Opposite Surprise by Agnese Baruzzi

[Opposite Surprise is a fold-out board book that can be used on different levels with mixed age groups. Some of the concepts are simple, like small or big which shows a small car and a large truck. Others are more complicated like thin and wide showing a pencil and a bridge, and one rather puzzling hot and cold showing the sun and two plugs. School age children could even make their own fold-out pages of opposites.]

Introduction: Our next book is a book about opposites. Can anyone tell me something that is opposite? [See if they give examples.] Let's look at this fun book of opposites. [Choose a few pages or read the whole book, talking about the pictures and the words that are opposite, letting older children guess what might the picture might be before opening the fold-out page.]
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Background Knowledge--Conceptual Thinking: Adults, we might often use words that are opposite like big and small or up and down. However, also pointing out that these ARE opposites helps children learn the concept of opposite which builds their understanding about the world around them, and also their comprehension when they later read these words.
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Early Literacy Aside--Example: Vocabulary: Adults, when we use the word opposite with words that are opposites, we are helping to build children's vocabulary which will later help them understand what they read.

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Adults, you certainly don't need a book about opposites to talk about opposites. As you are playing with your children, even lifting them up and down, feeling tired or rested/refreshed, or in the bathtub--float and sink--there are many opportunities throughout the day to talk about opposites which helps your children understand their world.

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Found by Salina Yoon

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This book can is a good one for mixed age groups. It can be understood on many levels. Even adults will enjoy the humor in the "Lost" signs, such as "Anyone see an elephant in the room?" or "Lost track of time."
Introduction: Here is a story called Found written by Salina Yoon. I see Bear on the cover. What do you think he has found? Yes, a bunny, a stuffed animal bunny rabbit. Let's see what happens when Bear tries to find bunny's home.
Read the book. On the page with all the Lost signs, read some of them, pointing to the text.
Early Literacy Tip--Example: [After reading the book, go back to the page with the lost signs. Point to and read a couple of the signs.] Pointing out the words in signs is one great way to help children develop print awareness, that print has meaning, that we are reading the text, not the pictures. This will make it easier for them to focus on the text when they learn to read.
Early Literacy Tip--Empower: Whenever you see signs, as you are driving, walking, at a store, pointing out what the text says is one way to help your children develop print awareness, one of the pre-reading skills they need to learn to read.

Clip, Clop by Catherine Hnatov

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Introduction: Our next book is about the movements animals make and what it sounds like when they move. The book is Clip, Clop by Catherine Hnatov. What is this animal on the cover? That's right, a horse. When he trots about, his hooves on the ground sound like this--clip, clop, clip, clop. Let me hear you say clip, clop. Very good! [They can tap their thighs if they like.]

Read the book. [Pause to talk about the words for the movements and making the sounds together.]

Early Literacy Aside--Example: This book is full of interesting words that we might not use in regular conversation with our babies and toddlers. Sharing this book with our children offers us the opportunity to build their vocabulary as they hear new words and their listening skills as they become aware of words that sound like the sounds themselves. When we expose our children to new words, even if they don't understand all the words right now, we build their vocabulary which makes it easier for them to understand words later and to understand what they will read.
When we point out sounds, we help them become more aware of the sounds around them. This awareness can also help them later hear smaller sounds in words which will help them later sound out words when they learn to read.
[You may do either or both of these aspects of the book--vocabulary (words) or sounds (phonological awareness).]

A Stick Until . . . by Constance Anderson

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Introduction: Here I have a stick. What can we do with a stick? [Respond to replies, encourage ways people may use a stick, how about animals using sticks? Show the cover of the book A Stick Until . . . by Constance Anderson.] What animals do you see on the cover? Let's see what this elephant will do with a stick.

Early Literacy Aside: Adults, this book has many interesting words your children may not know yet, such as a bird's plumage, or the alligator is submerged. When we use these unfamiliar words with children and then give a brief explanation, that is how they learn new words which will later also help them understand what they read!
Read the book, offering synonyms for a couple of words.
 

