Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chaelyn's Book Clubs

Sideways Stories from Macdonough School

Session 3 of the “Sideways Stories from Macdonough School” Club focused on Mrs. Jewls, the teacher who replaced the mean Mrs. Gorf on the 30th story. After Mrs. Gorf was turned into an apple and eaten by Louis the yard teacher, Mrs. Jewls came to the Sideways School expecting a class full of “terribly cute” children. Only, she thought were so terribly cute that they couldn’t be children. She thought she was called to teach a class full of monkeys!
Together, we re-read Chapter 2 and created a character poster of Mrs. Jewls. We discussed her physical characteristics, personality traits, and other important information. We even compared and contrasted her to Mrs. Gorf. They were quite different from one another, but strangely had some things in common.
Then, in honor of Mrs. Jewls foolish assumption, we played one-on-one Barrel of Monkeys, a game from Milton Bradley that was created in 1965…but surprisingly had never been played by any of the children in our club!
We called the game, “Barrel of Mrs. Jewls’ Students.” The rest of our time was spent trying to show each other our monkey-chaining skills and giving names to our monkey chains based on the children that are in the story.

Spiderwick Chronicles Literature for Lunch

During the third session of the “Spiderwick Chronicles Literature for Lunch” Club, we set the scene for our first Spiderwick Challenge, the “Character Card Contest.” We first completed a Character Card for Helen Grace, mother to the Grace children. Together we compiled as many facts about this female character as possible.

Then, the children in each group paired off into teams and were armed with a pencil, their book, their notebook, and their wits. On four pieces of cardstock, were pictures of our four main characters in Book 1; Jared Grace, Simon Grace, Mallory Grace, and Thimbletack. Each team picked a card from an upside down position. Many teams cheered when they received a character they had been “wishing” to pick.

The challenge was for each team to write as many facts about their character as possible in the time allotted. They could list physical characteristics, personality traits, important information, and more. The teams worked diligently, using their books and notebooks of self-compiled information to write as many facts as possible. By the end of the session the cards were filled.

At our next meeting, we will proceed with the challenge. Teams will try to eliminate other team’s answers, much like in the Hasbro game of “Scattergories.” If a team can match a fact, the other team has to cross it out. The team left with the most facts on their card after the elimination round will be victorious.

A special prize is at stake. Stay tuned.

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