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Storytime Recap: Black History

by Morgan Reeves on February 21st, 2016
Storytime Recap: Black History Cover Image

Saturday’s family storytime was in honor of Black History Month. We started off by singing a favorite welcome song, “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” After clapping, stomping and saying hello, I talked to everyone about how February is a month full of celebrations. We have Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, plus Black History Month. This is a time to honor the many historic accomplishments and current contributions of black Americans.

The first book we read was We March by Shane W. Evans. This simple story follows a family as they join in the crowds marching to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate for civil rights.

Next we all stood up and moved together as we did the action rhyme “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” One time slow and one time fast is always a fun way to repeat these.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

Then I introduced our next book by talking about how many contributions black Americans have made to music styles over the years. This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt takes the tune of “This Old Man” and adapts it to a swinging jazz band counting from one to ten. This is a joy to read with the rhythmic beat and scat-style interjections.

Next I asked everyone to join me in singing and moving to “Mr. Sun”

Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Please shine down on me.
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Hiding behind a tree.
These little children are asking you. To please come out so we can play with you.
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Please shine down on me

Then I reminded everyone that black or white or somewhere in between, we all start out as babies, so our last story was Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee. This is a sweet and funny story about a parent asking their mischievous baby to behave.

 

Then we finished up with our call and response goodbye rhyme.

GoodbyeSong

Our movie today was the animated version of This is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson, which follows a rope’s uses as it travels with a family from South Carolina to Brooklyn.

 

Storytime Recap: Noisy in the Library!

by Angela Pilkington on November 30th, 2015

There was no SHHHHHHing in the Library Saturday! Family Storytime was full of CLAPs, STOMPs, SNAPs and of course LAUGHING! It was time to wake everyone up from their food comas from all the holiday meals they may have had over the last couple of days!

To start us out we sang along to Jim Gill’s Oh Hey Oh Hi Hello! This is a great song by a Children’s Musician who likes to make noise!  Look for a future announcement from the library about him coming to Iowa City to perform on Jan. 23 2016!

After making tons for noise with our hello song we read the book, Too Noisy! by Malachy Doyle and illustrated by Ed Vere. Everyone is Sam’s family is just too loud for him. With all the booming, twooting, banging, clanging  his family does, Sam decides to set out to find some peace and quiet and in the end finds there is no better place than home.

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The next book we read was, Dog’s Noisy Day by Emma Dodd. The clumsy canine star of Dog’s Colorful Day had the children barking, braying, chirping, and hooting with laughter. It is always a delight to hear the kids yell out all the animal sounds!

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I asked if we could be quiet mouses like the ones that visit Dog at the end of his story and taught them our next fingerplay:

“Quiet Mouse”
Here’s a quiet little mouse
Living in a quiet little house (hold thumb in fist)
When all was quiet as could be
OUT! popped he! (pop out thumb)

 

Our next story was, Click, Clack, Peep! by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin. Farmer Brown is back and is oh-so-sleepy, because he has a new, adorable – and LOUD – duckling to deal with on the farm! The kids had a blast making all the farm animal noises and parents chuckled from experience when Duck finally got duckling asleep.

noisy3

Then, we got up to stretch and recite this action rhyme:

 “Loud and Quiet”
Quietly, quietly not a sound
I’m listening and I’m listening
As I look around
No sounds as I nod (nod)
No sounds as I clap (clap)
No sounds as I tap my hands on my lap (tap)
Loudly, loudly, stamp and clap (stamp and clap)
Loudly, loudly, stamp and clap (stamp and clap)
Loudly, loudly, stamp and clap (stamp and clap)
All that noise, well fancy that!

That brought us to the end of the Storytime, so we said our goodbye chant:

GoodbyeSong

And as a bonus I showed the movie, Noisy Nora! This is a classic from my childhood and from one of my favorite authors, Rosemary Wells, who will be at the Library this Sunday, Dec 6 at 2pm! The group laughed a lot during this one, especially given all the mischief that Nora gets into.

noisy

What a noisy and fun day we had! Don’t forget to visit us for more noisy and fun times when Rosemary Wells (12/6/15) and Jim Gill (1/23/16) personally come to town!

