Snack on sweet and sour candies while talking about the discussion questions in individual table groups.
Guess the emotion. In the book, Ms. Clevis is affected by the emotions of the people around her, which turns her into either sweet Jackie or mean Ms. Hyde. In this game, each participant will wear a headband with an emotion on it. The participants will mingle and chat, but they will respond to each other by acting out the emotion listed on the other person’s headband. After 5 minutes or so, come back as a group and see if everyone can guess what emotion is listed on his/her headband.
One of the science fair projects given in the book is a thaumatrope. Create the famous “bird in cage” thaumatrope illusion and then allow participants to create their own illusions. (Fortunately, I’ve done this before as part of a science program, so I have all the materials prepped!)
Other snack possibilities: monster themed candy or cookies, smoothies, …
Other possible activities:
- erupting volcanoes
- other science demonstrations or projects
Three families attended, and the moms were all really engaged. This helped the discussion and activities go smoothly. The guess the emotion game was almost too easy – almost everyone guessed based on the first person they interacted with – but it was fun. The thaumatropes were a big hit. They were easy and fun. The boys made two each, one bird-in-the-cage and one they designed themselves, and I think all the parents made one as well.
Next month – Akiko on the Planet Smoo by Mark Crilley
- When Ms. Hyde wanted to go somewhere people were generally mean and nasty, she chose the mall. Where would you go if you wanted to see people behaving their worst? Where would you go if you wanted to see people behaving their best? Why?
- Ms. Clevis wants to go back to being herself – not all good, not all bad, but some of both. Could a person be all good or all bad? Why?
- Describe the best teacher you’ve ever had. What makes a good teacher?
- Jackie is surprised to find out that she is 11 years old again. Parents: If you could be your child’s age for a day, what would you do? Kids: If you could be your parent’s age for a day, what would you do?
- Bud and Lud surprised Ms. Hyde by taking good care of the lost boy. Tell about a time you were surprised by someone’s behavior, either because it was better or worse than you expected.
- Dawn tells Jackie that she thinks her life might be more fun if she was bad sometimes. What do you think? Is it easier to be bad or good? Why?
- If you had to do a science fair project, what topic would you choose? Why?