Sunday, March 7, 2010

Literary Locals: March 2010

First of all, I apologize for posting my Literary Locals post a little late this month.  As mentioned in my previous Sunday Synopsis, I announced that I would be a little late, but once again I am posting later than I had originally hoped!  Also noted in this post, I announced that I have moved Literary Locals to the first of every month instead of the last day. Please make note of this for those who participate.

Now that I have taken care of the housekeeping issues, I've decided to change things up again this month.  I've been meaning to post about a little activity that I did back in September.  On September 19th, or what is better known as Talk Like a Pirate Day, I held a book party celebrating piracy and most important literacy!  I did a variety of activities and served snacks all around the topic of pirates.  I've included a brief description below of these activities and snacks, including pictures for your entertainment.  (One tiny disclaimer:  I just so happen to also be an Usborne Book Consultant, so I did include this into the party, but it was not the focus of the event.)

I started out the party with a story that was conducive to action . . . action in voice, action in motions . . . On a Pirate Ship by Sarah Courtauld and Benji Davies.  From the wind that "puffs into the enormous sails" to "giant waves (that) crash over the deck" to the pirates dancing "until they are dizzy," it provides many motions that allowed the kids to literally get into the action.

We then did a treasure hunt!!  I found some very appropriate pirate duckies (both for girls and for boys) from Oriental Trading Company and hid them throughout our backyard.  The kids then ran around the yard looking high and low for the hidden treasure.  To ensure that they found all the duckies, then then went back and counted the ones they found and had to figure out how many they had left to find!  It was my way to sneak in a little math!!  :)  They ended up loving this activity and asked to do it again and again!!  I did not want to disappoint and agreed to their wishes!!

I don't want to forget the food and snacks!  I served a very pirate-laden plate . . . pirate ships (hot dogs with make-shift sails), fish and bones (goldfish and pretzels), and a side of gold (cheese cubes)!!  I will let the pictures demonstrate this one! 

While we were eating, I had the kids take turns in writing their own story.  One kid would start the story, another would take over, and they would go back and forth until the story came to an end.  Only two kids participated in this activity, but it was so much fun to listen to their little imaginations at work.  I wrote the story as it was verbally told and will eventually get around to making a little book out of it for those who wrote it!

Because time was running out, the final activity was cut short, but my own kids did participate!  We made pirate hats from old newspapers.  I remember doing this as a kid and it is a solid standby on any rainy day!!

And, of course, costumes were required!!

The kids and the parents did not leave empty-handed either!!  The kids took home a few of their choice pirate duckies and I sent a copy of the latest Literacy Lava home with the parents.  Literacy Lava was created by Susan over at The Book Chook and it is absolutely brilliant.  I had already planned to give the parents a copy of this little e-zine, but it ended up being perfect because further pirate activities were already included!!  Click here to access the most recent version, Literacy Lava 4 as well as the archived versions, including the one with more pirate activities (that would be issue 2 if you are wondering)!!

We had such a wonderful time!  We had only moved to our new city a few months before, so we did not have many guests.  I do intend to continue with this tradition.  I would love to do it twice a year, each with a different theme, BUT we just love the pirate theme, so Talk Like a Pirate day may be the annual event at our house!!

I guess the final words I would like to leave you with is to know that you can make a difference in your local area.  Host your own literacy party and spread the love of books.  Choose a theme, search the web, and have fun.  If you need ideas or help, feel free to contact me.  I love to plan parties and love to get creative!  And, if I can pull it off, you can too!!!

What have you done for Literary Locals this past month?

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