BWS BiblioBlog - Fall 2020

BWS BiblioBlog - Fall 2020

BWS BiblioBlog October-November 2020

Dragons Keep Flying, along with Birds and Insects and Dinosaurs

The winds of autumn blew in all kinds of creatures for the consideration of our scholars. The Library program ventured away from K-5 dragon stories to open up our minds and imaginations with books, both fact and fiction, about spiders, caterpillars, earthworms, cardinals, owls and pteranodons. Older readers explored new genres like mysteries, sports and realistic fiction.

Kindergarten studied the art and science presented by Eric Carle. Any one of his books entertains while it informs. We learn about time from the grouchy ladybug and Birdmetamorphosis from the very hungry caterpillar. The ultimate trickster spider this term was Ananzi. And did you know that earthworms hibernate deep underground in winter?

First grade flew off with a variety of birds and their stories. We launched this term with Jabari Jumps about a boy learning to dive into a pool and Fly! , the new Marc Teague book about a baby bird learning to fly. Looking for the message of various bird stories acted as an intro to plot analysis. We also traveled to different lands to meet emus from Australia and penguins from Antarctica. We finally flew home to study the wide variety of owls, put on a puppet show with stick puppets and a solo show with an owl finger puppet from their King’s kits. Retelling a story with a puppet helps to see the arc and drama of a good tale.

Chapters from One-Ten, 1-12, I-XXII and 1-35 with an Epilogue

The older grades continued with their chapter books during Library Book Clubs. The boys would read a chapter or two on their own and we would share a chapter during Library time.

-2nd grade-Dinosaurs Before Dark was complemented by an introduction to the range of dinosaurs and how paleontologists discovered their fossils. The second book in the series, Knights at Dawn, allowed the boys to study the Middle Ages with castles around the world. They now have DK and Fact Tracker books for the history.

-3rd grade-Kenny and the Dragon offered a classic tale of St. George slaying the dragon but made all the characters animals. In this version, the dragon is a genius and not at all violent and it is the rabbit Kenny who dissuades the townsfolk from killing the beast. Vocabulary and plot twists were a challenge but this was a rich set of characters. We moved on to mysteries in November: The Buried Bones Mystery, part of the Clubhouse Mystery series. And a Christmas treat of Quarterback Rush-the graphic novel-went home.
4th grade-This book club had a fantasy tale that combined with very modern times in Brooklyn. Dragons in a Bag left us wanting to jump into the sequel. Instead, we went to another land and time in Charlotte’s Web. We began by studying farms and the tools and animals there. Then we opened up one of the most famous chapter books for children. E. B. White weaves a deceptively simple tale, especially touching with Charlotte the spider and her devotion to Wilbur the pig. It is also about life’s circle of birth and death. The students made their own spiders and learned how to spin a web using string and Popsicle sticks.

5th grade had a big challenge. Over these many weeks we entered a full fantasy world of Pyrhia-or the land of the dragons. We had to keep track of complicated characteristics and powers of 6 main dragonets and then all the villainous dragons that are after them. The geography was mapped out and key to the plot. Complex and mesmerizing. The boys have both the novel Wings of Fire and the graphic novel. We did comparisons and realized how much has to go from the graphic. But some scenes were pictured in vivid tones. We now move to the Depression era for the travels in Bud, Not Buddy as he looks for his long lost father. Each student got a small brown suitcase to carry and fill as we make our way through this award-winning novel by Christopher Paul Curtis.

Outdoor Ed just 5 blocks away

Kindergarten at Outdoor EdThe Library program, along with our science teacher Ms. Bogle, went outdoors this Fall with the Friends of Oxon Run. Just 5 blocks from the school, new outdoor education events lured neighborhood children to learn about local nature. We saw the smallest falcon in our area, a Kestrel, and learned about predatory birds a from Chesapeake Bay naturalist. Weeks later we heard stories about the landscape and animals living nearby. We even heard a story about an apartment building that looks a lot like those found on Mississippi Ave. Ms. Herron rallied her Kindergartners to come each time with their families.

Express Yourself!

These months of story-time by the green, green grass and book clubs by the batik warthog have been worth every effort. We now record each session so that students can watch when the time is right for them. Arts and crafts go home in the King’s Kits to enhance the stories and pull the reader into the story. We especially wanted to encourage drawing in spare time and sent home pencils, markers, paints, sketch pads, blank books, puppets to make, masks to paint, journals to doodle in and empty comic books to fill. And for the 5th grade we introduced Romare Bearden, a famous African American artist who is best known for his work in collage. You say you can’t draw, well use your scissors as a pencil and make some art! No excuses! Be creative! No right answer!
Express yourself!

Our Blessings

Parent at Book giveaway

Of course, we ended the year for the youngest among us with traditional tales of the Grinch and Polar Express, along with stories of the Star and the Nativity. Room for a Little One reminds us all that we can make space in our hearts for those in need. It’s a time for all the animals to welcome the little babe into the stable for the night. And so the BWS Library wrapped up extra book donations to give to neighborhood families.

book giveaway

Have a blessed Christmas!

Catherine Marquardt