Wow! I can't believe it's the last week of camp! I am so excited to share the stories of Africa.
Today both my younger and older readers were delighted to hear the tale of Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears. I myself, when I chose the book, was curious to hear about this legend.
This book is told as a chain tale/ cumulative tale. In this type of story an action or dialogue builds up as the story progresses. This of course builds excitement and anticipation and those are definitely the attributes I desire when choosing a book for reading enjoyment.
As expected this story was a hit! I was amazed by how quickly the younger readers got into the rhythm of the tale.
One of my quick younger readers got the idea of the cause and effect so quickly he raised his hand long before the end and said "Miss it's the mosquito's fault!" LOL! The other children weren't quite there yet and they argued a little. The older readers also enjoyed this story and in much the same way they eagerly followed every detail.
So why do mosquitoes buzz in people's ears? Well here it goes:
The mosquito told a lie which annoyed the iguana causing him to put sticks in his ears. The iguana didn't hear when the python told him good morning and therefore didn't answer. The python thought the iguana was mad at him so he ran to hide. He hid in a rabbit hole and the rabbit thought that the python was there to eat him so he ran out of his hole. The crow became startled because the rabbit was running in the middle of the day and he raised an alarm. This caused the monkey to run through the trees where he accidentally broke a branch which fell and killed the owlet. When mother owl discovered her baby was dead she became sad and wouldn't wake the sun so that the day could come. The mosquito, realizing that she caused the death of the owlet had a guilty conscience and to this day "she goes about whining in people's ears Zeeeee! Is everyone still angry at me?"
And there you have it....and well that's not how the story ends. Here is the ending - "When she does that, (buzz in people's ears) she gets an honest answer. KPAO!" (the sound your hand makes when you slap a mosquito buzzing by your ear.) LOL!!!!
I think it's safe to say that EVERYONE enjoyed this African legend!
Here are a few pictures of the children's learning exercises.
We always miss Aunty Joanna's photography when she doesn't join us!
Take a look at the paintings the children completed in their Arty Pants Studio session.
The children have been waiting all week to visit France. After all I do have the Eiffel Tower prop in the room so they were all curious to hear about the place where such a beautiful and romantic structure exists.
Both younger and older readers were treated to an interactive reading of The Cat Who Walked Across France written by Kate Banks.
This book, like the other books chosen for the younger ones this week, emphasized the beautiful attractions in France through pictures.
There once was a cat who lived in a stone cottage at the edge of the sea. His owner, an old woman died and he was shipped, along with all her other belongings, to Rouen. There was no one there to scratch his ears or feed him, the cat had been forgotten. The cat began a long journey, across France, to return to his home in San Tropez. He passed many historic sites including; The Rouen Cathedral, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Mont Blanc and Pont Du Gard . He scrounged for food and fought off stray dogs. When he finally reached his destination he was frail and thin. He was relieved to see the stone cottage at the edge of the sea. The door was open, welcoming him. He walked in and snuggled up on the couch and fell asleep. Hours later he was awaken by the voices of curious children. The gave him food and water and stroked him gently...finally he was home.
Both younger and older readers LOVED this story. The younger readers mapped out the path the cat took to return home and coloured the French flag. My older readers answered some simple questions about the story. Everyone was happy today. After all Paris is the city of love!
Here are some pictures captured by Aunty Joanna.
Check out their beautiful painting of the Cat Who Walked Across France done in their Arty Pants Studio Sessions.
I started off this morning's session by telling my younger readers a little bit about Italy. I asked them if they knew where to find Italy on the map of Europe. After a couple failed attempts I gave them a little hint! "Italy looks like a boot kicking a rock!" well that did it. They quickly found Italy and we discussed some of the places and things that we would discover as we read the book Olivia goes to Venice. We spoke about the amazing buildings, Venice, the city on water, gondolas and of course some of the food they would be familiar with, like pizza and ice cream/gelato!
