Near the end of August, I think everyone on my team were sort of shell shocked at how much we put on our plates right after Summer Reading Program. I have to say that our planning session for September’s theme was one of the shortest ever.
Here’s a reenactment in script form:
September: a play in one scene
(enter Brittany, stage right)
Brittany: September. What’s our theme going to be?
Me: Uhhh…something easy?
Jennifer: September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Brittany & Jennifer: YES.
After several “booty” jokes, we figured out what we were going to do. Brittany took on the front windows again, as well as the Great Wall-o-Pun. I did the scavenger hunt and reading bench display while Jennifer gathered all of the display books.
The first complete project was the unexpected one. On Twitter one morning, the awesome Meg of Miss Meg’s Storytime mentioned that she just created a kid-friendly Find Your Pirate Name worksheet. I promptly responded by begging her to share it:
Here’s what I did with her fun worksheet. I blew it up and put it on our white board:
It has been incredibly fun hearing parents and kids work together to find their pirate names. It has gotten more laughs than my big LOL @ the Library display. Seriously. One 5th grader did it, laughed, started to leave, and then came tearing back to figure out her best friend’s pirate name. It was too cute.
I have to admit that I put in minimal work into the reading bench’s display. We wanted to get the theme across better to those patrons who don’t read our calendar. I typed, printed, and cut out It’s Septembarrr! I totally winged it and didn’t measure the wall space. Therefore, I ended up having letters that were too big. Thankfully Jennifer suggested that I put the letters on the diagonal. I still had to leave off one R and the exclamation point.
The books that Jennifer put together for this have been checking out like crazy. So even though it’s not flashy, it does the job.
Now, you might have noticed something that looks like Olivia the pig below the sign. Well, that is Olivia, but she’s not part of the display – she’s part of our scavenger hunt:
I picked out five well-known characters and dressed them up as pirates. Then I created a not-to-scale map of our library. I thought it would be a great way to have kids practice map reading and spatial skills. I wouldn’t call it our most popular scavenger hunt, but I have loved watching kids and adults work on it together.
All of the characters are copyrighted ones, so I don’t feel cool with posting them here for you to grab. But, if you’d like me to send you the files, then just email me and I’ll send them your way.
The most challenging aspect this month was figuring out what our Great Wall-o-Pun would be. We went a little abstract (to the point where our library page had to ask us if there was a theme – and when we explained it, she was like “oh that’s fantastic!”). Can you figure it out?
You might have some trouble since you don’t get a good view of all of the book titles. Give up? It’s that all of the non-fiction book titles on display start with the letter R. ::Ba-doom-ching!::
Brittany printed out the text, and then did her typically awesome coloring job using only crayons. The letters are filled with different things such as fish scales, gems, water, wood, bones, a Jolly Roger, and more.
Finally, our front window. It started off as a very simple concept to try and make it easy for Brittany to do: make our windows a giant treasure map leading to a chest full of books. She could make as many elements as she wanted between the start of the map and the treasure chest. I should have known that Brittany would go above and beyond:
It’s craaaazy-good. The kids love pointing out the different elements. I would have thought the parrot would be their #1 favorite, but I think it’s the crab. The treasure chest is also really wonderful:
She made two photocopies each of various book covers from our collection that mentioned treasure, gems, pirates, etc. She then put them back-to-back so that the titles would read correctly whether from inside our outside our building. The sunlight comes through and the books glow. It’s really cool.
And there you have it: the treasure trove that is Septembarrr at the Children’s Library.