Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The enduring popularity of Greek mythology

As a girl, I enjoyed hearing tales of mythology told by my Greek father, so it is with great pleasure that I see that young people today continue to enjoy these engrossing tales and that they provide the inspiration for so many chapter books, comics, movies and more.

If you are a fan of Greek mythology, you are surely already familiar with Rick Riordan! If you'd like to explore further, here are just a few of the many other fine books and websites you might want to check out:

Many titles by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Mythlopedia series
Olympians by George O'Connor

Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology
Mitología para niños (in Spanish!)
Winged Sandals

If I didn't include one of your favorites, please feel free to share it in a comment!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

5th grade presentation: May

The category for 5th grade book presentations this month is titles recommended by me, your school librarian! Ms. Russell and I talked about how many wonderful gems sit languishing on the library shelves for a variety of reasons - an unappealing cover, a title that may not sound interesting enough, or simply because they are not as well known as the currently popular books.

I've scoured the shelves looking for these treasures - many of which students adore once they give them a chance - and have placed 44 of them, both fiction and nonfiction, on the usual shelf in the library.

Stop by soon for the best selection! You may choose any of these books that you have not already read and keep it until June 8th.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Traveling around the world with stories

Yesterday we had a wonderful time with Dr. Margaret Read MacDonald! In the morning, grades K-4 heard stories from Tanzania, Scotland, Denmark and Panama. Middle school students had an assembly featuring stories from Borneo, England and Indiana (from Dr. MacDonald's own family history).

She also taught four storytelling workshops, getting us started with basic stories we can share at home and in our school community! 7th graders learned stories from West Africa and the Makah tribe. 4th grade learned to tell a folktale from China in groups of three (tandem telling), while 3rd graders learned a Ganesh story from India in groups of four. Several enthusiastic staff members stayed after school to learn two stories from Thailand and one from Eastern Europe.

Research shows the value of storytelling - it helps lessons "stick" in our minds in a vivid way! Dr. MacDonald's extensive collection of publications includes both single folktales in picture book form that can be read aloud, as well as manuals to help people start telling stories, and story collections that can be read aloud or used to practice storytelling. Take a look at her website for more information!

Would you like a chance to hear more stories and maybe learn to tell some of your own? Check out the PowellsWood Storytelling Festival coming up July 13th & 14th in Federal Way. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This Monday: Margaret Read MacDonald!

World famous storyteller, author, librarian and folklore scholar, Margaret Read MacDonald, is coming to campus this Monday following her tours of the Middle East, India and Germany! She'll perform at assemblies for the lower and middle schools, and conduct storytelling workshops with students in grades 3, 4 and 7.

If you are interested in ordering books to be signed by Dr. MacDonald, order forms are available on my teacher website and Vista Sharepoint page. You may call in a credit card order at the number on the form or send cash or a check to school in advance, or bring payment on the day of the event. She will be in the main office signing books from 3-3:30pm on Monday.

Dr. MacDonald was my storytelling teacher when I was in library school and I am so excited to be sharing her with my students! From the rising popularity of StoryCorps to the International Storytelling Center, people are recognizing the power of stories to capture our hearts and minds, help us learn and retain new concepts - even sell products!

Check out some of Dr. MacDonald's wonderful books - listed and described on her website. She's written both picture books and collections of stories that can be read aloud or mastered and performed (even just for your family and friends). Also check out events for all ages at the Seattle Storytellers Guild.