Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Kindergarten Little Bird Tale....."Just Me and Little Critter"

In 1966, author and illustrator Mercer Mayer began to illustrate picture books.  He is a favorite of all of us here at Van Meter and was always a favorite of my own three kids.  

Mercer's books are about the life of Little Critter.  And everyday events like staying at Grandma and Grandpa's and Going to the Dentist.
As many of you know, Mercer hides different little critters in his illustrations from time to time.  In the picture of him above, you will find him surrounded by two little critters, a spider, a cricket, and a mouse.  

When one of our kindergarten teachers, Christa McClintock (who is also my cousin) brought her class to the library yesterday she said to me, 

"They are sooooooo interested in the Mercer Mayer books and loving the author study of him for September.  They love finding the little spider, cricket, and mouse within the book.  And on the website it even says you can write to Mercer Mayer.  Can you please spend some time today on the website looking at all of the different things?  They could even write to him."  

I was so excited....Not only to have her ask me to do this with her class, but he is one of my favorite authors and illustrators.  
We keep track of what is happening in the classrooms in the collaborative Google Doc above.  In this Google Doc, the teachers share what they are doing each month in the classroom.  I can then match up their curriculum with what I am doing in the library and technology instructional time every four days when they come see me.  
The first thing we quickly did was find a video of Mercer Mayer on YouTube.   My paraeducator Diana is the best....She went right into the computer lab after the students checked out new books and found this one of him reading Just A Snowman.  They loved seeing Mercer reading the book to them.  
Next, I showed them our VM Elementary Resources Symbaloo (that we go to each time on the homepage) and where to find the Little Critter tile.  
To be able to spend time with the kindergarteners in the Little Critter World-Wide Network website would be a perfect tie-in for the week.  
The Little Critter tile took them right to the website.  
They had fun watching more videos of Mercer Mayer reading their favorite Little Critter books.  The students also enjoyed playing games such as Tic-Tac-Toe and puzzles.  
After we spent time on the website, the students, Di, and I went back into the library for a little creating of our own.

We decided to make our very own Just Me and Little Critter book using illustrations created by the Van Meter kindergarten students and the web-based interactive eBook creator "Little Bird Tales."
The kindergarteners had a fun time drawing their very own "Just Me and Little Critter"illustrations and made sure they included the cricket, frog, and spider in their drawings.  
After they drew their illustrations, we scanned them into the copier.  They are all so cute.  
I then went into  Little Bird Tales and created a "New Tale" called Just Me and Little Critter by the Van Meter Kindergarteners.
 I uploaded the scanned illustrations into our new tale.
Next week when the little people come back to the library and computer lab, we will have them record their story on each page.  The other kindergarten class will also contribute to our Little Bird Tale tomorrow during their time with us.

Once we have our Little Bird Tale complete, we will not only write Mercer Mayer on his website, we will also send him the link to this wonderful new Little Critter book created by the Van Meter kindergarteners.

We think he will like it too.


  1. Great idea! I was just talking to my kindergarten team about the Little Bird Tales website and how we could use it. I'll be sure to share this post with them as a wonderful example. Thanks for sharing with all of us. : )

    1. You are very welcome....I can't wait to share it when it is finished. :)

      Have fun too....Can't wait to see what you all create.


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