1st Grade Storytime – Buggy Bugs!

When I’m on Infant/Toddler Storytime rotation, and I also have school-aged class visits coming in during the same time period, I’ll often take the same theme and adapt it to fit the different audiences.  That’s what I did for today’s first grade visit.  I carried the bug theme through, and just switched it up a bit. 

Frog in a Bog by Karma Wilson

Bug in a Rug
Template & Story from Felt Board Fingerplays by Liz and Dick Wilmes

I used this flannelboard for my infant and toddler storytimes, but I changed it up a bit for the first graders.  I put each bug on the flannelboard and, without my prompting, the kids named each one.  Then I told them I was going to hide one of the bugs under the rug, and they would have to tell me which one.  They closed their eyes, and I recited:

“Bug in a rug
Bug in a rug.
Who is that
Bug in a rug”

The kids opened their eyes and told me which was missing.  Since they all wanted to participated, I had them say it all together.  We played this way for a few times.  Then I made it a little harder by hiding one bug, but mixing the other bugs on the board up.  We did it that way a few times.  Then to make it a bit harder, I hid two bugs, but didn’t tell them I was going to.  I think to make it even better for older kids, I would add more bugs.

MOVEMENT: We Work With One Hammer*

Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas

The Wide-Mouthed Frog: A Pop-Up Book by Keith Faulkner
“Diary of a Fly” from Giggle, Giggle, Quack … and More Stories by Doreen Cronin

Little Bear's Band DVD
“Clever Cricket” from Little Bear’s Band DVD

This was a pretty fun (and rowdy!) storytime.  The great thing about first graders is that they want to tell you everything that they have going on, and engage with every story you read.  We had a lot of fun this time, especially with Can You Make a Scary Face? (Which is great with audiences of all ages). And when we went to stand up, all the kids knew we would be doing, and were looking forward to, We Work With One Hammer.  I think the video was a bit too old this time around, though, so next time I might switch it up for a Little Bear story.

ATTENDANCE: 18 people

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


Family Storytime – Dr. Seuss

To celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday on March 2, we held a special version of our preschool storytime honoring his works.  My supervisor and I worked on this program together, so we tagged-teamed on the storytime.

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

We started off with a prop-filled presentation of:
Green Eggs and Ham.

I portrayed Sam-I-Am, and my supervisor was the friend unwilling to try the titular treat.  We had a table set up with all the props we needed for the story including:
GreenEggsandHamProps1 GreenEggsandHamProps2 GreenEggsandHamProps3 GreenEggsandHamProps13

Green Eggs and Ham (Color photo-copy laminated)
Here or There (Color photo-copy laminated, found via Google Image Search)
A House (made from Lego)
A Mouse (Puppet)
GreenEggsandHamProps4 GreenEggsandHamProps7 GreenEggsandHamProps6 GreenEggsandHamProps11
A Box
A Fox (he looks a little tired, I know, but it’s a fox from our puppet collection)
A Car
A Tree (Also from the library’s puppet collection)

This next row is a bit more… creative…
GreenEggsandHamProps5 GreenEggsandHamProps10 GreenEggsandHamProps8
A Train (train whistle, I made the noise each time the book said “train”)
Dark (a black piece of construction paper with the word “dark” on it)
The Rain (a squirt bottle filled with water, that I misted every time the word “rain” was said.  This got a good laugh, and was a great idea from my supervisor)
GreenEggsandHamProps14 GreenEggsandHamProps9
A Goat
A Boat

Since Sam-I-Am is the one who introduces the different props, I would hold up the item in question as I mentioned it.  Then, my supervisor read off the answers of where the green eggs and ham would not be enjoyed, I held the item in question up again so that the audience could say it aloud.  She also showed the illustrations of the book as well so those could be seen by the audience. 

Colorful Eggs (No Ham)
ColorEggsFlannelboard1 ColorEggsFlannelboard2
I stole this brilliant idea from this post at Mel’s Desk.

I took her suggestion of making it into a game, so on one side the eggs are a nice and normal yellow.  On the other, wild colors! I started with all the yellow yolks up, then turned each one over at the appropriate time as I recited:

I do so like ____
eggs and ham.

