|This crafter dubbed his costume "Obama Baby."|
The thought the costume prop hat was a
baby bonnet, which of course prompted me
to explain some of the colonial garb.
February was my turn to lead the program, and I opted to incorporate history (a passion of mine) with traditional crafts and literacy elements. February Expert Hour focused on the Presidents of the United States. My original plan began with the dreaded powerpoint presentation. There were to be lots of slides sharing information about the presidents past and present, some fun facts about several presidents, and a description of how one becomes president including facts about the election process. I found a neat website that would allow us to take a virtual tour of the White House, and I planned to show that to the kids. I had a craft in mind to add at least one element of what a typical program looks like: share some info, make a craft, go home. Sounds really boring, right? The more I planned, the more I got bored with my own presentation! I was really at a loss as to how to make this fun for the kids. I did not want to get trapped in the theory that history is dry, boring, and a total snooze-fest, much like I remembered it from school. In fact, I didn’t want this to be like school; I wanted it to be fun! I wanted the kids to see how much fun the library can be and how many cool resources the library has. My original plan lacked both of these messages I wanted the kids to come away with.
But, as I watched and listened to these two super-smart ladies explain the process, I had an epiphany. I didn’t need to stand in front of the group and tell them stuff. I didn’t need to hold their hands and lecture them on how history was cool. I didn’t need to have everything so detailed and specific that the kids in attendance were being shown the information as passive bystanders. I only needed to be a facilitator; the kids are smart enough and curious enough to be given some options and the discovery can begin with THEM taking the lead! Brilliant!!
|Abe or George?|
Guest blogger Kathleen Connelly-Brown's main duties include baby storytimes for ages 0-24 months, as well as tween programming for ages 8-12. She also functions as the Volunteer Coordinator for her Children’s Department. Her library has a staff of five (three full-time, two part-time), and one page. The Rogers Public Library is a large suburban library serving the town’s population of nearly 58,000 and the surrounding communities.
All photographs provided by the guest blogger.