"Margot Moon" on the Broom
Have fun reading aloud “Room on the Broom” with your kids and then make a cell phone video of them taking flight. Scroll down to learn how to expand your children’s vocabulary while making this lasting memory.
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“Room on the Broom” written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Alex Scheffer, is an adventure story where the wind takes a witch, her cat, and new found friends for a wild ride. When the flying broom snaps in half and a fire-eating dragon threatens the kindly witch, her friends ban together and save the day. In turn, the grateful witch whips up
“A TRULY MAGNIFICENT BROOM!
With seats for the witch
and the cat and the dog,
A nest for the bird and
a pool for the frog.”
Although the “Room on a Broom” narrative is written in rhyme for 6-8 year olds, the language is more sophisticated and is peppered with a bit of adult humor. Draw from the book’s rich list of vocabulary words while making your own home grown flying video. Kids are more likely to remember new vocabulary words when used in the context of play.
You may need help from neighborhood tweens to edit a family flying video like the one we made of “Margot Moon on the Broom.” Don’t worry, we won’t leave you high and dry. Details following.
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Questions to ask your child...one read at a time.
- What does grinned mean in “…how the witch grinned.” (smiled)
- Can you “wail” like the witch did, when the “wind blew so wildly”? (scream or cry out, like “Margot Moon” is doing in the above video.)
- Is the dog calm or excited ? “Then out of the bushes on thundering paws, there bounded a dog with a hat in his jaws.” (Words like thundering and bounded suggest the dog is excited)
- What is another way of saying “the dog clambered on”? (The dog climbed on the broom.)
- “The witch clutched her bow-but let go of her wand.” Why? (When she clutched, or held her bow with one hand, she needed her other hand to grasp the broom and in turn dropped the wand.)
- “Over the moors and mountains they flew.” What is a moor? (Open land where everything grows freely.)
- The dragon “dripped and it squelched as it strode from a ditch.” Is the dragon wet or dry? (The dripping WET dragon made soft sucking sounds, or squelching, because he strode, or walked through the mud.)
- What is a cauldron? (A large heavy metal pot with a handle, typically used to cook over an open fire outside.)
- Can YOU clamber on a broom and pretend to fly? (climb aboard)
- Julia Donaldson, author and UK Children’s Laureate (2011-2013) is also a poet, song writer, playwright and performer. For 20+ years she has made appearances at schools and libraries encouraging children to act out stories and read aloud.
- In keeping with Ms. Donaldson’s creative approach to literacy, we suggest you record a 15+ second video of your child jumping up and down on a household broom or mop. Using iMovie on an iPhone or iPad, or one of the many available Android APPs, edit out all the frames where his/her feet are touching the ground. This will create the affect of flying. Be sure to reference vocabulary from “Room on the Broom” and ask your children to “grin” and “wail” and “clamber” on. (YouTube offers loads of free editing tutorials depending on the APP you choose.)
- Who doesn’t dream of taking flight on a magic broom? If making a video is too big a task, consider downloading “Room on the Broom”games and APP to keep spirits flying high.
Send us a shout out if you would like to share your child's flying video with the online Little Kids’ Book Club community.
Caryl Frankenberger & Julie E. Janson