The children were very fascinated by the illustrations in this book. The backdrops are all photographs and Olivia and her family are all cartoon drawings. My assumption was that this style was chosen because, like Madeline in London, Olivia goes to Venice focused on some of landmarks and tourist attractions in Italy, not only by naming them, but by simply including them in the background. Among the sites Olivia and her family visited were, the Piazza San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs and the basilica. Of course no trip to Venice would be complete if Olivia and her family did not eat gelato and go on a gondola ride.
As Olivia's trip came to and end she desperately sought the perfect souvenir. Unfortunately she removed a brick from the clock tower in Piazza San Marco causing it to crumble soon after she left! The children enjoyed this story, especially the end, because Olivia was oblivious to all the damage she had done. Their passport entry consisted of matching words seen in the book to pictures and of course colouring the Italian flag.
I love the book I chose to read to my older readers! Papa Gatto is a Cinderella type story with a twist! The children were really excited throughout the entire story.
The story is set in a time when it was not unusual for animals to speak. Papa Gatto, an adviser to the prince, lived with his lovely wife and recently welcomed the birth of eight kittens however, the joys of being a new father were soon dampened by the death of his wife. He was now left to take care of his eight kittens, a task that would be difficult as he was often called away to advise the Prince. Papa Gatto sent a message via the town crier asking for someone to take care of his children and his home. He was willing to pay anything!
In the same town a mother lived with her daughter Sophia and her stepdaughter Beatrice. Sophia was lovely to look at but she was selfish and mean. Beatrice was plain looking but had a heart of gold. The stepmother and her daughters heard the town criers message and immediately the stepmother decided that her own daughter, Sophia, should take the job. Surely enough Sophia took the job at Papa Gatto's and failed miserably. She tried to take an eight diamond necklace as her payment but after seeing the horrid job Sophia had done Papa Gatto snatched it from her hand scaring it with four scratches.
Papa Gatto sent the town crier with yet another message seeking help and this time Beatrice answered his request. Beatrice was wonderful with the kittens and kept Papa Gatto's house and garden in good order. Papa Gatto was extremely impressed. When he asked her what she desired for her payment Beatrice stated that she only wished for his kind words and to right her sister's wrongs. Papa Gatto insisted that Beatrice take the eight diamond bracelet as payment and so Beatrice left with it though what she really wanted was to stay with Papa Gatto and the kittens.
When Beatrice returned home her stepsister and stepmother were furious! They realized she had gone to Papa Gatto's and her step sister took the bracelet from her and put it on her own wrist.
Meanwhile Papa Gatto was boasting to the prince about the lovely woman who had taken care of his children and his home. The prince was impressed by the woman's kind heart and desired to meet her as he had been looking for a wife. Papa Gatto told the prince that Beatrice would be at the festival wearing a lovely diamond bracelet and that he should approach her. Of course the prince encountered Sophia who led the him to believe that she was Beatrice.
When the prince discovered he had been deceived he and Papa Gatto devised a plan. They went to Sophia and Beatrice's house. Sophia tried to disguise herself but Papa Gatto recognized her by the scars his scratches had left on her hand. The prince and Beatrice were introduced and, as is customary in a "Cinderella" story, the prince asked for her hand in marriage...but here comes the twist...Beatrice says No! She explains that she does not know the prince and therefore cannot love him. She asks if she could stay with Papa Gatto. Of course Papa Gatto agrees and the prince decides he would visit often so he could win her heart.
Well, the young ladies in the class were delighted by the surprise ending! They agreed that Beatrice did the right thing. "You should not marry someone you just met!"
This story kept the children engaged every second. They literally wanted me to read more and more so they could find out what happens in the end. They all happily made their passport entries and coloured their flags. It feels good to be back in their good graces! LOL!
Check out their journey through Italy with art done at their Arty Pants Studio sessions.
So today was one of those days where I predicted I would not be popular and I indeed wasn't lol!
Read to me is GREAT! Write for me somehow never goes across very well! lol. Today I challenged my older readers to write their own story based on the Gregory Rogers picture book, The Boy, The Bear, The Baron, The Bard!
