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.

maybesomethingbeautifulcover.jpg
maybesomethingbeautifullopez.jpg

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.

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

hoorayforhat

Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack

Introduction: Our next book uses only two words to tell a whole story. As I turn the pages in the book, YOU can help me tell the story. The two words are Ah and Ha. Let's say Ah together Ah or AAHHH. There are several ways to say this word to mean different things. Now let's try it with Ha. HAAAA. Good! Now let's tell this story together. Read the book Ah Ha! together allowing time for the children to recount what they see happening in the pictures.
Early Literacy Aside--Narrative Skills--Example: When you have children tell stories from the pictures, you are developing their narrative skills, their expressive language. When they talk and give their own ideas, this helps them later understand what they read and also helps them understand how stories work.

Elephant Buttons by Noriko Ueno

Storytelling and Props:[This story with props is based on a wordless picture book, now out of print. Elephant Buttons begins with a picture of an elephant, but the elephant has buttons on his belly; on the next page we realize that this is not actually an elephant, but a lion dressed up as an elephant. But wait! The lion has buttons too. Who is it in the lion costume? And so, each page reveals yet another animal in a costume with buttons in order after the lion there is a horse, then a duck, and then a mouse all with buttons. When we open the buttons of the mouse, there is an elephant with no buttons.]

The attached document give the pattern and instructions.  elebuttons

Our next story Elephant Buttons by Noriko Ueno is quite an interesting one. I am going to tell it to you using some props. Let's see what you think is happening as I tell this story.

Begin by holding up the elephant piece that has buttons on his tummy. What’s this? An elephant? Right! But what’s this on his tummy? Buttons? Do elephants have buttons on their tummies? No? What do you think will happen if we unbutton the buttons?

Unbutton the buttons and reach inside and pull out a lion, with buttons on his tummy. And the questions continue. Proceed with a horse, a duck, and a mouse, all with buttons on their tummies. Unbuttoning the mouse reveals a big elephant with no buttons on his tummy! If the elephant is too big to actually fold into the mouse, then hold it hidden in the palm of your hand and pull it out at the appropriate time. Discuss why an elephant would dress up in a mouse costume inside a duck costume inside a horse costume, and so on.

Early Literacy Aside--Example: Using stories that can be interpreted in different ways offers your children an opportunity to think and offer their opinions. It allows them to look at what is happening from different perspectives. By asking open-ended questions and encouraging children to talk, asking what they are thinking, we give them a chance to problem-solve and to express what they are thinking, both are skills that will help them later understand what they read.

Amy Alapati, Montgomery County (MD) Public Libraries

Peanut & Fifi Have a Ball by Randall de Seve

Introduction: When we use books that are fun and use imagination, our children make a connection to the story. In Peanut and Fifi Have a Ball written by Randall de Seve and illustrated by Paul Schmid, Peanut has a new ball and Fifi tries so hard to get her to play.  Watch how this story uses a simple item and adds imagination.
Read the book.
Activity: Act out the story.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Acting out the story, dramatic play, reinforces both the story itself and the pleasure about the story. By internalizing the story, they are better able to understand it.
Early Literacy Aside--Empower:  I hope you'll encourage playing with stories at home as well. Take a box, ruler, blanket, ball, or many other simple items and use make believe to encourage play.  Other books that work with Play and imagination are Not a Box and Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis.  After playing with a simple item, you can always expand on this play by having your child draw something they did, dictate a story about their play, or just describe what they did with the item.  Using writing to expand on the story validates your child’s play. Talking about and recording the story,  going over the sequence is uses their narrative skills which helps your child learn how stories work by using first, next, and last. Submitted by Dianna Burt, Allen County (IN) Public Library

Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson Handout

Read the book The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson. Have participants join in with the repeated phrase "but the cow loves cookies."
Early Literacy Aside--Empower: At the end of storytime pass out the attached handout. Tell the adults they can cut out the pictures with their children and play different games.  Children can match the animals to what they eat. Use the pictures to help children retell the story, too! Young children can say the sounds of the animals. Have children say the repeated phrase “but the cow loves cookies.” Older children can retell the story using the pictures to remember the order. All these are steps to help your children retell stories and help them understand how stories work which will later make it easier for them to understand what they are reading. Handout: cowlovescookies

Joseph Had an Overcoat by Simms Taback

Read book:  Joseph Had an Overcoat by Simms TabackHave children say the repeated phrase, "But it got old and worn."
Retell with flannel board: Now let's do the story on the flannel board. What happened first?
Early Literacy Aside--Empower: [As you give out the handout] I have a handout for you today for Joseph Had an Overcoat. It is the same pattern that I used for the flannel board. You can cut out the pieces and have your children retell the story. As you have your children retell other stories too, using props can help them remember what comes next. For your younger children who may not be able to retell stories, they can repeat a word or perhaps a phrase. These are all activities that will later help your child understand how stories work and also help them understand what they read. Pattern for flannel board and handout:  josephovercoathandout

 

There Were Ten in the Bed by Annie Kubler or Five Little Monkeys

Extension Craft Activity: Five in the BedHand out half-sheet of construction paper cut lengthwise and figures for children to decorate. Younger children glue five figures in the bed; older children decorate with more detail. Each child also gets a brad so that they can rotate their figures onto and out of the bed as in the book/song.

