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.

Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn

Introduction: Our next book is about a child named Leo who loves storytime. Read the book, making connections to your own storytimes, even adding in a stretchy or rolly song when songs are mentioned.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: By sharing books in an interactive way and connecting what is in the book to the child's experience, you help to make the book more enjoyable. When children associate reading books with joyful experiences, it helps them want to learn to read and to stick with learning to read even when it might be difficult.

Hickety Pickety Bumble Bee

"Hickety Pickety Bumble Bee" Hickety Pickety bumble bee Who can say their name for me? First child’s name. Clap it. (Clap out the syllables in the child’s name.) Whisper it. (Whisper the syllables.) No sound. (Mouth the syllables.) Hickety pickety bumblebee, Who can say their name for me?

Early Literacy Aside--Example--Phonological Awareness
By clapping out and singing children's names, they hear words slowed down and they hear the parts of words, the syllables. This will later help them as they try to sound out words when they learn to read. The kids love the song, and parents tell me that they are clapping out the syllables to other family members names too.

Submitted by Marie Rogers, Hardin County Public Library in KY

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

Sing by Joe Raposo

Early Literacy Aside--Explain: Some of us can sing well, others not so well. Some of us like to sing whether we can or not and others would rather not sing. Did you know that singing is one way to help children learn the sounds in language which will then help them hear sounds as they learn to sound out words? Songs have a distinct note for each syllable so children hear the rhythm of language and hear words broken down into parts.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Our next book is a songbook. It uses the words to the song as the book itself. It's called Sing by Joe Raposo. I often feel like the third bird! I hope you do too. Let's see what happens when one of the three birds can't sing. We can all sing the words together and notice how songs help with hearing sounds in words.

Read/sing the book first describing what is happening in the wordless pictures.

Un gato y un perro A Cat and a Dog by Claire Masurel

Early Literacy Aside--Explain: We can talk with children about the books we read with them in many ways. Today I am going to point out ways that you can develop their understanding by encouraging them to think of what they might do in the situation in the story. Having them put themselves in the situation in the book will help them understand the story better now and will also help them understand what they read later.
Read the book to the page "There was absolutely nothing they could do." Stop and ask the children how they think the problem might be solved. What could the cat and dog do? Get suggestions, then go on reading the book. After you have finished the book:
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults, you can see that I stopped in the middle of the story to get ideas from the children about ways to solve the problem. It doesn't matter if they come up with the same idea as the author did or not. It is more important that to get the involved and thinking and to give them an opportunity to express their ideas. In this way they gain a better understanding of the story and learn to think this way later even when they are reading themselves.

Little You by Richard Van Camp

Using a baby doll or stuffed animal as a baby, demonstrate reading this book using more words than what is in the text. For example page 1: Little you, little wonder. Point to the parents and to the child. Here is the father and the mother and there is the little baby. There is a big round red sun in this picture (as you point to it) and a little flower with a ladybug. They look happy together, they are smiling. Another example, page 3: Little wish, gentle thunder. Let's see what is in this picture; there's a cat and a little kitten, a baby cat, just as this mother is holding her baby. And look out the window, there is a crescent moon. It looks dark outside. We see a flash of lightning that also comes with thunder. When I was little I used to be afraid of storms, especially when the thunder was so loud.
Early Literacy Aside--Explain: In today's storytime I'll be pointing out different ways you can read with your baby. Reading with your children is the single best thing you can do to help them become good readers later. There are many ways to read and share books with young children and I'll be pointing out some today.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: When you read to your baby and the book has only a few words on the page, take time to add your own words about the picture or about things the picture makes you think about. This adds to your baby's vocabulary and background knowledge which will make it easier for them to later understand what they read.

You can have a few minutes of Read Together time where you pass out board books for each family and have them add words to the few in the book. They may not get through the whole book. That's fine! They are enriching their babies' language experience.

Song: If You Want to Know an Answer

If You Want to Know an Answer is a good opening song especially when you want to emphasize what we can learn from factual books. You can substitute words to emphasize any aspect of learning. Song: If You Want to Know an Answer (tune:  If You're Happy & You Know It) If you want to know an answer, read a book! If you want to know an answer, read a book! If you're wondering where the moon goes; If you're wondering how the grass grows; If you want to know an answer, read a book!

If you'd like to learn to draw, read a book! If you want to learn to draw, read a book! If you'd like to draw a dog, Or a frog sitting on a log; If you'd like to learn to draw, read a book!

If you'd like to learn to bake, read a book! If you'd like to learn to bake, read a book! If you'd like to make some candy, Or a pizza that is dandy; If you'd like to learn to bake, read a book!

Early Literacy Aside--Explain--Background Knowledge:  Factual books offer many opportunities to add to children's knowledge based on their interests. Sharing factual books not only helps children learn about the world around them, but also will help them later understand what they read. In today's storytime, I'll be pointing out different ways to share factual books and information with children.

