My school visits have started! Woo hoo! Last year I worked out a schedule with the awesome librarian at the three elementary schools to take over her classes at each school, and it was great, so I’m doing it again this year. I get each class for 40 minutes at a time– talk about a captive audience!
I’m doing different activities for the primary (PreK-2) and intermediate (3-5) schools, but I’m started with Kelley (intermediate), so here’s what we’re doing:
I start out with talking about the Summer Reading Program and show the kids our calendars and game boards and telling them about how AMAZING the library is. Because the SRP theme is Every Hero Has a Story, I chose to focus on crime solving detectives, so I read them one of the cases from Two-Minute Mysteries by Donald J. Sobol, and we work through the case until someone comes up with the answer and wins a prize! After this, we move onto…
Activity Station 1: Dusting for Prints
Supplies needed for this station were dishes to put our prints on, baby powder, cheap makeup brushes, washcloths, and small plastic bins to contain the stray powder.
The procedure for this station is as follows:
1. Use the washcloth to make sure the surface is clean
2. Press a finger (or fingers) onto the clean surface
3. Dip your brush into a bit of baby powder and apply to the surface
4. Brush gently until all excess powder is removed and you can clearly see your prints
My thoughts: This was the station that the kids were the most impressed with. Most of them were just mystified when they successfully dusted for their own fingerprint just like the detectives in the movies. During the first class, I let the kids use the actual baby powder containers, but after they used way too much, I decided to let the following classes use the powder that was already in the container, and it worked out beautifully.
Activity Station 2: Play-Doh Fingerprints
Supplies needed for this station were just Play Doh and magnifying glasses.
The procedure for this station is very simple: Just press your fingers into the dough and take a look at the imprints through the magnifying glass.
My thoughts: The kids had A LOT of fun with this station. They were thrilled to be able to use Play Doh at school, and although they didn’t spend the entire time doing fingerprints, I was just as happy to let them play with the dough and be creative. As you can see above, someone even made a pet snake!
Activity Station 1: Ink Fingerprints
Supplies needed for this station were big pieces of paper, washable ink pads, magnifying glasses, and baby wipes
The procedure for this station is just to press your finger into the ink pads, then press onto the big pieces of paper and check out your prints through the magnifying glass.
My thoughts: This one was definitely the messiest, but the baby wipes were great for getting the ink off of the tables. The first class to use the stations had some different ink that didn’t come off of their hands (oops!) but I swapped those out before the next class got to them. This station also turned into a sort of art station, with kids using their fingerprints to make designs and write their names. Kids even asked to bring them home at the end of each class, which was fine with me!
These activities are so simple to put together and fun to do! The kept the kids engaged, and the mess factor of the baby powder and ink wasn’t as big of an issue as I had anticipated. It was important to me to have a hands-on activity, and that the activities are (for the most part) reusable, so I didn’t have to spend millions of dollars on supplies, and these definitely fit the bill.