Where’s Waldo in the Library?


Waldo pictures

As part of my elementary  library orientation at the beginning of the year, I take advantage of the irresistible, universal childhood need to find Waldo, wherever he may be hiding.

I printed and laminated multiple Waldo pictures in a variety of poses, Waldo’s dog, and Waldo’s girlfriend.  I tape them with blue carpenter’s tape around the library in different sections, hidden in plain sight.

I hand out cards to random students, and ask them to stand up one at a time, and locate Waldo in the Fiction section, or locate Waldo in the Picture book section, etc.  Everyone helps out with “You’re getting warmer/colder” comments, and it gets everyone’s attention, because, of course, everyone wants to visually locate him before the student who is actually charged with pointing him out.

I have also worn a red and white striped shirt with blue jeans, to add to the fun.



Where do you think I taped Waldo’s dog?   In the 636 section, of course!

Ready for more fun with Where’s Waldo at the Library from Candlewick Press?

No Worries About Back to School!

Worry Stones

Who doesn’t get the jitters about the beginning of school?  Not just students, but parents, teachers, administrators, and support staff too!

I read back-to-school favorite, Wemberly Worried, by Kevin Henkes, with two Special Ed classes, and we read about all of Wemberly’s concerns.  Then we talked about things we might worry about; I went first to break the ice.  I confessed to worrying about whether I would remember teacher and student names (my first year at the school), and if students would like the books I read aloud.  I didn’t know if any students would want to share their own worries, but I was surprised at how candid they were, once we got started.

Worry stones are typically a smooth, hard, polished gemstone with an indentation for rubbing the thumb across, used to relieve anxiety.  They were used in ancient Greece, Tibet, Ireland, and in Native American Tribes.  (What do you suppose they worried about?  I’d love to know!)  Read more about the history of worry stones here.

This website shows excellent pictures on how to make worry stones using Fimo Clay.  Fimo Clay is inexpensive at Michael’s (you never go without your 40% off coupon, right?), and it takes very little.

I divided the clay into small segments in advance, and students selected three colors to make their unique worry stones.  Students carved their initials on the bottom using an opened paper clip.  I brought my little toaster oven from home (perhaps your staff lounge has one already), baked them for 20 minutes, and delivered them to the classrooms later.   When we made them at the hour-long public library story time, children made the worry stones first, and I baked them while I read a few back-to-school books, so they were able to take them home with them right away.

Tip:  You may want to have a few extras made, so students who are absent are able to have one, even though they weren’t able to make their own.