I started them off by showing them a short biography on Shakespeare. I then showed the the pictures in the book instructing them as to which pages they would be writing their story about. Of course this is camp, so I practically summarized every page of pictures. "Miss is this a test?" " All those pictures!" "I hate to write!" Those were just a few of the objections. Responses " It's not a test you all can help each other. " There are many pictures but all the pictures on one page can be summarized in two or three sentences." " I know you hate writing but every picture has a story and every story can be told with pictures!...You must do this to be able to do your art later on. It's directly related. "
I'm not sure how many of my answers sufficed BUT most of them proceeded to give it their best shot. Others did it just to say it was completed and unfortunately a few gave up before they even tried. Tough crowd! LOL! I was quite prepared for it all and hopefully tomorrow I am back in their good graces. We will be sharing some of the stories later in the week as Aunty Natalia (Arty Pants Studio) had them create puppets and they will put on a puppet show! :)
The younger readers are eager about EVERYTHING! So that boosted my moral! LOL!
We did our usual interactive read aloud of Madeline in London by Ludwig Bemelmans. Madeline and the other 11 orphans go to London for Pepito's Birthday Party. Pepito is the son of the Spanish Ambassador. He used to live next to the orphanage until his father was reassigned to England. Realizing that they did not bring a gift for Pepito, Madeline suggests they get him a horse. The adventure through London begins as he horse runs off with Madeline and Pepito on his back and the other orphans run off in search of them. Aunty Natalia had the children paint a map of London and they were able to identify most of the popular places and things of interest they saw in the book. Their passport entry consisted of colouring Madeline and identifying some words that could be used to describe her.
I don't have any pictures today as Aunty Joanna was under the weather and didn't join us. :( Hopefully she will be back out tomorrow.
Take a look at the puppets and maps done during the Arty Pants Studio sessions.
I was so excited to take the children to Brazil today! My younger readers listened to the story of Jabuti the Tortoise. I decided that I would break them up into groups of 5 and allow them to view the pictures in the book before reading the story. The illustrations were so vibrant I felt that the children needed to spend time really taking in the picture beauty of this book.
The story of Jabuti can easily be titled Why the Tortoise has a Cracked Shell! Jabuti the tortoise had a colourful smooth shell and played beautiful music on the flute. The birds of the forest loved to hear him play but some of the other animals were not quite as thrilled because the sound of him playing reminded them of all the times Jabuti had played a trick on them. In particular, the vulture did not like Jabuti for he could not sing and envied the beautiful music Jabuti played. The vulture longed for the day he could eat Jabuti.
One day, the King of Heaven decided to have a festival of song and invited all the birds of the air to sing. Jabuti was also invited to play his flute but there was one problem, Jabuti could not fly. The vulture took this opportunity to get close to Jabuti and offered him a ride, on his back, to the festival. Jabuti took the bait and jumped on clutching the vulture's feathers. As they got closer to the festival the vulture flipped over and Jabuti lost his grip. As he fell, Jabuti shouted for the tress and the bushes to make way for him but he forgot to call out to the rocks and so he fell on a rock and his shell broke into several pieces that scattered all over the forest floor.
Soon after, the King of Heaven sent the birds to look for Jabuti. They found him and pieced his shell back together. Each bird that helped Jabuti, retained a colour from Jabuti's shell but the vulture remained black and still could not sing.
The children all agreed that the lesson learned was to always be kind and it is not nice to trick people. The children made an entry in their passport by completing a few simple sentences related to Jabuti and of course, colouring Jabuti and the national flag of Brazil!
During the course of camp preparation I read this book several times and it evoked so much emotion. I truly felt the passion the main character, Paulo, had for football and the love he had for his sister.
My older readers were treated to the delightful story of Football Star. Before we began reading, I asked my readers to pay particular attention to the differences between themselves and the children in the story. A couple pages into the story one reader said " Miss I know what's different! All the boys in the story work and the girls go to school!" This was followed by "But why??" The answer was simple, the children in the story were poor and the boys worked to help support their families. Paulo helped Senhor da Silva catch fish, Jose did tricks for tourists and Givo decorated carnival floats.
