A little over a week ago, Miss M and Mr. E gave book reports at our co-op. One of the reasons I really like participating in a co-op is opportunities just like this. The kids get up in front of their class (a group of 8 or 10 students about the same age) and talk about a book they’ve read. While we can discuss books all we want at home (and we often do), it is a growing experience to organize your thoughts into a few sentences or paragraphs someone else will understand, and getting up in front of a group to share those thoughts.
Miss M is really never nervous to speak in front of anybody, but writing out her book report has caused some stress in past years. She narrated to me and I wrote it down as a first grader (we were in a different co-op when she was a K’er), then last year as a 2nd grader I thought she should probably be able to write it down for herself — a process which caused a few more tears than I was expecting. Some of the tears were due to stress at not knowing how to spell what she wanted to say, and some of the stress was due to the difficulty she discovered in explaining the book she selected — she picked a mystery, which was hard to explain without giving away the whole ending!
This year, Miss M made an easier book selection (one of the “Caroline” American Girl books), and has gained a lot more confidence in her spelling abilities. In the book report process she mostly needed a bit of help to organize her thoughts and decide which details were important to communicate in order for the plot to make sense.
This was Mr. E’s first year to give a book report at co-op. He wanted to pick The Way of the Ninja, a favorite Lego Ninjago book I’ve read to him several times. He didn’t have too much trouble summarizing the plot, with me writing down what he wanted to say. Prior to book report day, Mr. E was pretty nervous about giving his report in front of his class of K through 2nd graders. I reminded him that I could listen in and prompt him if he got stuck on a word, and that his friends would enjoy listening to him give his report. In the end he did a great job, reading some complicated words that he wanted to use and only getting stuck once!
We heard a lot about Ninjas over the last couple weeks with Mr. E thinking about and then practicing his book report. By book report day, Miss M was inspired to write a Ninja Christmas Carol. I guess she still has Christmas on the brain!
All of us ended up contributing to this unusual song, written from the perspective of a Lego Ninjago Ninja who has a “True Skeleton” sending him gifts instead of a “true love” — so the gifts take on a bit of a different flavor:
The Ninjago 12 Days of Christmas:
On the first day of Christmas my true skeleton sent to me: One creepy guy
On the second day of Christmas my true skeleton sent to me: 2 fights in the rain
On the third day of Christmas my true skeleton sent to me: 3 dead ninjas
On the fourth day of Christmas my true skeleton sent to me: Orders to find the 4 weapons of Spinjitzu
On the fifth day of Christmas my true skeleton sent to me: 5 rotten fruits
On the sixth day of Christmas my true skeleton sent to me: 6 more skeletons
On the seventh day of Christmas my true skeleton sent to me: 7 explosives in my house
On the eighth day of Christmas my true skeleton sent to me: 8 annoying parrots
On the ninth day of Christmas my true skeleton sent to me: 9 scary monsters
On the tenth day of Christmas my true skeleton sent to me: 10 balls of fire
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true skeleton sent to me: 11 skull motorbikes
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true skeleton TOOK from me: my 12 favorite weapons
(And my apologies if you now have the 12 Days of Christmas or this variant stuck in your head for the rest of the day!) ;-)