Friday, March 9, 2012

T is for... Trains and Tyrannosaurus Rex

     I don’t necessarily know what it is like with your kids, but at our library, our kids seem to LOVE trains.  We have a train table at the back of the children’s section that kids seem magnetized to.  It’s like they just can’t help themselves.  At all hours of the day, you can hear, “Choo! Choo!,” coming from the back of the library. Thus, when it came time for Tt, I just knew I had to use trains.

Materials:  Index card with capital T, 4 black foam wheels on glue dots, 2 foam pieces cut to resemble train card, and crayons

Front of card

Back of card

1)    Color the capital T to look like train tracks.

2)    Trace the upper and lower case Tt on the back of the card.

3)    Place the train cars on the T.  Place the wheels on the cars.  Draw windows, if you prefer.

     The next craft this week was a little ambitious for my 4-6 year olds.  I knew that it might be when I decided to use it, however, I knew once complete; my kids would love the outcome.  So I went for it and decided to make Tyrannosaurus Rex out of paper plates.  Visit this website for complete instructions on how to make this fun and craft T-Rex.  Although the website says to use watercolors, I had my kids use crayons and they turned out great!

     I went a different route this week with my book selections.  I decided to go with short books that would keep my kids’ attention.  Lately, most of the kids have had a case of the wiggles and haven’t been able to sit through a whole story.  That’s not a big deal to me at all, though I do like them to at least attempt to listen to the story.  Thus, this week, I went with two shorter stories where the kids could participate in the dialogue.  The first book, Freight Train by Donald Crews, was great.  I was able to introduce the kids to what an award book is; Crews received a Caldecott nomination for this book, as well as discuss the parts of a train and colors.  My kids also had a lot of fun trying to guess what the train may be carrying.  My personal favorite, Smurfs!  That’s right, one kid in my class thought the blue freight car was carrying blue Smurfs! I love kids and their amazing imaginations!

     For the older kids, I went with the same idea and chose T is for Terrible by Peter McCarty.  By picking a shorter book, we were able to discuss dinosaurs, what they eat, how they lived, and why they no longer exist.  We also talked about whether or not we truly believed the Tyrannosaurus Rex to be terrible.  My kids decided that while not terrible, they are still scared of them!

     As for music, what better song to use for T-Rex than “Walk the Dinosaur?” I, personally, prefer the Queen Latifah version from the movie Ice Age, though the original version by Was (Not Was) is pretty great too!

     I also used “This Train” by Ziggy Marley with Willie Nelson.  I liked how smooth and upbeat this song was.  It’s not the typical “bouncing off the walls” music I normally choose, but it’s really great and I even caught a few of the kids swaying back and forth to it.

     Before I close this week’s post, I would like to mention one more T word, tornadoes.  Our library is located in Mooresville, Indiana which is in central Indiana.  Recently, the southern part of Indiana was heavily hit by tornadoes and in some places, people lost everything.  I thought I would take a moment a post a couple of links if anyone is interested in donating to help the cause of the many men, women, and children affected by these devastating tornadoes.  At this time, the authorities are saying the best thing to donate is money though there are quite a few groups taking loads of food, medical supplies, clothing, blankets, and other essential needs.  If you are able, please consider making a donation to aid those who are in need.

Ways you can help..

WISH-TV 8 School Supply Drive (click here for more details)

WISH-TV Disaster Relief Fund
Donations can be made at any Huntington Bank Branch location or by mailing a check to:

Indiana Disaster Relief Fund
1950 N. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Salvation Army of Indiana
SMS: HOOSIER to 80888

American Red Cross of Indianapolis
SMS: REDCROSS to 90999
Phone: 317-684-1411

If interesting in volunteering, contact the Red Cross at 800-733-2767 or visit the office:
510 East Chestnut Street DR384
Louisville, KY 40210.

Cleanup Volunteers:
Those wanting to volunteer their time to the cleanup efforts need to register with the Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster before heading to storm damaged areas.

Call before you travel:
812-827-0519 or 812-287-0521
INVOAD Reception Center
723 Spring Street
Jeffersonville, IN
The United Way Volunteer Service is also operating from the same address.

     Well, that’s it this week.  If you watched the video, you know that a couple exciting things are happening next week.  I will be in Philadelphia all next week for the Public Library Association (PLA) conference.  I hope to at least post a couple of time while I am there to keep everyone updated on all of the fun we are having.  Sammy, on the other hand, has to stay here and help Miss Suzanne with my programs.  Lastly, our chicks will be hatching.  If you are interested in seeing baby chicks hatch from their shell, stop in the library any time on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday and you may be lucky enough to see all the action.  Thanks and see you next week!


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