Fun with Learning Blog

Free PDF Storytelling Script, The Hairy Toe

Storytelling Script, The Hairy Toe

Here’s an old story/traditional tale that has been used by storytellers to scare people for many years. I’ve retold it the way I remember it, but children may prefer to write and tell their own versions. If you’re a teacher, parent or librarian who’d like to use this story as a model for children who wish to become storytellers, go ahead and download it here.

If I were using it with a group of kids, I’d first make sure they became familiar with it after repeated re-readings. I’d probably collaborate with the kids over reading the script aloud as a choral piece. Then I’d discuss with them how best to tell the story to an audience themselves. Some kids will need to learn it by heart, and not want to deviate at all. Others will relax into the story and begin to think how to put their own stamp on it. I’d have the group look for parts of the story where they could use special effects, and build tension. Perhaps they might draw out the words “hairy toe”, and use a deep, drawn-out delivery for words like moan or groan. They might have a special voice and face for the old woman, and a different voice/face for the owner of the toe. As I’ve indicated, in that last sentence, tellers usually either grab the listener, or lunge toward a group of listeners to scare the daylights out of them.

This script is not Australian in origin, but certainly came to Australia in that amazing way stories do. I think it makes an accessible tale for students who want to learn to become storytellers, and celebrate Children’s Book Week – Australia: Story Country – in 2016.

If you’re interested in Children’s Book Week in Australia, check out my article, Children’s Book Week 2016 – Educational Activities.

Children’s Book Week 2016 Australia – Free PDF Book Quiz

BookQuizIMGChildren’s Book Week in Australia will be celebrated Saturday 20 August to Friday 26 August in 2016. It’s the 70th anniversary of the Book of the Year Awards this year.

The Book Week theme will be Australia: Story Country.

Don’t you love that theme! What wonderful scope it has for encouraging a feast of story sharing, and helping children understand that stories come from so many places. I have lots of ideas for teachers, parents and librarians who are itching to get started on Book Week, and will be publishing them at The Book Chook on April 18, 20 and 22, 2016.

Today I have a new free PDF for you – two pages of quiz with 10 questions to answer and 10 book titles to fix. It’s available for parents, teachers and librarians who would like to use it with kids. (It’s not available for someone else to take and sell etc. That would be breaking Australian copyright laws and I know you wouldn’t want to do that!)

If you’re going to use this quiz with kids to celebrate Book Week and Reading, go ahead and click on the image above left. You might also like to read Children’s Book Week 2016 – Resources. 

 

Find and Count PDFs, Christmas 2015

FindandCount

With Christmas fast approaching, those who work with kids often need to look for some kind of puzzle or colouring page that will keep children occupied for a few moments. If the activity can also help kids practise learning something, or visually discriminating, then great! Today I want to offer two PDFs I’ve made to those who work with kids: parents, teachers and librarians. There are little Christmas-themed items hidden in the two PDFs that kids need to count and record. Click on HowMany and/or HowMany2 to download to your computer.

The puzzles might be useful to print out for a long car trip, or a “busy” activity when a teacher must deal with something urgent and sudden. It might also make a useful model for children to go on and create their own visual puzzles – I used the clipart at PicMonkey to make mine.

If you’re interested in (slightly) educational Christmas-related activities for kids, check out A Sleigh Load of Fun Christmas Ideas for Kids at The Book Chook.

PDF Lightbulb Template – Children’s Book Week 2015

Lightbulb TemplateChildren’s Book Week 2015 will be celebrated in Australia from Saturday 22 August – Friday 28 August, 2015. The Children’s Book Week theme this year is “Books light up our world.”

In conjunction with my post at The Book Chook, Children’s Book Week 2015 – Ideas for Display, I am offering a free PDF to all interested parents and educators who would like to use it with the children in their lives. The PDF is of a simple lightbulb outline filled with lines for writing. Kids could use it to list the books that light up their world, or to write a short book review, or any other way you decide.

You can download this PDF by clicking on Free PDFs and Resources and scrolling down to Lightbulb Template .

Bookmarks for Children’s Book Week 2015 – Free PDF

bookmarks2015In conjunction with my list of possible activities you might like to try with your kids to celebrate Children’s Book Week 2015 in Australia, I’ve created a PDF of bookmarks with the theme: books light up our world.