(filling in the blank with the audience of the color of the egg).  From this activity I learned that my pink egg (second from the left on the top row) really looks like an orange egg from afar and not like the hot pink it looks up close.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

My supervisor just read an except of this one, up until the “goodnight” part.  It worked really well shortened like that.

MOVEMENT: “If You’re Happy and You Know It – PS Version”
My supervisor does this one a little differently, so check out my A Capella Movements page for the PS version.

“Zax” from Seuss Celebration: 9 Favorite Televised Classics

Many of the Seuss videos are 25 minutes long or so — “Zax” worked well for storytime since it was only 3 minutes or so.

What would a birthday celebration be without a sweet treat?  After the movie, we all sang “Happy Birthday” to Dr. Seuss, and then it was time to let them eat cake!
(I forgot to take a photo of the cake before it was devoured!  But as you can see, at least we had a lot of interest!)

ATTENDANCE: 38 people

HOW IT WENT: I think this was a really fun unique storytime.  Other than joining in on storytimes as an intern, I’d never done a joint storytime before.  I think it went really well, and that we both were able to highlight the places where we shine in storytime to make it a success.  I think if I were going to do this program again, I might have a larger table on which to place the props — since Seuss changes the patter of the objects in Green Eggs and Ham that might make it easier to do.  Another Idea I had for that would just be to used laminated images for all the objects like I did for the green eggs and ham.  Then I could just have a stack put together and go through the stack in order as the items were mentioned.

How did you celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday or Read Across America?

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

1st Grade Storytime – Valentine’s Day

One of the measurements I use to judge how successful my Valentine’s Day storytime is with an elementary school group is how many “ewwww”s it evokes. ‘Cause there is nothing early elementary kids like better than romance.  Judging on that criteria, this storytime seemed like a hit.

MOVEMENT: My Wiggles

Froggys First Kiss by London
Froggy’s First Kiss by Jonathan London

Vincent’s Valentine Animals
Patterns and Story from  A Storytime Year,  by Susan M. Dailey.
For the story, see this blog post.

MOVEMENT: We Work With One Hammer*

Yuckiest Stinkiest Best Valentine Ever vy Ferber
The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever by Brenda A. Ferber

Little Bear's Band DVD
“Valentine’s Day” from Little Bear: Little Bear’s Band

Valentines Collection DVD
“One Zillion Valentine’s” from The Valentine’s Collection DVD

This was a pretty fun storytime.  It’s always great to hear the reaction of the kids when you read Froggy’s First Kiss and get to the kissing scene.  Since The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever is a new book, this was my first time trying it out with a group, and I really thought it worked great.  I think I can use it as a second grade pick as well.  I need more Valentine’s stories for the older groups – a lot of what I’m familiar with is for the young ones.  In hindsight I think I should have shown One Zillion Valentines as the movie, because Little Bear was a little too young for this group.

ATTENDANCE: 20 people

Flannel Friday Valentine’s Special: Vincent’s Valentine Animals

This week at Flannel Friday we’re spreading the love of Valentine’s Day!  I’m sharing a story I use often around this time of year, Vincent’s Valentine Animals.  It’s not too mushy, and the kids can make fun animal noises with it.

This is another flannelboard story that I got from my mother after her retirement from librarianship, so I’m not 100% sure on the original source.  It’s on page 28 of A Storytime Year, and while I haven’t verified to make sure this is the correct book (we don’t have a copy in my system) I think it is by Susan M. Dailey

Vincent’s Valentine Animals
One day, Vincent the toymaker received word from the King that he was to create a special toy for the Princess for Valentine’s Day.  Vincent knew a lot about making toys, but he had never made a Valentine toy before.  So he thought long and hard and finally had an idea!

He cut out hearts from wood, glued and painted them.  He made a Valentine cat, dog, mouse, pig and snake.

And to make them extra special, he gave them each a sound.  The cat said, “Meow”.  The dog said, “Arf”, the mouse said, “Squeak”, the pig said, “Oink” and the snake said, “Hiss”.