Sequence Cubes

Storytime Activity: The cubes shown here are made from 6” x 6” packing boxes. There are 6 sequences per cube, one for each side of the cube. You can see here a sequence of three for caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly and from pumpkin to carving a jack-o-lantern face, to the finished jack-o-lantern.To play, each family or small group gets three cubes as a set. A child rolls a cube and describes the picture. If the child is unable to respond, the adult helps the child reply or labels the picture with one word. Next, different people in the group look for other items in the sequence on the remaining two cubes. [For easier sequences use only two items, for harder sequences use four or more cubes.] Early Learning Aside: Talking about sequences, first, second, third, what happens next supports scientific and mathematical thinking with this cube activity. In this case we will be playing with sequences of three, three in a row. Talk together about the pictures and what pictures make sense to be in the sequence. Then line up the cubes in a row in order from left to right. [Note that a 1, 2, 3, sequence could be from less to more or more to less. It is still a sequence.] Continue the game as another person rolls a cube; repeat the process. Instructions to make and use the cubes:  cubesseq

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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

Rock a Bye Baby

Song as lead in to book: Rock a Bye Baby[Adults rock baby back and forth] Rock a bye baby on the tree top, When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks the cradle will fall, And I'm there to catch you, cradle and all.

Early Literacy Aside--Example: When we sing to babies, they hear language slowed down which makes it easier for them to hear the sounds in words. Even thugh we may not sing to our children for this purpose, it is the beginning of helping them to later sound out words when they later learn to read.

Jane Klein, Chester County (PA) Library System

Night/Noche Storytime Handout

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: I have a handout for you on the topic of our storytime today--night. It has some book titles which I have also displayed here.  I hope you'll like the suggestions of ideas and techniques you can do with your children at home to help develop their pre-reading skills, just as you saw me do in the storytime. You are with your children more often than I am so you have many opportunities to use some of these ideas. Let me know which ideas you enjoy doing with your children.Storytime Handout for storytime on the theme of Night/Noche Handout in English  Nighthandoutkc Handout in Spanish  Nochehandoutkc

Submitted by Katie Cunningham

Ideas que  le ayudarán a fomentar la alfabetización temprana en casa:  Al final de este parrafo encontrará un folleto con el tema de la noche. El folleto habla de algunos libros que también se presentan aquí.  Espero que estas ideas y técnicas le ayuden en casa a sus ninos a desarrollar las habilidaes necesarias para que puedan aprender a leer, así como lo ha visto en nuestra hora de cuentos.  Usted pasa mas tiempo consus hijos del que ellos pasan conmigo, así es que tendrá muchas oportunidades de usar algunas de estas ideas.

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

Song in Spanish

Here is a song that is fun to sing in English, Spanish or both, to the tune of "Frere Jacques."Esta canción es divertida cantar en inglés, español, o ambos, al tuno de "Frere Jacques."

Hello children.                  Hola niños. How are you?                   ¿Como están? Very well thank you.        Muy bien gracias. How about you?               ¿Y Usted?

Although today we are having  fun singing songs in two languages, talk with your children in the language  that is most comfortable for you. It is best for children to know one language  spoken fluently. If children know one language well, they can learn another one  more easily. If you are fluent in more than one language you can choose which  language to talk with your child in.

Aunque hoy  nos divertimos por cantar en dos idiomas, recuerde hablar con sus niños en el  idioma que usted mejor sepa.  Es mejor para  los niños saber un idioma con fluidez.  Si los niños saben bien un idioma, es más fácil para ellos aprender  otro.  Si usted habla con fluidez más que un idioma, puede elegir en cual quisiera hablar con su niño.

by Katie Cunningham, http://bilingualchildrensprogramming.blogspot.com

B I N G O (Bingo) Song

BINGO SongHere is a way to do the BINGO song so that we are saying all the letters at the end. "X" means to clap. There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name oh, B-X-X-X-X, B-X-X-X-X, B-X-X-X-X And Bingo was his name, oh. There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name oh, B-i-X-X-X, B-i-X-X-X, B-i-X-X-X And Bingo was his name, oh. There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name oh, B-i-n-X-X, B-i-n-X-X, B-i-n-X-X And Bingo was his name, oh. There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name oh, B-i-n-g-X, B-i-n-g-X, B-i-n-g-X And Bingo was his name, oh. There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name oh, B-i-n-g-o, B-i-n-g-o, B-i-n-g-o And Bingo was his name, oh. We all spelled Bingo's name. You know all these letters!  B   i   n    g   o  (point slowly to each one) Early Literacy Aside--Example: Singing letters of the alphabet is one enjoyable way for children to learn letters. You can spell out other words using the same tune. Having children become familiar with letter names and identifying letters will later help them as they try to recognize words.

Now It's Time to Read a Book Song

Now It's Time to Read a Book: to the tune of London Bridge Is Falling Down:Now it’s time to read a book, Read a book, Read a book Now it's time to read a book I’ll read a book to you. This song can be used as a transition into reading the next book to help instill print motivation, the enjoyment of books. Songs help children make smooth transitions from one activity to another. As children come to know the song, they can sing it at home when they want to read to a parent/adult or when they want an adult to read to them.

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