Library as Artifact(ory)

We love libraries for the artifacts they hold. Whether these artifacts are eighty year old travelogues or Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, we frequent libraries for the community resources they provide, community artifacts that bring us knowledge and pleasure.

Among the many activities that have occurred in the library this week, we’ve hosted two dramatically different approaches to artifacts and the knowledge they exude.

Artifact 1: Old Mama Squirrel, by David Ezra Stein

With this artifact newly added to our collection, our PreK learned how Ol’ Mama Squirrel herself shoos off any predator who threatens her children with a resounding repetition of “CHOOK CHOOK CHOOK!.” (My apologies, PreK parents, if this is how your children are now using this to deal with their own problems. We CHOOK CHOOK CHOOK’d until I was out of breath, and I may have let it slip that Ol’ Mama Squirrel’s strategy could work for them). This particular artifact helped build a speedy sense of community around a humorous mother squirrel and the predators she faces.

Artifact 2: Circles and Soup with the 6th Grade

In this collective inquiry activity, our sixth graders developed ideas for who they might honor in an memorial alter they will create for their art class with Ms. Leenstra and eventually display in the Tacoma Art Museum. The artifacts small groups created helped to clarify different options  might produce on the altar, and the entire class had an opportunity to add to the ‘idea soup’ they created. After leaving the library, they gave more formal presentations on their ideas and voted as a group to decide whom they would build an altar for.

Some artifacts we find, some artifacts we make. The library has space for all sorts of artifacts for communities to undertake.

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