Kindergarten students came to my library last week for their first checkout! What an exciting day! They love to choose a book, are excited to learn they can take it home, and can't wait to come back the next week for a new book! Every year, before their first checkout, I do a lesson about taking care of your library books. It is fun, easy to plan, and seems to work! I start my sharing with them that they will get to checkout a book, but first we have to make sure they can take care of that book. I tell them that I have a friend who is going to share with them ways to take care of their books. I introduce them to my friend, Mr. Wiggle. I show them a Mr. Wiggle stuffed animal that I made with green tights and have them all say "hello" to him. Then, I read Mr. Wiggle's Book by Paula M. Craig. During the read aloud, I will ask them a lot of questions about what is happening in the book. For example, do YOU eat while you read library books? What's wrong with leaving a library book outside? After reading the book, I show them a book bag that Mr. Wiggle likes to keep all of his important book stuff in. I tell them that we are going to see what is in his book bag and that they are going to tell me if it is something GOOD to have around library books or something BAD to have around library books. I hand out laminated cards that we've made. One side is red with a sad face and it says BAD; the other side is green with a happy face and it says GOOD. After each student has a card, I go through the bag. In the bag is a water bottle, a pack of gum, a stuffed animal, a picture of a baby, a picture of a puppy, a container of yogurt, markers, a flashlight, scissors, and wet wipes (for clean hands). As I hold up each item, students show me if the item is GOOD or BAD. After going through the items in the book bag, I collect the cards, we say "thank you" to Mr. Wiggle and we check out our library books! I also send home a letter to our kindergarten parents introducing them to Mr. Wiggle and sharing some suggestions of ways to enjoy and care for library books at home. I also include in the letter when their child's library day is and a cut out template for a bookmark to color and use. I think Mr. Wiggle really helps our kindergarten students get started on the right foot when it comes to checking out and taking care of their library books!
Valerie Byrd Fort