After some discussion about the legality of not being sent to school (yes they asked if it was legal! LOL) another issue presented itself that made the girls in the room upset. Paulo's sister, Maria, had very good football skills yet every time she asked to join his football team he would say no because the rule was "no girls!"
" But why? Girls can play football! That's not fair!" I was loving how this story engaged my readers! They were now eager to hear the outcome. Are you?
The evening arrives and the two teams gather on the beach to play football! The game is full of excitement but as the goalie jumps to block a goal he falls and hurts his wrist. It's not broken but he must rest. Paulo's team is now one player short. Paulo asks his teammates if Maria could play. One says no, one says yes and the other doesn't care either way. Paulo lets Maria play and....yes! She scores! GOAL! One reader shouted "I KNEW IT!"
The ending of this book makes me tear up every time.
" I am Pauulo Marcelo Feliciano, the captain of this football team. No storm, no fall, or no useless old rule can keep us from a win. Our fans will one day call us stars. We will light up every home in Brazil!"
The passport entry for these readers consisted of answering a few questions about the story. They are usually resistant to writing but not today! :)
Oh Brazil! I must admit, of all the stories we have read thus far...both the children and myself seem to love yours the most!
Take a look at beautiful Brazil through art at Arty Pants Studio.
It's good to be home! Today presented the perfect opportunity for the children to learn some more about their own country, Trinidad and Tobago. Some of our campers live outside of Trinidad and Tobago but their parents are Trinidadian so hopefully they went home with a little more knowledge about the land of their ancestors!
This morning I started off by showing my little readers a very short video about Trinidad Carnival in 1957. There were lots of "Oooos" and "Ahhhs" at the sight of the Dinosaur and mermaid costumes. The children rather enjoyed the dramatic displays of Carnival of old.
I showed them the clip about Carnival because my younger readers were treated to the story of Boy Boy and the Magic Drum, written by Machel Montano.
This story tells the tale of how one little boy, as small as a toy, saves the Peace Parade by playing the magic drum! His parents laughed when he told them of his plans to save the Peace Parade, but he was determined. He took to the streets and began to play the magic drum. Everyone joined in, playing the tambu bamboo, bottle and spoon and other instruments. Rich and poor came together to save the Peace Parade.
As we read the story I asked the children what they thought the magic drum referred to. That question was too easy, they all eagerly answered "the steel pan." Similarly, they also concluded that the Peace Parade could be likened to Carnival. They answered these same questions in their passports and of course coloured a picture of the national flag.
I chose to read the folklore tale of Ti Jeanne's Last Laundry for my older readers. Before we read we discussed folklore at length. They seemed very interested in these fictional tales! I decided I would show them the animated short story of Papa Bois and the Duennes. They concluded that the story was very "creepy!' lol.
Ti Jeanne's Last Laundry is the tale of how Maman Dlo (the protector of the rivers, streams and ponds of the forest) turned Ti Jeanne into a water fairy (mermaid). The children were extremely interested in the description of Maman Dlo. Maman Dlo's upper body was that of an old African woman and her lower body was that of an anaconda. When Maman Dlo rose on her tail she was 7 feet tall! "OMG! that is scary miss!"
I asked two simple questions of my older readers; Was the story fact or fiction? and How did the story make you feel/what emotion did the story evoke?
Everyone agreed that the story was fictional. Most of the children agreed that the story made them feed scared, because of the description of Maman Dlo. Some of the boys decided to be different. They stated that they felt happy/excited that Ti Jeanne was turned into a water fairy. They transcribed this discussion in their passports and they too coloured the national flag.
Here are some pictures from our reading sessions:
Take a look at some Trini inspired art done in the Arty Pants Studio session.
This week we are closer to home. In fact we will be exploring Trinidad and Tobago tomorrow but today we visited Mexico!
Both the younger and older readers listened to the story of The Princess and the Warrior. Princess Izta was a kind princess who had many suitors, none of whom she favoured. One day a brave warrior Popoca visited and promised to be true to her and stay by her side all the days of her life, Izta fell in love.
The emperor, Izta's father, did not want his daughter to marry a mere warrior but decided that if Popoca could win the long battle that he and his people had with Jaguar Claw he would allow him to marry Itza.
Popoca fought long and hard and eventually it looked like he would win the war. Jaguar Claw realized he would soon lose and decided to take something from Popoca that he truly cherished. He devised a plan to bribe one of Popoca's messengers to deliver the untruth that Popoca was dead. Along with this tragic message the messenger offered Izta a special potion to ease her sorrow. Izta drank the potion and fell into a deep sleep.
When Popoca returned victoriously from the war the Emperor and the people were shocked! The Emperor told Popoca that Izta had been told he was dead and was so heartbroken she drank a special potion, fell into a deep sleep and could not be awakened.
Popoca was crushed! He tried to wake Izta. He hugged her, he kissed her and he called her name over and over but she would not wake up. He took her out to the top of a mountain hoping the cold breeze would wake her but it was in vain.
Since he had promised never to leave her side he lay next to her and never left. Legend has it that two volcanoes were formed where they lay. Iztaccíhuatl, who continues to sleep, and Popocatépetl, who spews ash and smoke, trying to wake his love.
Both groups recapped the story and went on to do a lesson in sequencing. The younger readers used stickers to sequence the events while the older readers ordered sentences.
Check out their Mexican craft done at Arty Pants Studio!
Here are some pictures captured by Aunty Joanna!
Today we switched it up a bit and the older imaginators started their day with The Reading Garden. We could not visit Japan without discussing the ancient Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures. The children watched a video on how to create a simple origami bird and then we went on to story time.
Today we read the story of The Origami Master. This story tells the tale of an Origami Master who lived in a remote area and never had any visitors. One day a bird decided to nest in a tree outside his house. The bird watched the Origami Master do his art all day and at night the bird would go into the house and create origami figures that were simpler but more beautiful than the Origami Master's figures. The Origami Master thought that someone was playing a trick on him and decided to hide in the night to see who was creating the beautiful origami. When he discovered it was the bird he devised a plan to capture it so he could observe how the bird did the origami.
He successfully captured the bird but the bird refused to eat, drink or do any more origami. The Origami Master waited all night until he finally fell asleep. When he woke, the bird had made an origami key, unlocked the cage and escaped. The Origami Master became sad as he thought he had lost his friend. Luckily the bird came back to the tree and the Origami Master made an origami nest for his friend because he never wanted him to leave again.
My readers were delighted with this story. They revealed some things about school and friends including people who pretended to be their friends. That made me a little sad but I advised them that if someone was consistently mean to them they should consider finding real friends who would be kind to them. I asked my readers what lesson they learnt from the story, here are some of the answers:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!"
"Don't be jealous, be a friend to everyone."
"Be kind to others and they will be kind to you."
"Friends should be kind to each other."
After discussing the lessons learnt the children wrote them in their passports. We then moved on to making a VERY simple origami bird. They were excited to put the birds to rest in the Japanese Cherry Blossom tree.
In the afternoon, the younger readers were very excited to hear about The Hungriest Boy in the World. One little 6 year old reader asked to read and she did a good job with the paragraph I assigned to her.
Jiro was a little boy who put everything in his mouth. Once day he put a purple blob in his mouth. The blob wriggled in his mouth but before Jiro could spit it out it went straight down his gullet. Jiro has swallowed a hunger monster. Jiro returned home and the hunger monster constantly whispered to Jiro "I am hungry!" Jiro ate everything in sight; more than his fair share of sushi, a bucket of fish guts, a piece of fish net, a quarter of his quilt, all the doctor's medicine, two fishes, the beads off the healer's chain and the hair of the medium. The medium was able to reveal that Jiro had swallowed a hunger monster and Jiro's brother Taro suggested that the family get the puppet master to help.
