Quartet
Fire Thief

Medieval Merrymaking~
Fencing demonstration
Make newspaper swords
Magic - Magicians!

Books to Highlight:
Dragon Slayers Academy
Rowan of Rin
Sword in the Stone
Gerald Morris titles
Chronicles of Prydain
Susan Cooper
Moongobble and Me
Deltora Quest
Protector of the Small
Get Well, Good Knight
Good Night, Good Knight

Fairy Tales and Fish Tales~

Puppet Show

Books to highlight:
Forbidden Sea
Mermaids Three Wisdoms
Princess Fish Tale
Guardians of Ga’Hoole
Underland Chronicles
Tales from Dimwood Forest
World According to Humphrey

Dragons and Dinosaurs~

Paleontologist visit

Books to highlight:
Dragon Slippers
Pit Dragon
My Father’s Dragon
Secrets of Droon
Tales of the Frog Princess
How to Train Your Dragon
Dragon Adventures
Erec Rex
Lily Quench
Dragonology Chronicles
Dragon Keeper
Enchanted Forest Chronicles

Pirates Aplenty, Pirates Galore!~

Pirate Pete and Pirate Joe skit
Create your own pirate name (Dirty Thumb Fran, Stinky Face Bryan)
Learn a sea chantey
Walk the plank
Pirate jokes

Books to Highlight:
Treasure Island
Peter Pan
Peter and the Starcatchers
Pirate Pete & Pirate Joe
True Adventures of Charlotte Doyle
Pirate Queens
How to be a Pirate (series Heroic Misadventures)
Something Wickedly Weird
Edge Chronicles

Wings andThings~

Local illustrator guest
Wing creation demo (younger group)
Insect expert
Paper airplanes
Butterfly net demo

Books to Highlight:

Disney Fairies
Rainbow Magic
Weather Fairies
Beetles, Lightly Toasted
Project Mulberry
Bug Boy/ Bug Girl
Bug Muldoon
Creepy Crawly Cuisine
Bugs for Lunch

I must admit that these is a big group effort. I am humbled when I think of what would happen if I were in charge of this programming. I am just not that creative. It's huge thanks to our whole staff and our willing volunteers that make the OPL Summer Reading Program what it is today.

Part of my job is to come up with fun exploratory projects that can be done with large groups of elementary (and younger) aged kids that compliment our themes.

Currently I am testing out ideas like...
- Sink art with chalk
- Mirror self portraits
- Pop-up making demonstrations, with handouts
- Bug 'Tasting' Contest
- Making Medieval jewelry
- Divination by way of String games
- Optical Illusion trickes
- Making Comic Flip Books
- and... well, I'm still thinking


marymary said...

We've made these wands and they were very cool. It might work to do something with this craft in ones of the library programs:

You can see the ones we made in this post:

~ Amy W ~ said...

Great idea!!! THANKS!