Teachable moments @ the IC Farmer’s Market

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on July 15th, 2015

Now that my kids are teenagers (insert clichéd “Where did the time go?” mental photo montage here), I don’t experience as many teachable moments as I did when they were little. Don’t get me wrong, we still have teachable moments, but now they are more “OK, time to practice parallel parking” and “No one knows how to fold fitted sheets; you’re fine” instead of “What color is the apple?”

Visiting the Iowa City Farmer’s Market is a great activity for families because the place is filled with teachable moments. Preschoolers can show off their color knowledge, older students can practice their math skills, and babies can take in the scenery and, hopefully, be so exhausted by the time they get home, they take a long nap.

But what about teens? What teachable moments can they have at the farmer’s market?Farm to table pic1

A lot, actually.

My daughter accompanied me to the market last fall as part of her social studies’ world hunger unit. She had a BINGO card of activities she needed to complete and one was to go to a local farmer’s market and interview a vendor. She had to ask about what they sold, how they grew and/or made it, how far they traveled to get to the market, etc.

It was fun to watch her approach a vendor, explain the purpose of her assignment and go through her list of questions. Not only did she learn something new, she was able to practice her interview and note-taking skills, and patience, as their conversation was interrupted several times so the vendor could help a customer.

I’m teaching my children how to cook this summer. Correction. I’m teaching them how to cook something besides toast and hot dogs. They recently visited the Library’s cookbook collection (check out our Farm to Table cookbook display on the second floor), found recipes they want to try, and then went to the farmer’s market to buy their ingredients.

I took photos. I was told not to put them on Facebook. When I said it was for work, I got the look. If you have (or had) teens, you know what look I’m talking about.

Here’s a teachable moment for parents: pick your battles.

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Levy

by Morgan Reeves on November 29th, 2014
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Levy Cover Image

Two dads, four boys, one dog, one cat, and one invisible cheetah. The Family Fletcher is preparing for a new school year, the first school year where all four of the very different boys will be in school. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Levy follows this unique, and at the same time totally normal, family throughout the year as they deal with their individual problems. Twelve year-old Sam is a soccer player, a cool kid looked up to as the example for his younger brothers. Can he transfer his talent for storytelling into a part in the school play, and more importantly still be cool? 10 year-old Jax thinks Sam is the coolest, and wants to be accepted as part of the same crowd, now that he’s in the same school building. But with a changing friendship and a school project hanging over his head, Jax might end up more behind than ever.  Eli, also 10 (but a couple of months younger), is starting a new, expensive, academically minded school, trading familiar faces for scholarly challenges. When his new school turns out to be less amazing than he had hoped, he struggles with the his ability to admit he made a mistake. Six year-old Froggie (not Jeremiah) is excited to start kindergarten with Flare, his invisible cheetah. His biggest problems are asking for kittens, turtles and convincing his family that his new friend Ladybug is real girl.

Even with all of their individual issues to work through, the whole family comes together for the biggest Halloween party ever, camping trips, and convincing their grumpy neighbor Mr. Nelson that they mean no harm. With loving support from both Papa and Dad (who have some misadventures of their own), the Fletchers work together to overcome all obstacles that come their way. This is a fun romp that just happens to have a diverse family at the heart of it.

Families will learn, play during ICPL’s Messy Science Day

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 30th, 2014

Experimenting with science can be fun. It can also be messy. For one day, parents, you won’t be the ones cleaning it up. boy-microscope-post

Join the Iowa City Public Library from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 12, for Messy Science Day, a fun-filled family event with all sorts of science experiments.

Librarians will set up the lab on the City Plaza, leading participants through experiments that include the creation of chalk bombs and Mentos soda rockets.

Old clothing is encouraged. Everyone will get messy.

Messy Science Day is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Iowa City Public Library at (319) 356-5200.




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