By Awnali Mills
It will not be news to anyone reading this, but I just have to say that having a cold is lousy.
Especially when your cold makes you miss the Science and Stories program you’ve been eagerly anticipating. This happened to me last week. Fortunately, I like to be crazy prepared, and I had gone over the whole program with my co-worker ahead of time (just in case) who very graciously stepped in and covered for me. Afterwards, she told me that she’d been very nervous going in, but that I have a great group of kids.
So, the planned storytime was about shapes. The books I chose are Lots of Dots by Craig Frazier, Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert, and Circle, Square, Moose by Kelly Bingham.
I was really looking forward to reading Circle, Square, Moose, but you absolutely must do distinctive voices for the characters in order for the story to make sense. My co-worker chose instead to do a lot of dialogic reading with Color Zoo, and never read the Bingham book. Ah, well. Maybe I’ll get to read it next time!
I’m not sure how else she filled in the storytime, but I do know what she did for the science portion. The focus was on symmetry, and there were four stations.
- Mirrors and Letters
I made “mirrors” out of self-adhesive mirrored papers and cardboard. FYI, I tried peeling and sticking the paper to the cardboard, but a) it was difficult and b) the mirrored surface was NOT smooth—it showed every bump and ripple in the cardboard. So, I left it on its self-adhesive backing and taped it to the cardboard with double stick tape. This worked much better. It would be even better if you had actual child-safe mirrors to use.
I had the mirrors and some large magnetic letters and Legos available for children to put next to the mirrors to play with symmetry.
- Paper Shapes
I folded sheets of construction paper in half and drew half-shapes onto them, with the paper fold in the center of the shape. Children could use scissors to cut the shapes out, and then open them up to see that they were symmetrical on both sides.
3. Painted Symmetry
I had pre-folded white construction paper in half. My plan was to provide tempera paint and droppers and let the kids drop paint onto one half of the paper, close the paper, and then open it to see the symmetrical painting. My co-worker was a bit nervous about this, so she substituted Do-A-Dot markers for the paint, and let them spray the paper with water. This did work, but from the pictures, it doesn’t looks as vibrant as what I had planned. I’d say that if you chose to replicate this program, go with what makes you comfortable.
Apparently this was harder than I had anticipated. The app is super simple to operate, but requires that you take a picture of someone’s face, and the face MUST be centered in order for it to work correctly. This app is a toss-up for me. It was obviously written by someone for whom English is a second language, and they don’t speak it very well. It has obvious grammatical errors in it; a huge black mark in my book. BUT, it is super simple to operate (if you can center a picture) and worked really well for testing symmetry. It was also recommended by LibraryMakers and used in their symmetry program (which was the jumping off point for mine—I stole from them shamelessly).