Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spring Storytime: Black History Month

It's that time again! Time for Spring Storytime! Now, here's the thing that happened. We're back at full staff now (yay!), so we started out offering 5 different sessions for the next four weeks. And as of late last week, I only had one child signed up for my session (Monday mornings). So I made the decision to cancel that session and, as a result, I don't have a storytime class this go-round. I am bummed, but we're rethinking how we'll do storytimes in the fall and I think we're going to try some new things.

I didn't want to miss sharing our storytime plans on this blog, but please do note that I have not actually done this storytime with kids. I hope you'll still get some good ideas!

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Book:  This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt, illustrated by R.G. Roth. This is a play on the song "This Old Man" and it has a nice rhythm for you to sign or read.

Felt: "America's Greatest Farmer". Miss Teresa found this poem about George Washington Carver and Miss T made some felt pieces to go along with it.

Book: Kente Colors by Debbi Chocolate, illustrated by John Ward. This book takes kids through the colors used in African kente cloth and explains the meaning behind each one.

Song:  "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" by Ella Fitzgerald from the CD Jazz for Kids: Sing, Wiggle, Clap, and Shake. You could sing this one with puppets or ring bells to the beat.

Activity: Red Light, Green Light. Did you know that Garrett Morgan, son of former slaves, invented the 3-light stop light (traffic signal) in 1923? Miss Teresa made some stop light signals to play a stop and go game with our bells.

Book: This Little Light of Mine, illustrated by Earl B. Lewis. Sing this song with the book or with hand motions. The song is an African-American spiritual which may already be familiar to many of your families.

Poem/Activity: Read the poem "Drums" by Langston Hughes (found in the book Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes) and pass out rhythm sticks for the kids to drum every time they hear the word "drum" or "drums" in the poem.

Mystery Bag: We have retired the Memory Box in favor of the Mystery Bag! I saw the Mystery Bag from the Hedburg Public Library at the ALSC Institute this past fall and we decided we wanted to give it a try. Each week, we'll have a different letter in the Mystery Bag and several objects that start with that letter. As you can see, this week the letter was P and we have a polar bear, a pig (a PINK pig!), and a parrot (and puppet!). We've tried the Mystery Bag with a couple of our preschool classes that have come in or that we've visited and both kids and teachers have LOVED IT. It's definitely a big hit! Miss T made our mystery bag out of a nylon laundry bag turned inside out (it has a skull design on it). She sewed some colorful triangles on it to make it look more fun!

Ending Song:  Do You Know What Time It Is?

Take-Home Craft: Quilt squares. Okay, so the idea of the "freedom quilt" is controversial and possibly made up, but quilt squares are a great way for children to practice manipulating shapes. We provided a sheet of shapes for them to color and cut out and then a sheet showing several different patterns for quilt squares. Kids can match the patterns or make up their own! We also included a list of books to celebrate Black History Month.

Alternate Books: If you don't like or don't have any of these books, here are some other choices. And you may also consider the possibility of focusing on African-American authors and illustrators instead of strictly including books that talk about Black history.

Let It Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals by Ashley Bryan
Rap a Tap Tap by Leo and Diane Dillon
We March by Shane Evans
Please Baby Please by Spike Lee
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson
Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
Before John Was a Jazz Giant by Carole Boston Weatherford