|The Cricket in Times Square Agenda
Invite all the kids in to sit in your program. You can play some opera in the background in honor of Chester Cricket. A good choice for kid-friendly opera is:
The World’s very best opera for kids- in English!
J CD 781.52 WOR
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Welcome, everyone to a celebration of One Book, One Community with The Cricket in Times Square. We are going to have a fun adventure today from the countryside to the city it’s the best news this year. How many of you have read the book “The Cricket in Times Square”? Well those of you who haven’t let me explain. (Share the booktalk)
Booktalk: Chester is a cricket a cute tiny little cricket. He is always hungry in fact he will eat just about anything, you know, chocolate, soda, liverwurst. Ewww….well I said he’d eat anything. Well his hunger gets him in trouble. He raids a country picnic and gets packed away under the roast beef sandwiches. Next thing you know he is in a car and then a bus and where does he end up? Far away from home on the floor of a subway station in New York City. That’s right NEW YORK CITY! But he is not alone. He meets a mouse named Tucker and Harry Cat. They take him out all around the town. He also meets the Bellini’s a family that runs the newspaper stand. Mama Bellini thinks he’s germy but Mario knows he is amazing. Imagine their surprise when they find out he sings! It looks like Chester the cricket is here to stay. Will Chester help save the failing newsstand or will the city life prove to be too much for this country cricket? Find out by reading all about the adventures of Chester cricket in this book “The Cricket in Times Square”.
III. Read aloud (now that the kids have heard a booktalk they can hear the story of a cricket and his cage)
A Chinese Folktale: The Cricket’s Cage by Stefan Czernecki J 398.2 CZE
Summary: Retells a Chinese folktale in which a clever and kindly cricket is responsible for designing the tower buildings for Beijing's "Forbidden City”.
IV. Activities- branches you can do one or both of the following activities
Mario and his family own a newsstand where they sell newspapers and magazines. This is a challenge to see how quickly kids can find facts in a newspaper or kids magazine. Split kids into 2 groups. Each group gets an identical newspaper or magazine. Also give them scratch paper and pencils. If you use the newspaper try using the comics section. If you use magazine try using Time For Kids. ***NOTE: Branches if you need 2 Time for Kids magazines contact Jackie Padilla in Children’s I have extra ones that can be used and abused and need not to be returned. Ask questions related to the newspaper or magazine. Example if using Newspaper comics: How many comic strips are in the newspaper you have?, Example if using Time For Kids: How many News Headlines are there in your paper? Write them down. The team that has the answer first raises there hand and is called on. If they have the right answer they get points if not let the other team try to steal. Do 5-6 questions to then declare a winner!
B. Catch the Mouse:
In the story Chester cricket meets new friends in New York City Tucker the Mouse and Harry Cat. You would think they would be afraid of being friends with a cat but they all really get along. This fun game will get you a pet cricket and see if you as the cat will catch a mouse to be friends with of course. Take the kids and separate into 2 groups. Have them make 2 circles next to each other with room for a 3rd circle behind both of these groups. Have them put their hands in the hands of their neighbors they will play a circle game clapping each other’s hands around the circle till the chant stops and someone wins. The chant is as follows “Chester is a Cricket who doesn’t have a house. I am Harry Cat; I will catch myself a Mouse.” The child in each group whose hand is clapped when you say Mouse will be the winner the one who caught a mouse. Once you have 6 winners 3 from each group put them into the 3rd circle to do the same but repeating this chant “A cricket, a mouse and a cat are here but you are the one who’s out my dear”. The last one out is your winner!!!
V. Crafts (Branches you can do one or more of these simple crafts)
A. Newspaper Hat (with all that newspaper in the newspaper stand lets make some hats)
Make these simple Newspaper hats by following the steps on the link above. Once they have made their hats let them decorate them to make them unique.
B. Cricket Cage (Mario takes a trip to Chinatown to buy a cricket cage for Chester now you can make a cricket cage of your own-print enough of the linked print outs below for your kids)
-Follow the instructions on the print out to make a cricket cage.
C. Clothespin Crickets
Multicolored Pipe Cleaners
Tissue Paper- Multicolored
Wiggle Eyes or Markers
Make a cricket from a clothes pin. Use a pipe cleaner for legs and antennae by wrapping it up and around the clothes pin. Cut out tissue paper for wings, two hearts make nice wings; glue them to the top of your clothes pin. Then use wiggle eyes on the side of the clothespin or use markers. If your kids want to let them color their clothespin with markers as well.
VI. The Cricket in Times Square Picnic
Play the Video: A Cricket in Times Square VHS CHILDREN CRI
Serve refreshments while the kids watch the video. Some fun things you can make or have from the book are simple picnic sandwiches. Chinese fortune cookies from Mario and Chester’s trip to Chinatown. Strawberry Soda Punch. (You can make that with a mixture of a Berry Juice, 7up or Sprite, and Vanilla Ice Cream, if you make it in a punchbowl it’s easy and you can give them small cups to try it.)
The End & HAVE FUN!!!!