Thursday, April 22, 2010

Who Dunnit?

I’m somewhat exhausted from an evening of MYSTERIES with the children at the homeless shelter.  All in all the evening was a success, although best-laid plans sometimes don’t come to fruition when it comes to dealing with these kids.

I was always under the impression that mystery books started with Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys.  But in fact there are some excellent mysteries for young children.  Like “The Trial of Cardigan Jones,” the story of a moose falsely accused of stealing a pie.  We also read “What Really Happened to Humpty?” a fractured fairy tale which begins
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
Humpty Dumpty was pushed.
It is told in the voice of Joe Dumpty, Humpty’s younger brother who weaves a story around the fairy tale legends and adds in humor for the adults reading the book.  Who could ask for anything more?

The first activity involved each child taking a turn pulling an object out of a grab bag, not showing it to anyone, and then taking questions and perhaps even acting it out until someone guessed what it was.  There were a few tears over taking turns, but everyone got into the spirit of the game.

The second activity featured mystery boxes -- some for smelling, some for shaking, some for feeling.  By this time, attention spans were running out and everyone wanted snacks, so they seemed to have more fun opening all the mystery boxes.

Each child took home a miniature magnifying glass and a set of hidden object pictures, in addition to the giveaway book they get to choose each week.

It was a fairly raucous evening, but they mostly are like that.  There were a few thank you’s and one little girl told me I looked old through her magnifying glass.  But they all know my name now and I do like that.


Blogger Angela said...

Haha, mine (the ones in the kindergarten where I read) also tell me I am pretty old! But last time when I said, You are cute, my sweeties, they said, You are cute, too. Nice compliment. But oh, they like to be noisy...
Thanks for your help, Barbara! You are such a reliable friend!

8:20 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Thanks for these new titles. I never heard of them but I am all about taking on different perspectives and viewing the classic stories through a new lens. We are studying fairy tales right now and I am sharing interesting versions of them in addition to the more traditional retellings.

Children are exhausting aren't they?! This seems like an energetic group. What theme do you have planned for next time?

12:13 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

It really sounds like a great night. I'm sorry I missed it! I sure love those kids.

8:18 PM  

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