Pretty good, thanks for asking. I'd say fantastic, but my throat started to hurt last night and by the end of the second group I was straining a bit. Fortunately, the last group of kindergarteners were a smaller group and well-behaved, so I made it through before my voice gave out. The booktalking itself felt great. Natural even. I love talking about the books and engaging with the kids.
I kept props to a minimum - though I couldn't resist putting a stuffed rabbit on my head for A Boy and his Bunny - and let the stories speak for themselves. I simply read aloud Sharon Creech's A Fine, Fine School, stopping right after the part where the principal decides the kids should go to school all summer long. I showed some of the fantastic pictures from Prehistoric Actual Size and facts from Just a Second.
I started with a couple of easy rhymes and then explained how the artists interpreted them in Nursery Rhyme Comics. Like, what was that mouse doing going up the clock anyway? I paired two easy chapter books with descriptions of each, Jackie Jules' Zapato Power: Freddy Ramos Takes Off and Nikki Grimes' Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel with hints towards the rest of the series. I pulled out an old favorite in Lowji Discovers America reading a passage of how Lowji convinces the landlady to get a cat. Polling the crowd for hamster owners was an easy way to introduce Trouble According to Humphrey, along with the rest of that series. It also introduced me to a bunch of kids who came up afterwards to compare our hamster stories. The third graders were tempted with excerpts from How They Croaked, and they loved every gross minute of it.
I was lucky to start off with just kindergarten through third grade but in two weeks I'll share the books I used with the older elementary kids. I know it's hard to wait, but next Wednesday I'll be at Book Expo America collecting books for the whole summer. Can't wait!
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