Making Music: Sticks and Drums

Sticks make magical musical instruments.  With sticks, anything can become a musical instrument.  Today we are going to explore stories and activities around drumming, including building our own drums and drumsticks!

Drums are considered on of the oldest musical instruments created by humankind.   The earliest form of today’s drum dates back to 5500 BCE,  to the Neolithic era, where animal skin  was strung across the top of a ceramic pot or tree trunk.

For more information on the history of drums visit

Drumming in Indigenous Culture

The drum holds an important position in Indigenous culture.  Northern College explains the spirituality of the drum:

“For First Nations Peoples, the drum represents the universal heartbeat of Mother Earth, the Universal goddess and mother to us all. The first sound that was heard in the world was the heartbeat of Mother Earth. First Nations Peoples manifest this heartbeat through playing a special rhythm on the drum. This Rhythm facilitates healing and realignment of the four realms of human existence (Mental, Spiritual, Emotional and Physical) because the Creator revolves around the rhythm. The drum, when combined with the voice, creates a hum that rests between the voice and the drum and is thought to be the spirits of the Ancestors.”

David Bouchard, a beloved Canadian Métis author from Vancouver wrote a beautiful story about the Cree Round Dance in his story, “The Drum Calls Softly”.  The story is also written by Shelley Willier and illustrated by Jim Poitras.

Listen to the French version, “Entre dans la Grande Ronde” here:


Watch a video on traditional Coast Salish Drum Making here: 

For more information on Indigenous drumming in British Columbia, please visit, The Drum: Heartbeat of Our Indigenous Cultures.

Drumming is Special

Drumming hold a special place for many many people.  In the story, Max Found Two Sticks, by Brian Pinkney, Max uses two sticks to express the world he experiences around him.  In the following read aloud, Calderwood Percussion plays the drums to the reading of “Max Found Two Sticks”:

Crafting Drums

Today, let us try making our own drums and drumsticks.  I explain how to make a drum from recycled materials here: Quick and Simple Drums by Mme Zibin

After I made my drums, I looked up bucket drumming online to practice learning to drum.   I’m not musical, but it was a lot of fun trying and getting started.  M. Zibin is a drummer and I love the bucket drumming lessons Mme Williams teaches to our Grades 5-7s.  I hope to learn more in Mme Williams’ class next year!

Here’s an example of some drums made by a Grade 4 student:

If you made any drums and created a song, I’d love to see/hear!  Email me at

Happy drumming,

🙂 Mme Zibin


Making Stick People

Today is a great day to make stick people.  It’s drizzling outside so a walk in the sheltered forest is a lovely idea.

Made by EH and AH, Grade 4 and 6
Stick Family made by NDO and LDO, Grade Kindergarten and 4.

Please read the eBook I created below to lead you through today’s activity:

How to Make Stick People by Mme Zibin: eBook

In the ebook I have included some stand up comedy by the Fanta-stick Mme Feuille Feuille:

I made the video on ChatterPix, a simple and fun animation app for kids.  Find the tutorial here:

Here is an example of a ChatterPix video made by a kindergarten student with her stick mermaid:

Here is an example of a movie and Grade 4 student made with her stick person and the green screen.  She made a stick family and they went camping.  Inspired by the story “Stick Man” by Julia Donaldson:

Have fun creating!  Send me an email to if you would like to show me what you’ve made!

🙂 Mme Zibin

It’s Stick Week! June 9th to 12th, 2020

This will be the last week of library lessons as I move to inventory in the library and creating the Grade 7 grad video – a big big job I accomplish on my own time outside of school, which I love.

It’s Stick Week!  Visit the blog every day for stories and activities surrounding the simple stick.  We will read stick stories, make stick people, learn about the power of the Talking Stick from an Indigenous chief, and play games with sticks.  I hope you will join me!

I will be following a bit of the old format this week, starting with our weekly read aloud, “Stick Man” by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.  Today, the illustrator himself, Axel Scheffler, will be reading us this wonderful story!

Have you visited the wonderful You Tube channel Gruffalo World?   All of Julia Donaldson’s stories come alive in animation on this charming channel.   After listening to “Stick Man”, check out this “Stick Man” video from Gruffalo World:

I hope you enjoyed today’s story!  Tomorrow join me to make a stick person from twigs, yarn and other nature materials!

Have a great day,

Mme Zibin 🙂

Blanket Fort Challenge Submissions from the Week of June 1st – 8th, 2020

What a fun week!  I wanted to show you a few of the blanket fort challenge entries I received:

1.  Photo of Your Blanket Fort

Sending in a photo of your blanket fort earned you one submission into our Volume One Books gift certificate draw.

Mme Zibin and her dog Walter’s blanket fort.


A wood shed turned into a blanket fort by a kindergarten and grade 4 student; NDO and LDO


A blanket fort with a Frankentoy from our after-school Frankentoy Workshop. Quote by student, ND in Grade 6.


Blanket Fort made by BE and OE, Grade 1 and PreK


2.  Photo of You in Your Blanket Fort Reading a Book

Sending in a photo of your blanket fort with you reading a book earned you a second submission into our Volume One Books gift certificate draw.

Walter loves reading the “Walter the Farting Dog” series.


EC reads “I am Peace” and IC reads “I Am Martin Luther King”.


IA reads “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” and PA reads “Anne’s Kindred Spirits”.


CY reads “Auggie & Me”, MM reads “Behind the Scenes at the Museum” , CY reads ? and RY reads “The Corpse with the Garnet Face”.


BE Grade 1 reads Marvel’s “Thanos” and OE “Pete the Cat”.


Grade 1 student MH reads “Treasure Island”


Grade 2 student WE reads Dragon Masters in his blanket fort.


Grade 2 student PC reads The Girl Who Drank the Moon and her brother TC, Grade 6, reads Dog Man in their blanket fort they built on their mom’s bed.


Grade 4 student LDO reads Dog Diaries by James Patterson


Kindergarten student NDO reads Houndsley and Catina: Through the Seasons by James Howe.

2.  Video Tour of Your Blanket Fort

Sending in a video tour of your blanket fort earned you a third submission into our Volume One Books gift certificate draw.

Mme Zibin’s tour of Walter’s Blanket Fort (example):


Video tour by LDO and NDO, Grade 4 and Kindergarten:


Video tour by BE and OE, Grade 1 and PreK:


Video Tour by PH and KH, Grade 6 and Grade 3:

Video Tour by IA and PA, Grade 7 and Grade 3:

Video Tour by WE, Grade 2:

3.  Planning Sketch of Your Blanket Fort

Sending in a planning sketch of your blanket fort earned you a fourth submission into our Volume One Books gift certificate draw.

LDO and NDO’s planning sketch for their blanket fort.


BE and OEs design sketch of their blanket fort.

4.  Viewing all the Fort Story Read Alouds for  Our Fort Week

Sending in a list of all the fort stories you listened to, including the aauthor and title of each book, earned you a fifth submission into our Volume One Books gift certificate draw.

I hope you had a blast this past week and spent many hours reading, dreaming, playing and creating in your blanket fort.  Winners will be announced tomorrow.

🙂 Mme Zibin

It’s Fort Week! June 1st – June 8th, 2020

C’est la semaine de la cabane!  It’s fort week in the VIRTUAL library learning commons!  Click on image and read below to learn more:

Many of our students are returning to school this week while others will be staying home.  What a better way to welcome everyone back than with a Library Learning Commons Fort Challenge:

Keep on reading to find out more information about our contest!

Why Build a Fort?

Building forts, whether out of blankets, boxes, or pillows, was one of my most favourite things to do as a child.  In fact, building forts are good for us and can provide us with a safe place to escape.  In the article, “Why kids love building forts — and why experts say they might need them more than everpublished in the Washington Post on May 18th, 2020, fort building can “reflect children’s growth as individuals; they create a “home away from home,” free from parental control. Forts also foster creativity.

IKEA created a wonderful fort guide for children over the lockdown to encourage people to stay home: 

This week I have to feature read alouds in our Virtual Learning Commons.  The first is one of my most favourite picture books, “Everything You Need for a Treehouse” written by Carter Higgins and illustrated by the talented Emily Hughes:

Packed full of wonderful ideas for forts, “Everything You Need for a Treehouse” is a must listen before beginning your fort building.

Another featured story this week is the charming, “Fort Building Time” by Megan Wagner Lloyd and illustrated by Abigail Halpin:

So draw up some plans and get building!

École Mount Prevost’s LLC Blanket Fort Challenge

Our Blanket Fort Challenge is meant to build creativity and fun while fostering the love of reading and stories.  The guidelines for the challenge are as follows:

  1. Use can use whatever you want to build your fort.  It does not have to be from blankets only.
  2. You can build your fort inside or outside your home.
  3. You can build your fort with your siblings.  Each sibling will be entered individually for the family fort.
  4. If you cannot build a fort for yourself due to space or time, you can draw a fort or build a fort from Lego, blocks or toys.
  5. You can build a model fort from cardboard or recyclables.
  6. Take a picture of your fort and send it to Mme Zibin at for a chance to win a $25, $15, or $10 gift certificate from our local bookstore, Volume One Books!
  7. Photos of your fort are due no later than Monday, June 8th by 7 pm.

How to Earn More Entries 

You can earn more entries into the draw by including the following:

  • Extra entry if we can see you reading a book in the fort.  BOOK COVER SHOULD COVER YOUR FACE for privacy reasons.  BOOK COVER SHOULD BE VISIBLE to help promote the book.
  • Send in a design sketch of your fort to show your planning.
  • Listen to ALL of the fort stories in this week’s virtual library.  Send in a list of all the titles you listened to and include the author’s names.
  • Create a video tour of your fort, explaining the special features.

Each bullet will earn you an extra entry.  Please submit your work to Mme Zibin at by Monday, June 8th at 7 pm.

If you would like to contribute your child’s weekly reading responses to our Friday gallery, please visit the “Submitting Work” page for more information.

I’m going to build a fort too!  I’ll share it with you later in the week.

A big thank you to SW and JW for allowing me to use their blanket fort to promote the challenge.  Thank you to mom, TW, for the photograph.

Have a great week and I look forward to seeing those that return,

🙂 Mme Zibin

It’s Garden Week: May 25th – May 29th, 2020

C’est la semaine “Dans le jardin”! “It’s In the Garden Week” week in the VIRTUAL library learning commons!  Click on image and read below to learn more:
A la bibliothèque for the week of May 25th – 29th, 2020.
This week’s theme is “In the Garden” or “Dans le jardin”.
Click on a book cover to access a link to online read alouds in French and in English.
Stories include:
  • Une si petite graine by Eric Carle
  • Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds illustrations by Peter Brown
  • The Bad Seed by John Jory
  • Rose la graine by Benédicte Guettier
  • Graine d’arc-en-ciel by Benoît Charlat
  • and so many more!
  • The Vegetable Song (I think the song is hilarious myself)
  • Make a Creepy Carrot
  • Draw a Creepy Carrot with Mme Zibin
  • Draw The Bad Seed with Mme Zibin
  • Germinate Seeds activity
  • Watch a bean seed sprout in time lapse – so cool!
  • How Does a Seed Grow into a Plant?
If your child has any work they would like to share, please send it to me by Friday morning. I adore seeing their work.  See “Submitting Work” page for more information.  
Have a great week!
🙂 Mme Zibin

It’s Earthworm Week! La semaine des verres de ter

C’est la semaine des verres de terre! It’s earthworm week in the VIRTUAL library learning commons!  Click on image and read below to learn more:

Earthworms are one of my favourite little creatures. I love them so much I decided to dedicate a whole week to these vital little wigglers.
I have changed the blog a bit this week and created a “Virtual Library”. Simply open the link and your child can click on any of the objects in the library to learn about these hard little workers.
  • Mme Zibin reads: “Carl and the Meaning of Life” by Deborah Freedman
  • “Soil Your Undies” Challenge for soil awareness
  • Draw “A Creepy Pair of Underwear” with Mme Zibin
Read alouds:
  • “A Creepy Pair of Underwear” by Aaron Reynolds read aloud
  • “The Little Gardener” by Emily Hughes read aloud
  • “Superworm” by Julia Donaldson read aloud
  • “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett full audio chapter book
  • “Diary of a Worm” by Doreen Cronin ebook from Scholastic
  • “Yucky Worms” by Vivian French read aloud
Crafts and Activities:
  • Make a wriggly worm
  • All about vermicompost
  • DIY Wormery
And so much more! I hope you will join me. I will be reading The Wild Robot all this week as well.
Have a great week and I would love to see any earthworm projects or observations you get up to,
🙂 Mme Zibin

Today is Gallery Day!

Today is Gallery Day!  What another great week!  The Pet Reading Photo Challenge had a few first time sharers and I am thrilled to show you all of the work.  Here is a quick sneak peak:

I am aiming for all work to be posted between 3 – 4 pm.

If your child has work they would like to submit, please know I will accept work at any time, there is no deadline.  The only reason I post after 3pm on Fridays is to have as much work as possible revealed at once.  I will however, add student work anytime after.

Please see the “Submitting Student Work” Page for more information.

🙂 Mme Zibin

Book Cover or Pets Reading Photo Challenge

Oh my word, today’s reading challenges are so much fun!

Challenge One: Recreate a Book Cover

It’s simple; using what you have around the house, recreate a book cover.  Here are some examples to inspire you:

Image Source: New York Public Library


From the New York Public Library


From @lepetiteeducator on Instagram
From @domegomez.c on Instagram

Use your toilet paper roll characters to recreate a book cover like I did:

Matilda book cover
Mme Zibin’s Matilda
Pretty good match, don’t you think?

You can use the different fonts on Book Creator or another photo editing app to remake your book cover.  You can also just draw the text around yourselves or your toilet paper roll character like these two did:

From Twitter: @haha_tucksy

Or here:

You just need to get creative and problem solve with what you have around!

Challenge Two: Pets Read

There’s nothing more adorable than pets acting like humans, especially when they are reading!

Image Source: Pinterest
Image Source: Pinterest

Image Source: Pinterest
Image Source: Pinterest

Just make sure that you don’t harm your pets for the photos.  If you don’t have a pet, imaginary pets are perfectly acceptable, as long as you are getting creative.

I’m going to leave you with this adorable video I saw yesterday of a  boy in England reading the story “Owl Babies” to baby owls:

Reading with animals is the best!

I can’t wait to see what you create today,

🙂 Mme Zibin





Photo Quote Challenge

Today, get creative with a favourite book and a quote about reading!

Challenge Guidelines:

  1. You must somehow include your favourite book(s) in the photo
  2. Include a quote about reading – don’t forget the quotation marks and to credit the author of the quote.

What you need:

  • A camera; your phone or tablet will work wonderfully!
  • Your book(s)
  • Creativity


  1.  To start, find a quote about reading that speaks to you.  If you google “Quotes about reading” you will have no problem finding many examples.   You will also notice under “Images” that there are a many examples of photo reading quotes already out there.
  2. Once you have a quote, gather your photo props.   For my example, I used our Grade 6/7 read aloud book “Bloom” for my prop and I found some vines outside to prop Bloom on.
  3.  Once you have your props, arrange them into a scene or vignette, making sure to leave enough bland space to add your quote***

***If you are using photo editing tools to digitally add your quote, such as Book Creator, Moldiv or Photo Editor, leave a blank space to add your text later:

***If you want to skip the digital tools, take a picture with the quote written on paper and include it in your photo, like so:

4.  Play around with taking your photo!  You can include whatever and whomever you like in your photo – let your creativity run wild!

Here I used my toilet paper roll characters in a reading quote: 

I used Book Creator to make the photo reading quotes above.  Book Creator is on all our iPads at school and a great tool to get to know for school projects and book making.  I didn’t meet one criteria of the photo challenge in my above examples though?  What am I missing?

Photo Editing

To add text on top of your photo, you can use many free digital photo editing tools.  Common Sense Media wrote this wonderful article on photo editing tools for children

My favourite photo editing tools are mentioned in the article an include:

And Book Creator works wonderfully too!  I use Book Creator and Photoshop Express often, as well as Canva.

Keeping it Simple: Using a Word Document

If you are not wanting to use photo editing tools for your photo quote challenge, you can also insert your photo into a Word document and use the tools in the program to write your text on top of your photo there.  Simply save as a document and you are done!

Here are some of my examples using different photo editing tools:

  1. Moldiv App 

2.  Book Creator App 

3.  Canva (2) 

I found Book Creator and Canva the easiest to use.  Canva comes with a bunch of free layout options and you just upload the photo and type your text.  You can change the font and colours of the text in Canva too.  I was using the free version of Canva that comes on all our school district iPads.

I can’t wait to see what you create!

🙂 Mme Zibin


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