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.
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.
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
Extension Activity: Elmer Puppet
Hand out elephant cut outs on white card stock and colorful construction paper squares to glue to the elephant or crayons to color the elephant. They then glue a popsicle stick to the back. Encourage children to describe what they made and to retell the story using their puppet. Adults with babies can make a colorful elephant to move in front of their babies’ eyes and talk about the shapes and colors.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: Adults as you play with your children or make crafts with them, try to use a word they are less familiar with. Children learn words best through their experiences, not by memorizing words. You might use less familiar words for colors, like fuschia or magenta, or perhaps the way the elephant is walking, lumbering slowly along. You have many opportunities throughout the day to build your children’s vocabulary. It is these little things you do over and over again that make a difference.
Submitted by Katie Ringenbach, Bucks County (PA) Public Library
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
We sing this song after reading Wolf’s Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza. The first time you come to the word scrumptious, add the words delicious or yummy. [If you prefer you can tlak about the word scrumptious before starting the book.]
Early Literacy Aside–Example: When a book has a word that is unfamiliar to your child, this is a great opportunity to build vocabulary. Don’t replace the word with a simpler one, just explain it briefly. Books have rich language, more unusual words than we use in daily conversation.
Five Scrumptious Cookies
Five scrumptious cookies in the baker’s shop
Big and round with some sugar on top
Along came a boy with a penny to pay
Who bought a scrumptious cookie and took it away.
Four scrumptious cookies . . .
Three scrumptious cookies . . .
Two scrumptious cookies . . .
One scrumptious cookie . . .
No scrumptious cookies . . .
Big and round with some sugar on top
No one came with a penny to pay.
So close the baker’s shop and have a baking day.
Animals Storytime Handout animalhandvocabcarolwagstaffdouglascolpl
by Carol Wagstaff, Douglas County (CO) Public Library
Junglemania Storytime Handout: yadkinnchandoutJunglemania
by Lynne Reed, Yadkin County (NC) Public Library
Sing songs in English and in at least one other language during storytime.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: Adults, you can sing anywhere about anything in any language! Singing helps children hear the smaller sounds in words to help them sound out words later. Also many songs have new words for them to learn which will help them know the meanings of words when they get to school.
Randi Kay Stephens, Sacramento (CA) Public Library
Early Literacy Aside–Example: You can use unfamiliar words with your children and model what they mean. For example, you can whisper when reading “whispering” and have your child say a quiet, “hush.” This is a simple way to expand the words your children know. Let’s try it as we read Goodnight Moon.
Read Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown