Monday, October 16, 2017

Preschool Storytime: Sharks

We had the Shark Cart from the Newport Aquarium visit earlier this month, so to get the kids excited about it, I did a shark storytime the week before. This is one of those storytimes that I thought would be difficult to plan, but it turns out that LOTS of librarians have done shark storytimes and there was plenty of fun material to be had.

Here's what I did:

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello



Book: Great White Shark by Deborah Nuzzolo (Pebble Books, 2008). I used this book because I wanted to use one with real photos and the Pebble Plus books are great for having large full-color photographs. We talked about lots of great vocabulary words in this book - predator and prey, nostril, and more. I was worried about real pictures being too scary, but it turns out kids are brave. I did warn them before the last spread of the shark jumping out with its toothy mouth open wide. ;)



Felt Rhyme: Two Little Sharks
(A variation on Two Little Dickey Birds)

Two little sharks in the deep blue sea
One named Leonard and one named Lee
Swim away, Leonard! Swim away, Lee!
Come back, Leonard! Come back, Lee!

Source: Sunflower Storytime

This is a traditional rhyme that helps children practice motor skills and following directions.

Action Song: Bubble, Bubble Pop




I adjusted the lyrics slightly:

One little blue shark
Swimming in the water
Swimming in the water
Swimming in the water
One little blue shark
Swimming in the water
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble
POP!

We repeated with different colors until the kids were ready to move on.



Book: How to Spy on a Shark by Lori Haskins Houran (Albert Whitman, 2015). This nonfiction book uses gentle rhyming text to describe one way that scientists study sharks: by tagging them and having robots follow and record what they are doing. I chose this one because it's a very simple introduction to some of the work scientists do.

Action Song: The Sharks in the Sea
(Tune: The Wheels on the Bus)

The sharks in the sea go chomp, chomp, chomp
Chomp, chomp, chomp
Chomp, chomp, chomp
The sharks in the sea go chomp, chomp, chomp
All day long

Repeat with different sea animals. We did fish/swim, lobster/click clack and then I turned it over to the kids and they suggested sea turtle/glide, octopus/wiggle, and dolphin/flap tail.

Source: Adventures in Storytime



Felt Rhyme: Sharks in the Bathtub

One little shark in the bathtub
Going for a swim
Knock, knock (clap twice)
Splash, splash (pat knees twice)
Come on in!

Repeat with two, three, four, and five. At the very end "They all fell in!" and knock the felt pieces off the board.

Source: The Storytime Station



Book: Shark in the Park by Nick Sharrat (Corgi, 2000). This is one of our department's very favorite storytime books. It's cute and has actions the kids can do along with it (looking along with their telescope). This is a great one for practicing directions (look up, look down, look left, look right) and it has a fun surprise ending that kids love.



Felt Rhyme: Five Little Fishies

Five little fishies, swimming in the sea
Teasing Mr. Shark "You can't catch me!"
Along comes Mr. Shark, quiet as can be
And SNAPS that fish right out of the sea! (clap on "Snaps!")

Repeat: count down until there are no fish left.

Source: Never Shushed

We have a shark puppet and I love to use puppets with this rhyme.

Closing Song: Do You Know What Time It Is?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Preschool Storytime: Rain

I spotted the book Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre on a display and I was inspired to create a rain-themed storytime this summer. I did it during our last week of summer storytimes and this was a really fun one to go out on because I tried a new thing and it worked (yay!).

Here's what I did:

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello (our standard!)

Intro: Okay, I was going to bring out our rainstick to show the kids so we could hear it and I could talk about how they are made. BUT I couldn't find it on the hectic morning of our storytime, so I skipped that. If you have a rainstick, it would be a fun thing to show the kids.



Book: Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre (Bean Lane Books, 2015). I was drawn to this one for its photo illustrations, which are a little unusual in children's picture books and I think they're neat. This is a great book for introducing kids to new vocabulary because Sayre uses such a rich selection of different words.



Felt: Five Little Umbrellas

This simple rhyme helps kids practice counting down and you could use it to practice colors, too. I put it in here to break up my books a little bit and give them something a little bit active (they can count on their fingers as I go through the felt pieces on the board). You can use the names of the kids in your storytime or substitute Mom, Dad, Cousin, etc. or just say "Someone".

