Category Archives: AFFL Activities

Queen’s Cross… With Water Balloons!

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

Now if you are a regular visitor to our blog than you might remember that we read The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen last school year.  It that book they play a game called Queen’s Cross.  We developed an AFFL version of that game and the members liked it so much they asked to bring it back.  I thought about the leftover water balloons from our Falstan Lake challenge and we decided to try Queen’s Cross…. With Water Balloons!

Enjoy the slo-mo and crazy action and don’t ask me about the Spider-Man costume.  We live in a Middle School world and sometimes it’s just better not to ask.

Read On,

Mr. H

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Queen’s Cross… Summer AFFL Style

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

Last week I asked for ideas for our next meeting and Kenna proposed we try Queen’s Cross again. I think it is an excellent idea as is the idea that we use water balloons rather than the pig bladder.

So you will need to dress appropriately and most likely have a change of clothes or two.  Make sure you have shoes you can run it, no flip flop things.

Let me know if you have any questions.

See you Wednesday,
Mr. H

The Battle of Falstan Lake

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

Yesterday we had another AFFL meeting and attempted another round of our Shadow Throne Tracking Challenge.  Depending on your point of view it either went extremely well or extremely bad.  I chose a member called Travis to run out and hid somewhere on campus.  We only gave him four minutes, as we thought it would allow us to catch up to him easier than the eight minutes we gave Rachel the first time we tried this game.  The shorter time did not seem to help us, as we did not find Travis until after our club meeting was over 40 minutes later!   I’m still not convinced that Travis was ever planning on coming out of his hiding place.

But here are few shots from his point of view in the best spot to hide ever…

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Oddly haunting aren’t they?

After giving up the hunt for Travis we decided to try one quick round of our Battle of Falstan Lake idea.  I have to say that I am really proud of this idea and in the first attempts it seems to have worked out fairly well.  I’m sure you have all read The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen, if not go read the whole Ascendance Trilogy right now, if you have I hope you remember the Battle of Falstan Lake.

Here is an introduction to what we were up to in this challenge…

And here is a video of a few of our early attempts to blow the dam…

Now I also tried to capture some of the throws using the slo-mo tool on my camera phone.  I then went about attempting to make a video with those files at home. It seemed to work, but then my computer froze and I lost the video.  But don’t despair, I tried again and have some great footage from our Grand Finale.  Check it out…

So we had some fun, well all except Travis, who won the Tracking Challenge but spent the meeting staring at the back side of a bush.

See you next week.

Read on,

Mr. H

Sir Tode

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

Yesterday we had our final AFFL meeting of 2013, and it ended with a bang.  We are continuing to talk about Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier.  We may have been influenced by Mr. Auxier Yo-Yo skills and just might work on something similar for our next AFFL read.  I would be a little afraid if I were you.

So at yesterday’s meeting we introduced the character Sir Tode.  Because my voice is shot (teacher at the end of the school year) I had some of the members read selections from the chapter that introduced our friend Tode.  I would then stop them at key moments in the introduction and have our AFFL members discuss what he might look like and then once we had a good set of descriptors, we drew our versions of Sir Tode.

Then we read on until the full explanation of the mighty Tode was revealed to us.  Then we giggled and drew him again.  Check out a few of our examples.

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Once we were finished with our giggling about Sir Tode we ended our meeting with an ode to Peter asking Sir Tode if he could feel his face to better understand what he looked like.

So Caden was chosen to attempt and discover what he was being handed whilst blindfolded.

So there you have it, check back in the new year to see what kinds of AFFL activities we get up to next.

Read on,

Mr. H

Peter Nimble Game

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

At our last AFFL meeting we discussed our next read, which will be the magic, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier.  We read the first few chapters in our meeting and all seemed to be hooked by the way Auxier introduces the main character Peter Nimble.  It was truly awesome and nasty all rolled into one.

Because we had been working on a game from another book, we only had a few minutes left in our meeting, but that was more than enough to watch Mr. Auxier introduce his novel with a very cool yo-yo show and play a quick AFFL game.  The following video shows one AFFL member attempting a Peter Nimble escape from the classroom.

