Fun with Learning Blog

Storytime at the Library – Session 17

Storytime Session 17Link 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 17

Preparation:

There has been a two week break for the school holidays. Ask the kids to share any great books they read in the break. Or other exciting news!

Equipment: story bag, mouse puppet, 3 books

We guess what animal might be in the story bag today. There’s a mouse in the first story too.

Book 1: Who Sank the Boat. We look at front cover and predict what the story might be about. Remind the kids about Mr Gumpy’s Outing, another story about a boat. We read the book which has lots of questions about who sank the boat for kids to answer as we go. We act out the story as we re-read it.

We sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm, using the animals from the story.

Book 2: Bring on the Birds by Susan Stockdale. We read it and talk about birds we know. What do all birds have in common? All have feathers, and are hatched from eggs. Game: is a cow a bird? Is a mouse a bird? Is a penguin a bird? Is an elephant a bird? Is an emu a bird? Flap your wings and fly if I say a bird’s name.

Book 3: We read some pages from the big book,  Round and Round the Mulberry Bush, discuss the pictures and do the actions.

Evaluation: Lots of new children today, including babies and toddlers. It’s tricky adapting things the four-year-olds like for the babies, but I’m hoping just the experience of being there will be good for the bubs. I found a CD player I can use for sharing a newly arrived picture book we can sing along with!

Storytime at the Library – Session 16

Storytime at the Library - Session 16Link 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 16

Dinosaur Week

Preparation for Storytime Session 16:

Equipment: Books: The Three Triceratops Tuff, Gigantosaurus and I’m a Dirty Dinosaur. Dinosaur friends were invited to join us last week. Letter from the dinosaurs printed out.

Storybag: dinosaur letter (clues: something that you might find in your letter box or post box, something that comes in an envelope.) I read the children the letter (see image below.)

(Someone wrote to me complaining about story time. It was the dinosaurs. They didn’t think it was fair that the teddy bears had special stories at the library just for them. So, today we have special stories about dinosaurs, and some dinosaur visitors.)

Share: Gigantosaurus This is a very scary story! It’s about a very, very, scary …Gigantosaurus! If you get really frightened, just close your eyes.

The kids join in the action parts. Was anyone scared?

Share: The Three Triceratops Tuff Another story, this time about a very scary dinosaur called a T.Rex. And three triceratops brothers called Tuff. We act out a little of the story with me, then a child, asking, who’s that clip-clomping through my valley?

Re-share: I’m a Dirty Dinosaur A loved favourite, re-visited just for fun. And because memorisation is really important for pre-reading!

Kids browse books with a dinosaur theme and borrow the ones they like.

Letter from the dinosaurs

Evaluation:

One little fellow really came to life in this session. He LOVES learning about dinosaurs and other animals and seems to me to already prefer non-fiction books. Even though the three books were fiction, he focused on the books, and loved joining in a discussion about dinosaurs. Book browsing again resulted in children each choosing several books to borrow. One new mother is going to get a library card and bring her baby to Storytime another day.

Free PDF, Secret Codes for Kids

Secret Codes for KidsIn conjunction with my article at The Book Chook, Secret Codes and Language Games for Kids, I’ve created a four-page activity book: Secret Codes for Kids. Inside you’ll find explanations and invitations for kids to practise writing in code.

If you are a parent, teacher or librarian who would like to use this booklet with primary-aged children, you can download my free PDF by clicking here, my Free PDF’s and Resources page, and scrolling down.

Storytime at the Library – Session 15

StorytimeattheLibrary15Link 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.

Preparation for Storytime

Equipment: story bag, pig puppet, books.

Pig and puppet both start with P. Can we find P on the mat? What words do we know that start with P?

Share: There’s a pig in our first story, Mr Gumpy’s Outing. When you come to that part of the story about the pig, can you make a pig noise?

After sharing the story, we try to recall the movement words and make a list – hop, chase, bleat, flap, trample, kick, fall. We sing a song and do some of the actions.

(to the tune of: Mary had a little lamb)

Will you be a friend of mine,
Friend of mine, friend of mine?
Will you be a friend of mine
and (hop/chase/flap etc) around with me?

Share: for Baby H – Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. Counting to 10. Counting all the babies at Storytime.

Share: I Spy Pets – we guess the animals. Discussion about everyone’s pets.

We retell Mr Gumpy’s Outing by acting it out, with the story mat as the boat.

Evaluation: Some new kids at Storytime today, including some babies! Lots of fun and animal noises. Repeat the song another time.

Storytime at the Library – Session 14

Storytime at the Library - Session 14Read about Storytime at the Library Session 1, Session 2, Session 3, Session 4, Session 5,  Session 6,  Session 7,  Session 8, Session 9, Session 10, Session 11, Session 12 and Session 13.

Preparation for Storytime Session 14

More teddy bears!

Equipment: books, story bag, teddy bear.

What’s in the story bag? A bear! Bear starts with B. Can we find B on the story mat? What words do we know that start with that sound?

We discuss good books the kids borrowed last week.

SHARE: The Very Itchy Bear by Nick Bland – Bear and Flea are friends who like to go places together. We think of a friend we like to do things with.

Song: If you’re itchy and you know it, have a scratch! 2nd verse: If you’re itchy and you know it, flick a flea!

SHARE: There, There by Sam McBratney and Ivan Bates – Hansie the bear looks after the people he loves. How do we look after people when something is wrong?

Rhyme from last week:

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around!
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground.
Teddy Bear, Teddy bear, jump up high.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the sky.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, bend down low.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch your toes.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn off the light.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say goodnight.

Game: Hide the bear.

Display library books about bears – especially The Bear in the Cave by Michael Rosen (remember we’re going on a bear hunt ? it’s the same character!)

Evaluation: It was a seriously windy day! Enough said? Scatty we were, and annoyed with each other for sitting in “our spot” on the story mat! But we made it through without bloodshed, despite all the itching.

Storytime at the Library – Session 13

Storytime at the Library - Session 13Read about Storytime at the Library Session 1, Session 2, Session 3, Session 4, Session 5,  Session 6,  Session 7, Session 8, Session 9, Session 10, Session 11, and Session 12.

Preparation for Storytime — Teddy Bear week!

Equipment: storybag, Max, extra teddies, Big Book, small book, teddy bear-themed books for borrowing

What’s in the story bag? A teddy bear named Max! Everyone introduces or tells about the teddy bear they brought.

Share: Big Book, This is the Bear and the Picnic Lunch -a cumulative story for the bears to join in.

Rhyme for the teddies:
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Turn around.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Touch the ground
Teddy bear Teddy Bear
Show your shoe
Teddy bear Teddy Bear
That will do

Last week we had Twinkle Twinkle. Remind the kids we had a story about a bear last week too. We’re going on a bear hunt today too. CHANT: We’re going on a bear hunt/We’re going to catch a big one/What a beautiful day!/ We’re not scared!

Max the teddy bear is going to hide while they close their eyes and then they try to find him. Twinkle Twinkle Little Teddy, Now you’re hiding, Now we’re ready. Twinkle Twinkle Little Bear, Where are you, oh where oh where? Each child has a turn to hide the bear.

Share: Bom! Went the Bear by Nicki Greenburg. A teddy bear starts the band off and other animals join in with lots of rollicking rhythm, rhyme and fun sounds.

Try another version of rhyme for us to do:
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around!
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground.
Teddy Bear, Teddy bear, jump up high.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the sky.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, bend down low.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch your toes.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn off the light.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say goodnight.

Display the library books about teddy bears and encourage kids to borrow a book to share with their bears at home.

Evaluation: The bears loved every minute! Introductions took much longer than I anticipated, but kids were keen to talk about their bears and other topics completely unrelated! Hiding the teddy was such fun to watch but we ran out of time and I promised we would play some more next week. Both books held the children’s attention and I’m keen to do more teddy bear stories next week. Kids borrowed lots of bear books too. Might try to continue this theme of borrowing from a display at the end. No time for second verse of Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear so try to include that next week too.

Storytime at the Library – Session 12

Storytime at the Library - Session 12Read about Storytime at the Library Session 1, Session 2, Session 3, Session 4, Session 5,  Session 6,  Session 7,  Session 8, Session 9, Session 10, and Session 11.

Preparation for Storytime Session 12

Equipment: printed teddy bear invitations and posters, Big Book: Twinkle Twinkle, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, story bag, 3D star shape

What’s in the story bag? Star shape. What letter and sound does star start with? Can we find S on the story mat?

Share: Big Book Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Do we know a song like this?

Revisit: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Make the noises and do body movements to accompany the story. Look closely at the illustrations and discuss. Have we ever done any of the things in the story?

Does anyone have a teddy bear at home? Bring it along next week!

REMINDER: Give your teddy/teddies the invitation, and bring them next week!

Evaluation: The little girls (5 regulars) are very much at ease in the group. They’re happy to respond, join in and offer suggestions. The two little boys not so much. They tend to sit with their mums instead of sitting with the girls on the story mat. That’s fine with me – I want them to feel comfortable. But I hope to lure them into some participation if I can, mostly with the sheer fun of the words. Today I explained that when the children invite their bears, they must tell the bears that story time is not for toys, toys are when story time is over. I asked mums, dads and Grandmas to reinforce this message for me. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is becoming a firm favourite and they read/act out the refrain with real enthusiasm and panache!

Frog Activity – Using Comics for Information Reports

Life Cycle of FrogIn conjunction with my article at The Book Chook, Using Comics for Information Reports, I’ve created a simple 6 panel report on the life style of the white-lipped green tree frog. To do this, I added images I have permission to use to a template in Comic Life, then added captions to one panel, leaving the rest blank for children to write in themselves.

If you are a parent, teacher or librarian who would like to use this activity with primary-aged children, you can download the free PDF by clicking here.

Storytime at the Library – Session 11

Storytime at the Library 11Read about Storytime at the Library Session 1, Session 2, Session 3, Session 4, Session 5,  Session 6,  Session 7,  Session 8,  Session 9, and Session 10.

Preparation for Storytime Session 11

Equipment:

What’s in the story bag? Goose puppet. Our story is about a baby goose. The special name for a baby goose is a gosling. Find letter G on the story mat. What sound(s) does G make?

Share: Big Book, Baby Goz (a lift the flap book) by Steve Wetherill. The kids LOVE lift the flap books, and love to each take a turn to lift the flap. Discuss: what’s your favourite baby animal? If you were a baby animal, which one would you be? Do the children know any other special words for baby animals?

Share: Piglet and Papa by Margaret Wild and Stephen Michael King.

Revisit: I’m a Dirty Dinosaur, with more performance. Try some more chorus with mums establishing a beat behind. Play with some of the words to create a chant of our own.

Evaluation: It was one little girl’s birthday so we sang the birthday song. She brought some of her toys to show the others and it was VERY hard for them to concentrate on the stories when they were hyper-aware of the toys. I accepted it today, but think I need to draw a line between story time and toy time next week. I’m a Dirty Dinosaur was great to repeat as it gave them an outlet for some of their pent up energy. Piglet and Papa was very cute but no competition for toys. Re-visit both it and Baby Goz at a later time.

Storytime at the Library – Session 10

Storytime at the Library 10Read about Storytime at the Library Session 1, Session 2, Session 3, Session 4, Session 5,  Session 6,  Session 7,  Session 8 and Session 9.

Preparation for Storytime Session 10

Equipment: storybag, red bus, The Wheels on the Bus, I’m a Dirty Dinosaur by Janeen Brian and Ann James. Check out my review and some activities at The Book Chook that  you can do with I’m a Dirty Dinosaur. 

What’s in the story bag? Let’s guess before we feel – is it something light or heavy? Feel/heft and discuss. What could it be? A red bus. Bus starts with the sound, B. Can we see the letter B? Do we know any names or words that start with that sound?

Share: Big Book, The Wheels on the Bus. Act it out and discuss.

Remind kids about the dinosaur book we had last week. Look at all the different dinosaur pictures. D words. Finding D on the story mat.

Share: I’m a Dirty Dinosaur. Look at the way the artist drew the dirty dinosaur, and compare with earlier dinosaur pictures. Second time through, have kids join in. Try saying some phrases and putting movements with them. Once more through for fun, and the sheer joy of the words!

Who’s going to borrow books? What book did you read last week?

Evaluation: Another great storytime! The children are beginning to offer more describing words for what’s inside the story bag, and it’s become a nice introduction to the shared books. I’m a Dirty Dinosaur is a huge hit!