Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Virtual, at-home art activities

How to draw a cardinal

By Children’s Librarian Genevieve Grove While we live very close to one of the most well-known art museums in the world, you don’t need to leave Oak Park, or even your desk, to experience art! Here are a couple of fun resources to explore and use to make your own art, too. Try these activities … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Exploring your neighborhood

Mr. José in his neighborhood

Feeling stuck in your own neighborhood? Let’s visit Mr. Jose as he walks us around his Chicago neighborhood, Belmont Cragin, and shows us some of his favorite places. If you were making a video tour of your neighborhood, what are your favorite parts that you would show off? What other places would you like to visit by … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Using technology responsibly

Two kids with cell phone

By Middle School Services Librarian Beronica Puhr This winter, be safe with what you send over your digital device and where your devices end up after their lifespan ends. Check out these digital titles available on Hoopla E-Waste in Guiyu, China by Shannon Berg (grades 3-6): Understanding what “e-waste” means and how Guiyu, China was … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Gender identity

Transgender spelled out on cubes

By Children’s Librarian Hal Patnott It’s Transgender Awareness Week, an annual event dedicated to educating our communities about the lives of transgender people. Transgender Awareness Week is celebrated every year during the week leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20), a day set aside to recognize each life lost during the year to … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Math

Mr. Luis and Honor

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Math. Did you just shudder? Or grin? Most people have a strong reaction to math, one way or the other.  When I was growing up, one of my absolute must see shows was Square One TV on PBS. I was definitely a book person over a math person, but I … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Physical & human geography

Toy person on a map

By Children’s Librarian Genevieve Grove I have always loved looking at maps and studying about other countries and cultures my whole life. Could it be because my last name was Atlas? While I didn’t become a geographer, I still thinks it’s fascinating! Geography has two main branches:  Physical geography studies the Earth itself: landforms, oceans, … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Code, create, design, play & learn digitally

Pixel alien on wall

By Middle School Services Librarian Beronica Puhr Learn about new tech information in a safe manner with digital titles available in your digital library, create-on-your-own websites, and tech news sources for kids! Check out these digital titles The Fake News Phenomenon by Duchess Harris Snap It! Snapchat Projects for the Real World by Carolyn Bernhardt The Robot … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Bomba music

Hands drumming

By Children’s Librarian José Cruz This week, I would like to introduce the African influence on Puerto Rican music by exploring Bomba traditions. Bomba music is a call and response process where the dancer communicates with the drummers and vice versa. This musical tradition dates back to 17th century Puerto Rico, and it served as … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Hands-on art

Kid painting

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris There are so many reasons art is important, including that it can reduce stress and anxiety. What child or adult doesn’t need that during this pandemic? This article from NPR goes into the details, joys, and benefits of creating—knitting, writing, baking, collaging, and more. What will your family create this … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Let’s talk about bodies & puberty

Kid looking at anatomy on tablet

By Children’s Librarian Hal Patnott Developing accurate and affirming language to name the parts of our bodies and understanding the ways in which bodies change as we age is an important skill for young people to learn. Not only is it a matter of physical health, but it also provides young people with better tools … Read more

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