And naturally I chose a book about squirrels.
Yes, it was my turn to lead our Book Group this month! The younger set, that is - Crackerjack and 10 other homeschooled boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 10. In January I'll work with Bookworm and the older kids.
I so love attending Book Group, whether I'm leading a discussion or just hanging out with the mums. When it's my turn, it's a blast to sit and chat with these kids - they are SO enthusiastic and come prepared - no raring - to TALK. And when it's not my turn, I get to sit and chat with my friends for a good hour or so. Usually we're whipping out our calendars - planning things and sharing ideas. Sometimes, if I think of it, I grab a coffee on the way over. ;)
Now, as I've mentioned once or twice, I chose Gooseberry Park a while back because it is a cute, funny story, and a quick read at that. It also happens to revolve around the adventures of a little red squirrel mama. (And if you're a longtime reader of my blog, you know how I feel about squirrels - particularly red ones!)
To supplement our discussion, I brought a few things for the kids to look over and munch on (top photo) ~ our nature puppets and soft tree trunk puppet home, storybooks about squirrels (including Squirrel Nutkin, The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel, Nuts to You, Chessie the Long Island Squirrel and The Mistmantle Chronicles Book One), a Hanna Hazelnuts game (regrettably, impossible to find online) and some yummies for good measure (acorn-shaped sugar cookies and a basket full of Oreos - the latter which figure prominently in the story).
So we got talking ...
Here's Crackerjack showing me his favorite picture in the book - when Murray the bat carried three oreos out of the kitchen. (Murray had an insatiable appetite and provided much comic relief in the tale.)
After discussion and some coloring - I made little acorn booklets for them to use for notes and sketches as we talked - I suggested we break for a snack. I didn't have to ask twice. ;)
Some of the kids really took to the puppets ...
Some of the kids got right down to the game ...
And everybody participated in the cookies! I forgot to get a picture before they were gone, so when we got home, I frosted the one lone cookie we had left behind for Bookworm, and snapped a picture before he gobbled it up! (P.S. These would be cute for Thanksgiving - quick and easy, too!)
A lot of the kids in Book Group are also in our Nature Study Club, so after a lengthy discussion of squirrel dreys (and cozy nests in general), I suggested we look for them during our late autumn walk later this month. This met with general approval.
By the way, this month Bookworm's group read and discussed Around the World in 80 Days. Next month we will be reading Island of the Blue Dolphins (Bookworm) and Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allen Crow (Crackerjack). (And last month it was Harry Potter #7 and I, Houdini, respectively.) I plan to have the boys write book reports about this month's selection, but we'll embark upon that project next week. Tomorrow is a busy day - morning lessons at home and a matinee movie with friends. And then - hurrah! - it's the weekend!
Have a great night, everyone. :)