Enjoy

Read on,

Mr. H

Island of Fire Character Challenge

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

Once again, we here at AFFL, have used on of Lisa McMann’s great Unwanteds books to create a book club game.  We tried this another time with The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen.  It worked out so well that we wanted to try again.

Please enjoy our character challenge from The Island of Fire.

Read on,

Mr. H

Our Cold Cereal Celebration

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday was our final AFFL meeting of the school year and we decided that we would have a breakfast cereal party in honor of our reading of Cold Cereal by Adam Rex.

We even invited our namesake Mr. F to join us for some cereal.  He gladly joined us continuing his complaints about Mick’s back story and the history of GoodCo.  AFFL members seemed to be somewhat divided on whether they agree or disagree with Mr. F.  I am not divided at all, I love the back stories and understand their importance to the overall arc of the trilogy.

The majority of our meeting was just eating and talking and generally enjoying each others company.

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Now the big challenge was seeing if any of our members would be willing to try the Milk – 7.

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A few took the Milk – 7 challenge including Matthew who explains a bit of the experience here…

Toward the end of our feast Mr. F asked what book he should read next and gave us the choice between Unlucky Charms and Under Wildwood.  That lead to crazy debate and no clear choice, so we offered up another AFFL book from last year that did bring us all to consensus… The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen.  Although Mr. F is already calling it the Fresh Prince?  He did admit that he actually has enjoyed reading the few fantasy novels that we got him into this year, so I see our AFFL challenge of pushing fantasy books out there and fighting Mr. F’s strange fantasy loathing nature a success for the year.

Thanks for a great AFFL year.  See you back here after our summer track out near the end of July.

Read on,

Mr. H

PS. I sent a few Twitter messages to Adam Rex sharing with him what we were doing.  Check out his responses.

@hutchinsonjm Feel like I ought to tell you what happens to all the kids who drink that stuff in the third book.

— Adam Rex (@MrAdamRex) June 19, 2013

@hutchinsonjm I love this! Great to have faces to put with all the names.

— Adam Rex (@MrAdamRex) June 21, 2013

A Scientific Observation

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

Do you know how people tend to say “no offensive” right before they say something really offensive?  Well we here at AFFL would like to test that out today.  We have a scientific question we would like to tackle and it deals with our name sake the great Mr. F.  The question we would like to solve is why Mr. F hates fantasy so very much?  After some careful fieldwork we believe we have come to a meaningful conclusion.

Remember “No Offense”

Question: Why does Mr. F hate Fantasy reading so fervently?

Hypothesis: Our hypothesis is that Mr. F hates fantasy so much because he really is a mythical creature (possibly Sasquatch, a Yeti and/or Bigfoot) himself, evoking defensiveness and false hatred of fantasy to “cover his tracks.”

Test: Covert photos and videos were taken.

Observations: See photos.

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Conclusion: Mr. F is indeed a relation to Sasquatch and/or Bigfoot.  His defensiveness is proof enough, but just look at the feet!

So you can see that scientifically we have solved the mystery of why Mr. F hates fantasy so very much.  He has to!  He needs  to protect his secret.  Do us all a favor and keep this valuable information under your hat.  We wouldn’t want Goodco goons pulling up in front of the school in white vans, would we?

Read on,

Mr. H

AFFL Plays Queen’s Cross

Hello Fantasy Lovers,

Yesterday we here at AFFL had a memorable meeting.  I mean by the end we were all a bit sweaty and winded.  Now, you say, how can a book group get sweaty and winded?  Well let me show you…

Now if you need more AFFL Queen’s Cross action check out these highlights…

We have loved Jennifer Nielsen’s Ascendance Trilogy so far, and really look forward to the final installment.  We have one more activity in the works for The Runaway King.  We are working on a character study game, where members were secretly assigned major characters from The Runaway King and they have to act out and share scenes and props for the rest of us.  Then the audience will have to  work out who they are.  It should be a fun challenge to end our time with this great book.

So now on to the next fantasy adventure.

Any ideas out there?

Hit that comment button and let us know what you think of our AFFL version of Queen’s Cross and what fantasy book we should tackle next.

Read on,

Mr. H