Online Journal of
"The Looneys Love Regional Literature" (1998)
project based at the Joseph Lee Elementary School in Boston, Massachusetts
Visit the itinerary and titles for read alouds to Looney Larry, Looney Lester, and Looney Lisa."
March 9 - 13, 1998 - - Memphis, Tennessee
Grahamwood Elementary School - Memphis, TN
5th graders of Judy Nocifora
Tennessee titles suggested for read alouds.
Thursday, 05 March 1998 12:44:04 +0000
Looney Arrived in Memphis!
Dear Looney 98ers,
Looney Lester has arrived safely in Memphis! When he arrived, we were all very eager to see him. He was also relieved to get out of his box. He's going to have a great time visiting all of the Memphis sites.
When we sent our list of regional literature, we didn't know about a book called "Dear Dr. King." It was compiled and edited by one of our 2nd
grade teachers, Mrs. Ann Harms, and a parent here at Grahamwood, Jan Colbert. We are all very proud of this book. It was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show during Black History week and also on the Disney website. We hope that you can locate this book to add to your list. We have to boast and say that it is truly great!
Today, Sam will be taking Looney Lester home. He is going to the dentist's office and since Sam sings in the Memphis Boys Choir, he will take him to this practice.
We will have more about Looney's visit in Memphis and at Grahamwood tomorrow.
From Casey in Mrs. Nocifora's 5th grade class
Tuesday, 10 March 1998 11:36:31 +0000+0000
To Looney 98ers From Memphis
Hello. I am Wandering Whitney stationed in Memphis, TN and as Looney Lester Lobster's official tour guide for Monday evening, March 9th, I had some interesting places for our friendly crustacean to go. We first went to Licterman Nature Center which is a unique nature park in the middle of Memphis. In the gift shop Looney met a tiger beanie baby about his size but the tiger tried to eat Looney, so we ran out fast.
Looney wanted to go on a long ride in the car somewhere, so we went to the Memphis Zoo. When we went to
"Cat Country," I suggested that we get his picture in front of the lions cage but Looney hesitated and said, "I'm feeling a little uncomfortable, let's just get a picture on the statues of the animals in the front." Looney had a great time climbing on the statues with all the children.
Our next stop was the vet's office for every lobster needs a check-up occasionally. As the vet was examining him, a dog came into the examining room and gently and playfully put Looney into his mouth. Don't panic, this was a well trained dog and that was his way of giving Looney a big welcome. The vet said that Looney was the healthiest lobster he had ever examined (then again the only one, too)!
I decided that some good music would be good for him. I took him to my piano lesson and he liked that very much. On the way out, he met some other visitors to the state just like him, Lambee and Kitty who are little stuffed animals. We returned to the Adsit Hotel where he met all of the hosts, who were dogs, 3 golden retrievers, 1 beagle, and 1 bichon frise. After a good dinner of cooked plankton, I tucked Looney in with Shamu the whale and Tommy the squirrel. When I gave him the tour evaluation sheet to fill out about his visit (that is what tour guides do at the end of a tour), he seemed to like the visit a lot because the highest number you can put is 5 and he put a 6 on everything.
So long for now.
Your Wandering Tour Guide, Whitney!
Tuesday, 10 March 1998 12:15:36 +0000+0000+0000
Hello from a COLD Southern City
Greetings Looney 98ers,
Memphians awoke to a frigid temperature of 22¼ F and we are worried that the beautiful blooming tulip poplar trees, saucer magnolias, daffodils, and forsythia that
we enjoy so much this time of the year will freeze.
It was quite an unusual morning. As I was driving to school, the sun was out and it was snowing too! We do not have any snow accumulation, but I must say that this was an unusual sight.
My students and I are enjoying Looney's visit again this year. We have especially found the regional literature a great addition to Looney's travels.
Looney's weekend excursions will be sent this afternoon. I understand that he was out on the town again and saw some interesting sites. Can't wait to find out about his adventures.
Mrs. Nocifora, Grahamwood Elementary, Memphis, Tennessee
Tuesday, 10 March 1998 14:06:09 +0000
Dear Teachers and Students,
We would like to ask each class that is participating in the "Looney Loves Regional Literature Project" to join in a letter writing campaign that relates to the book "Dear Dr. King" that was written by a Grahamwood teacher. We hope that all of you will have the opportunity to read this heartwarming book. Enjoy excerpts from the book.
The book is a selection of letters that students in the Memphis area wrote to Dr. King about life today...how things concerning opportunities for all have changed...how children feel about Dr. King and his accomplishments today...etc.
All letters that you send will be posted on our Looney Lobster page in the Grahamwood website. In addition, all letters that you send in will be submitted to the letter writing campaign on the Disney Website if you agree to have them submitted to this location. Once submitted, some, (not all) will be chosen and may be featured on this site.
Please indicate when you send in your student's letters whether or not you want them submitted to the Disney Campaign.
Mrs. Nocifora and Students
Tuesday, 10 March 1998 15:38:46 +0000
Looney Goes Horseback Riding
Howdy!! I am Rebecca "Trotter." I was Looney Lester's hostess on
Friday night, March 6th. Lester and I did one of my favorite things to do.... went horseback riding at Oak View Stables. Lester and Stoney, my male horse, took a mighty fancy to each other. Lester and Stoney were quite a handsome pair. Lester took hold of the reins and got a short lesson in walking and turning Stoney in the direction he wanted him to go. He asked a ton of questions like " How do you take care of a horse?"