A Stick Until . . . by Constance Anderson

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Introduction: Here I have a stick. What can we do with a stick? [Respond to replies, encourage ways people may use a stick, how about animals using sticks? Show the cover of the book A Stick Until . . . by Constance Anderson.] What animals do you see on the cover? Let's see what this elephant will do with a stick.
Read the book, pointing out the true ways animals use sticks. Point out additional factual information at the end of the book.
Early Literacy Aside: When we share factual information about topics that interest our children, it builds their background knowledge, what they know about the world. Their background knowledge helps them later understand what they read.

Science Handout for Parents/Caregivers

Here is a sample handout on science concepts for parents/caregivers.
It is available in Word so you can edit it. However, sometimes the text and graphics get scrambled in Word, so there is a pdf version here as well.
The idea is that you can copy them back-to-back and then cut in half, so you get two handouts per sheet. One side is the general information on math concepts. The other side (half the sheet) you would edit to reflect whatever concept and activities you are doing in a particular storytime and an idea to keep it going after storytime is over.

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Here is also a general handout of science and math concepts.  Word    PDF

Math Handout for Parents/Caregivers

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Here is a sample handout on math concepts for parents/caregivers.
It is available in Word so you can edit it. However, sometimes the text and graphics get scrambled in Word, so there is a pdf version here as well.
The idea is that you can copy them back-to-back and then cut in half, so you get two handouts per sheet. One side is the general information on math concepts. The other side (half the sheet) you would edit to reflect whatever concept and activities you are doing in a particular storytime and an idea to keep it going after storytime is over.

Here is also a general handout of science and math concepts.  Word    PDF

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F.Isabel Campoy

Introduction: Our next book is about making a place better to live by making it more beautiful. It is called Maybe Something Beautiful and the illustrator, Rafael Lopez is the person who actually helped to make a neighborhood in San Diego, California, more beautiful by painting murals. Let's see what happened. This story is based on what really happened in San Diego. [After reading the book, or parts of it, describe what is said in "A Note from the Authors."]

Activity: Have some mural paper and paints. (if not paints, then crayons/markers) Talk about what the children might like to paint that might make a neighborhood beautiful. Then have them paint on the paper. Display it.

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Early Literacy Aside (option 1): Adults, when we have children paint/draw, it is helping children develop the skills for later writing.

Early Literacy Aside (option 2): Adults, after your children have finished painting/drawing, ask them to tell you all about what they have made. Encourage them to tell you a story about it or how they got the idea. You can enrich the experience by expanding on what they say, descriptive words, words for feelings, encouraging their imagination, giving information about a topic. If they drew a butterfly, for example, you might add some information you know about butterflies. Your conversation can build their vocabulary and background knowledge, what they know about the world, which will make it easier for them later to understand what they read.

Tractor by DK Publishing (Board book)

Introduction: Our next book is a board book that is cleverly cut in the shape of a tractor. We won't read the whole book, but this is a good introduction to a tractor, its different parts, and what it does. Let's look at the cover. What do you see? (lights, tires) What does a tractor do? . . . Good ideas! Let's find out more. [Choose a page or two to share.]

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Early Literacy Aside--Example:  Adults, when we talk with our children, even our young children, about factual information, we help them learn about the world. This introduces them to the background knowledge they will need to later understand what they read. Even if they do not understand everything we say, it is still important to share the information with them.

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Adults, you do not need a book to share factual information with your children. As you are doing things together or going places together, share information you know about any topic of interest. You are building your child's background knowledge about the world which helps with comprehension. And! they are so very curious about the world.

Over in the Arctic Where the Cold Winds Blow by Marianne Berkes

Introduction: Our next book is called Over in the Arctic Where the Cold Winds Blow by Marianne Berkes. We can make the actions and sounds of the animals as we go along.

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Read or Sing the book. After completing the book, come back to the page with the owls.
There are some interesting words on this page. There is a mother snowy owl. What color is the owl? And her little owlets seven. A baby owl is called an owlet. Let's say that together. It says here that the owls glide. Let me see how the mother owl glides (Let them show you wide wings with their arms). And how does a baby owlet glide? (wings/arms not so wide). What does flying look like? What does gliding look like? (more smooth, soar) and what does swooping look like? (from high to low--plunging, lunging, diving).

