Flannel Friday: Going on a Picnic

22 Nov

I have to credit Melissa for this one as she was super generous in sharing her library system’s storytime training plans with me when my library was revising ours recently. This flannel is a part of that plan. So I’ve only used it as a training tool, but can certainly work in storytime! You’d probably need a few more pieces of food, though…

This is intended to be used with Raffi’s song “Going on a Picnic”, although he mentions different food. But it’s a great call-and-response song that can be easily learned by the whole group.

Put the picnic basket up on the board. Hand out flannel food pieces to the audience (only do this if you have enough for EVERY CHILD). Tell the group, we’re going on a picnic so we need to fill our picnic basket with yummy food!

Going on a picnic, leaving right away.

If it doesn’t rain we’ll stay all day.

Call: Did you bring the …. [strawberries]

Response: Yes, I brought the … [strawberries] (child brings strawberry up and puts it on the picnic basket)

etc….

picnic2

Continue until all the felt foods are in the picnic basket.  Next is your opportunity to really grow those early literacy skills. Talk about how two of the foods have words on them – Juice and Jam – and run your finger under the words. Notice how “juice” and “jam” both start with the letter J, that makes a “juh” sound. Ask the kids what color the strawberry is.  What else on the board is red? What color is the cheese? Why does the cheese have holes? It’s SWISS cheese. Ask the kids about their favorite picnic foods.

picnic

We used this in our storytime training to demonstrate how we extend early literacy skills learning – talking about letter knowledge, background knowledge (colors, cheese words, picnic words), etc. I’m hoping to find the time to make more foods and really use this in my food storytime! What fun! I love picnics!

The roundup today will be hosted by Bridget. To see all past flannels organized for your easy access on pinterest, click the icon on the right side of the screen.

Happy Flanneling!

Go! Bananas! Go! Go! Bananas!

7 Nov

On Monday I read Miss Amy’s wonderful post about rhymes to use when your storytime group gets the wiggles. I especially liked how she divided them by wiggle-level – low, medium, and high – and the great rhymes she shared. It was especially timely as that afternoon I was co-teaching a
Bananastorytime training, and part of our curriculum was on dealing with disruptions – like the wiggles. I printed copies of the post and shared them with all attendees. Thanks, Amy!

One of the songs she mentions is the one that begins “form a banana…” and it reminded me of one I heard from a friend at Denver Public Library. I went looking online for that one, and instead found this gem. I’ve since used it with several classes and it’s been a hit with both kids and teachers. Love that it includes the word “shuck” – yay for new vocabulary! Plus, it’s just darn fun (and this woman gets an A+ for enthusiasm!) – the mashed potato part is my fave!:

What’s in a Name?

2 Nov

When I was born, my parents named me Katie. Well, okay, technically  they named me Mary (that’s what’s on my birth certificate) but always intended to call me Katie. That was back in the days when lots of girls were named Mary Chris, Mary Pat, Mary This, Mary That… but weren’t actually called Mary. So, until I was 5, everyone called me Katie.

Then Kindergarten happened. And my 5-year-old self informed the teacher that my name was Mary and I was to be called that. I then proceeded to make everyone else I knew begin calling me Mary instead of Katie. Why did I decide to change my name? I have no idea what was going on in my young brain, but as an adult I’ve speculated that it’s because we’d recently moved to Denver and lived almost next door to a family with two twin girls – one of whom was named Katie. Strangely enough, her real name was also Mary Something.

I’ve been Mary ever since. Kudos to my family for going along with my self-inflicted name change.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because it kind of relates to why one of my katyfavorite books growing up was Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton. Oh, how I loved the story of Katy, the bulldozer/snow plow who did her work in the City of Geopolis and saved the day one particularly snowy winter. I adored the detailed illustrations with maps of the town so that I could follow Katy’s route as she made it safe for the mail carrier to continue his route and the doctor to get his patient to the hospital. But most of all, I loved that Katy and I shared the same name (albeit a slightly different spelling).

lolaFinding yourself (or even just your name) in a children’s book is a powerful thing.  Each year, I am fortunate enough to be able to gift each child whom I visit in my preschool outreach a brand new book. As the kids in one class were making their selections, one young lady saw Anna Quinn’s Lola at the Library. The book features an adorable, smiling African-American child as she makes her regular visit to the library. The young lady pointed at the book, eyes wide, and said “I want THAT one.” What made this encounter so powerful? The girl who chose the book looked EXACTLY like Lola in the story. Right down to the pigtails.

Children need to feel like they are important and have worth, and seeing yourself and your story reflected in a book provides some measure of that. Just as I was proud to share a name with hero snowplow Katy, my young book selector probably was proud to see that she, or a child that looked like her, could be the star of her own story.

What story are YOU the star of? Are there any books that made you think “hey, that’s me!”?

Flannel Friday: Monsters the Easy-Peasy Mac-N-Cheesy Way

11 Oct IMG_5598

Several years (years? YEARS.) ago I posted about a 10 little monsters game we do in storytime. Each monster is a different color and after we’ve counted them and identified their colors, I turn the flannelboard around and take a monster away. The kids get to guess which color is missing. It’s fun! The monsters I was using, however, were looking pretty shabby. Plus, a few of them mysteriously disappeared. So, it was time for replacements.

