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My Origional Post:

I was just given a copy of the Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy and the puppet 
to go along with it. I would like to read it to my first grade tomorrow. We have a 
45 minute period so I'd like to follow up the story with an activity or discussion. 
I have a few ideas, but nothing very exciting. Has anyone done something great with 
this book? If you have please share! Thank you!

Thanks so much to everyone who shared an idea. A number of people mentioned that 
the book was better suited to older students. I agree, but since I only teach K and 
1st grades I decided to read it anyway. We discussed some of the language 
(incinerate, singed, etc) before we read the story and that helped make it more 
accessible to them. I hope in the future to be able to use the book with older 
classes. However, even though my first grade did not get all of the humor of the 
story they did enjoy the book and the puppet. The activity I ended up doing was 
introducing Venn Diagram's and using one to compare our library to the Sunrise 
Elementary Library from the story. The students did a great job with that and it 
will tie in nicely to another Venn Diagram activity I will be doing with them next 
week. Below is a list of all the responses I received.


For several years I used to use it with second grade classes at the beginning of 
the year, incorporating it into a review of library etiquette & book care. After 
reading the book we discussed the library dragon's rules and our "real rules". We 
simplified the rules so they were short enough for younger writers. (ie: Always 
wash your hands before handling a book" became "clean hands") Then, each child 
wrote one rule on "dragon scales" I had made on bright green, orange, or yellow
heavy paper and we put them on a dragon outline on the wall.  I am not an artist, 
but using crepe paper and drawing the tail & flames coming out of her mouth, and 
adding a healthy dose of imagination, it worked. The kids loved doing it, and it 
was a great way to review a dry subject.

I've never done an activity with it, but they could create their own dragon scale 
bookmarks and then you could laminate them.

I drew the big cat-eye glasses (2 on one piece of paper).  In the lens, I wrote 
"Today in the Library we read Library Dragon by Carmen Deedy."  The children could 
color the frames and decorate with the handful of sequins that I put on each table.

Could you make scales out of pringles potato chips?  Let the kids paint them with 
food coloring, and eat later?  Just a thought

When I was reading that book, I always wanted to make me a dragon costume to wear 
while I read it, and then unzip myself to show that I am not really a dragon as the 
story ends.  I never got that done, though.

I have the puppet too, however, I don't think I would recommend it for 
kindergartners.  The language is difficult.  I made a dragon tale out of cardboard 
and read the book to 3-4th grade and even they didn't understand it all.  We didn't 
do any follow up activity though.

IN my opinion this book is best done with 4th grade since the meanings of the many 
"fire related or heat related words" are way beyond the understanding of 1st grade. 
The illustrations alone take alot of explaining even to older students and I would 
not use it with children younger than 3rd. I know there are activities with it, but 
since I have been using it we do a list of words that are related to heat and 
discuss that aspect, having students look up each of the words we list.

I made a big cut out of the dragon minus the scales. Then I cut out green and 
purple scales.  The kids promised
To take good care of the books, etc. so the library dragon Doesn't have to come 
visit.  The dragon stays up all the
Time and I remind them every once in a while. I have been doing this with kinder 
ever since I got the Book and my kids who are in higher grades still ask Me if the 
library dragon is still there!

I use this book also. I thought I would point out that the wording is a bit 
difficult for the first graders. Much of the vocabulary is difficult for them. I 
tries it with the fourth graders and it seemed to work a bit better

I made large scales out of construction paper and had the kids write rules for the 
library on them.  We attached the scales to the head and claws of a dragon that I 
had made and displayed it in the hallway.

I actually used the book with fourth graders... they were better able to grasp some 
of the puns and jokes than my little guys.  First graders would really like the 
story, too, though!  With fourth, we created a chart for words and phrases in the 
book that had to do with heat or fire... they made a non-verbal sign (fanning 
themselves) when they heard one of those words. It was fun to see how many times 
she used words having to do with heat/fire! Maybe you could do a variation on that? 
 Maybe they could make their own puppets?  Or perhaps you could write a whole-class 
story on the Student
Dragons that make a mess of the library but lose their scales as they learn book 
care rules.

Library Dragon Lesson:

Thanks again to everyone for sharing your wonderful ideas!

Jessica Walsh
Library Media Specialist
Kindergarten Center
Plainview-Old Bethpage School District

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