Early Literacy Aside--Example: Songs can give us words we might not hear in regular conversation. In this book, having fun with the action words can help children distinguish between words of similar meanings. This helps children learn small differences in the meanings of words which builds their vocabulary and helps them later understand what they read.

Zoom, Zoom, Baby by Karen Katz

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Introduction: Our next book is Zoom, Zoom, Baby by Karen Katz. In this book there are many environmental sounds, sounds we hear around us. We can say these sounds together. Let's practice first (children and adults say each sound together, adding repetitions till they are comfortable with saying the sounds--the boat goes putt-putt; the bus goes beep! beep, the plane goes whoosh-whoosh, the train goes choo-choo; the truck goes rumble-rumble; and the car goes zoom-zoom.
OK! let's read this book all together.

Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults, drawing your children's attention to the sounds in the environment helps them become aware of sounds. This is a very beginning step to having them later hear the smaller sounds in words which will later help them sound out words when they learn to read. (That skill is called phonological awareness.)

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Adults, remember the book Zoom, Zoom, Baby by Karen Katz, which I read earlier? You can talk about the sounds you hear at home and as you go about your errands, even without a book. Helping your children become more aware of sounds will help them later hear those smaller sounds in words which will help them sound out words as they learn to read. Yes! It does start early.

My House by Byron Barton

Introduction: Our next book is a very brightly colored one with clear pictures, which makes it easier for babies to focus on the pictures. It's called My House by Byron Barton. As I read this book, I will also point out and name some of the shapes in the pictures.

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Read the book. [Talk about shapes on a page or two. For example on the page "This is the inside of my house,"] Look at Jim the cat's eyes. What shape are they? Yes, circles. And here you can see the colors of the rug. Each color is an oval. It is curved like a circle, but is longer.

Early Literacy Aside--Example (after reading book): When we talk about shapes with children we help them recognize shapes. Researchers have noted that children recognize letters by their shapes, so learning shapes is a first step to letter knowledge, which they need to decode words when they learn to read.

Early Learning Aside for Math: When we talk about shapes with children, we are helping them develop their geometry skills which is one of the math concepts needed to do well in math.

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Adults, you can talk about shapes all around you throughout the day, even without a book. Many children love to notice shapes and point them out to you. Isn't it great knowing that such a fun activity is also helping them to later recognize their letters!

Big Box for Ben by Deborah Bruss

Introduction: I have a big empty box here. What do you think we can do with this box? What could you do with it? [You may want to have more than one box if you want to give them time to explore and play with the boxes, or you may choose to do this after reading the book.]
Today we have a book called Big Box for Ben by Deborah Bruss. Let's see what this boy Ben likes to do with his box. [As you read the book, add interesting words describing the box, the position of the box and the flaps, what Ben is imagining--using the word imagination]

Early Literacy Aside: Playing is a great way to build children's language. By following your child's lead, giving them time to express their ideas and think imaginatively, asking open-ended questions, adding new words and description, you give them opportunities to build their vocabulary, to think of stories, and to understand the world around them. All these skills contribute to later helping them understand what they read.

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Hooray for Hat by Brian Won with flannel board

Introduction: Our next book is called Hooray for Hat by Brian Won. In this book each of the animals is grumpy until they get a wonderful hat. Then when Elephant gives each animal a hat they all say "Hooray for hat." You can help me tell the story by saying "Hooray for hat."  Let's practice saying "Hooray for hat." Good!
[Read the book, pausing for them to say "Hooray for hat."]
Now I have a flannel board of this same book. You already said "Hooray for hat," and now you can help tell the whole story!
[Put up pieces on the flannel board, pausing for the children to tell you what comes next, and to say as much of the story as they can.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults, we help children retell stories, they can remember it more easily, and they also are learning how stories work--what happens first, next, and last--and phrases that are repeated. Learning how stories work will make it easier for them to both understand stories when they read them and even to write stories when they are asked to do so in school.
Photos of pieces for flannel board of Hooray for Hat

