Our Summer Calendar schedule had us all planning to go visit St. Michael – now, he resides in the beautiful church of Taleigao 150 metres from the Library and his garden and house are one of great potential for bookworms.
We aimed to have fun ( but, ofcourse) and we aimed to read a book ( most definitely!) and the two must come together to make the best use of space and visual language links to reading and narratives.
One of our Christmas presents from our dear friend Merle was The Clown of God, a legend retold in inimitable style by Tomie DePaola. YES ! I will not give much of the story away because it is a must read, like all his books but it fitted well with the theme and more with my emerging planning for Author Studies as our readers are moving along the Literature Learning continuum.
The Clown of God came alive as we read in front of the Church and with our own version of Giovanni who juggled to make people happy, juggled to spread the joy and then juggled for God ! Our group listened and were moved , as a good story does. Dhruv, all of 4 years wanted to understand how it ended, why Giovanni ( whom he was calling Sheovani – a fitting combination of Giovanni and Sheena who played the part) fell down, we did a Picture Walk and a more gentle explanation around age and feeling fulfilled with sharing. A hush overcame our energetic group as they moved out of the Church environs to the Library space again.
There we explored more of Tomie dePaola’s books and illustrative style. The children watched Strega Nona and found familiarity between the characters of Giovanni and Anthony and the universal theme of giving, making mistakes and learning.
We baked cookies that we hoped visually connected with the world of colour found in Tomie’s illustrations and then painted some images to resemble stained glass from the Church – in the book and in our neighbourhood !