For the last couple of weeks my fourth grade classes have been enjoying our storytelling unit. This is a great time of year for a unit like this because you can start out with ghost stories and legends around Halloween and move into some Cherokee myths and legends around Thanksgiving. All of the stories included in this unit have a North Carolina connection - since fourth grade focuses on North Carolina history and geography. In our first week we hear ghost stories like the Brown Mountain Lights and the Maco Station Light. We watch news broadcasts to learn more about these legends, look at North Carolina maps to see where the stories come from, and talk about whether or not we believe the stories to be real. One of our fourth grade teachers has seen the Brown Mountain Lights so she shares that experience with the kids as well. We have some great discussions after watching the news stories about whether or not we truly believe. Our second and third weeks focus on stories from a North Carolina born storyteller Jackie Torrence. If you have never heard her tell a story, it is well worth looking her up on You Tube. I have a cd with some of her stories on it and the kids LOVE to listen to her. There are no pictures or video to go along with her stories so the kids have to picture it all in their imagination. It is fun to watch them as they listen along. There are always requests to hear more of her stories as the weeks go by. Two of our favorites are Wiley and the Hairy Man, which takes place in North Carolina's Great Dismal Swamp, and Taileypo. Once we wrap up the ghost story part of the unit we move into Cherokee myths and legends. I will be reading Yonder Mountain and How the Turtle's Shell Was Cracked in the weeks to come. We will talk about how these Cherokee tales are both meant to teach a lesson. During this time, students will be learning a little more about the Cherokee as a people and their history here in North Carolina. To wrap up our unit we will be reading a few Mountain Jack Tales. Again, we will be focusing on the tradition of storytelling and its value in our culture still today. At the end of our unit we will discuss both the similarities and differences among the many different stories we have listened to, and enjoyed, the last few weeks. This is one of my favorite units to teach in the library and I know the kids really enjoy it as well.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a water pipe were to burst in a library? Well, I can tell you all about it if you would like. At some point over the Veteran's Day weekend, a water pipe in our computer lab, which is adjacent to the library, decided it had held up long enough and was ready to retire. Unfortunately, it poured water into our computer lab which then flooded into our library. The new carpet, which was put down just this past summer, had to be taken back up once the pond was drained. So, as you can see from the photo, the library is in a bit of a mess right now, but we are making the best of it. I moved some furniture around on the other side of the library so our classes could continue and a modified book check-out could still take place. When the kids came for class, I told them we were just exploring the other side of the library for a change. The students were great I have to say. They took everything in stride, asked lots of questions, had great behavior, and felt really bad that our library was "destroyed." My favorite was the kinder who said, "I'm sorry about your library Mrs. Doyle." Awww, tugging on my heart strings there! However, in all the mess and "destruction," I am thankful for so many things. One, NONE of the books were damaged! The kids were worried about that, too. Two, there are some GREAT folks working for Hickory Public Schools! Members of maintenance and the technology department were here straight away to help with clean-up and will be coming back to help me set everything back up soon. As bad as everything seemed that morning, it has been a week now, and the pipes have been replaced and new carpet is being put down. I am so very appreciative to everyone that has chipped in to help and make things run so smoothly during this time. Fingers crossed it doesn't happen again any time soon, though! :-)
About me . . .
Formerly a classroom teacher. Currently a School Library Media Coordinator. I loved being in the classroom, but now that I am in the library I can't imagine doing anything else! The library is my favorite place to be. From my rocking chair to my ABC rug to the smiling student faces checking out books, the library just can't be beat!
Learning in the Library
I have a fixed schedule in my library which means I get to see all the students in my library classes each week. This blog highlights some of the things we are learning and some of the great things going on in our library!