Strega Nona and Seashells

When Rebecca showed up on Tuesday she was toting two things:
a cut-out from a cardboard box she'd decorated with a lion w/wings

and an empty shoebox 
"The shoe box is for the craft today," she explained.  "Oh!" I smiled, "What are we making?"
"I don't know yet..." she continued as we walked to the table.

She'd remembered to bring the additional poems I'd asked her to write for homework.  Her mom took the liberty of printing them out like we did during our lesson last week:

I told her that both poems were fantastic, but the second one was my favorite.  "Which of the two do you prefer?" I asked, and she immediately pointed to the first.  "Because it's about my sister," she began, "she's always on the couch...she's always pouting...she's always cranky..."

Rebecca did, however, forget "Commy" (her communication journal) and her spelling words at home.  "Darn," I began and snapped my fingers, "guess we'll just have to skip the spelling test." She grinned and we moved along to our book of the week:
If you're an early childhood educator in the states, chances are you know and love Tomie dePaola and his marvelous picture books.  One of my all-time favorite storybook characters is Strega Nona.  I would have preferred to start with the story Strega Nona, but it's been one of the books that I haven't been able to find over the last few months.  So I went with something similar, and it actually worked out perfectly, because this book is the prequel to Strega Nona.  We read the story...
and on the last page there was a picture of Big Anthony at Strega Nona's door.  "Who's that?" Rebecca asked inquisitively.  The thought of not being able to follow through with the teachable moment just because I can't find the book killed me.  I grabbed my iPad and headed to YouTube.
thank Heaven for the Internet
This isn't the exact video we watched--the one we watched just showed Tomie dePaola's original illustrations as the narrator read, but I do like the puppet version above.

We moved along to the craft.  I told Rebecca that recently I was at my mother-in-law's house in Umbria and she gave me a stack of decoupage paper to use for the schoolhouse:
"It might be cool to use it to decorate your box..." I said.
"Yeah!" she exclaimed as she clasped her hands together.  She chose the seashells page and we worked together to decorate the box.

put a bit in a cup

mix with some water

can be used as an adhesive

or a glaze

A perfect storage space for seashell collections and other treasures

When the box was complete we both sat back and marveled at it. "I love decoupage," she said.  "That makes two of us," I replied.  "But your box still needs something...a secret on the inside, perhaps?" She nodded.

We decided on adding a poem about something sea or ocean related.  This is what she came up with:

Who knows? Next week might be "Strega Nona sells seashells by the seashore."

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