Friday afternoons in kindergarten are always challenging… for me. My energy is spent and I’m just down right exhausted. We usually plan extra long Choice Time and I relish the opportunity to just observe and play with my sprouts instead of pulling them one on one to read or assess. Last Friday was no exception and with the lurking super-sized full moon, the entire class was quite energetic.

As we cleaned up and sat together in our meeting area, the liveliness was overwhelming… I needed to calm them down so we could get ready quickly… I needed to calm them down to prevent my head from popping off. As in most primary classrooms, non-fiction is the exception, not the rule. Personally, I adore non-fiction and I know many children do too. I went to my secret stash of non-fiction books and pulled Amazing Snakes from the pile.

Kids love snakes. I love snakes. Snakes are cool. Snakes are scary… in that rollercoaster it’s fun to be scared way.

“Girls and boys, I have a very special book to read you,” I teased, holding the book in my lap so no one could spy the cover.

A hush came over the group.

“Amazing… SNAKES!” I shouted, trying my best to say ‘snakes’ in scary way.

Well like a snake charmer taming a wild cobra with a hypnotizing pungi, they all sat at attention and were entranced by my book. I made sure to read it with my best suspenseful voice and outlined the goriness and horror of the photos. They loved it.

I finished the book and with the group quiet, we were able to get ready for dismissal quickly and quietly. As we move deeper into spring and it begins to get nicer outside, I’ll be pulling more tricks out of my non-fiction bag to help soothe the natives.