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Hooray for Hat by Brian Won

Introduction: Our next book is called Hooray for Hat by Brian Won. In this book each of the animals is grumpy until they get a wonderful hat. Each time an animal gets a hat, the animals say "Hooray for hat!" So, I would like you to say with me "hooray for hat." We are going to clap for each word. So, three claps--hooray--for--hat. Let's practice saying and clapping the words "Hooray for hat."  Very good. Ok, here comes the story.
[Read the book, pausing for them to say "Hooray for hat."]
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults, when we help children hear individual words, this is a starting point to later hear even smaller sounds within words which will help them later sound out words when they learn to read. (This skill is called phonological awareness.)

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Hooray for Hat by Brian Won

Introduction: Our next book is called Hooray for Hat by Brian Won. In this book each of the animals is grumpy until they get a wonderful hat. This book has a lot of repetition so I would like you to help tell the story with me. In fact, you might notice there is a pattern to what is happening. First an animal is grumpy, then Elephant gives the grumpy animal a hat, and the animal smiles and they cheer "Hooray for hat!" So, I would like you to say with me "hooray for hat." You'll know when it is coming because it will be after the animal smiles and then they cheer. Let's practice saying "Hooray for hat."  Very good. Ok, here comes the story.
[Read the book, pausing for them to say "Hooray for hat."]
Early Learning Aside--Example: Adults, when I started this book, I pointed out that there is a pattern the children can follow to help them know what comes next, so they would know when to say Hooray for hat. When we point out patterns we notice, or help our children notice patterns, we are helping them develop one of the math skills--geometry and patterns--which will later make it easier for them to understand math concepts.

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From Flower to Honey by Robin Nelson

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Introduction: How many of you have ever tasted honey? What does it taste like? Do any of you know how honey is made? How? In our next book, called From Flower to Honey by Robin Nelson, we can find out in more detail about how honey is made. Let's see what it says.
Read the book, shortening if necessary. Share some of the Table of Contents and point out Glossary at the back.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: When we share factual books with children, we show them that books can be used for different purposes, stories as well as learning about the world. When we point out features like the table of contents and the glossary, it helps them learn how different kinds of books work.

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Bus for Us by Suzanne Bloom

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Introduction: In this book, The Bus For Us by Suzanne Bloom, you will be helping me tell the story by saying this sentence throughout the book, "Is this the bus for us, Gus?" [Point out Gus as the boy on the cover. Practice saying the phrase together.
Point to each word as you say the sentence together, each time.]
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults, when we point to words as the children say them, we develop their print awareness, helping them understand that the words we are saying is what is written in the text. This helps them understand how reading works and will help them later focus on the words as they learn to read.

Don't Wake Up the Tiger by Britta Teckentrup

Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults, in our next book there are many words written in bold and large letters. I will be pointing to these words and saying them more loudly, and encouraging you all to say them along with me. By pointing out these words, we help children notice the text which will help them later focus on the text when they learn to read.
Read Don't Wake Up the Tiger and point out some of the words in bold, saying them more loudly, with emphasis. Point to the words as you have children repeat some of them. You can sing "Happy Birthday" to Tiger.
If you like, you can make or bring in a happy birthday banner, or use the flannel board to spell out happy birthday.

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Don't Spill the Beans by Ian Schoenherr

Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults, in our next book, notice the many ways to say the same thing, so many different expressions. Talking about the different meanings of words helps to build your children's vocabulary which will later help them understand what they read.
To the children: Our next book is called Don't Spill the Beans by Ian Schoenherr. What do you think "don't spill the beans" means? What is one thing it might mean? . . . discuss
In this book it is meaning--don't tell a secret. Bear has a fun secret. Let's see what it is. [Read the book.]
Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Adults, this week you may like to think about some of the expressions you use, and talk about words with different meanings. I have a handout with some more idioms.
Idioms Can Be Funny

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