Five umbrellas stood by the door.
Riley took the pink one, and then there were four!

Four umbrellas, pretty as can be.
Ben took the blue one, and then there were three!

Three umbrellas with nothing to do.
Ollie took the green one, and then there were two!

Two umbrellas having fun.
Lincoln took the yellow one, and then there was one!

One umbrella alone in the hall.
Ashly took the purple one and that was all!




Book: Storm Song by Nancy Viau (Amazon, 2013). We talked about what happens when a storm comes - what do we see, what do we hear? And one kiddo mentioned that it's sometimes scary, which lead right into this book. A storm comes and the power goes out and this family observes the storm and finds things to do with the lights out. It's a book that depicts something that most kids are familiar with and it has a lot of interesting rhythm and sounds in the text.

Action Song: If It's Raining Outside, Wear Your Boots

(Tune: If You're Happy and You Know It)
If it's raining outside, wear your boots.
If it's raining outside, wear your boots.
If it's raining outside, then your boots will keep you dry!
If it's raining outside, wear your boots.

Repeat: raincoat, hat, umbrella, etc.

I asked the kids to tell me what we need to wear if we go outside when it rains, so feel free to turn this over to the kids and use their suggestions in your song! Doing action songs in storytime not only helps get some wiggles out and allows kids to then sit and listen more calmly, but singing songs helps kids hear that words are made up of smaller sounds.



Book: Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car by John Burningham (HarperCollins, 1976). It's a sunny day and Mr. Gumpy is going for a drive. All of the farm animals want to come, but none of them want to help push when it rains and the car gets stuck in the mud.

 


Book with Props: Rain by Manya Stojic (Crown Books for Young Readers, 2000). I chose this book because I wanted to use some props with it (this was the new thing I tried!). As a rainstorm starts on the Savannah, animals see lightning, hear thunder, and finally the rain comes down. I divided my group up into three smaller groups based on where they were sitting. The kids on the right got yellow and orange scarves for lightning, the kids in the middle got egg shakers for rain sounds, and the kids on the left got rhythm sticks for thunder. First, we each practiced our parts. The lightning kids waved their scarves in the air up and down like lightning striking. The rain makers shook their eggs. And the thunder beat their rhythm sticks on the floor.

Then as I read the book, each group chimed in when it came to their part in the story. I didn't read the whole book - after the rain came and then the rain stopped, I skipped to the end where it gets hot again.

The kids had a lot of fun with this and even though I was nervous of chaos with so many noise-making props, it turned out to be really fun. I like finding ways to get kids involved with the story in unusual ways! And in this activity kids practiced motor skills and following directions.

Closing Song: Do You Know What Time It Is?


Monday, October 2, 2017

Here's Where I've Been

I had a little unanticipated hiatus with this blog for awhile due to some staffing changes in my job, but that doesn't mean I wasn't writing about books and libraries! I'm going to work on getting this blog back to regular posts, which may be different from what I had previously been posting about since I'm in a new role at my library. In the meantime, here are some columns I've written for various publications over the past several months:

Leadership in Librarianship 
Youth Matters column from American Libraries in September.

Tips on developing leaders in your library from the Power Up Conference from both myself and my librarian who accompanied me to the conference and is an amazing "unofficial" leader.



Five STEM-Themed Chapter Books
Chapter Book Chat column for School Library Journal's Be-Tween e-newsletter in August

Got kids who love science? Connect them with these books!



Build a Better World with Chapter Books
Chapter Book Chat column for SLJ's Be-Tween e-newsletter in June

These books were selected to go with this summer's Build a Better World SRP theme, but they're great for starting discussions and helping your world anytime!

Summer Reading Reboot
Youth Matters column for American Libraries in May.

When is it time for changes to your Summer Reading program? This column encourages you to take a look at your current Summer Reading program and decide if it might be time for some changes.



Engaging Readers with Fiction and Nonfiction
Chapter Book Chat column for SLJ's Be-Tween e-newsletter in April



Chapter Books for Change
Chapter Book Chat column for School Library Journal's Be-Tween e-newsletter in February.

Introduce students to themes of tolerance, generosity, and friendship with these diverse chapter books.