About Storytime Share

The purpose of this site is to offer and to exchange ideas regarding storytimes that ARTICULATE early literacy information to adults. You can search, or browse by category or date.
Click Submit an Idea tab to submit your ideas and/or documents of handouts and/or whole storytime plans.
The purpose of this website is not to give instruction on the overall planning of storytimes. There are many resources for that. This website offers example of ways you can insert early literacy information for parents and caregivers into your storytimes. You can help them see how what you do and what they do or can do at home helps them to support their children’s early literacy development in enjoyable ways.

In any one storytime it is recommended that you concentrate on highlighting only one early literacy skill or component so as not to overwhelm the participants. We highlight the skill by giving three early literacy “asides” or tips directed to the adults, each about 30 – 45 seconds long. One model to follow is to have the three asides have different purposes, but all support the early literacy skill you have decided to highlight for that storytime. The first aside is the Explain Aside, the second is the Example Aside, and the last is the Empower Aside. See the following for explanations.
1. Explain Aside: At the beginning of your storytime, a bit of information concerning the early literacy skill that is being highlighted. For some examples, click on Explain Aside.
2. Example Aside: During the course of the storytime, point out something you are doing that relates to the skill you have chosen.
3. Empower Aside: At or near the end of the storytime, give an idea of something to do or repeat at home or at the child care center to relate it to the highlighted skill.

Each aside should be an “effective early literacy aside.” An effective aside gives a research-based reason for why or how an activity (repeating a phrase, asking open-ended questions) or practice (sing, talk, read, write, play) supports an early literacy component (phonological awareness, print conventions/awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, background knowledge—with or without use of the terms) or reading skill (decoding—recognizing words and relating letters and sounds to formulate words or comprehension).

Based on the second edition of Every Child Ready to Read® from the American Library Association, the early literacy components are
Phonological Awareness: the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words
Print Conventions/Awareness: knowing that print has meaning, how to handle a book, direction of print, environmental print
Letter Knowledge: knowing that the same letter can look different, that letters have names and represent sounds
Vocabulary: knowing the meanings of words
Background Knowledge–Content: what a child knows before entering school about various topics/subjects
Background Knowledge–Conceptual Thinking: what a child knows before entering school about concepts (size, shape, opposites, spatial relationships, etc.) and about thinking skills (making observations, hypothesizing, problem solving)
Background Knowledge–Book/Story Knowledge–Print Motivation:  a child’s interest in and enjoyment of books and reading
Background Knowledge–Book/Story Knowledge–Narrative Skills: expressive part of language, ability to describe things, to recount events, to tell and retell stories

Early Literacy is what children know about communication, language (verbal and nonverbal), reading, and writing before they can actually read and write. Early literacy encompasses all of a child’s experiences with conversation, stories (oral and written), books, and print.

For further information on developing storytimes, start here:
www.earlylit.net/storytimes/index.shtml
and for the book Early Literacy Storytimes @ your library from ALA Editions:
www.alastore.ala.org/SiteSolution.taf?_sn=catalog2&_pn=product_detail&_op=1852

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