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
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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
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
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.]
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.
Please Baby Sign Language