Friday, July 16, 2010

First "Sit A While" Book Club

One of my favorite things to do when I was teaching was Book Club.  I hoped it was a chance for students to sit together and just talk about the book they were reading.  Today, I hosted a Book Club at my house and we read Watermelon Day by Kathi Appelt.  This is a charming story about a girl who waits and watches a watermelon grow and ripen so she can eat it. 

Hadley was quite excited about this activity.  Partly because she saw me making cookies and green and red frosting, and partly because she got to wear a name tag.
The child likes stories, but I guess sugar and name tags were more exciting. 

We read the story together, and except for Harper who was saying things like "The End!" and trying to slam the book closed, the three girls seemed to be interested.  The pictures in the book are great, and I love the description throughout the story.  The main character, Jesse, tastes the watermelon after a long wait and thinks that it's as "sweet as the summer rain."

Since I was a Middle School teacher, I came up with activities that would get the kids to discuss the story they were reading.  However, I didn't think that was going to be appropriate for 3-5 year olds.  It was just a hunch I had.  So I came up with some other ideas:

First, we had a craft that had the kids gluing pieces of a watermelon together.

Then we went outside and played kickball.  In the story, Jesse's family invites others over for "Watermelon Day," and while they're waiting for the watermelon they play softball.  I was nervous about doing softball as the activity for two reasons.  First, if anyone is going to teach people how to play softball, it really shouldn't be me.  Second, I thought maybe softball would be too complicated.  With kickball you basically tell the kids to kick the ball and run.  So that's what we did.

Then after kickball, we came inside to eat watermelon and decorate sugar cookies to try and make them look like watermelon.

Note that Harper decided to just go ahead and eat her cookie without frosting it first.  Why wait, really?  The other three girls seemed to enjoy frosting their cookies, and eating the frosting as well.  There was a bit of double dipping goin' on.  I won't lie.

When it was time to go, I made a little "to go" bag of cookies so the kids could have the extras.  It seemed like the right thing to do in case the activities were a complete bust.  At least you could walk away with cookies.

I thought it was a lot of fun, and the girls made some new friends.

Plus, it was the perfect day for watermelon.


  1. The Book Club is such a good idea and what fun activities you came up with. I really enjoy your writing, especially the touches of wry humor.

  2. You're so creative with the girls! They are going to have some really wonderful memories. Poor Joshua got me as a mom, hopefully he really likes sports because I don't get a whole lot more creative than that.