Last spring, my friend and teaching partner John Schu, the teacher librarian at Brook Forest Elementary in Oak Brook, Illinois, and I shared the Follow That Peach site from Penguin Books. They had created this site to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Roald's Dahl's classic book, James and the Giant Peach.
As the site states,
"Join the mission to roll James's Giant Peach around the world.
In Roald Dahl’s classic novel James and the Giant Peach, an enormous escaped rhinoceros from London Zoo has eaten James’s parents. And it gets worse! James is packed off to live with his two really horrible aunts, Sponge and Spiker. Poor James is miserable, until something peculiar happens and James finds himself on the most wonderful and extraordinary journey aboard a giant peach...
John and I couldn't wait to plan how our students would connect to celebrate this event.
Last weekend on Twitter I met Sarah Ducharme, a teacher librarian in Budapest, who also wanted to partner with us during this wonderful project. Sarah and I started collaborating with our teachers and put our ideas into a Google Document that we shared.
I met with Eldonna Skahill, Jennifer Stephens, and Ann Volk, the third grade teachers at Van Meter, and using the FUN Teach the Peach peach pack and a lot of creativity, we planned social studies, science, math, literacy, technology, and library projects that would take place over the next few months.
Next, I sent an email and Google Doc to John, Sarah, and two other friends, Donna Kouri also in Illinois and Stephen Gagnon in New Hampshire, inviting them to roll peaches around the world with us. We were so excited when everyone said "YES".
From the site, you can send a "Virtual Peach" and see if it will get to 50 people around the world (You must be 13 years old or older to create a Virtual Peach, so this would be something fun to do as a family).
You can also send a "Paper Peach" in the mail and track its journey on the peach itself. We will also be telling the stories of our peaches on this blog too.
The first thing we did at Van Meter was to create our peaches that we would send off for their trip around the world. (You can get the paper peaches here from the Follow That Peach site). Every student, several teachers and the administrators all created their very own peach....even with its very own name.
As our peach travels, they will pick up other "Places" and end up back to it's creator in a few months. The recipients will even share why they love James and the Giant Peach at each stop.
On Monday, Van Meter will send their peaches off. First stop, Budapest to Sarah's 3rd graders.
Roald Dahl's birthday is September 13th and this year will be extra special in our libraries and schools.
We hope you join this celebration and journey as well.