Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Little Ladies' Book Club

Howdy, Islanders!

Yesterday's Maya Mondays post was dedicated to establishing the habit of reading in a child.  Remember the Little Ladies' Book Club we started last month (more here)?  Well, guess who hosted the April meeting at her place?

Yep.  This chick.

We picked names from a hat to finalize the meeting location order and whoever's name was chosen to host the meeting also chose the book to read.  Munchface was up second.  She chose a Third Grade Detectives book.

We found a few books from the series at the thrift store and Munch enjoys reading them.  I've found it a challenge to find books that peak Munch's interest.  Unlike with boys who like cars, or bugs  or dinosaurs, it's kind of difficult for girls.  My girl likes to read about magical creatures but she doesn't want to read too many books of that genre in a row.  She will read funny books but the typos really bother her (think of any of the Diary books).  She read a Third Grade Detectives book for her report.  She LOVED the mystery and that the bad guy got arrested because of the work of a third grade class.

Anyhoo, back to the book club.  For the meeting, the hosting mom:

- Provides lunch
- Plans an activity/craft
- Asks questions about the book
- Reviews new/challenging vocabulary

Oh, and if you're like me (and most of the moms of the book club), you set the tone of the meeting with pretty decor.  I took an old book:

Well, not the pictures of old Post covers because I have plans to use them in another project at another time.  I did, however, use other pages to make some simple decor.

I took paper cones and glued them at an angle...

... to create a simple yet beautiful book page wreath!

I made mini books using card stock and book pages to make a quick banner:

I cut book four pages in half (horizontally), to create a simple pennant banner:

Yep, it only took four pages; each page made two pennants.  I lined the center of the table with book pages to create a simple table runner.

I wrapped water bottles with book pages and ribbon for a cute label:

Those pink bags at each place setting were detective kits (mini notebooks and pens) for writing their answers to questions.  I loved how rustic and elegant it all turned out!

The pops of pink in the banner, bags and chevron plates balanced the decor and kept it fun.  For lunch, I kept the menu simple:

- Chicken salad sandwiches

- Strawberries

- Pigs-In-A-Blanket

- Cookies

I made chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies.  I was so proud of my attempt at book mark-shaped sugar cookies.  Sheena came over the day before and I was sharing some of my ideas like baking cookies and she mentioned, book marks at the same time.  It was like a marriage made in heaven - book mark cookies; I HAD to do it.  I'll share a tutorial later when I get them perfect but, for now, they were perfect enough for the meeting!

The girls arrived and started by eating lunch.  While they grubbed, I reminded them of the purpose of our book club - to build on the foundation that reading is FUNdamental.  I then gave them a plan for the day and we started the questions about the book.

What is the book's title?  Would you believe that no one knew the exact title?  They were all close but it's a pet peeve of mine when people don't know the name of the book they just read.  First thing you MUST know when you finish a book is its title.

Who were the characters? 

Who was the main character?

What are three characteristics of a good detective?  How did Todd (the main character) show these traits in the book?

What was Mr. Merlin's role in the book?

After we had about 15 minutes of questions and conversation, I asked each girl to tell me one of the main events from the book.  As we went around, each person had to say whether their event occurred before or after the previous girl's event.  It was fun to see them correct each other...

I finished the discussion with a grammar lesson.  I explained another benefit to reading is that it expands your vocabulary.  Then, I read off 5 words, reading them in a sentence from the book.  The girls had to use their detective kits to jot down the word (how they believed it was spelled) and its definition.  When we finished, we went around and each girl took a turn providing an answer until we heard the correct one.  It was fun!

As a final activity, I reminded the girls that reading is fun and can be one of life's sweetest treats!  I passed out the book mark cookies and plastic knives, placed the cookie decorating supplies on the table and allowed the girls time to make their own sweet treat!

The girls had an awesome time and really enjoyed the cookies :)

Each girl left with a little baggie of gummy [book] worms to take home with their detective kits.

Since the start of the book club, Munch's perspective on reading has changed.  More important to her progress, MY perspective has shifted.  I'm learning to remove my Drill Sargent hat when it's time to read; it just doesn't do anyone any good.  My blood pressure rises, her insecurity worsens... If you're looking for a way to boost your child's confidence and improve the outlook on reading, start a book club!

This was a win-win!

I've been feeling a little under the weather lately so this was a great opportunity to pull out my craft supplies (I didn't buy anything but food) and make some pretty things using what I already had on hand!


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