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.
A Huge Hog is a Big Pig: A Rhyming Word Game by Francis McCall & Patricia Keeler
If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky
Dewey Decimal 100s
For this flannelboard, I put the different Dewey 100s categories on the flannelboard with some space in between each of them.
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.
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 Margaret Read MacDonald
“The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” from The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs … and More Animal Adventures
ATTENDANCE: 19 people
HOW IT WENT:
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!