Archives for August 2015

Fireflies Presents: A is for ANIMAL!

Fireflies Presents is for making memories. Fireflies Presents provides quick, easy tools to help your young child flourish in their creativity and communication. Fireflies Presents celebrates the joy and wonder of childhood.


We are excited to bring you this month’s script, A is for ANIMAL! We’ve got everything you need — original poems and songs, hand-drawn illustrations to use as puppets, tickets, and popcorn corns!

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 A is for ANIMAL is available for purchase HERE

TpT requires you to join before making a purchase. Don’t worry — it’s free and as easy as can be to sign up! The resources provided will be well worth your time! Click HERE to sign up!

We have designed our unique puppet theater available for purchase for Fireflies Presents.

Fireflies Puppet Theater

Email Cheryl Luedk and inquire about ordering a Fireflies Puppet Theater  HERE

OR simply throw a tablecloth across a curtain rod suspended in a door frame! Quick and easy!



Jocelyn Bartle

Noah Webster & His Words


From Publisher’s Weekly
“Noah’s dictionary is the second most popular book ever printed in English, after the Bible,” writes Ferris toward the end of this quick-witted biography of Webster, which more than does justice to the man and his body of work. Although Webster comes from a long line of farmers, “Noah did not want to be in that long line…. Noah wanted to be a SCHOL-AR [noun: one who goes to school; a person who knows a lot].” This mixture of biographical detail, humor, and vocabulary-building continues throughout Ferris’s account, and Kirsch’s scraggly mixed-media illustrations create a decidedly unstuffy atmosphere.


Webster is shown with a round, oversize head and exaggerated spindly limbs; as words come to define Webster’s life (so to speak), Kirsch occasionally uses swoopy script lettering as texture. Webster’s commitment to the newly formed nation of America is as evident as his love of language; a timeline and author’s note provide further detail about his life. A rousing success [noun: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose]. Ages 4–8.

From the Author:
I’ll do just about anything to make history come alive!  Some people think that history is old and dry and doesn’t have much to do with their own lives – wrong, wrong, wrong!  But never fear, I’ll show you what history is REALLY like.

Many of my books are about multicultural heroes who, until recently, have been sadly omitted from history. Others are about important people you may never have heard of before. They can’t wait for you to learn about them!  See how these people overcame great difficulties and did great things. They made a difference in our world – and so can you!

From Deni:
I highly recommend this book for your home library (I’ve already purchased 3).   The illustrations are engaging and the writing style makes it an extremely enjoyable read-aloud.   Here are some study guides that have been created for Noah Webster, including discussion questions to enhance learning and deepen understanding.

Study Guide #1

Study Guide #2

Study Guide #3

Check out Noah’s AWARDS:

2012 Distinguished Book Award for “outstanding literary merit, high quality of illustration and design, and contribution to a child’s understanding of the world”
from The Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California

The 2013 Eureka! Award
(silver honor book) for Excellence in Nonfiction from the California Reading Association

2013 Golden Kite Award
for “best non-fiction book of 2012,” from the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators

A 2013 Junior Library Guild Selection

“A rousing success.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

 ”It’s just as timely as old-timey — a charming book about a boy who preferred to read rather than do as his forefathers did.”
New York Times Book Review

“A good deal more fun than the subject might suggest.”
“The volume is a wonderful success in introducing Webster in such a charming manner.”

“The clever text, insertion of dictionary words, and hilarious illustrations make this a perfect book for everyone who loves words. This is a book to remember!”
—California Kids

“Delightful, educational, and completely fascinating.”
Huffington Post

Storytelling: Fill in the Blank!

Storytelling Set Graphic

Get ready to giggle!

…or chuckle!

…or roar with laughter!

Words paint mental pictures and inspire our creativity. This activity is based on the wonder of words! When a child is presented with a story frame with missing words they are given a foundation to create!

This activity is a bit like the game Mad Libs, but for maximizing your child’s storytelling experience the story’s context is known as they fill in the missing words. Read the story frame aloud to your child. Ask them to creatively fill in the blanks as the story unfolds. Be sure to encourage your child to think outside the box and think beyond the obvious choices. For your youngest storyteller, provide a little extra guidance on how to fill in the blanks.

When the story frame is completely filled in, read your improvised story aloud. Watch your child delight in the freedom of creativity! Maybe he would like to fill in the blanks again? How fun to discover the many different stories that can come from the same story frame!

Click HERE for your FREE sample story frame!

For additional story frames, you can find my YOUR STORY – Fill in the Blank Storytelling Set available for purchase HERE. TpT requires you to join before making a purchase. Don’t worry — it’s free and as easy as can be to sign up! The resources provided will be well worth your time! Click HERE to sign up!



Jocelyn Bartle

Words = Acrostic!


Anyone can create an original poem, especially an ACROSTIC.   As a follow-up writing activity to The Right Word, let’s explore creating an acrostic poem.

An acrostic is a poem in which the first letters of each line spell out a word or phrase. The word or phrase can be a name, a thing, or whatever you like. When children write acrostics, they often use their own first name, or sometimes the first name of a friend.

Begin by capitalizing the first letter of each line.  It is easier for children to see the original word spelled vertically down the page.

Acrostics are easy to rhyme and each line can be as long or as short as you want.


  1. Choose a word you want as your focus.
  2. Write the word vertically, capitalizing each letter.
  3. On another sheet of paper write down everything (words and/or phrases) that reminds you of or describes the word you chose.
  4. Check to see if any of the words you wrote down on your brainstorming sheet begins with the letters in your word.

The easiest poem for a child is write is something that they love – something they know a lot about.    For instance, boys usually choose a sports topic.

Grandfather With Son And Grandson Playing Baseball

Grandfather With Son And Grandson Playing Baseball


While brainstorming, I came up with:  catcher, bat, bases, pitcher, stands, popcorn, coach, outfield, and umpire.


Being a baseball player doesn’t mean I
Score.  But I do
Enjoy choosing my favorite
Bat. Running bases, and eating buttered popcorn.
Also, I
Love catching a pop up to
Left field

Children might also enjoy writing about something they don’t like, like chores and being sick.