Thursday, June 3, 2010

Storytime Spotlight (2)

Most of you probably know that I work at my library holding a weekly Storytime every Thursday, for around three year old kids to around five year old kids, with some closer to twos and some over fives. Shesten of I Heart Monster suggested that I share my lesson plans for the week. I rarely actually have a lesson plan, since most of my Storytimes follow pretty much the same general structure, but I figure I'll share with you guys what I'm reading and such each week.

This is the Storytime that we did on May 13th, the week after my big garden themed week.

The theme: CAMPING!!!

Books we read:

Duck Tents by Lynne Berry

In a small backyard, by a squat stone fence, five little ducks pitch five duck tents.

The five little ducks are going camping! They can’t wait for a day of fun at the fishing hole. In the evening they sit around the campfire and toast marshmallows. But just as they’re about to snuggle up tight and drift off to sleep, they hear a scary noise. Whooo can it be?

Stella, Princess of The Sky by Marie-Louise Gay

In this sweetly humorous book, Stella and her brother, Sam, explore the wonders of the natural world. A vast luminous sky, the sun, the stars, and the rising moon form the backdrop for their nocturnal expedition. As they encounter raccoons, fireflies, tree frogs, and bats, Sam wonders if the moon can swim, if the sun wears pajamas, or if he can catch shooting stars with his butterfly net. Stella, as always, has an answer for every question. Marie-Louise Gay's whimsical prose and enchanting illustrations capture the joys of young children making their first discoveries of the world around them.

Goat and Donkey in The Great Outdoors by Simon Puttock

Goat wakes up one morning simply bursting to explore the Great Outdoors. He has his tent, his rucksack, his binoculars, and even his favourite teddy, but Goat just can't decide where to go. After some gentle advice from the ever-patient Donkey, Goat discovers that the best place for a holiday might not be very far away at all and he pitches his tent in the garden . . . which means that Donkey can come along, too. Perfect! A delightful duo - Goat and Donkey are ready to entertain children and parents everywhere.

(All summaries from goodreads. Click the titles to find out more about the books and the cover pictures to make them bigger.)

Once again, someone had moved my tables, but this week I got help from the librarian moving them back to where they belong, so it didn't take as long as if I'd been on my own.

Since I still didn't have any sticky tack, when the first couple of kids got there, I just pulled the easel behind us again and put it there. But first we had to draw a face on it, which took up a couple minutes, and after that, enough kids were there to get started.

I asked them what they wanted to read first, and they chose Duck Tents (although they thought it was about chickens which cracks me up). We really should have gone with Stella, Princess of the Stars first, though, and then Goat and Donkey in the Great Outdoors, and then Duck Tents, but I wasn't thinking.

Duck Tents was very much enjoyed by the kids (and me). It's nice and short, rhymes, and the illustrations are absolutely adorable. I highly recommend this one.

Stella, Princess of the Stars I should have first since it was the longest, but I think I hadn't slept and I wasn't thinking very well. But they still liked it, they were just getting a little restless. Stella and Sam books are pretty much always well-loved, in my experience.

During Goat and Donkey in the Great Outdoors one boy had a bit of a temper tantrum and had to be removed, so the other kids were understandably distracted, but I got them back into the book reasonably quickly and I think they quite enjoyed this one.

Our activity was just colouring pictures. I couldn't find any camping-themed pictures in the colouring book I use for most of our pictures, so I printed a few off from online.

Then of course I handed out stickers while they coloured. A lot of the tents were orange, which is great because the goat and donkey's tent was orange, and one of them coloured the boy blue.

Tips: Before we start reading, usually when we have early arrivals and it's just me and a couple kids, I get them to try to guess what the books are about. Guesses this week included chickens and cows. I always say "that's a really good guess" or something similiar to encourage them.

This is a good theme to ask them if they've ever gone camping. You can get some really good stories, and it helps fill the space while not everyone is there yet (I'm working on an activity for that, too).

Always, once we're ready to get started, I ask them if they remember the Storytime rules and have them say with me "Turn your listening ears up. Sit in your chair. Looks with your eyes, not with your hands." I pretend to "turn up" my ears, tap my hands on the legs of my chair, and last point at my eyes and then at them for the last one, and they're pretty good at doing it along with me.

Other camping themed books:

Oh, Yeah! by Tom Birdseye
Otis and Rae and The Grumbling Splunk
Good Night, Animals by Leno Arro

Sorry about not having this up last week. I just forgot to post it!
Peace and cookies,


  1. Found your blog from Kristen. Cool blog ;p

  2. Thanks for the comment, Darlyn!!


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