Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Blue Whale Problem, Repurposed Paper, and Back to School

Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem
Starting back to school is always a little rough.  But what if you had to bring your new pet to school with you--and your new pet was a blue whale?

I wanted to follow up my preschool "back to school" story time with a program for older elementary school -age children.  A book from a few years ago came to mind.  I used it with a group of kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders...and while not exactly a "back to school" book,  it is about school, it is very funny, and the illustrations are marvelous!

Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem, by Mac Barnett will be a sure hit with your back to schoolers.

Pick up the whale theme and run with it.   Philip C. Stead's new book, Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat is a great adventure fantasy to start off the school year.   It will spark your children's imaginations and enthusiasm for reading, and get everyone's creative brain juice flowing.

Barnett's art work in Billy Twitters is beautiful and funny and I love it!  But I took a cue from Stead's collages for our art activity.  Repurposing paper into collages is perfect for young artists.  1) The materials cost nothing, 2) Children of all ages LOVE cutting and gluing, 3) the possibilities are truly endless.  Stead uses travel and shipping related paper ephemera to create his paintings.  We used a retro 60s atlas and some stationary.  Tempera, watercolors, or gouache will clean up easily and have that wonderful transparency that lets your repurposed find shine through.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Anne! I don't think we ever officially met but I'm Kelley Beeson, the Youth Services Coordinator at ACLA and we have a great blog for the youth services staff in Allegheny County (and beyond) and I wonder if you'd consider sharing your book reviews with us there? Maybe we can chat about it - you can email me at beesonk(at)einetwork(dot)net

    Thanks! LOVE the blog!