5th Grade Storytime – St. Patrick’s Day

Yesterday a group of fifth graders came into the library for a class visit.  Since Saint Patrick’s Day is coming soon, I thought we should celebrate with some Irish folktales and leprechaun stories.

finmcoul by Depaola
Fin M’Coul by Tomie de Paola


“Amazing Bone” from Strega Nona …and More Stories About Magic

There aren’t a lot of good Saint Patrick’s Day videos for kids.  So I decided to show “The Amazing Bone” because it features a magical creature as well.



Because I have been working more frequently with younger kids lately (my colleague does the older class visits), fifth graders seem like they are adults to me.  This storytime went pretty well, and Fin M’Coul got a few laughs.  The kids really seemed to like “The Amazing Bone” as well.  Though the audio in our storyroom was giving a lot of reverb and the deep stringed instruments in the soundtrack made them laugh and think of farts.  Maybe that’s why they liked the video. 

ATTENDANCE: 18 people


3rd Grade Storytime – Folktales and Food

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while — things have been rather busy here at work as the whole staff has shifted their work areas.  That, and I haven’t done a lot of storytimes in recent weeks.  But here I am, back with a recent class visit.

I do programming more frequently for the preschool and under set, and while I love working with school-aged children, I still find myself rather intimidated by them.  I’ve found that folktales are the perfect way to connect with these kids — and a great way to highlight what a great folktale collection we have!

Love and Roast Chicken by Barbara Knutson

The Three Wishes
ThreeWishesFlannelboard1 ThreeWishesFlannelboard2
Patterns and Story from  The Flannel Board Storytelling Book  by Judy Sierra.
Patterns can be found on page 97 of Sierra’s Pattern eBook.

This is a great story about a woodcutter who is granted three wishes, and the way he and his wife foolishly use them.  It’s a good one to use to spark discussion.

MOVEMENT: Aroostacha*

Ananse’s Feast: An Ashanti Tale retold by Tololwa M. Mollel

“Strega Nona” from Strega Nona …and More Stories About Magic

MrsChickenandtheHungryCrocodile SausagesbySouhami FatCatbyMacDonaldPancakesforSupperbyIsaacs GatorGumbobyFleming

Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile
 by Won-Ldy Paye (one of my favorite folktales, but I read it to them last year)
Sausages by Jessica Souhami (This is a book version of The Three Wishes)
Fat Cat: A Danish Folktale by Margaret Read MacDonald
Pancakes for Supper by Anne Isaacs
Gator Gumbo by Candace Fleming

Pretty well!  This third grade class is really wonderful, and always such fun to read stories to, mostly because the teacher is really involved with her class and you can see she enjoys it as well.  I think, since Love and Roast Chicken is so long, I might have done another movement, then the flannelboard, then Aroostacha, and then the movie. 

ATTENDANCE: 21 people

*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

Riddles and Folktales – 5th Grade

I always find doing the older class visits a welcome challenge.  We get more frequent visits from the younger grades, so it’s nice to mix things up every now and then with an older audience.  I found out I had to do this class visit just two days or so before it occurred – I think if I had more time to get things together I would have liked to do some booktalks of different things in addition to a folktale and video.  However, since my time to prep was shorter, here’s what I went with.

Huge Hog is a Big Pig by McCall

A Huge Hog is a Big Pig: A Rhyming Word Game by Francis McCall & Patricia Keeler

If Not for the Cat by Prelutsky

If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky

Dewey Decimal 100s
Dewey 100s Flannelboard 2 
For this flannelboard, I put the different Dewey 100s categories on the flannelboard with some space in between each of them.
Dewey 100s Flannelboard 1
Then I have a bunch of different topics that I created using Microsoft Word Clip Art, cut them out, laminated them, and glued felt to the back.  I move around the room and each student picks out a different square.  Then, one by one, they come up to the flannelboard and try to place the square under the correct Dewey 100s.  Of course, advisement from the audience and me is encouraged and welcomed.  We talk about why each one is put into each category.
Dewey 100s Flannelboard 3
At the end, you end up with a listing of all the different categories in their 100s groupings.

I’ve only used this twice, so I’m still learning the best way to make it work with the group.  I think I need to remember to pass out a bookmark with the Dewey categories, or some sort of cheat sheet ahead of time to boost confidence and accuracy.  Also, I need to make sure that the squares I’ve created for the game are clear-cut topics.  Although not having them be that easy probably shows the reality of the Dewey Decimal System more clearly.

Little Rooster's Diamond Button by MacDonald
Little Rooster’s Diamond Button
by Margaret Read MacDonald

True Story of the Three Little Pigs DVD

“The True Story of the Three Little Pigs” from The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs … and More Animal Adventures

ATTENDANCE: 19 people

A Huge Hog is a Big Pig is a game of “hinky pinky” where you have two words that describe something (“huge hog”) and you have to find two synonyms for each of those words that rhyme (“big pig”).  I love this idea and I keep thinking that it will be great to do with a group.  However, I’ve had a hard time finding an audience to match it with.  I know the book looks rather young, but I had tried it before with 3rd graders, to get them to guess the answers, and they didn’t really seem to get the concept.  So I thought this time I would try it with fifth grade and see how it went with them.  They participated with it, but some didn’t seem to grasp the fundamental concept of the game.  Maybe I need to try spending a little more time prepping that before I read the book.  Using If Not for the Cat as a guessing game is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while.  You read the poem without showing the illustrations, and then the audience has to guess what creature the haiku represents.    This worked a lot better than A Huge Hog.. and I think it is something I should return to during April for poetry month.  I was also surprised by how well Little Rooster’s Diamond Button went over.  Everything MacDonald does is wonderful.  And, of course the kids would like it, since it involves sitting on a chicken who has just swallowed a bunch of bees!