Book Club – The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst, illustrated by Geoff Stevenson

Description – The Invisible String teaches children that we all have invisible strings connecting us to one another, whether close, far away or in heaven, our hearts are always connected.

The Music teacher at my children’s school had to leave the school mid-year to tend to family needs. She had taught at the school for many years and the students were very connected to her. Before leaving, she read “The Invisible String” to each class.

It never ceases to amaze me how a special book can provoke thought and conversation in little people and on this particular day, my son had a lot to say about the story. When the Scholastic book orders came home from school, he requested to order The Invisible String.

Several months later, (not having read the book in a while), my son said, “you know, we have an invisible string that connects to Uncle Lewis in heaven.” It is fascinating how information can be processed in waves. And for my son, he made that life connection to the book at a later point in time when thinking about his uncle.

It is so important for kids to have a way to express and understand when there is separation or sadness. Children need a way of understanding, processing, and viewing the situation. It is equally important to know, even when we are separated from our loved ones we are still connected. Along with discussion about who we feel connected to, this book also generates great conversation about who they miss and it gives them a chance to express feelings.

I loved that this book gave my son the language to express his thoughts and a positive outlook on both the move of his music teacher, as well as a way to process the loss of his great uncle.

Book Club - The Invisible String
Book Club - The Invisible String
Book Club - The Invisible String
Book Club - The Invisible String
Book Club - The Invisible String
Book Club - The Invisible String

Activity – Invisible String Accordion People

After reading the book, ask the book club members, “Who does your invisible strings connect to?” and “Why?’

After they have come up with a few people, tell them they will be making a few of the people that they are connected to with the invisible string.

You can make this activity as simple as you’d like or you can add many details and embellishments to the project. Decide what is best for the age and level of the Lemonade Book Club members.

For our book club, I pre-folded and pre-cut the accordion people and the clothes. I decided on 5 accordion people in the chain, and that can easily be cut out of 9×12 construction paper. Again, you will want to decide according to their ability level.

  1. Download the Accordion People and Clothes Template: ITLT Invisible String Template
  2. To create a connected chain of people, fold a piece of paper accordion style making the surface the same width as the accordion person pattern.
  3. Trace the accordion people pattern onto the top layer of the accordion folded paper
  4. Cut out the pattern but do not cut the ends of the arms and feet so that the paper will stay connected and create a chain of people.

Activity – Invisible String Accordion People
Activity – Invisible String Accordion People
Activity – Invisible String Accordion People
Activity – Invisible String Accordion People
Activity – Invisible String Accordion People
Activity – Invisible String Accordion People

 

At this point, you can simply use crayons or colored pencils to decorate and label the accordion people or you can embellish with the following (and more):

  • Using the ITLT Invisible String Template, cut clothes from construction or patterned paper and place in separate containers (shirts, pants, skirts)
  • Color pencils or skinny markers for details – nose, lips, etc.
  • Paper hearts
  • Googly eyes
  • Yarn or string for hair
  • Glue sticks and glue
  • Fishing wire (or clear wire so the string appears “Invisible”)
  • A needle or awl (For an adult to poke a hole to run the fishing wire through the hearts)
  • Tape

After decorating the people, the adult uses a needle or awl to poke a hole through the “heart” of each accordion person. Tape a piece of fishing wire (or clear wire) to the back of the first person and have the child the “sew” the string through each heart (back to front then front to back) and taping the string to the back of the last accordion person. I found that fishing wire is stiff enough that there is no need for a needle to slide it through).

When decorating the people with our book club, I didn’t think about animals but a few of the kids connected the story to their pets. One member, Brady, had the great idea of drawing his dog in his mom’s arms so he could include his dog in the Invisible String art project. Leave it to kids to figure out these things!

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