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Topic: Need feedback on summer reading program for older kids

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Subject: Need feedback on summer reading program for older kids
Date Posted: 6/5/2008 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2006
Posts: 52
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I took over our summer reading program for our small town library this summer.  I'm very excited about it!  Today we had more kids than expected show up and now I'm a little (okay a lot) freaked about the task ahead of me.  I have close to 30 kids (was only expecting about 15)and they range in age from2 to 12 years.   Realizing that I need to have two different age groups(I do have parents to help)  I need to find activities for the older kids that help keep them reading for the summer,  while at the same time having fun doing it. I have a few ideas( such as bug scavanger hunt, learning to use the library treasure hunt, book club discussion) but need other ideas.  The summer is long and my ideas aren't enough.  We're just doing an hour session once a week.  I have already planned for the younger kids which is easier.  I want to connect with the older kids and have fun.   I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right place since I am not a teacher,but I was just looking for some feedback    Thanks for any comments or suggestions.

Vanessa

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,538
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What about Jeopardy?  You could incorporate answers dealing with library usage, author specific categories for the really popular authors, story specific categories for the books used in the book club, general book-related answers where they would have to identify different genres, things like that.  If you have your state standards handy, go through and see what kind of information they should have learned in school. You know how they all overlap, so you could cover a lot of ground that way and reinforce previous knowledge.  You could incorporate grammar and vocabulary, too.  We did one on prefixes and suffixes with 3rd and 4th graders (special ed) and they loved it. 

If they are enthusiastic about a particular book or author, they could write individual or group letters to that author.  Many YA authors are good about writing back to kids and if anyone receives a reply during the summer, it would be fun for them to share their letters. 

We've made foods associated with stories, always with great success.  One of the Unfortunate Events books, either the second or third, talks about coconut cake, so we had a UE party where everyone came dressed as their favorite character (my coworker and I "tattooed" eyes on our ankles for the Count Olaf look).  We served the coconut cake and discussed the good and bad points of the main characters and made predictions about what would happen to them.  If you're reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, you could make Turkish Delight.  Most of agreed that it was disgusting, at least the recipe we found was, but the kids had a ball tasting it while we discussed the characters.

For the writers in the group, you could consider having them write alternate endings to stories or propose different scenarios for discussion/writing. 

Design and create bookmarks for the books they've read.  This will appeal to the artistic kids in the group and if possible, it would be fun to have a contest.  The entries could be posted on a bulletin board or in a display case and all library patrons could vote on the design they like the best.  If your library has any kind of budget, or if you could get a local Kinkos (or any print shop) to donate their services, the winning bookmarks could be printed up and given to library patrons.  Put the library hours, address and phone number along with the name and age of the artist and you could combine advertising for the library, too. 

Hope some of these are useful. :-)

 

Date Posted: 6/6/2008 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2006
Posts: 52
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I can't thank you enough for your ideas!  I loved them and I know the kids will have lots of fun with them!  I've got some kids that love to read and writing to the author is an excellent idea!  I also love the idea of finding something to cook or bake since we meet where a kitchen is available to us. 

Thanks again for the feedback! 

Vanessa

Date Posted: 6/17/2008 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2007
Posts: 559
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you could also see if anyone around the town could come and do some kind of demo for them. our library has had our ballet company come, hancock fabric sewing lady and a cooking place. others they have coming are a scrapbooking place, some muscians. just a few ideas :)