As the school year comes to a close, so does our Happy Readers Book Club. It is a little bitter sweet, I must admit. These kids have been a joy to work with and read with! They love books!!! For our last selection, the students were all gifted (through a very generous donor) a paperback copy of Kate DiCamillo's Flora & Ulysses. Students enjoyed the book tremendously and of course, loved the scenes with the superhero squirrel.
For the last book club meeting, we started by watching a wonderful interview with Ms. DiCamillo. She speaks about her inspiration for the characters, as well as how the vacuum came to enter the story. Students enjoyed hearing from her and I think they followed most of what she shares. They all loved her laugh.
After watching the video, we talked about the book. I shared photos of an old Electrolux vacuum, the type my mother and Ms. DiCamillo's mother owned. The kids got a real kick out of this. We also talked a lot about Ulysses and his super adventures in comic book form.
I then shared that we would be designing our own comic book pages with original superheroes! The kids were jumping for joy at this idea...which made me feel very pleased. I can't take credit for the idea. My youngest son did a similar activity with his school librarian, Sarah Watson, several years ago. He is the one who reminded me of it and I thought it would be a great choice.
Some students worked alone, while others opted to work with partners. We had superheroes like "The Pig-i-corn" and "Masked Monkey Man". The kids also created some really fun villains....I think "Ringo the Raccoon" was my favorite. The little girl who invented him also had a villainous giggle to match. Although we didn't have enough time for students to complete a full cartoon, they got some great characters and story starters done. I also gave them extra paper to take home so that they could continue to write more adventures!
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