I said, " Well you got to do stuff like brush them 3 times a week, feed them 2 times a day, and give them plenty of exercise."
Then we went home and he saw my 2 dogs Cody, a mutt, and Smoke, a black lab. We also
saw my 7 fish, gerbil, and 3 birds. Before long it was time to hit the hay.
If you have any questions about our class, Memphis, or horses, please e-mail us and your questions will be answered.
This is Rebecca "Trotter" signing off. Bye Bye.
Wednesday, 11 March 1998 10:02:27 +0000
This is the Southern Belle Network, the place to get all of your
southern news. Reportin' to ya'll are Casey and Katherine.....
We took Looney Lester to a whole bunch of neat Memphis attractions this
weekend. First, we went down to the Mississippi River where we saw the
"Big M" Bridge that connects Tennessee to Arkansas. We call it the "Big M" Bridge because the steel structures across the top of the bridge are in the shape of the letter "m."
Now Looney Lester thought that this was just "hunky-dorey!" He wanted to
ride on the river boats in the harbor but it was too cold.
Next, we took Looney Lester to Beale Street. Beale Street is famous
because this is where W.C. Handy wrote the Blues. Another famous Beale
Street attraction is A. Schwab's store. Mr. Schwab has just about everything you can imagine. Mr. Schwab's slogan is: if you can't find it at Schwab's, you can't find it
anywhere. Looney said that he wished he could see the person that could
fit into the HUGE overalls hanging in the store. They must be at least
a size 102!
Our next stop was The Pyramid. As soon as Looney saw it, he started
walking like an Egyptian. Looney thought that the statue of King Tut
outside meant that Egyptian folks live inside. We explained to him that
The Pyramid was used for basketball game sand special events.
When our Downtown Memphis excursion came to an end, Looney said goodbye
to "Old Man River" and all the places that we visited. He sure is a
cute little critter.
Thanks Mrs. Duby and class for sending Looney to us and allowing us to
participate in this wonderful learning experience.
This is Casey and Katherine signing off from the Southern Belle Network.
Wednesday, 11 March 1998 10:15:52 +0000
Hi Looney 98ers.
This is "Singing Sam" reporting from Mrs. Nocifora's CLUE class.
They call me "Singing Sam" because I am a member of the Memphis Boys Choir. The Memphis Boys Choir is very special. There are only 9 boys in the whole choir and we perform all over town at special events and on holidays. Sometimes we get paid depending on our attendance and our behavior. I was Looney Lester's host for Thursday, March 5th.
First, Lester and I went to the dentist. Even though he did not have an appointment, my dentist checked his pinchers for cavities.The dentist said he didn't have any cavities and that his pinchers would probably never become "dinchers." The dentist gave him a sticker for being such a good patient. Looney Lester had hoped for a bit of candy but.... what can you expect at the dentist office!
Next, we were off to Boys Choir practice. At the Boys Choir practice, Looney Lester
sang "clawlessly" and happily the songs we will sing during Easter," Ubi Caritas, Jubilate and "Today The Virgin."
This is "Singing Sam" from Mrs. Nocifora's 5th Grade CLUE class at Grahamwood Elementary
Thursday, 12 March 1998 12:06:07 +0000
This is David the "Mann" a reporter for the Memphis CLUE Tribune.
What a treat to have Looney for a special assignment! Looney and I became best friends. We could talk about anything and it wouldn't matter to him or to me. We had the best
My assignment was to take Looney Lester to the Peabody Hotel. The Peabody Hotel is a very famous, old hotel. It is a famous because it has gotten many awards and it housed civil war soldiers and Yellow Fever victims. The hotel is safe now, of course, and very fancy.
Next I took him to the Orpheum. It is a very famous theater and landmark. We saw the Broadway show, "The King and I." Looney thought it was very good but sad. When we got home, I introduced him to my to cats, Ziggy and Adonis. I also introduced him to my dog Cassie. When he saw Cassie he got so scared he ran away, but he soon came back and wasn't afraid anymore. Then we had to go to bed. In the morning he told me,"I had a GREAT time!
Monday, 16 March 1998 01:00:46 -0500
Shalom, or hello from Memphis, TN!
This is Elizabeth, Looney Lester's host for Thursday, March 5, 1998. After
school, Looney and I went to Hebrew School so I could study for my Bat Mitzvah, an
important part of every Jewish girl's life. When Jewish kids turn 12 or 13
they have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah; a Bar for a boy, A Bat for a girl. This
proves them an adult in the world of Judiasm. To do this, you lead a service for the congregation, including reading from the Torah (the Jewish Bible), leading prayers, etc. Lester learned some words in Hebrew, and loved this new experience. He even said that next year he would enjoy visiting Israel in the Looney Lobster program!
(this time it means BYE!)
Elizabeth, your Jewish reference guide from Mrs. Nocifora's CLUE class
Monday, 16 March 1998 01:22:00 -0500
Farewell Looney Lester
Hello Mrs. Duby and Class,
We said "avoire" to our Boston pal, Looney Lester on Friday. We enjoyed his visit! We will continue to enjoy following Looney as he travels and read the regional literature selections from each destination.
Again Ms. Duby and class, we want to thank you for this fun learning experience. It has been such a pleasure meeting the teachers and students participating in this online project.
Looney is on his way to Mrs. Godley's 5th grade at Seagate Elementary in Naples, Florida. We hope Looney has a safe trip. Looney will surely be glad to be near the ocean again.
Farewell, Mrs. Nocifora and 5th graders
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