Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pete the Cat and the Story Stones!

Pete the Cat 
and the Story Stones! 

We're rockin' with a follow-up to our previous Pete the Cat post
This summer, my library is offering a Pete the Cat Club.  Two children's librarians will be working together!  In tandem!  This never happens!  We're so excited to present together and have fun with the kids and Eric Litwin's books.  A giant shout out to Harper Collins for providing so many creative options on-line ((((((( Harper Collins )))))))

Today's post is all about how we will use story stones with Pete the Cat.

Here are the story stones I created for Pete the Cat
I Love My White Shoes!
Before I get started - think DIG into READING with story stones!
Rockin' that summer reading theme!

There are a variety of ways to use story stones.  Please keep in mind that these are specific to a particular book although we have the freedom to make the story different - sillier, shorter, longer, sad, cranky - anything we want.  (I know you can run with that)  But for this post - I will try my best to go along with the author.  

These story stones extend the be sure to read the book with the kids before you spread out the story stones.  I prefer spreading them out for discussion and creative thinking.  Sort of like...brainstorming for script writing!  Some people prefer to have the kids pull a stone out of a bag and discuss that stone...or begin sorting them. (if you have dinosaur stones - you can sort by meat-eating, plant-eating, flying, etc.)

Here's a way to get things going:
Who is this story about?  Can you find the story stone to show me the main character?

What's the title of this book?  what does that look like in story stones?

Don't, DON'T, don't look at the stones right now....who remembers the last words in the book?
(okay, look if you have to)  Don't say anything yet...!!  
Our group will have readers and non-readers so this will be interesting.  

How do the sneakers change colors?  will you place those stones in a group?
And will you make a group of the sneakers too.
Now, can you make a pattern, red sneaker with the strawberries and blue sneaker with the ???

Will you do that again and place them in order.  Which color did Pete step into first?  And then second? 
(Of course you could make this a cause and effect display if you put the sneakers on the right side)

Oh, if we want to ask a question in our story...what do we use.  What is that called? 

Does Pete cry in the story?  Is there a stone we can use for that?  Maybe two stones? Or three?

Do you think we can re-tell this story with our story stones?  Would you like to do that?  Let me just say...we'll all have parts.  Really!   We'll share.

Before we do our fancy acting ...I will give you a minute to see if you can place those stones in know...which part came first, then second, third and all the way to the end.  Please work with each other, be polite...please try to place them in order on the rug.  

Now, we don't rehearse!  We just go for it.  The story is whatever the story is!  As Pete says: "it's all good!" I plan to have at least two children for each sneaker stone.  That's a singing part - so it helps to have singing buddies.  

The kids holding the "stuff" Pete steps into will need to make some sort of "squelch" or "squish" sound as well as narrate/tell their part.  We all know that sound-making will bring giggles!

Because Pete's sneakers have 4 color changes...4 kids can play Pete's part if needed.  I strongly encourage very silly dance/walking for such a cool cat.  

The question mark gets used a lot - it can be passed person to person or a group of kids can ask (shout??),questions. Flexibility is good here.  Expect random questions to pop up...because we all enjoy getting goofy in our stories!

The "Goodness No" stone is very loud... a group chant for sure!    The stone with "It's all good" can be used many times in the story if you want.  Creativity is a bonus!!  Basically the kids hold the stones as a reminder of their part.  They can use their own words or Eric Litwin's.  Stories will take a curve, get silly by mistake or intentionally, and we laugh.  Better yet, the kids own it.  

It's always fun to introduce the kids to the authors and illustrators of the books they love.  We'll do that with a YouTube video.  Check it out.  It's great!  Our kids will be singing each week of Pete the Cat I decided they need a guessed it "The Story Stones" !

F.Y.I. regarding the process:  With these story stones - I have asked the kids questions that guide them in both usage of story stones and a re-telling of this particular book.  If I were using a random set of story stones with sun, cloud, trees, cat, dog, house,mouse, boy, girl, baby etc. I would approach this differently.  My questions could be completely open-ended because we'd be creating an original story.  The brainstorming process would include "...and what can you do with that little mouse?"  and " why does he want to go there?"  "what would you do to make the story silly?  How would you do that with the stones?"  Get it?  Got it!  Good.  

Thanks for visiting.  We love comments.  ~ Piper and Jane


  1. Oh my goodness, I love this. Thank you for sharing!

    1. librarian pirate - thanks for commenting..we love the story stones. Hope you made some for your summer reading ~ jane

  2. WOW, Jane! Once again you blow me away with your creativity and insight. Were you a teacher in your past life? I could swear you were! You remind me so much of some of my former co-teachers. We had so much fun working together with our school friends ~ brainstorming ideas, creating props and learning activities ~ always working on extending books for everyone to experience in their own way. I miss that kind of collaboration in my current job! You and your co-librarian are lucky to have each other!

    Do me a favor and let me know if you ever have a job opening at your library, okay? ;-)LOL I would LOVE to work with you! Maybe just a visit will have to do...

    Thank you so much for writing this follow-up post. My brain is going crazy with all the ideas you have inspired! THANK YOU! I needed this creativity boost after all the doldrum application focus this past few weeks. You have single-handedly re-vitalized me!

    I'll quit gushing now but you are AWESOME in my book!
    Have a delightful day!
    ~ K ~

    1. K, Thanks for the compliments! You are a dear. I do believe that collaboration is key for successful librarianship,(and inspired, happy librarians) FF brings new ideas from all over the world right to my soft seat on the sofa! Just think - if it weren't for FF we wouldn't even be friends!! Hope things are going well in your library. Sending hugs and support ~ jane P.S.I often slip away into my children's creative state of mind when the library days get rocky.

  3. These are really wonderful. I love using rocks for retelling.

    1. Thanks! I don't use them enough. The kids love them...there almost magic!


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