Say the rhyme together. Act out the lyrics.
Five Little Kittens
Five little kittens sleeping on a chair
One rolled off, leaving four there.
Four little kittens, one climbed a tree
To look in a birds nest; then there were three.
Three little kittens wondered what to do.
One saw a mouse, and then there were two.
Two little kittens playing near a wall.
One little kitten chased a red ball.
One little kitten with fur soft as silk,
Left all alone to drink a dish of milk.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: We are acting out the lyrics. After we do it a few times, I will see if the children can help me recall the actions and say the rhyme themselves. This is a form of narrative skills, saying the rhyme in order and using the actions to help them recall it, a first step in later understanding what they read.
Submitted by Anna Hancock, Cincinnati (OH) Public Library
Fingerplay: Ten Little Campers
Ten little campers putting up their tent. (Put finger tips of fingers together forming tent roof)
Ten little campers close the vents. (Intertwine fingers together to signify closure)
Ten little campers make a ring. (Form circle putting tips of fingers together and thumbs together)
Ten little campers start to sing. (Cup hands to mouth)
Ten little campers around the fire. (Form circle putting tips of fingers together again)
Ten little campers dance till they tire. (Put all ten fingers up in the air and dance them around)
Ten little campers say good-night. (Wave good-night with both hands)
Ten little campers close their tent up tight. (Intertwine fingers together again to signify closure)
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Rhymes are fun to sing and say with your child. Because they rhyme, they also help children develop phonological awareness, an important skill for later reading when they try to sound out words.
Submitted by Beth Grai, Independence (MI) Township Library
Early Literacy Aside–Explain: Rhyming is one of the things that children learn that lets them hear that words are made of smaller parts. By doing rhyming songs and fingerplays with your child, you are supporting phonlogical awareness. It’s fun for you and your child and will help them when it comes time for them to sound out words when they learn to read.
Submitted by Molly Beedon, Ypsilanti (MI) District Library
Storytime Plan includes these books with suggested activities and relation to the early literacy skills.
Arabella Miller’s Tiny Caterpiller by Clare Jarrett
On the Farm by David Elliott
A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker
Tweedle Dee Dee by Charlotte Voake
[Some activities are more for school-age children.]
Fingerplay: Little Raindrops
This is the sun, high up in the sky. (Form large circle with arms up)
A dark cloud suddenly comes sailing by. (Move hands through the air in a parallel motion.)
These are the raindrops, pitter, pattering down. (Bring arms down, flutter fingers)
Watering the flowers, growing on the ground. (Cup hands to form flowers.)
Activity: Make a book based on this fingerplay. Use the pattern here (Little Raindrops Booklet pattern) to represent the items in the fingerplay. There are four pages for your book (one for each line of the fingerplay). The pattern is a Word document so you can change the size of the objects to save paper, if you wish. The children cut out the pictures. They can cut around them to make it easier. The adults write the words to the fingerplay on each page. For children too young for this craft, the adults make the book FOR their young children. The umbrella can be used on the cover of the book.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: Making a book with or for your child is very special. By showing care in making them and including your child in the process you make this activity around a book enjoyable. Your child can memorize the words to the rhyme and can “pretend” read it to you. Praise your child. This helps develop print motivation, a child’s interest and enjoyment of books and reading. OR
Making a book with your child shows them how books work. This helps them with print awareness, how to handle a book, which will get them comfortable with using books as they learn to read.
Submitted by Jaime Duval and Whitney Whitaker, Radford (VA) Public Library
Early Literacy Aside–Explain: Narrative skills can be developed by having your children tell stories. This is easier for some children when they recognize patterns so that they can predict what will happen next.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: As we read the book we want to encourage our children to recognize the pattern and to repeat “buzz, buzz, buzz” and “buzz off.”
Read Buzz, Buzz, Buzz! Went Bumble-bee by Colin West
Fingerplay: Here is the Beehive
Here is the beehive. Where are the bees? (Hold up fist.)
Hidden away where nobody sees. (Move other hand around fist.)
Watch and you see them come out of the hive. (Bend head close to fist.)
One, two, three, four, five. (Hold fingers up one at a time.)
Bzzzzzzzz all fly away! (Wave fingers.)
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: Children enjoy repeating phrases as they did in our book and song. Please help your children look for patterns in the books and songs you do at home. This helps foster your children’s narrative skills which will later help them understand how stories work and will help them understand what they read.
Click below for a storytime plan including the book Eat Your Peas by Kes Gray and highlighting print motivation.
Submitted by participants of Saskatchewan Library Association Conference 2008
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: Rhymes help teach “phonological awareness,” an awareness of the sounds that make up words. You may have noticed that your child enjoys the way a nursery rhyme sounds even if it doesn’t make much sense to him. When you introduce a new rhyme or song, repeat it at least twice. Three times is even better. And be sure to keep repeating the old, familiar rhymes too.
Submitted by Cindy Christin, Bozeman (MT) Public Library
Stir a bowl of gingerbread (pretend to stir)
Smooth and spicy brown
Roll it with a rolling pin (pretend to roll dough)
Up and up and down
With a cookie cutter (imitate)
Make some little men
Put them in the oven (imitate)
‘Til half past ten! (pretend to look at watch)
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Rhyming is one way that children learn to hear the smaller parts of words, also called phonological awareness. Talking about the words that rhyme as you say rhymes with your children will better prepare them to read when they begin to sound out words in school. Adding motions makes it more fun!
Submitted by Amy Cook, Henrico County (VA) Public Library–Tucahoe Area Library
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: Nursery rhymes are important to do with your children, not only here in storytime, but at home as well. The rhyming and repetition of words helps your child develop the awareness of different word sounds. This helps develop their phonological awareness which is important for later sounding out words. Also, nursery rhymes are fun to sing and act out!
Submitted by Michelle Edwards, Gloucester Library (VA)