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Dragons Storytime

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The final week of our Summer Reading event series, I led Dragon storytime! Rawr! *breathes fire* *sets self on fire* *panics* The topic was so popular, I’m going to say it: dragons are the new dinosaurs. Except for the historical accuracy, of course.

We read:

Oh So Brave Dragon by David Kirk

A baby dragon roars for the first time, but when he hears it, he scares himself into thinking there’s a scary monster in the forest. After all, his roar couldn’t be that scary, could it? He keeps roaring to scare away the monster, but of course the “monster” keeps roaring, too! Finally, he and all his woodland friends roar to scare the monster together. When it comes to big-eyed, twee characters, Kirk is a master, so this book is a nice mix of cutesy and fearsome. We had a nice discussion about what bravery is, too; the dragon was scared, but he also wanted to protect all his little bunny and bird friends from the monster. To be brave, you have to be scared in the first place!

Concept: Emotions.

The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water by Gemma Merino

This little croc doesn’t like the water. In fact, he can’t swim at all, and he sinks instead of floating. He tries a floaty because he really wants to fit in with his siblings, but he can’t splash and swim the way they do with an inflatable ring around his waist. The whole situation is pretty sad…until he sneezes fire and the pictures finally show that he has itty baby wings! He’s not a crocodile at all, he’s a dragon, and he is meant to fly. The last spread is of the dragon fully grown and in flight…with all of his crocodile brothers and sisters taking a ride! A funny spin on the ugly duckling. I asked the storytimers how he wound up with a family of crocs to begin with, and they all decided that the best explanation is that his egg somehow rolled down a hill into the mother croc’s nest.

Concept: Honestly, I just did this one for the humor value.

What Goes Up by Paula Bowles

A sweet dragon wants to fly, but his wings are too tiny. He tries covering himself in feathers like a bird and sitting in a tree like a falling leaf, but nothing works. A group of children offer to help him learn through hard work, and they practice and practice until the dragon’s wings grow big and strong, and finally what goes up does NOT come down.

Concepts: Friendship. Exercise. Patience. Gravity!

 

Flannelboard:

My felt set for this one is just five die-cut dragons. Our die is in the Asian dragon style, which actually gave us a nice chance to talk about different representations of the dragon. I didn’t even have to explain that Asian dragons can fly without wings because the little boy who knows so much about snails, fish, aardvarks, elephants, and all manner of real animals piped up and announced to everyone that Asian dragons fly with magic so they don’t need wings. I feel like I should ask his teachers if he can get out of Wednesday and Thursday morning classes during the school year so he can keep being my unknowing assistant.

(Photo to come)

Five Little Dragons

Five little dragons with great big scales,
One lost his balance and bumped his tail.
He cried “Ouch!” and breathed some fire,
And then he flew away, higher and higher.

Four little dragons…

Source: Falling Flannelboards

Action Rhymes

Swing Your Dragon Tail

Turn around once and swing your dragon tail.
Turn around twice and flap your wings like sails.
Turn around three times, stomp your feet and roar.
Jump up high and then sit down on the floor.
Dragon Pokey
You put your left wing in,
You put your left wing out,
You put your left wing in and you flap it all about!
You do the dragon pokey and you stomp yourself around,
And that’s what it’s all about.
Right wing – flap…Left and right talons (legs) – scratch…Dragon tail – swing…Fire breath (head) – roar/pretend to breathe fire…Dragon self – jump in and out
Dragon, Dragon
Dragon, dragon, fly around,
Dragon, dragon, stomp the ground.
Dragon, dragon, stretch up high,
Dragon, dragon, roar to the sky.
Dragon, dragon, roar to your knees.
Dragon, dragon, sit down, please.
Science Experiment: Magic Fire
The last and most dangerous of the science demos also turned out to be something of a dud. Although we tested the procedure and got a bright green flame, I had trouble getting colors on the big day. We saw a few flashes of green but definitely did not have solid green fire, so it wasn’t as impressive as hoped.
Warning: Not only is this demo potentially dangerous (fire!), you should check your building’s fire codes before you attempt it. Take all the safety precautions in the world, and be sure you are outside with a hose close at hand. Also, it’s very hit and miss. You can find instructions in several places. I originally saw this video on About.com. We used rubbing alcohol for our fuel and found that turning the pine cone sideways worked best.
How It Went: When they found out D stood for Dragons this week, I had to take a few seconds to get the group settled back down! Storytime and our Harry Potter party were on the same day,  so I chose dragons because I have had these titles up my sleeve for a few weeks and because it was an easy way to promote the party. The storytimers loved this session, especially all the roaring and flying.
And that’s all, folks! Summer storytimes are officially over, and I am back in planning mode for the coming semester. I have three weeks to choose 15 themes and plan accordingly, and then it’s back to business as usual on September 1!
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