by Jim Aylesworth
Illustrated by Stephen Gammell
The Minnesota Humanities Organization has developed a study guide
in connection with its listing of storybooks with a Minnesota
connection -- Illustrator Stephen Gammell lives in Minnesota.In
2006, Minnesota Humanities included this time on their Storytime
list and created a study guide. Access the guide here.
Choral Reading/Performance (organizing):
Make an alphabetical list of the
items Aylesworth used in this book to represent each of the letters of
the alphabet. Apple pie, baby, cookies, dog, eggs, frosting, and so
Distribute the words on a card, one to each person in the group.
Give each person a large piece of
paper and ask that each person create an illustration that will depict
the word on their card. Dark, vivid colors will be more visible to the
audience when the illustrations are used in the performance.
Each person should memorize the verse in which their "word" appears.
Line those who will be reciting the
verses in a straight line. Their illustrations should be held in front
of them, turned so that the audience can see only the blank back side
of the illustration.
As Old Black Fly is
recited by the group, the person whose verse is being recited should
step forward and turn his/her illustration for the audience to see. As
each participant steps back into the line they should keep their
illustration so that the audience can continue to see the drawing.
When the text is completed, all of the illustrations should be visible to the audience.
If you wish recite the text one more
time, this time as the text is recited reverse the illustrations so
that at the end all of the illustrations will be displaying the blank
side once again.
On the flap of the book jacket
Aylesworth says, "My kids [first grade students] love to help me sing
this book. They take the 'Shoo fly' part and I take the rest." If you
can sing this text ask the listeners in your group to join in on the
refrain just as Aylesworth does. If you can't sing it perhaps you can
find someone else who can, your school's music teacher, a parent
volunteer, or perhaps your school's principal.
Aylesworth, Jim. Old Black Fly.
Illustrated by Stephen Gammell. Holt, 1992. 32 pages. ISBN: 00805014012
(o.p.); ISBN: 0805039244 (paperback, 1995); ISBN: 0805058400 (Board