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Adults, your children are not only using their art to reinforce retelling the story There Were Ten in the Bed we read today, but also to reinforce our early literacy skill.  Singing is a great way to support phonological awareness in that it slows down the words and gives a different note to each syllable, so today’s activity is a 2 for 1!

 

Submitted by Katie Ringenbach, Bucks County (PA) Public Library

Little Red Hen Handout

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: In our storytime today, we read the story of the Little Red Hen by Byron Barton. Your children also retold the story with me on the flannel board. In today's handout I have the repeated phrases and the order of what the little red hen did. There are also boxes for your children to draw the animals. You can cut them out and have the children retell the story for you. For your younger children, they can say the words "Not I" or say the sounds of the animals. Having your children retell stories helps them understand the story better and helps them learn how stories work. Enjoy!Handout: lrhenhandout

Too Much Noise by Ann McGovern

toomuchnoise.jpg

Empower Aside: I have a handout for you related to the book we did with a flannel board today in storytime, Too Much Noise. Using little cues like the flannel board pieces can help your children retell the story. The handout has squares where your children can draw in the animals, you can cut them out and then retell the story together. Your youngest children can say the animal sounds, slightly older children can say the names of the animals and perhaps repeat the words "too noisy" and your preschoolers can try retelling the whole story. All of these are stages in helping your children develop narrative skills which will help them later understand what they read and how stories work. Enjoy!Handout for Too Much Noise:  multsttoomuchnoise

 

Breakfast for Jack by Pat Schories

Our next book is a wordless book. It has pictures but no written words. Let's see if you can figure out what the story could be just from the pictures.Read through Breakfast for Jack by Pat Schories (or another wordless book of your choice) Let the children contribute to the conversation as you go through the pictures in the book. Early Literacy Aside--Example: Using wordless books and having your child tell the story is one easy way to develop your children's narrative skills--having them tell stories. They can tell the story different ways when reading the book several times. Early Literacy Aside--Empower: I have displayed some wordless books today. Feel free to check them out and have your children tell you the story. If they seem to be stuck, you can ask open-ended questions like "What do you see in this picture? What do you think is happening here?" If you are telling the story together, remember to follow your child's lead. Supporting your children's narrative skills helps them later understand what they read.

Little Red Hen Readers' Theater

Introduce the book Little Red Hen by Byron Barton: This is a folktale that many authors have retold. The book we are going to read was written and illustrated by Byron Barton. [Have several copies of the book available, or copied sheets.] Today with your help, we are going to read by doing what is called Readers' Theater.  This is playacting without having to memorize any lines. I will act as narrator, but I will need the rest of you to participate as well. Let's divide into three groups: pig, duck, and cat.  Now I will need four parent volunteers and your children to come to the front to read the lines of the characters. After you have read the lines, encourage the children to repeat after you. After the child says your words then the children in groups will say those words as well.Clap for all the participants--children in groups, children up front, parents. Talk briefly about the story by asking questions such as How would you feel if you were the little red hen? What would you have done? What do you think the pig, duck and cat might do next time? Early Literacy Aside--Example: When you have children act out stories, it is not only fun, but this kind of dramatic play helps them understand how stories work and helps them understand the story. These are skills that will help them understand what they read when they get to school. Lillie Butler, St. Tammany Parish (LA) Library

Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Earlier in our storytime we read the book Something from Nothing and then you helped tell the story with the flannelboard. Today I have a handout for you, so that you can color and cut out the pieces from the rectangular blanket and then retell the story at home. Adults, when you give your children little aids or props, it helps them remember the story and retell it. When children retell stories they are better understanding how stories work as well as the story itself. This will help them later understand what they read. Have fun together!Handout:  handsomnothpattskill Library Staff: You can enlarge the handout to make your own flannelboard.

Submitted by Saroj Ghoting, Early Childhood Literacy Consultant www.earlylit.net

Ready for Anything by Keiko Kasza

Read the book Ready for Anything by Keiko Kasza. As you read the book as a few open-ended questions (questions that cannot be answered with yes or no).Early Literacy Aside--Example: Parents, you might notice that I interrupted the story by asking some questions. Encouraging your children to talk will help them understand what they read later on! It's important when we ask children questions that we are patient enough to give them time to respond to us.

