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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Don't Walk the Plank!

Guess I should walk the plank for not catching something.  Looked at last month's blog, Are Ballads Really Storytelling?, and found my opening picture had vanished!  Tried to use my Summer Reading postcard design from my Vistaprint folder, but that design stopped appearing where I inserted it.  Murphy's Law is still in force, even for pirates.  My puppy puppet, Buzz, turns pirate for the summer of 2013 as we "Dig for Treasure in the 398s" and he misses the pawprints appearing all over the card design.  Guess it's time to get my own paws digging for some of that treasure.

There's always a wealth of resources at any library, both in books and online.  I'm just beginning to think about what I want to tell.  My first choice: tales of treasure, especially if pirates are part of the story.  Last month looked at Ballads as Storytelling and I have decided the song "High Barbaree" is a must.

A recent comment on the state email list for librarians, MICHLIB-L, included a request for material to use with a pirate puppet.  This post includes resources for that and much more.

For the youngest lovers of anything Pirate-related, I've fallen in love with a new (to me!) resource, Storytime Katie, which is subtitled "one librarian's journey into storytimeland."  More years ago than I'm willing to admit I tried documenting my themes and material used, but like a diary, eventually stopped writing it.  (I justified it with the idea that not only do materials come and go, but it also may produce some fresh thinking.)  Thanks to blogging, Katie gives us both her own and readers resources for: crafts, flannelboards, fingerplays, songs, and THEMES, including, yes, indeed, Pirates.  She's also one-stop linking for early childhood resources, so go to both her Resources page and also her Blogroll.  So far it's 3 years of work -- the very reason I stopped recording back in pre-computer days, so let's hear it for Better Storytelling Through Technology!
Karen Chace

Moving on beyond early childhood material is sometimes more difficult, but not if you know my friend and colleague out in Massachusetts, Karen Chace.  She has a website, Catch the Story Bug, and a blog,  packed to overflowing with treasure of all kinds and, like me, she works with all ages.  Her recent Talk Like a Pirate Day blog article is great to find pirate stories, music, crafts, and even curriculum material from the New England Pirate Museum, plus such miscellaneous material for some of those jokes I plan to inflict, er share with my audiences.

Does anybody know where I can find some pirate socks for my puppy, Buzz?  They need to be AAARGYLE.   He's been Baaarking over that and other jokes. Yes, a lot over-use the pirate's favorite letter...the letter, Aaar, but you can find pirate jokes scattered at these sites:
  • Pirate Treasure Now is a club that anyone interested in pirates and treasure may join, so you might not want it open to young children.  It still is a good resource as they do have a great assortment of pirate activities and facts and clearly differentiate between their Pirate Jokes and a section of "Rude Pirate Jokes" not intended for children
  • last of all, but definitely not the least is Enchanted where you can go from their definitely kid-friendly jokes to their PirateTheme page for crafts and worksheets, many of which would make great handouts for preschool to about grade 3.

Friend and colleague, Jackie Baldwin, at her wonderful Story-Lovers site, as always, has so many resources, yes, even the "Talk Like a Pirate" topic.  Click on the hotlink listed above to see pirate material, but also do yourself a favor and explore her entire site.  Especially lovely is her printing of classic fairy tale art for stationery, cards, prints, and much more, but you need to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to find that.  The SOS: Searching Out Stories section is now 12 years old!  It includes a great deal contributed by the members of the international email list Storytell -- but she definitely adds to that with books and other media related to any topic.  This will give you even more material, be it books, stories, or that loveliest of treasure..."miscellaneous" to avoid Walking the Plank whenever you want to have pirates as a theme.  (Yes, yes, Buzz, that includes you, too.)

Here's a great idea I just found at the blog,  Sunflower Storytime, whose author also is thinking about the Dig into Reading multi-state cooperative Summer Reading theme.  There are many different ways to Dig into Reading, but if you want to dig up "Magic Treasure Rocks" the formula uses
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Food Coloring
  • Treasures
  • Glitter (optional)

In a bowl mix a few drops of food coloring into baking soda.  To make RAINBOW rocks, mix each color separately   Slowly add water to the bowl, mixing in-between.  It is easy to add to much water so you definitely want to add it slowly.  Add enough baking soda to mold it and holds it's shape.  Too much water will keep the baking soda from molding. 
Inside each "rock" you can hide a small treasure inside.  Then lay your baking soda rocks out to dry.  Once dry you can bury them in dirt or a sandbox and let children find them.   For added fun, once they are found, spray them with vinegar and the rocks fizz and disappear, leaving the treasure!