These books all follow a theme:
1. Give an instruction to the reader, like washing hands with antibacterial soap, or checking under bed for monsters.
2. State what Scaredy Squirrel does not do, like have parties, or leave the nut tree.
3. State what Scaredy Squirrel is afraid of, like germs, Godzilla, and bunnies, that makes him not do the activity.
4. State Scaredy Squirrel's plan of action, like how to build a beach, or make a friend.
5. State how the plan goes wrong.
6. Play dead.
7. Discover that dreaded activity is not so bad.
8. Adapt new activity to old level of scaredy-ness.
9. The end
With that all being said, this would make a great jumping off point for a program for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.
First, your scenario: Scaredy Squirrel Goes to the Movies
Next, why doesn't SS got to the movies? Is it the dark, the dust bunnies that lurk under the chairs, the sticky floors, those oddly authoritative ushers?
Then, give the children a ton of random objects, like oven mitts, flashlight, stuffed monkey, rope, water, notepad, frisbee, fake fruit, etc, and ask them to come up with an action plan for SS to go to the movies and be safe using those items.
Next, work through the action plan. What's going to happen? How will the plan go wrong?
Of course, the participants will have to play dead. But how will SS realize that their is nothing to be afraid of at the movies?
Then, how will SS adapt the movies to his scaredy lifestyle? Have a movie night under the tree with his friends? Invite the garden gnomes into the tree for movies?
Or, you could always simply act out of the books, instead of making up your own scenario. Scaredy Squirrel Goes to the Beach or Has a Birthday Party would both be great options. Most importantly, by having the kids act out the book, or create their own story in a group, you are showing them how to create a story like the author. It's a simple enough outline that any child could use a little imagination and come up with a great story.
Unfortunately, I don't have a library to try this out in, but you might! If you have ideas to share about a Scaredy Squirrel Program, let me know. If you want to use my ideas for your program, please go ahead, but I'd appreciate it you'd check back in and let me know how it worked out.
And the fun doesn't stop there-Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping will be out in 2013!