It all started with a book

It all started with a book.

It all started with a book.

It all started with a book. The simplest of things. And then it grew. One iPad workshop, an inspiring fellow librarian (Jennifer Reed over at Reederama), my collaborative colleague Amy Melisi, and a class full of enthusiastic first graders later and  a Readers’ Theater production was born. Composed using the app Explain Everything, it features hand-drawn illustrations created by the students themselves, budding actors reading their parts with great expression and even boasts its own movie trailer.

Once upon a time there was  a first grade class who loved Somebody and the Three Blairs (by Marilyn Tolhurst). This modern classic (at least in my mind) is a fractured fairy tale version of, you guessed it, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I read it every year to introduce a lesson on how to choose “Just Right” books. Every good lesson begins with a catchy story and this is one of the best. How can you resist reaching back into your childhood (way back in my case) to channel the little baby voice of Baby Blair whose dialogue primarily consists of one or two word proclamations: “Feeda ducks”, “All gone”, “Naughty” “Busted” and my personal favorite “Lotta water”!

This annual read-aloud has always been met with the wide-eyed faces and delightfully uncontrollable giggles of my young students. But this year was different. They immediately asked me to read it again. They joined in every time Baby Blair piped up. And, best of all, they asked me if they could act out the story. You never know where a lesson is going to take you. Readers’ Theater was not in the planbook. But it was in the cards. Thanks to Amy I was able to extend this lesson beyond the library. Thanks to Jennifer for posting all the wonderful things she does with technology which inspired me to take the plunge. Thanks to my administrators for sending me to the iPad workshop where I learned about Explain Everything. But, most of all, thanks to the kids. As they say, “Out of the mouths of babes.”

Lotta Water

See the video here:

Somebody and the Three Blairs Readers’ Theater

And so, a class full of stars was born.


7 Comments on “It all started with a book”

  1. I love this, Nancy! Now I want some iPads in my library….

  2. Carla says:

    This is brilliant! My children loved that book when they were little. I really enjoyed this production. Great job Mrs. Kellner and Mrs. Melisi’s class!

  3. […] Somebody and the Three Blairs Readers’ Theater […]

  4. […] Whether it is this delightful kindergarten experience, the Readers Theater I wrote about here (thanks Amy Melisi) or the Book Trailers I wrote about here (thanks Andi Daunais and Lisa Miranda […]

  5. Carol Houy says:

    My grandchildren love this book! We have been reading it for 3 years now. This summer we decided to write a new chapter of Somebody and the Three Blairs at Christmas. Would you like Jus to email you a copy?

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