Book Club – Hunters of the Great Forest by Dennis Nolan

In this wordless book, Hunters of the Great Forest by Dennis Nolan, detailed drawings tell the story of a group of courageous gnome-like characters out on a hunt.  They brave many dangers along the way to bring back a special treasure.

How many times have you seen children pick up a book, only to peruse carefully and thoughtfully at each page of pictures?  Or how delightful to hear children pick up a book and pretend to read, making up their own version of the story.  This is one of the most important steps in early literary.  Wordless books are a wonderful way to teach children the structure of a story, develop oral language (in any language) and use their imagination.

Activity – Hike, Collect, Write

This book club activity takes place in the great outdoors and is especially fun for kids who are active learners.

Step 1: Find a good trail

Step 2: Stop at a shady spot to read, “Hunters of the Great Forest

Step 3: Collect small items in a bag for a book that will be made.

Step 4: Hike, explore, and collect!

Step 5: Categorize findings.

Step 6: Make a book with your amazing treasures!

Go to Ziploc Book for instructions on making the book.

Instructions on making a ziploc book

Find a  picnic table or lay out a blanket and unload the treasures from your walk. Have the children categorize their findings into piles.  Most kids collect a pretty significant pile of “loot” so they will need to decide what goes in the book.  Ask them how they might organize – by color, shape, size, plant (leaves or flowers), rock, shell, etc.  Once they have made their categories, have them choose 5 or items or so that will go in their books (maybe a variety of leaves or small rocks, or maybe one of each – rock, leaf, flower, etc).

Glue or tape an item to each page.

When it comes time to write the words, meet your child where they are at developmentally.  Here are some options:

  • Your child dictates the words to you and you write them.  Since you want them to be able to practice reading their own book or retelling the story.  Keep it simple, either one word or one sentence.
  • Have your child try to sound out the word by writing the first letter or sounding out the whole word or sentence.  Or do both – the child writes one word and you finish the rest.
  • Now read the story with your child and have them try reading it back to you.

The best part of the Ziploc Book is that it is inter-changeable.  Once your child has mastered reading the book, the pages can be taken out and stapled together, if your child wants to keep it.   Then add in new pages for another hike or walk.  Kids love to collect, aren’t you always finding crazy stuff in their pockets and backpacks?  This a great way to make their collectibles into a learning experience. Have fun!

Hike, Collect, Write
Hike, Collect, Write
Hike, Collect, Write
Hike, Collect, Write
Hike, Collect, Write
Hike, Collect, Write
Hike, Collect, Write

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