Vincent was very proud of his animals, and couldn’t wait to give them to the Princess.  But he was in such a hurry to get to the castle, he stumbled and all the heads and body’s became separated.

“Oh no!” said Vincent.  “Now I need to put them back together.  Let’s see.. here’s a mouse head. Does this head go with this body?”  Place the animal head on top of the wrong body.  Now here comes the fun part of the story – you place the head of one animal on the body of the other and make the new sound that results.  For example, with the mouse you would have it say:
VincentsValentineAnimalsFlannelboard5 VincentsValentineAnimalsFlannelboard4 VincentsValentineAnimalsFlannelboard3
The toy said “Sque-arf!” Oh no, that can’t be right!  What about the next body.  The toy said “Sque-Oink!”  No no no.  Let’s try this one… “Sque-Eow!”…  Continue doing this with the various pieces until you match the cat, dog, pig and mouse correctly.  Then continue the story.

But Vincent heard the King impatiently calling for him.  He couldn’t keep the King waiting!  In a hurry, Vincent gathered up all his Valentine animals (take all the animals down from the board and put them up momentarily as you name them one by one) and brought them to show the Princess and the King.  And they were both very pleased.  The Princess loved her Valentine Cat.  She loved her Valentine Dog.  She loved her Valentine mouse.  But here favorites were the Valentine pig-snake who said, “oin-hiss” and the Valentine snake-pig who said “hi-oink”.  When she heard those noises, she laughed and laughed.

Today’s Flannel Friday roundup is sponsored by Sarah at Read it Again.  For more information on Flannel Friday, visit the Flannel Friday blog or Pinterest page.

1st Grade Storytime – Halloween

You really get a different vibe from a class visit than you do with an open storytime.  The children all know and already relate to each other.  Today the first graders and I had some fun with Halloween stories.

MOVEMENT: My Wiggles


The Hallo-Wiener by Dav Pilkey

Five Furry Bats

Patterns and Rhyme from Preschool Favorites: 35 Storytimes Kids Will Love by Diana Briggs

Five furry bats were flying by the moon,
“Did you know,” said the first,
“Halloween is coming soon?”
“There’ll be ghosts!” said the second,
“floating everywhere!”
“And witches,” said the third,
“With long purple hair.”
“There’ll be goblins,” said the fourth,
“And monsters so I’m told.”
“Awesome!” said the fifth,
“Come on, let’s go!”
So the five furry bats flew out of sight,
But they will all return on Halloween night.

MOVEMENT: “Jump Up, Turn Around” from Jim Gill Sings Moving Rhymes for Modern Times by Jim Gill


The Three Bears Halloween by Kathy Duval


“By the Light of the Halloween Moon” from A Very Brave Witch …and More Great Halloween Stories for Kids! DVD

It was a nice storytime — especially fun hearing the kids interact with the “witch” in The Three Bears Halloween.  I must admit though, with Halloween, I never know how scary to go, so I usually err on the side of less scary.  You never know what will frighten people anyway.  Maybe I’ll try out some of the other stories on the DVD and see how well they go over.

ATTENDANCE: 26 people

Sweet Treats – School-Age Storytime

This morning I had some Kindergarten classes visit.  I altered the Cookies storytime I did with Preschoolers last week a bit to fit this age group.

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



The Wolf’s Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza


The Gingerbread Man

“The Gingerbread Man” from The Flannel Board Storytelling Book by Judy Sierra

I took the pattern for this from Sierra’s patter for “The Johnny Cake”, since they are essentially the same story, and then did a Google Images search to find a picture of a gingerbread man I liked. 

MOVEMENT: “We Work With One Hammer”


The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems


“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” from Disney’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over



Book: Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? by Karen Beaumont
Book: The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson
DVD: If You Give a Mouse A Cookie Reading Rainbow DVD


The kids this morning were very cute and liked participating!  It was fun all around

Attendance: 1st classes: 58 people      2nd classes: 26 people

Date Presented: Wednesday, October 17, 2012