Laughter may be the best medicine, but reading funny books was the best motivator for Ms. Denise Philp’s first-graders at Sunrise Drive elementary school in Sayville.
Tickling their funny bones with the Sayville Public Library theme of Laugh Out Loud (LOL) Books during the winter/spring program, the first-grade students read many of the books recommended by the public library.
“We started with Amelia Bedelia books and learned all about figurative language,” Philp explained, “and just like Amelia Bedelia does in her stories, we also made lemon meringue pies for our guests at Open School Night.”
In addition to the Library LOL list, Philp and her students searched for more books as well as jokes and poems to make them Laugh Out Loud. They created their own LOL Meter, (#1 being a “not funny” book and #10 being a “hysterical” book) to distinguish which books were the funniest. Each child chose a book from home, school, or the library to measure on the scale. The ambitious students also created a bar graph, with each child writing about his or her chosen LOL book.
“Several of my students and I attended the Amelia Bedelia book chat at the library where we displayed our LOL Meter and Graph in the children’s section of the library,” said Philp. “Since then, the Sayville Public library has gotten many requests for the books that were rated hysterical by the students.”
Sayville Library Director Alice Lepore acknowledged “the Board of Trustees and staff at the Sayville Library were happy to learn that a classroom teacher incorporated our Sayville Reads—A Town Laughing Out Loud program into a fun assignment. The LOL Meter created by Philp’s class and which has been placed in our Children’s Room, along with the booklets handmade by each child describing a book read, are being enjoyed by visitors of all ages. Thank you, Ms. Philp and students, for sharing with us.”
Among the books the students rated “hysterical” were Parts, More Parts by Ted Arnold, The Silly Book by Stoo Hample, Something Good by Robert Munsch, and Do Not Open This Book by Michaela Muntean. Everyone agreed that the absolute funniest book choice was The Silly Book, which as a result of the students’ participation, the Sayville Library has ordered for their shelves!
Some of the students were happy to share their thoughts about the program: Amelia said, “It was so much fun to listen to books that made us laugh out loud!” Maggie admitted not all students shared the same LOL opinions. “I thought There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Leaves was a #10 on the LOL Meter, but the majority of my class thought it was a #5 on the LOL Meter. Ms. Philp said it was a tough competition!” Everyone, however, agreed with John, “My favorite time was LOL book time!”
A video recording of Philp’s students reading their jokes, was played during Open School Night. The students were also invited to recite their LOL poems during the class reading, and after, at the library poetry reading which was held at the end of the month.
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