If you’re looking for structured extension activities to do with your children while you are all home together, Christine Kirker’s Explorer series will provide you with some fresh ideas!
Designed for kids aged 5 – 10 with projects that can be adapted to the age of the child. The projects:
-introduce children to a variety of art techniques, from gouache and watercolor to collage and papermaking, using a curated selection of quality picture books;
-provide detailed directions for guiding children to experiment with these techniques to create their own projects; and
-include materials lists adaptable for any budget, capsule biographies of the picture books’ illustrators, programming tips, and links to additional resources.
Designed for kids aged 5-10, and flexible enough to use in either storytimes or classroom settings, the projects here:
-use representative picture books as tools for learning about different places and people;
-take kids’ imaginations on journeys to a variety of U.S. landmarks, such as Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and Lei Day Festival in Hawaii;
-introduce more than a dozen fascinating places, traditions, and cultures from across the world, including the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, the Day of the Dead in Mexico, the Ziggurat of Ancient Mesopotamia in Iraq, and the San People, formerly known as the Bushmen of South Africa; and
-include hands-on activities for teaching children what makes each topic special, materials lists, programming tips, and additional resources.
Though the daily news is filled with reports of climate change, severe weather, environmental distress, and endangered species, children’s librarians and educators might be uncertain how to incorporate these topics into their current curriculum. This handy resource offers an ideal solution, presenting more than two dozen ready-to-use projects on environmental topics that can be integrated into K-5 educational lesson plans and library programming for children aged 4-10. Starting with a representative picture book as a foundation, children are guided through each topic using a hands-on project that reinforces learning. Whether they’re in the classroom or library, kids will feel excited and engaged as they explore such topics as
-honeybees, loggerhead turtles, mountain gorillas, polar bears, and other animals;
-environments like coral reefs, estuaries, and the Galápagos Islands;
-wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes;
-composting, gardens, seeds, and the farm to table movement; and
-garbage, recycling, renewable energy, water conservation, and Earth Day.
About the Author
Christine Kirker is a Library Associate with the Carroll County Public Library (MD). She is the author of 25 Projects for Art Explorers and 25 Projects for Global Explorers and the coauthor (with Kathy MacMillan) of five books in the Storytime Magic storytime resource series, all from ALA Editions. Since joining the library staff in 2005, Christine has developed and presented many programs for children of all ages. In addition, she has applied for and received many grants benefitting the library including a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, wherein Christine worked with the community to create a native garden at the library and offered many educational outreach programs. Previously, Christine spent ten years employed at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) as a Research Analyst for the Office of Institutional Research.