View Full Version : Help with Night of the Moonjellies

07-23-2007, 10:44 PM
I started rowing this book this week with Will (5). He is just not interested in this book. We just got back from the beach and even caught a jellyfish while we were there. I've only read it to him once and I will make him sit through it again tomorrow. I'm so mean! :lol: Just wondering if anyone had any ideas to make this book a little more fun for him.

P.S. I've checked the archives and found a few fun ideas there. Anything else?

07-23-2007, 11:06 PM
How about making a tent and reading it by flashlight? Play store and pretend to make lobster rolls?

Jana in SoCal
07-24-2007, 12:24 AM
For dinner one night we had our own Ma-Gra's. I made newpaper hats (http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/columbus/newspaper_sailors_hats.htm). We worked together to make signs to put up--my 5yo son LOVED that. We made lobster rolls (fake crab salad on hotdog buns). And we made our own onion rings. When their Dad got home, they got to act-out their favorite parts of the book.

But keep in mind, my boys LOVED this book. There have been other books (like A Pair of Red Clogs) they just weren't into. I tried a billion fun activities: making a traditional koy fish kites, making our own clogs out of newspaper, going to a fish store to see koy fish, playing the weather game, using chopsticks at dinner, making Japanese food and we even made our own kimonos. Still you would think reading that book was nothing but a punishment for my boys. Some books, some weeks, and some days are just like that.

Lori D
07-24-2007, 01:27 AM
I have yet to come across a book my boys don't love, but if he is really resistant, maybe put this book on hold.

Other ideas- read it as a bed time story- I tell my boys sometimes "you need to have dad read this, he will love it!". They generally are excited to share with him. Maybe just read the story once more and then try some non-fiction books about the location and jelly fish along with some of the fun activities.

I would consider this book on the mature end for a five year old. My oldest ds is fine with that, but ds#2 had limited interest at that age. He loved Ping, Katie, Mike Mulligan, How to Eat an Apple Pie, Make Way for Ducklings, and Peter Rabbit.

Let us know how the rest of the week goes.

Dawn IN
07-24-2007, 06:41 AM
Try asking him questions BEFORE you read it. Then he needs to be a detective and listen for the answers.

Sometimes my dc show no interest in a particular book only to call it a favorite by day 3. Who knows?! Maybe an "Off day."

Keep it light and simple. Mark Shasha has a website you can check out: www.markshasha.com At one time he visited the boards and gave us Guest Checks to play restaurant. My kids LOVED that. Gifts from the author...too cool!

I also gave them "gifts" for this book. I bought shells and flat decor. marbles (think sea glass) and wrote a message in marker on the shell. They played with the remaining shells and sand in a rubbermaid for the rest of the week. They also played restaurant with menus and umbrellas for the table.

Does he know this is based on a real experience from the author's childhood? Maybe he can tell you a story and have you write it down. Photo albums are a great way to springboard a real experience story.

Good Luck. Let us know how it goes.

Paige P
07-24-2007, 08:11 AM
We made "jellyfish" one day from Saran Wrap with wadded up tin foil inside. Then I tied it closed with yarn and made "tentacles" with yarn. We had already talked about what's "inside" a jellyfish (info from Enchanted Learning -- they'd colored those pages) and then made the jellyfish "swim" by pushing it together and then "blasting" off as it shoots water out.

We also took q-tips and painted the night scene of the boat on the water and then made "dots" to show the jellyfish in the water.

I will tell you that while my girls did "okay" with this book (they were 5-6 and 4), it wasn't one of their favorites. They did get tired of reading it daily. Maybe you could find a go-along to read another day?

07-24-2007, 09:20 AM
We started rowing this book yesterday. My son is also 5 and I lost him in the middle of the book. I kept on reading with excitement and he just slumped on the couch and closed his eyes and kept whispering to himself. I kept on reading...then Mark and his grandma got in the boat and my son jumped up and cuddled beside me once more. We finished reading the book and he had a ton of questions about downtown L.A. and skyscrapers!

Finally I was able to bring him back to moonjellies by stepping over to the computer and looking at all the different kinds. This was a hit. We spent about 20 minutes doing this and I had to finally stop him since we had an appointment to get to.

Needless to say, my lesson plan was not followed as I planned, and I don't know what to expect today, but we will read again and I will follow his lead.

Is this what you call UNSCHOOLING WITH FIAR?

