Read the book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, having children join in. Then we stand up, put on our imaginary wolf suits, and have the participants act it out and tell it back to me.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Narrative skills is the ability to describe things and talk about or tell stories. It is an important skill for chidlren to learn about how stories work and to later understand what they read. Acting out stories, or parts of them, using their bodies, helps children internalize and understand what is happening in the story.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: At home, using any story, encourage your children to practice telling and retelling stories to improve your children’s narrative skills.
Submitted by Alison Towles, Middlesex County (VA) Public Library
Early Literacy Aside–Explain: One thing you can pass on to your children is an enjoyment of books. Children who enter school enjoying books and reading are more likely to stick with learning to read even if it is difficult. For over half our children, learning to read in school is difficult. I know we have a lot of book-lovers here. In today’s storytime, I’ll point out some ways to keep your children’s attention and keep the booksharing time enjoyable.
Book Introduction: I show the cover of the book Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill and flip through the pages to show my love of a few descriptive illustrations, especially facial expressions that show feelings like”mad and scared.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Read with your child in a comfortable setting so you may share and talk about the book, including what the pictures are saying. When you take time to talk with your child and listen to what your chld says about the pictures, you are helping to make an enjoyable time with the book, which helps print motivation.
Submitted by Carolyn Lewis, Pamunkey (VA) Regional Library
Read the book Who Took the Farmer’s Hat? by Joan Nodset. Have children make the sounds of the animals the farmer sees.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Did you know that according to studies, by playing with sounds, you are developing phonological awareness and your children will be better ready to sound out words when they learn to read.
Submitted by Linda Gosnell, Pamunkey (VA) Regional Library
I introduce the book and encourage the children to say the “Not I” responses in the book and “I will” at the end as I read. I would use a flannelboard to retell the story, which also keep it enjoyable for the children.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: By having the children participate, both with saying “Not I” and with the flannel board, they enjoy the story more which emphasizes print motivation or the enjoyment of books and reading.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: At home you may not have a flannel board, but you and your children can use props to retell stories which makes the reading experience enjoyable and supports print motivation!
After reading and retelling the story as written, I sometimes retell the story with the participants as “eager helpers” and have them all say “I will” instead of “Not I”. Then we all have fun pretending to eat the bread together at the end of the story. As you and your children act out stories, it is fun to play around with the plots and to get their ideas as well. Help them use their imaginations!
Submitted by Phyllis Arbogast, Blackwater (VA) Regional Library, Carrollton Branch
Craft: Give a piece of paper and crayon or marker to each child and adult. Each person can draw an oval for the body of the mouse. For the ears make an M or m. Let’s practice making an M in the air with our hand and arm.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Don’t worry about if your child does this exactly right or not. Enjoy making the mouse and help him squeak and talk. You can also talk about the shapes your child is drawing. Seeing and making shapes helps your children recognize letters as well.
Early Literacy Aside–Explain:The ability to hear and play with the sounds of words, as in rhyming, is an important skill for reading. To recognize these rhymes and how words are related by sound is part of what educators term phonological awareness and will help your children later sound out words.
During the storytime, read the book Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino
Each page describes the animal that might be llama’s mother. Let’s guess what will come on the next page. I will emphasize the word that will rhyme on the next page. For example, if I say now, guess what animal we will see. The author gives us other clues, like brown and moo. So, we know the animal will rhyme with now is COW!
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Some books, like this one, use rhymes in a playful way. Playing with rhyming words is one good way to help children hear the smaller sounds in words which will later help them sound out words when they learn to read.
Early Literacy Aside–Explain: Vocabulary is a very important early literacy skill. By vocabulary, I mean knowing the meanings of words. Today we’re focusing on the concept of opposites.
Read the book Maisy Big, Maisy Small by Lucy Cousins with time to allow participants to respond with the opposite word. [Add a synonym for a couple of the words as well. If a participant gives a different word for the opposite word, comment on it. For example if you say big and the book says small, but a child says tiny, you can note that tiny and small have similar meanings and both are the opposite of big.]
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Using this book your children filled in the word meaning the opposite of the one I said from the book. You can always add more interesting words for both the opposite and synonyms for some words. In this way you build your children’s vocabulary.
Early Litearcy Aside–Empower: Today in storytime we talked about opposites. As you go about your day, when talking about feelings (hungry, full, tired, wide awake), about what you are doing (relaxing, hurrying, walking slowly, running quickly), or playing, there are many opportunities to think of opposites which builds your children’s vocabulary. These little things you do throughout the day will later help them understand what they read.
Submitted by Ellen Abramson, Fairfax County (VA) Public Library System
Song: This Is the Way We Wash Our Face (Sung to the tune of Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush)
Let’s sing this song and tell a little story about how we take a bath.
“This is the way we wash our face (actions to words to all these)
shampoo our hair
scrub our skin
dry with a towel, etc.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: This song helps us learn different vocabulary words about bathtime, like shampoo and scrub. I hope you will talk about this when you take a bath tonight. What other words can you come up with? Talking about interesting, fun words like this will help your children recognize words later on when they read them.
Submitted by Stacey Harwood, Henrico County (VA) Public Library, Twin Hickory Branch
Book Introduction: In this book Let’s Go Froggy by Jonathan London, there is a repeated phrase, “flop, flop, flop” when his mother calls to froggy. Let’s hear you say, “flop, flop, flop.” You’ll say it each time Froggy’s mother calls him.
Read the book.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Having your child say a repeated phrase with you throughout the entire book keeps him/her involved. This is one way you support print motivation, an enjoyment of books.
Submitted by Charles Nagel, Chesterfield County (VA) Libraries
Book Introduction: Our next book is a songbook called Little Bunny Foo Foo by Paul Johnson. Let’s sing it together.
Early Literacy Aside–Example: You may want to share this songbook with your child at home and point out some of the phrases. You child will like to sing the refrain with you! By making the sharing of books enjoyable, you are supporting print motivation. Your child will want to learn to read.
Submitted by Jackie Anas, Portsmouth (VA) Public Library