Thursday, September 12, 2013

Storytime: All About Me

Our Fall programming season is upon us! Last week, I had a class from a local preschool visit the library for an All About Me storytime. All About Me is one of those themes that pops up in the fall every year and it's sort of ambiguous. Body parts? Self-confidence? Families? Community? There's a lot that can fit into this theme and it's easy to be overwhelmed. I decided to talk about where we live, our bodies, and our families. Here's what we did:

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Intro: Mail! I've been wanting to try out using mail to introduce storytime themes since I read about it at Storytime Katie (who read about it in a post from Amanda Struckmeyer on Wisconsin's Youth Services Shout-Out collaborative blog). And this was the perfect theme since it led into a short discussion about where we live. Not only does using mail reinforce the idea that writing and reading is used in everyday life, but it led into a discussion about what state and city we live in and what street we live on.

Book: Do Lions Live on Lily Pads? by Melanie Walsh. We actually skipped this book in my storytime because the kids were pretty squirrelly and I had to cut down, but this is a fun, simple book that can lead to conversation about where we live and where different animals live.

Felt Story: Mr. Pine's Purple House (book by Leonard Kessler). Mr. Pine has a problem: all the houses on his street look the same and he can never remember which one is his! So he plants a tree next to his house. But soon all the neighbors are following suit and soon they all look the same again! This is a great story to talk about same and different. After I told this story, I asked the kids what color their houses are.

Book: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. Next up, we talked about body parts. This was a great book for a restless crowd because we could stand up and do all the actions together.

Song: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. This is one of my favorites and we always do it normal, fast, and superfast! This is a great song for getting the wiggles out.

Book: The Family Book by Todd Parr. I feel like librarians can be very divided about Todd Parr: either you love his illustrations or you hate them. I love them and I love that this book shows many different types of families in very simple text, with funny illustrations and warm affirmations. There is a lot to talk about with this book if your group is inclined to do so.

Song: I took my standby "If You're Wearing Red Today" and changed the words to "If you have a brother..." We repeated with sister, cousin, pet, and friend (because I figured even if some kid didn't have any of those family members, they are all MY friends!). You could repeat with more if you want! This is a great song for practicing listening skills and following directions.

Activity: Color Library Cards. I wanted one more interactive activity, so I threw in a little bit about the library being part of our community and passed out the color library cards. When I called their color, kids came up and put their cards on the board. When they were all on the board, we counted them together.

Mystery Bag: Today's Mystery Bag had the letter M inside and also a mouse, a marker, a magnifying glass, a magnet, and MONEY!

Closing Song:  Do You Know What Time It Is?

After we finished our storytime, the class spent a few minutes playing in our Children's Room before heading back to their school.

Alternate Books: Here are other books you can use with an All About Me theme!

Parts by Tedd Arnold
You Can Do It, Too by Karen Baicker
I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont
I Like Me! by Nancy Carlson
What Brothers Do Best/What Sisters Do Best by Laura Numeroff

Check out Storytime Katie's Me storytime! You may also want to look for books about family, neighborhoods, pets, homes, or body parts.