5th Grade Storytime – St. Patrick’s Day

Yesterday a group of fifth graders came into the library for a class visit.  Since Saint Patrick’s Day is coming soon, I thought we should celebrate with some Irish folktales and leprechaun stories.

finmcoul by Depaola
Fin M’Coul by Tomie de Paola


“Amazing Bone” from Strega Nona …and More Stories About Magic

There aren’t a lot of good Saint Patrick’s Day videos for kids.  So I decided to show “The Amazing Bone” because it features a magical creature as well.



Because I have been working more frequently with younger kids lately (my colleague does the older class visits), fifth graders seem like they are adults to me.  This storytime went pretty well, and Fin M’Coul got a few laughs.  The kids really seemed to like “The Amazing Bone” as well.  Though the audio in our storyroom was giving a lot of reverb and the deep stringed instruments in the soundtrack made them laugh and think of farts.  Maybe that’s why they liked the video. 

ATTENDANCE: 18 people


Riddles and Folktales – 5th Grade

I always find doing the older class visits a welcome challenge.  We get more frequent visits from the younger grades, so it’s nice to mix things up every now and then with an older audience.  I found out I had to do this class visit just two days or so before it occurred – I think if I had more time to get things together I would have liked to do some booktalks of different things in addition to a folktale and video.  However, since my time to prep was shorter, here’s what I went with.

Huge Hog is a Big Pig by McCall

A Huge Hog is a Big Pig: A Rhyming Word Game by Francis McCall & Patricia Keeler

If Not for the Cat by Prelutsky

If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky

Dewey Decimal 100s
Dewey 100s Flannelboard 2 
For this flannelboard, I put the different Dewey 100s categories on the flannelboard with some space in between each of them.
Dewey 100s Flannelboard 1
Then I have a bunch of different topics that I created using Microsoft Word Clip Art, cut them out, laminated them, and glued felt to the back.  I move around the room and each student picks out a different square.  Then, one by one, they come up to the flannelboard and try to place the square under the correct Dewey 100s.  Of course, advisement from the audience and me is encouraged and welcomed.  We talk about why each one is put into each category.
Dewey 100s Flannelboard 3
At the end, you end up with a listing of all the different categories in their 100s groupings.

I’ve only used this twice, so I’m still learning the best way to make it work with the group.  I think I need to remember to pass out a bookmark with the Dewey categories, or some sort of cheat sheet ahead of time to boost confidence and accuracy.  Also, I need to make sure that the squares I’ve created for the game are clear-cut topics.  Although not having them be that easy probably shows the reality of the Dewey Decimal System more clearly.

Little Rooster's Diamond Button by MacDonald
Little Rooster’s Diamond Button
by Margaret Read MacDonald

True Story of the Three Little Pigs DVD

“The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” from The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs … and More Animal Adventures

ATTENDANCE: 19 people

A Huge Hog is a Big Pig is a game of “hinky pinky” where you have two words that describe something (“huge hog”) and you have to find two synonyms for each of those words that rhyme (“big pig”).  I love this idea and I keep thinking that it will be great to do with a group.  However, I’ve had a hard time finding an audience to match it with.  I know the book looks rather young, but I had tried it before with 3rd graders, to get them to guess the answers, and they didn’t really seem to get the concept.  So I thought this time I would try it with fifth grade and see how it went with them.  They participated with it, but some didn’t seem to grasp the fundamental concept of the game.  Maybe I need to try spending a little more time prepping that before I read the book.  Using If Not for the Cat as a guessing game is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while.  You read the poem without showing the illustrations, and then the audience has to guess what creature the haiku represents.    This worked a lot better than A Huge Hog.. and I think it is something I should return to during April for poetry month.  I was also surprised by how well Little Rooster’s Diamond Button went over.  Everything MacDonald does is wonderful.  And, of course the kids would like it, since it involves sitting on a chicken who has just swallowed a bunch of bees!