Skip to main content

MEET ME AT THE CORNER: Virtual Field Trips for Kids

Meet Me at the Corner is a fabulous website for kids that offers virtual field trips. Started by Donna Guthrie, author of over 20 books for children with an MFA in Children's and Young Adult Writing from Vermont College, the site is sort of an educational (let me emphasize this - EDUCATIONAL - there are no clips of cats sneezing or people dancing in front of their mirrors here) YouTube for kids ages 7 - 13. There are currently over 60 kid friendly videos on the website and they cover a wide range of topics and each one comes with a list of recommended books and a Learning Corner with related questions and activities relating to the topic of each show. I first discovered the MEET ME AT THE CORNER in October of 2008 when I was writing my review of Michael Buckley's excellent series, The Sisters Grimm. I found a video narrated by Emma, who is a fan of the series. The field trip begins outside the building where Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams, the publisher of the series, is housed. Emma goes inside, explains the business a bit then sits down with Mr Buckley for an interview. While the two speak images of the illustrations from the books as well as images of the books of Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm float by when appropriate. The movie lasted a little over four minutes and I learned things I never knew about the series and the Grimms - did you know they had a sister? - I was hooked.

My 5 year old, a They Might Be Giants fan, has recently taken a liking to their song, "The Edison Museum." I was thrilled when I logged on today and saw a field trip to the Thomas Edison National History Museum, led by Carter who is accompanied by an actor portraying Edison. Of course I pulled out a few books on Edison for my son, but really, for his age, he got much more out of the virtual field trip that he did looking at any of the pictures in the books I had. There are over 20 categories of field trips and they cover everything from sports, poetry, music (a visit to the stage of Hairspray and a talk with the director) tavel, pets and cooking. There is a field trip to the Blessing of the Animals at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in NYC to a tutorial on Gargoyles. Every field trip is headed and narrated by a child with adults providing additional information and insight. I could go on and on with all the great field trips, but for those of you in my neck of the woods, don't miss all the trips in the San Diego area!

But, my favorite clips on the site are from the BIG APPLE BOOK REVIEW. These are great little "book hooks" in which a young person presents a book and discusses the plot, interspersed with images from the book or related subjects. I watched a clip for the book Whittington by Alan Armstrong. I had seen this book on the shelves and wanted to check it out and was very pleased with Chandra, the presenter's, discussion of it. I think that promise of a spot on the BIG APPLE BOOK REVIEW might be a great incentive to get kids reading, or a super project for a book report.


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…