Submitted by Sophie Bruno, Sacramento (CA) Public Library

Magnet handout

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: I am gong to give you a pre-literacy skill magnet that says "Talking" to put on your frig. This will remind you to extend your conversations with your children. In this way you are building on what they know and they will be able to better understand what they read. The magnet also lets you know you are already your child's first teacher! Great job, parents!Workshop Participant, Sacramento (CA) Public Library

Pop Goes Pre-Reading

Song for Explain Early Literacy Aside:To the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel
Our early literacy skill today
is letter knowledge [fill in the name of the skill].
Getting to know lots of shapes [Substitute aspect of skill being highlighted]
will HELP children read.

Add information related to skill: Researchers have found that children recognize letters according to their shapes.  Talking with young children about shapes is one way to support emerging literacy skills.

Some examples for other skills, to fill in:
Skill=vocabulary: Explaining unfamiliar words . . .
Information on skill: Researchers have found that children who have larger vocabularies, who know more words, can more easily recognize words they sound out and can also more easily understand what they read when whey learn to read.
Skill=print motivation . . . Having fun while sharing books
Information on skill: Researchers have found that children who have enjoyable interactions around books and reading are more likely to stick with learning to read even when it is difficult.
Skill=phonological awareness . . . Clapping out the parts of words . . . OR Having fun with rhyming words . . .
Information on skill: Helping children hear the smaller sounds in words will help them later to sound out words when they begin to read.
Skill=print awareness  . . . Pointing to signs all around . . . OR Pointing to words in a book Information on skill: Understanding that the written word stands for the words helps children understand how reading works.
Skill=background knowledge . . . Reading information books . . . OR Telling your children what you know . . .
Information on skill: Children are naturally curious. By adding to the information they know on topics that interest them, they will later be able to better understand what they read. Skill=background knowledge . . . Having children retell stories . . .
Information on skill: When children retell stories they learn how stories work, that the have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This will help them later when they have to write stories in school.

Choose only one skill to highlight (to say the aside).

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (Song)

Early Literacy Aside--Explain: Singing songs together is an enjoyable way to start developing expressive language, talking! Young children repeat what we say. This is the first step for them to express their own thoughts. Songs like this one, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, have a repeated phrases which makes it easier for toddlers to learn. Let’s try it.Song: Five Little Monkeys Five little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Mama called the doctor and the doctor said, "No more monkeys jumping on the bed." Repeat for 4, 3, 2, 1 [For babies, bounce child to the rhythm. For older children, use five fingers to represent the monkeys and make appropriate actions.]

Please, Baby, Please by Spike and Tonya Lee

Introduction: Our book today is called Please, Baby, Please written and illustrated by Spike and Tonya Lee. Some of the things this baby does may look quite familiar to you! When you read this book to your baby, you can read the words or talk about the pictures.
Read book Please, Baby, Please by Spike and Tonya Lee. When you read the book with your child, don’t worry about getting through the whole book! Leave a little time when you are talking about the pictures, to let your child babble back to you. Now let’s all say this phrase, “please baby please” together. I’ll read part of this book again and let’s all chime in with “please baby please." You’ll notice I made this phrase repeat throughout so your toddler can join in. It is easier with the repetition. You may also like to try sign language. For children who are pre-verbal, can’t say words yet, using gestures is one way they make themselves understood. Just be sure to SAY the words as you use the gestures and encourage your child to do so as well. [See attachment for signs.]
Early Literacy Aside--Example: By encouraging your child to speak, to repeat words, you are helping to develop their narrative skills. This is the expressive part of language which later helps to develop comprehension when they read. Even giving time for your baby to babble as you share books together is helping with to develop this skill. 

Sign language please baby please

 

I'm Taking a Trip on My Train by Shirley Neitzel

Introduce book: This book about a train uses pictures for for some words. You can help me by filling in the words when you see the picture.Read book: As you read the book, point to the pictures in the text so that the participants (children and adults) will chime in with the appropriate words.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: (Print Awareness) As you point to the pictures and have children say the words, you are helping them see that pictures represent words. This is the beginning to helping them understand that the written word also represents the words we say. Print awareness is one of the skills children need to be able to learn to read and you are helping to develop this skill when you point to pictures and words as you say words.
Early Literacy Aside--Empower: (for Print Awareness) Having words as part of the text of the story is a fun way to write stories with your child. As your child tells you a story, you can write it down and let them draw pictures for some of the repeated words. They see the written words for their spoken words which develops print awareness.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: (for Narrative Skills) Having your young children chime in with a word or phrase, as much as they can remember, is a first step to being able to retell the whole story. Retelling stories helps children develop narrative skills which later helps them understand what they read.
Early Literacy Aside--Empower: (Narrative Skills) This is a cumulative story, where the lines are repeated. Having your child say the repeated phrases helps to develop retelling the story which develops their narrative skills, one of the skills that helps with later reading. Retelling stories helps develop their understanding of the story as well.

Choose only one skill to highlight (to say the aside).