Mind Your Manners

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, it seemed like the perfect time to brush up on (or learn) good manners.  I held this story time at both the public library for K-5’s, and the elementary school library for two classes of transitional kindergarteners, omitting the pumpkin craft at the school due to time constraints and skill level.

.Yes Please, No Thank YouSuppose You Meet a DinosaurNo Slurping, No Burping

Students enthusiastically participated in the story, “Yes, Please!  No, Thank You!” by calling out the polite way to answer together throughout the story.

They also were very engaged in guessing well-mannered ways to respond to situations (“thank you,” “excuse me,” “I’m sorry,” “you’re welcome,” etc.) posed in Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur, A First Book of Manners, by Judy Sierra.

No Slurping, No Burping, by Kara LaReau, is a hilarious new picture book, published this year, with a role reversal twist that makes kids giggle.  A brother and sister have to help their father with his mealtime etiquette, and then a special surprise guest comes for dinner.  The students were so eager (and a little nervous, too!) to see if he could remember all the manners he had learned when grandma arrives.  When it’s time to have dessert, it became clear that she could use a little refresher on her manners also, and everyone dissolved into laughter.

 

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We reviewed a picture of a simple place setting, and then had a relay race with 3 teams, each with a bag containing everything needed for one place setting:  plate, cup, fork, knife, spoon, napkin, place mat.  Students had to run up to the table with the bag, one at a time, quickly set a place setting, and once it was correct, put everything back into the bag and run back to the end of the line.  The teams livened up the race by supporting each other, calling out encouragement, chanting names, and chiming in with helpful pointers.  “Put the place mat down first!”  Who knew setting a table could be so exciting?

We finished up this story time by making a paper pumpkin to use as a Thanksgiving table decoration.  The most exciting part of making the pumpkins seemed to be the novelty of getting to use the hole punches.

 

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Supplies:

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orange card stock, cut in 12 strips, 1 1/2″ wide  X 10″ long

green pipe cleaner

pumpkin leaf outline copied onto green card stock

scissors

hole punch

Instructions:

Punch holes at each end of all the orange strips, and in the leaf to put the pipe cleaner through.  Crunch up a small section of the pipe cleaner at the bottom and top of the pumpkin, so the orange paper holds the desired shape.  Spread out the strips of paper in a circle.  Finish by curling the top of the pipe cleaner.

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Creepy Carrots!

 Creepy Carrots Book Cover

Need a slightly scary story to read aloud in October, but don’t want to seriously frighten your little listeners?  The 2013 Caldecott Honor Book, Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds is the answer.

Jasper Rabbit had a passion for carrots, and liberally helped himself to the carrots in Crackenhopper Field…until they started following him.  Dun, dun dun!

Readers are led to wonder whether Jasper is imagining the appearance of scowling carrots in various locations. He sees them in the mirror of his bathroom while he is brushing his teeth, but when he turns around, there are only three orange objects sitting on the bath tub ledge.  Were three creepy carrots glowering at him?  Or was it just an orange washcloth, rubber duck, and shampoo bottle?  Each sighting is similarly vague, with a variety of orange objects providing just enough doubt that only at the end of the book do readers learn the delightful truth about the carrots.

Creepy Carrots!

Creepy Carrots!

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After I read the book, students made their own creepy carrots, and had the option to take it home with them, or tape it up in the library anywhere they chose (except ON a book).  If they had time, many made two–one to take home, and one to decorate the library with for the month of October.  The library has creepy carrots peeking out of all the bookshelves, and the students are loving seeing them all around.

Student:  “My sister made one yesterday and hung it up on in the dining room at home!”

Me:  “Was it really a creepy carrot, or was it just an orange vase?”