After printing, there are four bookmarks for kids to cut out, with one to decorate anyway they like, two pre-decorated, and one to share the resources available at The Book Chook. Children may choose to use one alone, or glue two back to back, or glue plain card to the back of one, decorate it, then laminate. They could even go fancier and use a hole punch to add some ribbon or cord to one end.

It’s free to download if you’re a parent, teacher or librarian who would like to use it in some kind of activity with elementary/primary aged kids. Simply click here to go to my Free PDFs page, and scroll down.

 

Pockets for Poem in your Pocket Day – Free PDF

PDF Pocket ImageIn conjunction with my article at The Book Chook, Tips and Resources for Poem in your Pocket Day, I’ve created a very simple PDF of four pockets. It’s free to download if you’re a parent, teacher or librarian who would like to use it in some kind of activity with elementary/primary aged kids. Simply click here to go to my Free PDFs page, and scroll down.

Children could write out a favourite poem or create one of their own. They could then decorate a pocket, cut it out, and glue it to a backing sheet. Later it’s a simple matter to add their poem to this “pocket”, all prepared for Poem in your Pocket Day on April 30, 2015.

I hope you’ll help the children you know to celebrate the fun of poetry!

Storytime at the Library Catch Up – Sessions 26 to 32

Storytime at the Library Catch UpBecause I have sadly been too busy at The Book Chook to keep up with publishing my Storytime Sessions here, I am going to make this a catch-up of several sessions! Link through to earlier versions of Storytime via the search box top right, using the tag, “Storytime”. Or check out my Pinterest board devoted to Storytime at the Library.

Storytime Session 26

Equipment: 2 books, storybag and Sookie

Share: Christmas story: Christmas Parade by Sandra Boynton. Reread with kids trying to identify the different animals in the parade. We read the refrain. We try marching around the room and making our own Christmas parade with instruments.

Share: Christmas story: The Chicken Who Saved Christmas, illustrated by Daniel Howarth (No writer mentioned.)

Game: Sookie Says!

NOTE: Next week is the last one for 2014 – remind parents!

Borrowing: Christmas books!

…..

Storytime Session 27

Equipment: 3 books, storybag and Sookie, iPad, paper for creature drawing, easel, pen

We take time to tell each other what we wish for Christmas. I explain that what I want for Christmas is a hippopotamus!

Share: I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, by John Roe and Bruce Whatley. We look at the story again while listening to some of the song on the iPad.

Game: Please Sookie-la-la, may we cross the river? (Like Please Mr Crocodile, children can only cross the river if they are wearing certain colours.)

Share: Christmas Is… by Karen Sapp.

Share: Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Safari. We try different combinations of animals and read the resulting creature’s name. I show the kids how they can make a crazy critter at home with a folded and marked paper.

NOTE: Today is the last session for 2014. The first week of story time in 2015 is February 4. Hand out reminder leaflets

…..

Storytime Session 28

Welcome everyone to our first session the year. Ask if anyone read any great books or has something else exciting to tell.

Equipment: 3 books, storybag and Sookie, sticky labels, marker

Share: Dangerous by Tim Warnes. Activity: we write/read some labels and work out where to put them in the library. Labels: Sue, Leanne, Grandma, Mum, Dad, book, Susan, (kids’ names)

Reshare: Hug Machine – we discuss the people we like to hug. Game: please mr crocodile may we cross the river – only if you like to hug….grandpas, glue, grandmas, crocodiles, jellyfish, mums, pizzas, dads, chocolate

Share: One page from puzzle book, Spot What!

Borrowing – ask if anyone has a book they’d like to tell the others about. Reminder to look after library books, videos etc.

….

Storytime Session 29

Equipment: 3 books, storybag and Sookie, sticky labels, marker

Share: The Mouse Who Ate the Moon: We create our own stories about the moon. OR (if kids are younger) we look at objects through a paper hole, and then try to identify some Susan shows behind the hole.

Reshare: Brown Bear Brown Bear. We read it again with children predicting what each animal sees.

Rhyme: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Borrowing

….

Storytime Session 30

Equipment: 3 books, storybag and Sookie, papers with holes.

Share: Don’t Call Me Sweet. A little monster doesn’t want to be called a sweetie, until something changes his mind.  

Reshare: I Spy Pets We look at objects through a paper hole, and then try to identify some Susan shows behind the hole.

Share: Next page from puzzle book, Spot What!

Borrowing

….

Storytime Session 31

Equipment: Sheep ears to dress as Shaun the Sheep, 3 books

Share: Shaun the Sheep Movie: Timmy in the City. We discuss whether kids have seen Shaun anywhere else, (making connections) and mention the movie coming soon. We talk about Shaun.

Reshare: The Runaway Hug Who do you like to give hugs to?

Game: Please Mr Crocodile, May we cross the river? People may cross who like things – stories, apples, parties, balloons etc. The crocodile tries to catch them but they are safe if they are hugging someone.

Share: Next page from puzzle book, Spot What!

Borrowing

….

Storytime Session 32

Share: Construction by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock. We practise making all the construction noises with movements to suit and try to make a noisy construction machine.

Share: Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor and Jean Jullien. We practise looking like an owl,  making an owl noise, and swooping.

Reshare: Owl Babies

Song:

LITTLE OWL
Tune: “This Old Man”

Little Owl, in the tree,
He is winking down at me.
With a wink, wink, wink, wink,
All through the night,
Little Owl is quite a sight.

Little Owl, in the tree,
He is hooting down at me.
With a hoot, hoot, hoot, hoot,
All through the night,
Little Owl is quite a sight!

Borrowing

Evaluation: No time for Owl Babies so re-share it and song next week.

Storytime at the Library – Session 25

Storytime at the Library 25Link through to earlier versions of Storytime via the search box top right, using the tag, “Storytime”. Or check out my Pinterest board devoted to Storytime at the Library.

Storytime at the Library – Session 25

Preparation

Equipment: 3 books, storybag and Sookie

Share: Hog in the Fog by Julia Copus and Eunyoung Seo. (This might just be too long, depending on how many young ones arrive, so may need to stop halfway and finish next week.)

Game: Sookie repeats one word in a group and we try to identify it.

Share: Christmas story: One Night by Penny Matthews and Stephen Michael King. We discuss whether animals can really talk. If they could, what might they say?

Game: Sookie Says

Picture walk: Mouse Mansion: Sam and Julia at the Circus

Christmas borrowing

Evaluation: The word game was way too difficult. What was I thinking? The picture walk didn’t really interest the kids but parents were intrigued with the lovely craftwork. Christmas is dominating all discussion!

Storytime at the Library – Session 24

Storytime at the Library - Session 24Link through to earlier versions of Storytime via the search box top right, using the tag, “Storytime”. Or check out my Pinterest board devoted to Storytime at the Library.

Storytime at the Library – Session 24

Preparation

Equipment: 3 books, foam blocks, storybag and Sookie

Share: Saving Muddled Up Farm by Mike Dumbleton and Jobi Murphy. Do you remember last time when Sookie the puppet got mixed up with the noises animals make in Old MacDonald? Here’s a farm where the animals are very muddled!

Song: We sing One Two Three Four Five, Once I Caught a Fish Alive.

Game: Clumps. We make groups of certain numbers. I call out the number and we make it with our bodies in a group, then our fingers in a group, then with some foam blocks on the floor. Parents join in.

Share: Hug Machine by Scott Campbell. We share gentle hugs with someone else. What is good about a hug?

Evaluation: The kids adored Hug Machine and so did parents and staff! Must revisit in 2015. Clumps worked well because parents participated too.

Storytime at the Library – Session 23

Storytime at the Library - Session 23Link through to earlier versions of Storytime via the search box top right, using the tag, “Storytime”. Or check out my Pinterest board devoted to Storytime at the Library.

Storytime at the Library – Session 23

Preparation

Equipment: 2 books, story bag, Sookie the puppet

Share: The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems. This is our third pigeon story. What do we know about the pigeon so far?

Revisit Old MacDonald, this time with the puppet. Sookie the puppet sings the song but gets mixed up with the animal noises. Can the children set Sookie straight?

Share: Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr.

Evaluation:

The children loved setting Sookie straight. Must remember to revisit Brown Bear next year. Mo Willems rocks! All his books should be re-shared.