I hosted this month's meeting of our Book Club, with the reading of one of our favorites, Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola! (We love this book!)
This is such a great read, about a magic pasta pot and learning the importance of listening! Unfortunately, Big Anthony learned this lesson the hard way!
Here is a video from YouTube of the same story.
Here is our group, ready for the story! :)
After we read it, we did a few literary activities in discussion of the book. First, we discussed what a character trait is. Here, Leah is picking a trait out of the mini "pasta pot" to match to either Strega Nona or Big Anthony, the two main characters.
Once all of the character traits had come out of the pasta pot and had been sorted under the correct character, this is what our "Character Trait Board" looked like!
We went on to discuss cause and effect, using this image I found from a google search.
Once the book was discussed, we got to work ... making our own pasta from scratch! For one batch of our dough (we made three), we used 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 3 whole eggs, and just a bit of water to give it a good consistency. (For best results, make a well into the center of your flour to place your eggs in, then, using a wooden spoon, stir vigorously to incorporate.) I then separated each ball of dough into five pieces, one for each child, to roll and run through our pasta machine. (I bought this one for only about $30!)
Here are Leah and Lucy, getting to work, kneading their pasta dough!
Liam liked using that rolling pin! :)
Here's Maggie, getting her hands dirty!
Knead, knead, knead!
Once we were done kneading, it was time to put our dough through the machine. Here, Leah is turning the crank!
Here is Lucy, helping "catch" Olivia's linguini!
I wanted the kids to get the true experience of making and hanging pasta, so I rigged up this contraption on my bar, using thin wooden dowels (59 cents a piece at the craft store), empty wrapping paper roll tubes, small pieces of cardboard, and masking tape.
Here is a column up close. Cut your two empty wrapping paper tubes in half (giving you four columns). Then, at the bottom of each tube, cut slits (about one and a half inches long) so that you can bend them to lay flat on top of your cardboard pieces. Tape into place using your masking tape, like below. Once all four (or less if you are making less pasta than we did) columns are constructed, simply lay your dowels over the top and adhere together, like you see in this picture. Voila! Instant drying rack!
Here is Lucy, hanging our first pieces!
Those racks were getting heavy!
Pasta, pasta, everywhere!
(This was so much fun!) :)
After we hung our pasta to dry, we set to work on our craft ... a recreation of the "Pasta Gone Wild" scene from the book, using yellow yarn to represent the spaghetti!
I filled this plastic cauldron (a Halloween item) with the yellow yarn that the kids could pull from to complete their pasta pictures!
I put crayons in these small black cauldrons. Cute! I also provided the kids with pre-cut, little, black paper cauldrons and shapes for houses and trees for ease. (This allowed them to simply pick their shapes, glue on, and add details with their crayons.)
Here is Mags, working on her Strega Nona picture!
Here is Ms. Hannah, passing out the "pasta" (yellow yarn).
Maggie's "Pasta Gone Wild" picture!
And Liam's! Great job, guys! :)
Then, it was time to cook our pasta!
Once it had strained, we added some sauce (or butter and cheese for some), a tasty salad, and rolls, and lunch was served! Yum! Our pasta was delicious!
For dessert? Of course, Spaghetti and Meatball Cupcakes again! (You will remember we did this last week for World Pasta Day.) They were just as much a hit today!
Book Club is a blast! Why don't you start your own?