Early Literacy Aside–Empower: When you go to play in the park next time with your children, talk about some of the concepts we talked about today–over/under, top/bottom, left/right. The best way for children to learn these concepts is not by memorizing what they mean, but by learning them as they are playing. By helping them learn these concepts, they will later better understand what they read.
Natalie Beaver, Sacramento (CA) Public Library
Videoclip of making Hickory Dickory Dock more interactive between adults and children.
In order to keep adults as well as children involved in storytime, it is good to have some storytime items interactive between the adults and the children. This encourages language interactions between them. We can encourage them to continue this kind of interaction even after storytime is over.
Read Spider on the Floor by Raffi or use the Raffi recording on Singable Songs for the Very Young.
You can add verses with less familar parts of the body.
Activity: Give each child a plastic or rubbery spider. As the song progresses have them put their spiders on the correct body part until it jumps back on the floor. (Shopping for spiders around Halloween is the best time for getting creepy rubbery spiders.)
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Using props during a song or story that prompts children to act out the meaning of the words, provides children with a fun and active way to learn new words and to practice their vocabulary skills.
Submitted by Kathleen Moore, Dayton (OH) Metro Library System
Early Literacy Aside–Explain: Here’s a rhyme that you can do anytime and it reinforces rhyming words which develops phonological awareness while having fun at the same time.
Do Scarecrow, Scarecrow activity
Children stand up with arms bent at elbows like a scarecrow and head tilted. Actions to words.
Scarecrow, Scarecrow, turn around
Scarecrow, Scarecrow, jump up and down
Scarecrow, Scarecrow, raise your arms high
Scarecrow, Scarecrow, wink one eye
Scarecrow, Scarecrow, bend your knees
Scarecrow, Scarecrow, flap in the breeze
Scarecrow, Scarecrow, climb into bed
Scarecrow, Scarecrow, rest your head.
Submitted by Terri Stringer, Vandalia Branch, Dayton Metro (OH) Public Library
Early Literacy Aside–Explain: Research shows that there are early literacy skills that influence a child’s ability to learn to read. Today, you will probably notice several places where I demonstrate examples of narrative skills, which is the ability to describe things and events and to tell stories. When you develop this skill, it will help your children understand what they reads later.
Song: Bop ‘Til You Drop
Go through the sequence of motions that are in the song, Bop ‘Til You Drop
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Singing songs that have a certain order is one great way for children to remember the sequence or order of things. They will use the same skill when they retell a story. They learn how stories work.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: One thing that you can do at home to develop narrative skills is to describe regular activities such as taking a bath–”first we’ll get out the towel, then we’ll put the water in the tub and add the bubbles/toys, then we’ll take off your clothes, and get in the water. We can scrub our toes, our ears . . . ” With older kids, let THEM describe the sequence of events with prompts like, “What do we have to do before we put the bubbles in? or “What do we do next?”
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.]
Early Literacy Aside–Example: As I read this story, I am going to pause and have the children fill in the rhyming word. This is something you can easily do with rhyming books. Start off by using rhyming books that your child has read with you before. Helping your children hear rhymes will help them later to sound out words when they learn to read!
Read the book: As you read the book, let the children chime in with some of the rhyming words, like head to follow red.
After the book activity: Everyone stand up! What’s a word that rhymes with head? Children give suggestions. Pick one–bed. OK, take your hand and dip it in red paint on the floor (pretend). Now take your hand and draw a bed. Good! What’s a word that rhymes with green? Perhaps the children say bean. OK, dip your foot in some green paint on the floor, and draw a bean. We all laugh together.
Submitted by Katie Ross, Kanawha County (WV) Public Library System
Book Introduction: In our next book, there is a mother hen and her three chicks, one is a Big Chick, one the Middle Chick, and lastly the Little Chick. The Little Chick likes to run on tiptoes, very quickly. Everyone stand up. Let me see you run in place, just where you are standing. Great! Now let me see you stand on tiptoe. That’s right you don’t touchyour heel to the floor. Now run in place again, but on tiptoe–that’s how Little Chick runs. Everyone sit down and let’s see what happens. In this book there are sounds like RUFF-RUFF that the dog makes. Let me hear you say that. Great! For Little Chick the sound is tippy-toe, tippy-toe, tippy-toe. Let me hear you say that. Great!
OK, ready?! As I read the book you’ll be making these sounds. Listen to the story too and see how smart Little Chick is.
Read the story Tippie-Toe Chick, Go! by George Shannon.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Having your children make the sounds of animals and other sounds helps them develop phonological awareness, being able to hear the smaller sounds in words. This is so important when they later try to sound out words.
Early Literacy Aside:–Explain: Separating a word into sound parts is called segmentation. Playing with words this way with your children now will help your children later when they learn to break words into syllables to decode words.
Clap childen’s names or choose words with different numbers of syllables.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Clapping or tapping helps children hear parts of words which will make it easier for them to sound out words when they learn to read.
[for 3 - 5's you can use rhythm sticks]
Submitted by Di Gagnier, Roanoke County (VA) Public Library
Talk about how what is special to one person might not be special to another. People see things and use things differently.
Read the book Thank You Bear by Greg Foley.
Activity: Pull out a cardboard box and have the children act out the story. You are the bear. There can be as many monkeys, owls, elephants, etc. as there are children who want to be that animal. Then talk together about the many things you can do with a box.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Acting out stories and having children say parts helps develop their narrative skills, the expressive part of language. Retelling stories is one way that children will later more easily understand what they read. If your child did not get a chance to talk about how they might use a box, listen to their ideas on the way home.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: Here is a handout for making stick puppets. Using props or puppets is one fun way to encourage children to retell stories at home. It is activities like this that you do with your children that set them on a strong road to reading, in this case helping them understand what they read and how stories work!
Puppets: Patterns for making stick puppets. The pattern for the mouse is here, but I use a mouse puppet. The pattern for a bear is also here, but I make myself the bear when I am retelling it with these stick puppets.
Thank You Bear stick puppets