Hickety Pickety Bumble Bee

February 17, 2014 on 3:59 am | In 0 to 2, 2's and 3's, 4's and 5's, Adult Aside, Age Levels, Music/Songs, Phonological Awareness, Practices, Singing, Storytime Component | No Comments

“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

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Elephant Buttons by Noriko Ueno

January 12, 2014 on 12:13 am | In 4's and 5's, Adult Aside, Background Knowledge--Book/Story--Narrative Skills, Background Knowledge--Conceptual Thinking, Books, Example Aside, Practices, Puppets/Dolls/Props/Dramatics, Storytime Component, Talking | No Comments

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

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Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers

January 7, 2014 on 1:02 am | In 4's and 5's, Adult Aside, Age Levels, Background Knowledge--Science, Books, Crafts/Activities, Empower Aside, Storytime Component | No Comments

Our next story is about a rabbit who notices a black rabbit following him around in the light of day. Let’s see if you can figure out what that black rabbit is.
Activity: Use a flashlight to demonstrate making a shadow. If you want you can do this after the book as an explanation.
Read The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers.
Activity: Hand out flashlights for children to make hand shadows. Ask questions about how to make a shadow larger or smaller. Have children and adults experiment together.

Early Literacy Aside–Empower: As you walk around outside during the day, talk about shadows and how they are made. Do you see your shadow on a cloudy day? at night? When you talk with children about shadows, you are helping them learn about earth sciences, their world and how it works. Children are curious and interested in the world around them. Your explanations will later help them understand what they read.

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Sing by Joe Raposo

January 7, 2014 on 12:46 am | In 0 to 2, 2's and 3's, 4's and 5's, Adult Aside, Age Levels, Books, Example Aside, Explain Aside, Music/Songs, Phonological Awareness, Practices, Singing, Storytime Component | No Comments

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.

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Solomon Crocodile by Catherine Rayner

January 7, 2014 on 12:21 am | In 2's and 3's, 4's and 5's, Adult Aside, Age Levels, Books, Empower Aside, Example Aside, Storytime Component, Vocabulary | No Comments

Introduction: Our next book is about a crocodile who is trying to have some fun and in the process is stirring up a big ruckus!
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Adults, listen to the many interesting words that children may not hear in everyday conversation. You’ll see that I will actually talk about a couple of the words. This is a good way to build your children’s vocabulary in a gentle way.

Read the book. [You can see there are many synonyms such as a pest, a nuisance, a pain and several interesting verbs such as stalk, splat, croak, squawk, spies, charges. Choose one or two to talk about.]

Early Literacy Aside–Empower: Children learn through repetition. So, reading a story such as Solomon Crocodile over several days or weeks will help them understand the story better. They may become so familiar with it that they join in with the words in the book. And you may find that they use some of those interesting words in other situations. You can too. The best way to learn new words is not from lists of words with definitions, but from using the words in different situations when appropriate.

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

January 7, 2014 on 12:03 am | In 4's and 5's, Adult Aside, Age Levels, Background Knowledge--Conceptual Thinking, Books, Example Aside, Explain Aside, Practices, Storytime Component, Talking | No Comments

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.

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Song: If You Want to Know an Answer

November 17, 2013 on 3:03 am | In 2's and 3's, 4's and 5's, Adult Aside, Age Levels, Background Knowledge--Content, Background Knowledge--Science, Explain Aside, Music/Songs, Practices, Reading, Storytime Component | No Comments

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.

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Sequence Cubes

November 6, 2013 on 7:40 pm | In 2's and 3's, 4's and 5's, Adult Aside, Age Levels, Background Knowledge--Math, Background Knowledge--Science, Crafts/Activities, Example Aside, Playing, Practices, Storytime Component, Storytime Handouts | No Comments

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 Literacy 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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Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino

July 17, 2013 on 2:25 am | In 4's and 5's, Adult Aside, Age Levels, Background Knowledge--Conceptual Thinking, Books, Empower Aside, Example Aside, Explain Aside, Storytime Component | No Comments

Early Literacy Aside–Explain: In today’s storytime  I will be pointing out ways you can support your children’s background knowledge through talking about what is happening in a book and writing about it too. By asking children about the story, we help them thinking bout what is happening and help them better understand the story. 
Introduction:
Our next book is Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino. There are two houses in this story, one for Rabbit and one for Owl and they get the two houses get too tall; they get very tall. In this story Rabbit and Owl have a problem. Let’s see what that problem is and maybe you can give some suggestions on how to solve it.
Read the book to the page where Owl’s house is blocking the sun that Rabbit needs for his garden, but Owl wants to see the forest. Ask an open-ended question such as “What do you think might happen?” “What do you think Rabbit and Owl could do solve their problem? Rabbit needs sun for his garden but his garden has grown tall and Owl wants to see the forest.”
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Some stories, like this one,  really lend themselves to helping your children think about how to solve problems. Asking them to stop and think about possible solutions develops their thinking skills which also helps with understanding. Remember there is no one right answer. It is good for them to think about different possibilities.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: In our storytime today we read the story Too Tall Houses. There are several ways Rabbit and Owl might have solved their problem. Have your children draw their own ending to the story and write down what they say. This activity combines writing with problem solving to make for better comprehension now and as they learn to read themselves.

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17 Kings and 42 Elephants by Margaret Mahy

May 15, 2013 on 3:58 am | In 2's and 3's, 4's and 5's, Adult Aside, Books, Storytime Component, Vocabulary | No Comments

Introduction: Our next book is 17 Kings and 42 Elephants written by Margaret Mahy and illustrated by Patricia MacCarthy. Now we will take a journey into the jungle without even leaving the story room.  In this story there are some nonsense words—that means they are not real words, but are made-up words.  Listen carefully to try to figure out which are the nonsense words, but don’t tell.
Read the book.
Go through the book and tell which are the nonsense words.  Ask the children what they think a couple of the nonsense words might mean. Talk about one of the real words and its meaning.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Talking about specific meanings of words strengthens your children’s vocabulary which will help them understand what they later will read. Often times children have a general idea of what words mean but that benefit from an actual explanation. No need to do that with every unfamiliar word! Just pick out one or two or ask your child to pick out a word that sounds interesting and talk about its meaning.
For a sound clip 17 Kings & 42 Elephants of an excerpt from the book said in a mesmerizing chant by Amy Alapati
Submitted by Amy Alapati, Montgomery County (MD) Public Libraries
engaging rhythm

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