MSO Book Week Day 1: Myths and Fantasy

MSO Book Week

April 20-24, 2015

The first ever MSO Book Week concluded last Friday, amidst a great deal of bookish enthusiasm. It was a week filled with books, Mystery Readers and excitement. There were costumes, there was food and–yes–there was Plenty of Reading.

Monday began with a theme–Myths and Fantasy. First, we discussed the elements of Fantasy:

  • Talking animals (or animals that exhibit other human traits) and mythological/fantastical animals (the students had great fun listing all the fantastical animals they could think of)
  • Magic–witches, wizards and wands!
  • Other Worlds–like Lewis’ Narnia and Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

Then we made a list of fantasy books as we had read or of which we were familiar. A couple of suggested Science Fiction titles, leading to a short diversion about the difference between Fantasy and Science Fiction. They’re often lumped together (in bookstores, especially) but the, er, fantastic elements in Science Fiction are possible given the advancement of technology and science. Not so in fantasy.

On Monday we also dressed like favorite characters from books. I must say, the turn out was great:

Artemis, from the Goddess Girls Series, Pippy Longstocking, Thomson (with a "P" as in "psychology", a princess, the Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Huck Finn, and Tintin himself.

Artemis from the Goddess Girls Series, Pippy Longstocking, Thomson (with a “P” as in “psychology”), a princess, the Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Huck Finn, and Tintin himself.

We started Monday by making READ posters. I showed them the American Library Association’s Poster Store and the students were excited to see some of their favorite authors had made posters:

Students worked singly or in pairs to make their posters and we put them up around school:

READ Posters

The Middle School and Upper Elementary also made directional signs for fictional places:

Fictional Places Signs

I read a chapter from The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe called “Turkish Delight.” This particular passage has stuck with me since my childhood. If you haven’t read it, you should! In it, Edmund is led to betray his brother and sisters to the evil Snow Queen through the power of Turkish Delight. I remember thinking that Turkish Delight must be absolutely fabulous. There’s an equally tempting, unidentified sweet-and-warm drink to help seal the deal. The reading was followed up with a little taste of the oh-so-sinful Turkish Delight. Some said it would be worth betraying their family for…

After lunch, the Middle School treated the Big Side to some Greek Mythology, telling us a little bit about the Gods and Goddesses they dressed up as for the day. Not featured below is Medusa, although that great (and terrifyingly snake-ridden) lady made a appearance, too:

Middle School MythologyFinally, we ended the first day of MSO Book Week with our Mystery Reader, Peter Sezzi. Peter was Mystery Reader for the whole school on Monday, and hopped around reading to various classrooms–we can’t thank him enough! For the Middle School and Upper Elementary, he shifted our Mythological focus from Greek to Norse, with a thrilling reading from Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants.

Myth and Fantasy books were a perfect way to start the week. Most students enjoy fantasy, so they connected to the genre immediately. We ended the Monday with everyone looking forward to Day 2.

Tomorrow: MSO Book Week, Day 2–Funny Books

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