Today was our first homeschool co-op and I volunteered to teach Book Detectives this semester, with a focus on liturgical living and celebrating feast days. I taught the Pre-K/K group and 3/4th groups today.
Here's what we used for materials....
We started the class by talking about books and I had each child share a favorite book or what they like to read about. I then shared one of my favorite books - the Bible. So I began with this book and read to them the first story in all children's bibles - the story of creation. And, of course, we sang the B-I-B-L-E song before actually reading from it.
Then, it was time to move on to our saint story. It was a no brainer who would we study - the soon-to-be St. Teresa of Calcutta (in 2 days!). I read the smaller printable book St. Teresa of Calcutta (available at Real Life At Home). There are many St. Teresa Calcutta books that are just coming out to help celebrate her canonization, but aren't even available for shipping yet.. So, I had to be creative and thankfully, this little book worked great!! I still prefer picture books for this age, as it helps capture their attention the best, but I had to use what was out there. (The book on the top left is absolutely beautiful and I very much recommend it - but not for this age). As I was reading the printable book, I think I was asked at least 17 times when snack time was, so I let them eat their snack as I finished reading the book. And, then I gave them each a coloring page of St. Teresa of Calcutta (also available from Real Life At Home).
3rd/4th grade group
I had taught many of these kids before, so they were familiar with how to be a Book Detective. But since we had a couple new students, I thought we better review WHY we read books and HOW we read books. I teach them four simple questions to ask every time you read a book....
We say this a few times until it sounds like we are chanting them. And then the giggles follow. It's fun to say and easy to remember. But then, we expand upon the single words.....
1. WHO is story about?
2. WHAT is the problem?
3. HOW is the problem solved?
4. WHAT did you learn from the story? (WHAT does the author want to teach me?)
Simple, simple, simple!!! For this group, since they were a bit older, I would have loved to have read the Mother Teresa book by Demi, but it takes a little longer than our class time allowed. Thankfully, once again, God provided perfectly for our learning time on St. Teresa of Calcutta. We read a short story about her from the Book of Heroes from Amy Welborn. If you don't have any of Amy Welborn's books on saints, I highly recommend them! They read beautifully to kids with many places to pause naturally and ask them questions to draw them into the story. After we read about Mother Teresa, I had the kids work on the "All About Saint Teresa of Calcutta" sheet (available from Real Life At Home). And, I couldn't pass up printing these beautiful Mother Teresa quote coloring pages for them to color as well, although most kids took them home to work on, since class time was up.