Let's Celebrate Star Wars Day!
by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
You may have noticed by now that here at The Book Chook, I love to celebrate. I very much enjoy special days that offer us the opportunity to sneak some literacy and learning into our kids' lives. Star Wars Day will take place on May 4 - May the fourth be with you - geddit? So we have a few days to prepare for the fun.
Star Wars Day would be a great time to visit your local and school libraries to borrow non-fiction, graphic novels, or books set in a Star Wars world. Some of the licensed books have lots of great pictures from the movies and a thin storyline. I must beat back my inner snob about such books because KIDS LOVE THEM. And to me, having kids love to read, having them eager to open the pages of a book, is paramount. If your child is a reluctant reader, starting with books that have lots of great pictures and a small amount of text might be a turning point for them.
Here are some more activities you could try with your kids to celebrate Star Wars Day. Some of these activities involve using internet tools and websites. Supervision is always advised with kids and the internet.
* What could be more fun than a Star Wars party? Kids could have light sabre fights with pool noodles, play Jedi mind tricks on each other, build worlds with LEGO, and watch a Star Wars movie. If you want a full-scale party, read about one in detail at Crack of Dawn Crafts. If you'd like something much simpler and cheaper, Bethany from No Twiddle Twaddle has you covered.
* Create a comic at Star Wars: Trilogy Comic Creator. This is like most comic editors, where kids must select characters, backgrounds etc. They can choose panels, a title page, and work on each panel. Text is not really editable - you need to choose from the built-in offering of sentences. You need to do a screen grab for a digital image, but there's an option to print. It might entrance real Star Wars fans but I found it underwhelming. However, under 12 I am not.
* Have kids create their own wookieepedia where they list and describe favourite characters and scenes from the Star Wars movies. They could dress toys and teddies as Star Wars characters and invite another class to their display.
* Guide children to design a poster with a Star Wars theme. For quickness, you could try Keep Calm-o-matic. How would Yoda say Keep Calm and Carry On? (Calm you shall keep and carry on you must!)
* At school, read Star Wars books, design a Star Wars-like avatar, write a paragraph persuading a friend that the Star Wars character of your choice is the best.
* At home, help kids put made up names into the Star Wars name generator. Great opportunity to explain why it's NOT a good idea to ever use real names online! I discovered: "Your Star Wars name is: Slyug Motan. Your Star Wars honorific name is: Ylgcantar of Codral."
* Explore Star Wars.com with your kids. Games like Star Wars Galactic Spy are perfect to share with younger kids, as the goal is mostly to find small items in detailed pictures. Or try Ewok Village, where you need to build the best home on Endor. There are also some great real life activities, including paper craft printable characters, puppets (Chewbacca sock puppet!), a Death Star piñata, and instructions for how to draw R2-D2.
* Help kids turn themselves into a Jedi by uploading a photo of themselves at Photofunia.
* Learn to draw a cartoon Jawa, Yoda or other Star Wars characters.
* If your kids want to make stop motion videos, check out this excellent example with them: LEGO Star Wars: Storm Trippin'. I watched (and enjoyed!) it right through and could find nothing to stop me sharing it with most primary-aged+ kids. There is LEGO violence with shooting and light sabres but that's kind of what you expect with Star Wars. However, all kids and parents are different, so I recommend you watch it right through before sharing it too. (Around 10 minutes long.)
Book Chook Challenges for kids:
* Set up some Star Wars toys to tell a story and take pictures of them in sequence with your camera so you can share your story with others. If you have time, you could use software to turn your images into a movie, or animate them. Find more details in Visual Story Telling.
* Make a Star Wars pop-up card. Paper engineer Matthew Reinhart has Anakin Skywalker, Chewbacca, Darth Vader and more at his website.
* Choose a Star Wars character and explain to your friends why that character is the best/the strongest/the smartest or your choice of "--est".
* At StarWars.com, in the encyclopaedia, C3PO is described as a "fretful protocol droid". Choose other Star Wars characters, draw them, and give them 3 word descriptions.
* Choose an activity from the DK Star Wars website and have fun with it!
* Rewrite a short piece of text the way Yoda would say it.
* Test your memory with Scholastic's Jedi Trainer game.
* Make a Star Wars toy from paper via Toy-A-Day.
And finally, a quote from one of my favourite Star Wars characters:
You'll find other special days and celebrations here at The Book Chook by clicking "Celebrating" in the blog's right sidebar.