In a fit of laziness, I decided to freehand my own monsters rather than cutting patterns out of paper and then using them to make the felt ones. After a couple of false starts, I came across the magic formula for creating an easy monster:

SHAPE + APPENDAGES + GOOGLY EYES + PAINT = MONSTER

IMG_5597

Seriously. Cut out a shape – circle, square, cloud, blobule, etc. Add some legs, arms, horns, antennae. Glue on some eyes. Paint on a mouth and maybe some eyebrows. Instant monster – no pattern needed!

Shh....don't tell the others, but these three are my favorites.

Shh….don’t tell the others, but these three are my favorites.

 RAAAARRRRRRRR!

This week’s roundup will be hosted by Lisa. To see all the previous posts, visit our Pinterest page via the icon to the right.

Happy flanneling!

What’s Your “Storytime Face?”

10 Oct

Our library foundation is planning a big year-end fundraising appeal and my outreach program is one of the things they fund. They wanted to feature the program, so our graphics department wanted to get some new photos of me. I agonized (not really) over what to wear (solid, bright colors are best) and which books would show up best in the picture, and went to pretend to read to our graphics manager while the photographer snapped away.

One thing I’ve known for a while is that I make a “storytime face.” I’ve seen it in pictures before and know it involves raising my eyebrows and looking slightly manic. However, the two pictures the graphics manager sent me really highlight the difference between my actual, non-crazy, non-performing face and my “storytime face.”:

Normal person you might not run from if you met her on the street:

SONY DSC

Totally caffeinated, crazy-eyebrowed storytime clown:

SONY DSCOh yeah. That’s my storytime face. WHEEEEE! By the way – the book I’m reading is Ed Vere’s Bedtime For Monsters, a current favorite.  With bonus Pete the Cat photobomb.

What’s YOUR “storytime face?” C’mon, I know you’ve got one.

Flannel(ish) Friday: Alpha-gator

30 Aug

So there I was, casually perusing the Flannel Friday pinterest board on “animals” looking for some new ideas, and I came across this post by Miss Tara.  I was immediately inspired to make my own alphabet-eating alligator. I thought ever-so-briefly about cutting a hole in my alligator puppet’s mouth (NOT advised) and then started thinking of other ways to create my own alpha-gator.  I thought about HOW LONG it would take me to cut out all of those letters and that I wanted to use my gator next week. What’s the solution? MAGNET LETTERS. I have some I got from the Target dollar section (can I get three cheers for the Target dollar section?) and haven’t been able to use them yet.

My first attempt at a 3D gator was an unmitigated disaster. Two cardboard tubes covered in green felt, with one end cut to look like an alligator mouth, ended up looking like a snake with a weight problem who had been left in the dryer while wet. So I went 2D.

Here’s my gator and letters:

gator

The gator is laminated and has magnets stuck on the back. My plan is to stick him on a cookie sheet (I’ve ordered a magnet/white board from Lakeshore) and then, as he eats each letter, stick them on his tummy. I like that the kids will still be able to see the letters, as the shapes are referenced in the poem.  There are a few too many letters so they’ll have to be piled up a bit.

Now, this is still a work in progress because I’ve discovered that my letters don’t have very strong magnets. I’ve also ordered some of those via Lakeshore in hopes they’ll be better. If they aren’t, well, I’ll have to re-think this whole shebang.

Hope the Alpha-gator’s hungry!

The Library Lady is hosting our round-up today. To see all past flannels, visit the pinterest page via the icon to the right.

Happy flanneling!

Hats and Hair Storytime

8 Aug

I mentioned in my last Flannel Friday post (over a month ago…eeek!) that I was creating this storytime after reading Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom. It went over pretty well with the preschoolers, so it’s time to share.

I have a bunch of assorted hats sitting in a drawer in my office (as you do) so I brought some of them along and put on a different one for each story. And there were some GREAT stories!:

  • Rocco, Jon. Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom. Jon thinks his wild, curly super hair-ohair is the source of his super powers. But when the barber cuts it all off, what will he do to regain his powers?
  • Klassen, Jon. I Want My Hat Back. Bear goes looking for his hat. Nobody has seen it. Or HAVE they?
  • Game: “Who Wears This Hat?”: I printed out some pictures of various hats (cowboy, hard hat, astronaut helmet, firefighter hat, etc.) and covered with clear contact paper. I held them up and the kids helped me figure out who wears each hat, and what job they do.
  • Agee, Jon. Milo’s Hat Trick. Milo the magician HAS to improve his show with a hat trick. He goes looking for a rabbit, but instead finds a bear with an impressive skill.
  • Flannelboard: “My Hat It Has Three Corners
  • Lita Judge. The Red Hat. Sort of a wordless picture book – the only words are sounds (but OH WHAT AWESOME SOUNDS!). A bear cub pulls a child’s red hat off a clothesline and begins a game of chase with his animal friends, resulting in the hat unraveling.

Other books I like:

I tip my cap to you, storytimers. What are your favorite hat/hair books?

 

 

 

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