Jiro's mother prepared a huge feast and invited the puppet master, with one of his beautiful puppets, to join the family for dinner. Taro tied Jiro to a pillar so he could not get any food. The puppet master put on the sweetest voice and said delightful things about the food. He then opened the mouth of the puppet and the hunger monster jumped out of Jiro into the puppet. Of course because the puppet had no body the hunger monster ended up on the floor and Taro quickly swept it out of the house.
This story presented many opportunities discuss Japanese culture; from eating raw fish(sushi) to all the males being seated and served before the women of the house.
For today's learning exercise I asked my young readers to draw what they imagined the hunger monster looked like. The results were very interesting! :)
Check out the children's creations in their Arty Pants Studio sessions.
Here are some pictures captured by Aunty Joanna.
Today we visited India! One of my little readers was quite proud to greet his fellow imaginators this morning by saying Namaste! :)
During the morning session the younger readers listened intently to the ancient Indian tale of The Elephant's Friend. In this story the King's well fed, well kept elephant befriended a dog that once had little to eat and actually fed on the food that dropped from the elephant's mouth. The two became inseparable until the Elephant's caregiver decided to sell the dog to a merchant from another town. The elephant was heartbroken and made protest by not eating, drinking and worst of all not washing. The King, seeing elephant's distress, made a proclamation that the dog be returned. The threat of severe punishment scared the merchant and he chased the dog away. The dog eagerly returned to his friend and they were never separated again.
The young readers were eager to view the colourful pictures that accompanied this story. I asked them to summarize what had happened and together they did an excellent job in retelling the tale. The children were delighted that today's passport entry involved colouring a beautiful elephant with a dog on his back.
This afternoon the older readers listened to the mathematical folktale, One Grain of Rice. This story is about a selfish raja who hoarded the villagers' rice and refused to share it with them in times of famine, even though he had promised to do so. One smart villager, a young girl named Rani, was able to retrieve all the rice using the mathematical principles of exponents.
The readers commented throughout the story about the raja's selfishness and their faces lit up when they realized that Rani had tricked the raja and retrieved all the rice that he was hoarding from the villagers. The back of this book illustrates how Rani was able to obtain all the rice by doubling the amount of the previous day. My readers were amazed.
Of course, I allowed my older readers to take a break from writing today. We used grains of coloured rice and glitter to decorate an elephant.
Take a look at the keepsakes, from India, created by the children during their session with Aunty Natalia at Arty Pants Studio TT.
Here are some pictures captured by Aunty Joanna. . You can also view some video footage of today's storytelling on our YouTube Channel.
Every child knows and loves the timeless tale of Cinderella. Almost every continent has a Cinderella Story. So today, both age groups listened and learned about the Chinese Cinderella Story; Yeh-Shen - retold by Ai-Ling Louie.
Each week the children will create passports which will contain important information about the countries they visit. The passports will also serve to capture all the learning exercises completed in relation to the stories told.
All my readers were very eager to learn about Yeh - Shen. I used this story to teach an important lesson in literature; comparing and contrasting.
Does this sound beyond their years? Well, my readers were able to list almost every similarity and difference between Cinderella and Yeh-Shen.
Here are the elements we focused on in our learning exercise:
Glass Slippers Golden Shoes
Fairy God Mother Old Ragged Man
Two Step Sisters One Step Sister
Befriended mice Befriended a fish
Both were raised by an unkind stepmother
Both were extremely poor and lonely
Both were very beautiful
This Chinese Cinderella Story, - Yeh-Shen, ended VERY dramatically. Yeh-Shen moved into the palace and her step-mother and step sister were "crushed to death in a shower of flying stones". Of course, this ending was met with raised eyebrows and some exclamations of "OH LORD!"
This presented the perfect opportunity to discuss a little bit about Chinese culture. Aunty Joanna (my assistant) even taught the older children how to say Hello and Good-bye in Chinese.
Take a look at the keepsakes, from China, created by the children during their session with Aunty Natalia at Arty Pants Studio TT.
Tomorrow we are off to INDIA!
Here are some pictures captured today by Aunty Joanna: