Another program from my files…
Last summer, Katie and I did a fun, informal program called Lunch Bunch, which we billed as a storytime for older kids. Kids in grades 2-4 brought their lunches and Katie read stories out loud to them. (I, um, helped plan and handled crowd control. Opening juice boxes, etc.) We did it a couple of times; this is the plan from our first session, which went really well. We chose humorous books that we both love and wanted to share. Funny books are (almost) always a hit!
After we welcomed the kids and they sat down to eat their lunch (on blankets on the floor), we talked a little bit about what the kids had been reading. They were pretty quiet at this point, although they warmed up later and had plenty to share once we got started. Then Katie read the books listed below. In between each of the books, there was some discussion of what we had just read, we briefly booktalked other books by the authors, and we asked the kids to give us a thumbs up if they liked the book and a thumbs down if they didn’t.
- Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems (I love this book! It’s my favorite picture book from 2012.)
- Chapter 7, “Nanny Piggins and the Home Intruder” from The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R.A. Spratt (I just pulled this book off the shelf to check that I had the chapter name correct and immediately started giggling as I re-read it. If you aren’t familiar with the Nanny Piggins books, they’re like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, but weirder and funnier.)
- The Happy Hocky Family! by Lane Smith (After this book one boy told us about how much he loves Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka, and we happily told him that the next book was a Jon Scieszka one.)
- The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka
We provided dessert, so at this point we gave the kids “Dirt” (pudding with gummy worms and crushed up Oreo cookies).
- Guess Again! by Mac Barnett (This is a great read aloud for older kids. It’s hilarious and keeps them on their toes.)
- Chapter 2, “The Fastest Knight in England” from The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great by Gerald Morris
- An Undone Fairy Tale by Ian Lendler (This book has two voices, so Katie and I each read one part.)
- Chapter 1, “Eat Your Green Beans” from Snarf Attack, Underfoodle, and the Secret of Life: The Riot Brothers Tell All by Mary Amato (If you don’t know the Riot Brothers series by Amato, do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy of this one right away. They are very funny chapter books with a lot of boy appeal, for kids in 2nd-4th grades.)
Then we promoted our summer reading program, talked about what they wanted to hear next time, and the kids made a craft (decorating bookmarks). It was a simple program, an hour in length, that required very little staff preparation time or money. I’d definitely recommend it to others as a summer program.