Archive for September, 2013

Storyteller Bill & the Three Little Pigs

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

storytellerIt was the first session of  the new Storytelling program at the “Can Do” Recreation Center. The “Can Do” kids were so excited that they arrived 10 minutes early. Just as the clock  ticked to 3:30PM, a  tall man with white hair, a beard and a tall, black hat walked into the classroom. “Hi boys and girls,” he said; “I’m Storyteller Bill. I’ve been telling stories since I was your age. Why, I told stories to your parents, in this very room, when they were your age!”

Some of the “Can Dos” smiled, some looked surprised, while others looked like they just couldn’t believe what they were hearing. It was hard for them to think of their parents as ever being their age and sitting where they were sitting.  Wendy asked,” Can you teach us how to tell good stories? I want to be a writer when I grow up.”

“Why yes I  can,” answered Storyteller Bill” But before we learn to tell a brand new story, let’s practice on a story we know. The great thing about being a storyteller is that you can change how a story goes. You can take out the sad or scary parts. You can make it funny. You can use storytelling to teach a skill, or a lesson about being safe, or sharing, or all sorts of things.  You can take a story and make it into a play that you can put on in school. You can sit around a campfire and tell your story. You can use your computer to tell a story and email it to friends and family.”

By now, The “Can Dos” knew that storytelling was going to be fun.

“Let’s make the Three Little Pigs less scary and more fun,” said Storyteller Bill.”I will tell the original story, then I will share how I retell the story so it is less scary and has a happier ending. The “Can Dos” nodded . Storyteller Bill cleared his throat and began to speak.

storyteller“Once upon a time, there were three little pigs who lived with their mother in a meadow. One day their mother said, “You need to go out into the world and make your own way.” So they waved “goodbye” and went out into the world. The little pigs decided to build their houses in a meadow near the woods. The big bad wolf lived in the woods nearby. The meadow was big enough for all three houses and none of the pigs was afraid of the big bad wolf!

The first little pig was very lazy. He decided to make his house out of straw from the meadow. Sure enough, the big bad wolf trotted out to watch him build the house. When the house was finished, the big bad wolf knocked on the door and asked to come in. When the first little pig refused, the big bad wolf huffed and puffed and blew the house down.

The second little pig thought to himself, “I will be smarter. I will build my house out of twigs from the edge of the woods. That should be easy and safe.” But the big bad wolf came by and said, “You should not build a house with twigs from my woods. I will huff and puff and blow it down.” Sure enough, as soon as the house was finished, the wolf blew it down.

The first little pig and the second little pig ran to hide at the third little pig’s house. This house was made of bricks! “Oh,” they said, “you are the smartest of us all. Let us in, let us in, and we promise to buy all the food for a week.”

The wolf came by, knocked on the door, and asked to come in. “Not by the hair on our chinny, chin, chins,” said the pigs. So the wolf huffed and puffed and

THE HOUSE DID NOT FALL DOWN!

The big bad wolf said to himself, “This cannot be. I will climb onto the roof, go down the chimney, and eat those pigs all up.” He went down the chimney and landed in a pot of boiling water. He ran away and never came back.

The third little pig invited the first little pig and the second little pig to stay with him in his cozy brick house. The three little pigs visited their mother every Sunday for dinner and they all lived happily ever after.

Just as Storyteller Bill finished the original version of the Three Little Pigs, the clock on the wall ticked 4:30 PM. The storytelling session was over. The “Can Dos’ didn’t want to leave, but it was time to go; besides, there was next week to look forward to when Storyteller Bill would share how he changed the Three Little Pigs.

“Goodbye Storyteller Bill;see you next week,” the “Can Dos” cried out as they left. “Goodbye to you too,” answered Storyteller Bill. “be sure to be thinking about the stories you want tell when we see each other again !”

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Storytelling

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

The  “Can Do” Recreation Center had an open house to introduce all the families on “Can Do” Street to the new programs that the “Can Do” kids could participate in during the fall and winter sessions. Oh, there were the old favorites, too, but new is always fun.

One of the programs, in the new brochure, caught Wendy’s eye…storytelling.

Given how much Wendy loves to write, she really wants  to learn all she could about being a good storyteller. Just as Wendy was asking her mom if she could sign up for storytelling, Miss Sue, the director of the “Can Do” Recreation Center came into the room. Wendy and her mom took their seats and gave Miss Sue their full attention.

“Good morning everyone, and welcome to our new program session,” said Miss Sue. ” Who likes to listen to stories?” Just about everyone in the room raised their hands. “That’s good,” said Miss Sue, “because storytelling has been around as long as there have been people on this earth. Storytelling has been handed down from one generation to another. Before most people could read and write,  stories were told by word of mouth. Certain people, in each village or town were given the job of learning the stories of their people  and telling them to younger generations. The story teller was the town or village historian as well the person who taught life lessons through stories. Sometimes the storyteller would just tell funny stories.

Starting next Thursday, after school, one of our very own “Can Do” Street storytellers will be here to tell you a story and share with you had to make up your very own  story.  In November, we will have a storytelling contest, with prizes for the winners.”

By now Wendy and some of the other “Can Do” kids could not contain their excitement.  Wendy called out, “When do we start? Miss Sue smiled and answered, “See you next Tuesday at 3:30 PM  in  room 10, when Storyteller Bill will be here to tell you a story. He’ll take a familiar nursery rhyme and change it into a story with a different ending.”

Boys and girls…be sure to read the next post about storytelling when Storyteller Bill talks about giving stories the endings you want them to have.

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Just a Lick Can Make You Sick

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

lick

The Saturday programs at the “Can Do” Street Recreation Center were in full swing. It was the first meeting of the “Can Do Kids Chefs Club. They were making chocolate chip cookies under the watchful eyes of Grandma Hattie and Grandma Frances.

Just as the cookies were ready to be shaped and put on the cookie sheet, Grandma Hattie saw Kathy take a ball of raw dough and start to put it in her mouth.  Grandma Hattie said, “Stop Kathy, don’t eat that raw dough!” Kathy quickly put the dough down, but then said, “I do this all the time at home; my mom does it too. What’s wrong with eating cookie dough anyway?”

“What’s wrong with it child,” said Grandma Hattie. “Why just one lick can make you sick! No one of any age should eat raw cookie dough or cake batter because it could contain germs that cause illness. Whether it’s pre-packaged or homemade, the heat from baking is required to kill germs that might be in the raw ingredients.”

“Besides,” added Grandma Frances, “the finished, baked product tastes far better! Remember, kids who eat raw cookie dough and cake batter are at greater risk of getting food poisoning than most adults are.”

So remember boys and girls at home, don’t take a lick of batter; it can make you sick!

Source: The Partnership for Food Safety Education 2013

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Does “Can Do” Cat Have 9 Lives?

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Bobby, Hector and Willie were passing by Grandpa John’s store when they saw “Can Do” cat walking on a narrow ledge above the front door. 

catThe “Can Dos” ran in to tell Grandpa John. “Grandpa John, Grandpa John they shouted,  “Can Do” cat is going to fall. Come quick.” Grandpa John dropped what he was doing and quickly went outside to see if “Can Do” cat was okay. He looked up to see Can Do” cat balancing himself on the ledge. Grandpa John smiled and said, “Can Do” cat is fine. He is just doing what he always does.”

Hector asked, “Is it true cats have nine lives”? How many lives has “Can Do” cat used up already”? Grandpa John chuckled and said, “Boys, that is just a saying. Cats have a quickness, and the ability to land on their feet, which has kept this saying around for a long time.

Cats are amazing. They seem to be able to get themselves into trouble and get out of trouble unharmed, but…they don’t have nine lives. They are good at running from a dog, dodging a car, or jumping from a high level. Their muscles, bones, and even their inner ears are constructed to help them right themselves during a fall and increase their odds of  landing on their feet, and absorbing the shock. Even with these survival skills, cats do get injured.

I do everything I can to help “Can Do” cat live a long life, so I can enjoy him for many years. I am a responsible pet owner. If someday your mom lets you adopt a  kitty, and give him or her a place to live, remember that this is a lifelong commitment.

A cat is not a toy or a decoration, but a living creature that deserves your love and care as long as he or she lives. If well cared for, a cat can live up to 20 years. That’s how long I hope “Can Do” cat lives.”

The boys nodded, Grandpa John started back into the store, and “Can Do” cat just kept doing what he had been doing…walking on the ledge.

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