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Bedford Hills Elementary School Students Go on a StoryWalk Adventure
Bedford Hills Elementary School students experienced reading a book in a whole new way this week with library media specialist Elizabeth Russell. Instead of sitting at tables or gathering around on a rug in the library, students went outside and took a walk.
“Each page of the book is on a wooden post,” Russell explained. “Instead of turning the pages and reading it like a regular book, we’re going to walk from page to page. I think it’s a fun way to get you outside and moving while we’re reading.”
The StoryWalk was a completely fresh idea for kindergartners in Dara Gelter’s class. They were full of energy and ready to get started while Russell laid out expectations and ground rules for their adventure.
“Raise your hand if you’ve ever been to a museum,” she said. “Not everyone looks at once, right? You look and then step back so someone else can see.”
Once outside, students were greeted by the cover of the book “Dear Mr. Blueberry” by Simon James.
“We’ve read this book before! I love it!” one student shouted.
A story told in letters between a girl named Emily and her teacher, Mr. Blueberry, the book takes place during summer vacation. Emily is pretty sure there is a whale named Arthur living in her pond and she wants Mr. Blueberry to tell her everything he knows about whales.
As the class walked enthusiastically from page to page, Russell asked them questions about the book that checked their comprehension of the story as well as their understanding of vocabulary words.
“Take a second and look at the illustration,” she said. “How does Emily look there?”
“Sad!” students answered.
“Why do you think she might be sad?”
“Because she misses Arthur.”
When they finished the story and headed back inside to the library, Russell asked students what they thought the book was about.
“It was about imagination,” one student answered.
“Maybe it was about writing notes?” another asked.
They were discussing what they liked about the story when their teacher came in. Filled with excitement, a student lit up when he saw her and said, “We were reading a book on wooden sticks!”
“How exciting!” Getler said. “An adventure through a story!”
The StoryWalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.