Monday, March 24, 2014

American Girl Club: Meet Josefina

For anybody unfamiliar with this monthly program at my library here is a brief explanation: Every month we learn about a different American Girl character. It is geared towards 3rd-6th grade and includes a short discussion, followed by games, crafts and a snack. It is probably the most popular program I do for school age kids.

At this month's American Girl Club we learned about Josefina, a New Mexican girl from 1824. The timing worked out perfectly, because the day before this program happened to be the character's birthday. If Josefina were a real person, and alive today she would have turned 199 years old.

All ready to talk about Josefina.

Our guest of honor, Josefina.

We started out as usual with a little discussion about Josefina and her stories. The kids remembered some of the biggest things from Josefina's books, which is always a plus. For instance, they remembered that Josefina's stories take place after her mother has died. We talked about traditions and how they help Josefina's family remember her mother. I tried to help them connect this to their own family traditions.

After a brief discussion about Josefina and her time period, we moved on to our games. I always use games from the time period of the girl we are learning about, and found two great ones for this event.

The first game we played is referred to in the "American Girl Club Party Book" as "The Rainbow".  To the kids I explained it as color tag. "It" yells a color and has to tag those wearing it. The kids were pretty familiar with this one, so it provided a nice connection from past to present.

Next we played "The Blind Hen", which I found here. I compared it to Marco Polo, and the girls got it right away. Our final group activity was a Spanish matching game, which I found in the online Josefina Event Kit (sadly no longer available through the American Girl website).

We ended our program by decorating woven blanket bookmarks. The template for the bookmarks was also found with the Josefina Event Kit materials. Our snack for the evening was Spanish cookies, chips and salsa.

We have extra paperback copies of some of the American Girl books from when this program was run in a more traditional "book club" format, so each girl got a Josefina book to take home. They also got a bookmark. I can't do provide these for every American Girl Club (we are using up the books and bookmarks we already have) but I definitely think it adds something to the program when I can.

Josefina books and bookmarks

Looking forward to updating you all about next month's American Girl Club! We will be learning about Addy, from 1864. Let me know if you have questions about this program or any of my others :)


  1. I can't get the Josefina event kit to download anywhere online. I usually use this in my AG classes. Do you have it still? If so, can you post it?

    1. Hi Kim. Unfortunately American Girl has removed all their older event kits from their site. If you send me an email at marrak at libcoop dot net and I can send you what I have :)