Sunday, May 3, 2015

Reading from Delroy in the Marog Kingdom and Beautiful Blackbird

The Montessori School in Montego Bay invited me to do a book reading on April 23, 2015. Since some of the children there are only 3 years old, I decided to read a book more suited to that age group than Delroy in the Marog Kingdom, which I read to the older children.  

I chose Beautiful Blackbird by Ashley Bryan which lends itself to actions in which the children can take part.
 I wrote out the story on 5” x 3” cards, so that one of the children could hold up the book for the others to see the delightful pictures. It also enabled me to maintain eye-contact with the children and show them the actions. These included a flap-flap-flapping of their wings, beak to beak – peck, peck, peck and a dance called the show claws slide. I had a feather handy to ‘paint’ the birds with spots, large and small, and stripes close together and far apart.
There are several possible follow-up activities to this reading. Younger children can be given birds  cut out of different coloured cartridge paper to paint with dots and stripes, and paste on to a larger picture. If the larger picture includes a lake, they could match the birds with their mirror images. Older children can draw birds and cut out their shapes. Children can be involved in a discussion about what is on the outside not being an indication of what is on the inside.
Crab Catcher at Treasure Beach
All children can be set a challenge to name and recognize Jamaican birds. They could start this activity before hearing the story. How many of the birds are found only in Jamaica? How many of them and which ones are migratory (here for only part of the year). What does migration mean? Where do the birds go in the summer (or the winter)? What colour are the birds? Are any of them only one colour? How many of them have markings of black on them?  What do birds eat? What connection is there between the shapes of their beaks and the food they eat? Make a humming bird feeder out of a plastic bottle to hang at the location – children can make their own to hang at their homes. 
Hummingbird at a feeder
The topic also lends itself to a discussion on respect for wild life, and whether it is wrong to kill birds with a sling-shot and steal eggs from nests.  

Preparing to put the frog in the pot
Reading from
Delroy in the Marog Kingdom
at the Montessori School

No comments: