Lions – Preschool Storytime

I was wondering what I would do for this week’s preschool storytime until I realized that it is the first of March.  After that things just came together with an “In like a Lion…” theme.  Because, really, how often do you get to do that?  Also, it’s fitting, because we’ve finally got some rain here in Southern California, so it feels like March is, indeed, being a lion.

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

MOVEMENT: “Can’t Wait to Celebrate” from Jim Gill’s Irrational Anthem by Jim Gill

I’m a Lion
I love to sleep out in the sun (rest cheek on hand)
And chase other animals just for fun (run in place)
In the jungle I’m number one! (point to self, then lift up pointer finger like number 1)
I’m a (ROAR!)…

I recited this rhyme with the actions without telling the audience what storytime’s topic was, and had them see if they could guess based on the rhyme.  They did!  They we did it all together.


In Like a Lion Out Like a Lamb
by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

One Little Lion
Lions Counting Rhymes Flannelboard
Template found via Google search, Rhyme from ABC Literacy Storytimes by Marilyn Lohnes.

One little lion, roaring at the zoo.
Called for another: ROAR!
Then there were two.

Two little lions, underneath a tree.
Called for another: ROAR! ROAR!
Then there were three.

Three little lions who heard a distant roar.
Called for another: ROAR! ROAR! ROAR!
Then there were four.

Four little lions, happy and alive.Called for another, ROAR! ROAR! ROAR! ROAR!
Then there were five.

Five little lions.
ROAR! ROAR! ROAR! ROAR! ROAR!Ran off to play
and then there were no more.

MOVEMENT: “Shake My Sillies Out” from More Singable Songs for the Very Young by Raffi

Uwungelema Flannelboard
Template and Story from The Flannel Board Storytelling Book by Judy Sierra

A “slow and steady wins the race story”.  This Bantu tale is about a magical tree that gives fruit — but only if you remember its name, Uwungelema.  As the land is in drought, all the animals want the fruit, but none can remember the tree’s name.  The faster animals, rabbit and eland, each in turn go to the king, who tells them the name of the tree, but they forget by the time they return.  Only slow tortoise, who repeats the name over and over can save the day.

MOVEMENT: “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from Walt Disney’s Children’s Favorite Songs Volume 3


We’re Going on a Lion Hunt adapted by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Joe Mathieu


“The Happy Lion” from Corduroy …and more stories about caring

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*


Book: How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens
Book: Silly Suzy Goose by Petr Horacek
Book: The Lion and the Rat fable by La Fontaine, illustrated by Brian Wildsmith
Book: Watch Us Play by Miela Ford
Book: The Mightiest by Keiko Kasza

This storytime went nicely.  I wasn’t sure if In Like a Lion.. would work with preschoolers, but it seemed to go fairly smoothly.  I did have the kids make the sounds and motions with the book – I feel like that always helps to draw the audience in a little bit more.  If I were to read the book again, I think I would stop it at the page that ends with “This lion is done with roaring, and now he’s snoring! At least until next year.”  It seems like the rhyme was a little long for my group sharing, and that seems like a natural stopping point.  I’ll try it that way sometime and see how it goes.  I also wasn’t sure about using Uwungelema as a flannelboard story.  At first my audience seemed younger than normal, but when I got to that point in the program older kids had joined in so I thought I would give it a shot.  And I was surprised by how well it held everyone’s attention.  Next time I show “The Happy Lion” I need to remember to do a little introduction with how to say “Hello” in French.  I have to say, this is one of my favorite Weston Woods movies.  “What a funny way to say Bonjour!”

ATTENDANCE: 32 (adults and children)

*To see the words to these movements and activities I use frequently, please visit my A-capella Movements Section on my Storytime Movements and Music Page

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