Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Wild Library Orientation!

The library finally opened to students last week with a "Wild about Reading" theme. My new library aide, Jumoke the pet gorilla, helped to make the lesson super fun for the kids!
Look closely at my right hand--it is totally a fake! My real right hand is shoved up inside the gorilla to operate the puppet. 
 I named her Jumoke because it is a real gorilla name and means "loved by everybody" in Nigerian. Although she didn't say a word, the kids were fascinated by her and wanted to know if she was real!  Jumoke and I led the kids around the library to check on the animals and make sure none of them had escaped from their cages.
For each cage there was at least one animal that had "escaped", which the students had to help find and return to the cage. Of course all of the escapees were discovered reading books not too far from their cages! This activity served to give the students a tour of the different sections of the library and a chance for me to go over rules and procedures. 
Wild animals have taken over the library! These 5 cages are placed in different sections of the library and will stay out all year long.
This has been a fun theme to decorate for because animal print is so popular and easy to find. I did have to make the cages (with a little help from hubby). We used 1x2 boards to make the frames, then primed and painted them. 

Once they were painted black, it was time to add the "bars". We cut pieces from a 1/4 inch soaker hose (50 feet per package) and stapled them to the cages. 

They were fairly easy to make and inexpensive, although I have no idea where I'll store them next year! Here's a close-up of a finished cage:

The kids fell in love with Jumoke and begged to touch her. She was a big help with behavior management--if a class was too noisy she would hide her head down into my side until they got quiet. 

Jumoke was such a hit with the students that she'll definitely be coming back to visit. So far we're off to a great start, and hopefully with Jumoke's help my students will be WILD about READING this school year!