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Chicken Preschool Storytime April 5, 2009

Posted by swegene1 in Ready to Read, Storytimes, Youth Services Training.
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My boss came to observe this storytime, and I was pretty nervous. I actually recorded myself doing the storytime in advance so I would have plenty of practice, and so I would make sure I was panning and pacing correctly. That was a really good experience, and periodically I will do this if I’m worried about a flannel or activity. Fortunately my boss had lots of good things to say, just suggesting I make sure the volume on the CD player was high enough to reach the back of the room.

Opening Song: Jump Up, Turn Around, Jim Gill

Intro: Chicken puppet and eggs! (the chicken puppet actually laid eggs, we talked about vocabulary, and we had an egg in a shell puppet to talk about how chicks hatch from eggs)

Book: Cock-a-Doodle Quack! Quack!, Ivor Baddiel Cock-A-Doodle Quack Quack

Song: Milkshake Song, Songs for Wiggleworms

Book/Flannel Little Red Hen Little Red Hen Big Book
(First we read the book, then the children helped me tell the story with the flannel, and I told the parents about the importance of ready to read narrative skills, and encouraged the children to tell the story at home.)

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It!

Flannel Where’s the Chicken? (I omitted this, as we were running short on time)

Book: Hungry Hen, Richard Waring Hungry Hen

Craft: Chick in Shell (children cut out shapes that came together to make an egg shape, which were hooked together with a brad, so a baby chick popped out)

Overall, this storytime was a lot of fun, and the excitement was added to when the flannel board unexpectedly came crashing down when I went to start the “Little Red Hen” flannel. The entire room of 65 children (mostly preschool age, but some toddlers and infants) and parents went dead silent, and fortunately no one was hurt, not even the flannel board. Everyone recovered quickly–and since I had everyone’s attention, we were able to continue with the story!

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Non-fiction Read Alouds for Kids May 18, 2008

Posted by swegene1 in books, Library, Recommendations.
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I’ve never been much of a non-fiction reader, at least not for enjoyment, though I’ve read more then my fair share for school. But since I begun working in youth services I have discovered some really enjoyable non-fiction, particularly aimed at younger readers. Many have stunning illustrations, interesting information, and quite a few are suitable for reading out loud to a group or together at home. Since I love picture books, it is not surprising that I would enjoy these so much. Today’s new book cart was chock full of delightful non-fiction, which I thought I would share!

The first is a hilarious book for pre-k and up that is PERFECT for reading aloud because it invites participation. It is Where Does Pepper Come From And Other Fun Facts and it includes a wide range of facts, from why flamingos are pink to the difference between whales and fish. First a silly statement is made explaining why these things are so, such as “Flamingos are pink because they are embarrassed!” Then a child says “No! Silly” and then the facts are explained. Children will love to say “No!” to the silly stories and pictures, and will not be confused by the facts explained.

Another fun book that came in today is Ape , the illustrations are stunning and the text is simple. The book presents the five great apes and provides a bit of information about each and where they live. It might not be for every family, as the ending presents the fifth ape as humans, and there is definite preservation angle. However, the images and lyrical simple text make this a book that is definitely worth recommending as a read aloud.

Continuing the theme of animals, this is an interesting story for a bedtime theme: Water Beds: Sleeping in the Ocean It pairs simple words with peaceful text that provides information about the sleeping habits of aquatic mammals. Another good themed storytime bookPumpkins –this time for a fall/harvest/pumpkin theme, this non-fiction book has incredible pictures, simple text, and good proportions for sharing with a group.

Oddly, one of the hardest categories for non-fiction read alouds is folk tales, which are particularly hard to find for younger readers. Most of the time a storyteller can modify them to keep attention using dramatics, props, or just voice modulation, but simple folk tales are excellent for sharing aloud. Today, I found The Ghost Catcher with the new books. It is a simple tale of trickery and humor, involving ghosts and generosity that will not frighten children. This is suitable for k-2 grades.

What I have really discovered is that there is a lot of non-fiction that can be incorporated into our story telling in the library, and that rather then just focusing on fiction picture books, we can introduce our children to the world around them from an early age. I hope to find even more amazing non-fiction books–so any suggestions would be appreciated!