07-24-2007, 09:29 AM
Update on my moonjelly experience... He still hates it. He says it's boring. Oh well. I guess all of the books won't catch his interest. We are getting ready to make paper hats. We did read the book with a flashlight inside of a tent. He was excited about the tent until he saw what book we were going to read. Grr!

I do have some go-along books to read and we are going to the aquarium on Fri so at least he will enjoy that!

Candace C
07-24-2007, 09:33 AM
Valerie, I think I have told you this, but some of our books we don't read everyday. Often times I will read a book maybe 2x per week (generally just weeks like you're having, where they aren't loving the book.) I will still mention the book everyday during our "school" time and we will review what happened, but I will read other books and do other activities that tie in and for us it still ends up working out fine. Do the fun stuff so he has fond memories of the book, even if you aren't reading it everyday. And I'm sure the field trip Friday will help! :)

Oh, and I also wanted to 2nd the idea for reading it at night. Sometimes my kids are distracted by wanting to do something else or be outside. Not that I let them win the battle everyday, but sometimes I find that they are "in the mood" to read at night and we will just read lots of books before bed instead of that morning.

07-24-2007, 12:04 PM
My kids are always enchanted by the "food" aspect of a book. :roflol:

With NOTMJ I served hot chocolate and orange slices and read to them. With Cowboy Charlie we made homemade vanilla cream soda (couldn't find rootbeer concentrate). Do you have the cookbook? It has great ideas for "spicing up" a book. ;)

Mine all loved NOTMJ, but if yours doesn't, it's ok to come back to it later. It is a longer book, with a simple, sweet story and your kiddo may just be a little young. Don't get discouraged!

07-24-2007, 12:28 PM
Thanks for all of your encouragement ladies! I have had a bad couple of days just in general and the fact that he is rejecting my plans for the week is not making it any better. I guess homeschooling involves flexibility though. He did decide later to wear his paper hat and be a "baker" to make lunch for he and his brother! That was fun!! Yes, Candace I got pictures!!:lol:

Amy G
07-24-2007, 06:12 PM
We got glow-in-the-dark paint at Home Depot and painted pictures on black construction paper - we used chalk to draw boats, water, etc and then he put dots of the paint all over the place - some dots were jellyfish and some dots were stars. He loved turning out the lights in his room and seeing all the pictures glow at bedtime. We still have them hanging up (nearly a year later) and he still begs to do NOTMJ again so he can paint more glow pictures.

Take heart if nothing works though - some books just don't click with some kids - he couldn't stand Lentil and still brings that up too - also nearly a year later!:)

6yos, 2 yod

07-24-2007, 09:26 PM
We tried this one when my son was 4 1/2 and he wasn't at all interested in it, even though he really likes seeing the moon jellies at our aquarium! I'm not sure why. I guess he just isn't going to like every single book all the time. I wouldn't force it if it isn't fun for him. There are plenty of other books to choose from, so I would move on if it isn't working, then maybe try again in a year or so.

02-07-2017, 11:37 PM
We are doing this book this week, and it doesn't lend well to ASL... My only saving grace is that we went to the beach and the Aquarium in Monterey this weekend! I took some pictures of real Moon Jellies and other Jelly Fish they enjoyed! :) We will try the lobster rolls...um, is it like in a can at the store?

Jill in Monrovia
02-08-2017, 11:56 AM
Odd. Night of the Moonjellies is one of my kids' favorites. I have an old copy I bought at a library sale for a quarter that he signed. They won't let me get rid of that one "because it smells like the sea." I have hardback copies for each of the kids. We have a lot of copies.

Mine liked the drive in part. Maybe you could work with that. Do you let people eat in your car? Maybe you could make a drive in in your driveway. They liked using the pads to pretend to be waiters and waitresses. Wal-Mart sells those for about $6 when I checked last year.

I didn't make my own lobster rolls. They don't come in a can. They are lobster on bread with sauce. We have a food truck in town that makes them so I did that last year. First time I'd ever tried them.

Jill in Monrovia

02-08-2017, 12:56 PM
Good ideas! I'll check out our deli...or made search a food truck!

Kendra AU
02-08-2017, 07:04 PM
When we read it the first time we were living basically on the beach. We had a tent up at the time too & it was hot so we crawled into the tent & read.. Keep in mind though my kids never rejected any FIAR book.. I'm not actually sure they've rejected many book, a few, but not many.

Any chance you could go on a boat ride while reading? We have a ferry here that is inexpensive & takes us across the mouth of the river/ocean, so it was something we were able to do too.. all though not at night except on special holidays. ;)