Yes, Weird Wolf.
When I taught in the classroom I read it aloud each year. When my dad was going to be a camp counselor for a summer session and was faced with a small group of young boys in a tent (a challenge as he raised a pair of girls) I said, "Weird Wolf is your answer."
It's like chicken soup.
Weird Wolf is the story of Harry Walpole, third grader, who is suddenly faced with the fact that he is a werewolf at the full moon. He has a sudden urge for McDonald's hamburgers and my students love it when he wakes up in the dumpster.
It's short and fantastic. I have wanted to read it aloud since becoming a librarian, but sadly, reading aloud chapter books is one of the two things I miss from the classroom. I just don't get the opportunity to read aloud something that is longer.
When my wonderful new friends @booksandbytes and @classicsixbooks mentioned their Lunch Bunch Book Clubs I was really curious. I have wanted to try this for two years, but because I was running intervention reading groups twice a day, I didn't have the flexibility to be available during students' lunch times.
This year I don't have the responsibility of reading groups so I am suddenly more available for the flexibly scheduled projects I've always wanted to do! Time for Lunch Bunches!
I sent teachers a PowerPoint slide to display for their class with a cover of the book, brief description, and the two rules I have for students during this time: Don't Spill! and Listen to the Story! I told them I would kick them out of the club if they *interrupted me. I was invited into classroooms to book talk the story. I scheduled two classes for Mon/Wed and two for Tues/Thurs for 3 weeks. All of the students wanted to participate! In 6 sessions I should be able to read the entire 14-chapter book.
The first classes came in last week. I admit I was a little nervous. What if someone walked in and said, "what are you doing?!" The students were allowed to talk and eat for the first ten minutes. Then I started reading. A teacher walked in. I looked over and walked toward her with my camera. I didn't want to stop reading the story to take pictures of the event, but I wanted a record!
Five minutes before the end of lunch for the first class I stopped reading and directed them to clean up and head back to the cafeteria. The second class gets table-wiping privileges.
After all 51 students had left the teacher came back out of her office. "Wow! They were so engaged!"
I was happy-dancing. Seriously!
- I bought a carpet sweeper at Home Depot. There are going to be crumbs and the students should be able to clean up for themselves. I know I'll be glad to have one as I do this more often. It's just a great tool to have around.
- I am assembling and "I forgot my..." bucket with napkins, spoons, straws, and ketchup to keep on hand.
- If you have a reading area, but a larger area for seating, encourage the first-arrivers to sit around the outside edge. When it's time to read the story they'll be done lunch and can come closer to sit on the floor
- Have a lot of fun!
Which brings me back to my opening. It's not the best book ever written. But I'm helping my students build a relationship with literacy and with the library. It's my number one purpose. Their smiles make me smile.
I love my job!
*Exceptions: Bleeding, Death, Fire or Vomit