Thursday, June 24, 2010

Storytime Spotlight (3)

Most of you probably know by now 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.

The theme: Pigs. Pigs were actually the theme of the very first Storytime I ever did, but that wasn't one of my best weeks (I had no idea what I was doing) and it was almost a year ago, so I figured it wouldn't be a big deal to repeat a theme. Plus I had some really nice pig books on hand.

Books We Read:

Yours Truly, Lousia by Simon Puttock

Louisa the Pig takes it upon herself to write anonymous letters of complaint to Farmer Joe, urging him to clean up the farm at once. When he does not do so to her satisfaction, she leaves the farm in a huff and heads to the city, only to find it is even dirtier there!

If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Joffe Numeroff

The stars of this long-awaited companion to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Moose a Muffin are a bossy little pig and the young girl who valiantly tries to accommodate the pig's every whim. In keeping with the other beloved stories, chaos reigns as the pig's delightfully silly requests lead to page after page of fun.

Mechanimals by Chris Tougas

When pigs fly!

There once was a farmer who had lots of animals that got swept away by a tornado. The twister left behind a mountain of scrap metal and machine parts. And a very sad farmer. When a tornado leaves a farmer with a heap of scrap metal and no animals, his neighbors are sure it's all over for him. But the determined farmer refuses to admit defeat. His plans are big, and when his neighbors dismiss them with the words, When pigs fly, they grow bigger still. The farmer sets to work to turn that scrap metal into some rather surprising creatures.

(All summaries are from goodreads, click the titles to find out more information about the books.)

This was actually a couple of weeks ago, since I've been sucking at posting, so I don't remember too much about this one (and I think I hadn't slept...) so I'll just tell you about the books and what I remember of their reactions.

Yours Truly, Louisa was the longest of three books I had, so I read that one first. I did make sure that when we ran into the word "disgruntled" (it's used quite a bit in this book) to ask them if they knew what it meant and when they didn't, tell them what it meant. I really like this one. Simon Puttock has written a lot of children's books. I've actually used another of his, Goat and Donkey in the Great Outdoors, if you remember, and they always go over quite well. Plus his name makes the kids giggle.

One of the girls who comes every week actually owned a copy of If You Give a Pig a Pancake so she was really excited to hear that one. It was the second longest, so it was second. The kids loved it (of course) and I really like it too. It's fun sometimes to read a book like this that the kids know.

Mechanimals isn't strictly just about pigs but I was kind of scraping the barrel on pig books and it had a pig on the cover, so that's enough to work for a three or four year old. It was the shortest, but one of my favorites (beautiful pictures and a good message). Actually, it was pretty cool. When I was talking to the kids before we got started like I always do to kill a little bit of time and get them comfortable, one of the girls guessed that the books would have a tornado, and when we got to that part, she was so excited that she was right. It was really cute.

Like usual, we had some colouring pictures for craft and I handed out stickers while they were colouring from my treasure chest while they were colouring.

Tips: I always ask them to do the Storytime rules with me at the beginning of the reading. "Turn your listening ears up. Stay in your chair. Look with your eyes, not with your hands." I pretend to "turn up" my ears, tap my hands on the legs of my chair, and point at my eyes and then at them for the last one. They get to say them with me and act along, which I think helps them remember the rules.

Oh, here's a tip. If you have a kid who isn't as into the colouring, ask them to help you colour your picture (I always make an extra for me and bring an extra cup of crayons to the table, just in case... plus I get some colouring time in) and then talk to them about what you'll colour and what they'll colour. It can help make it a bit more interactive and one on one. The colouring time is also a good time to ask them what they liked about the books, that kind of stuff.

And a picture tip: Convert all pictures to jpg. You can do this by saving the picture to your computer, opening it in paint, and then saving it as a jpg. When you print the picture, you'll have more options and a better preview. (There are probably other ways to do this, but this works best for me.)

Other pig themed books:

Pigs by Robert Munsch
The Wonderful Pigs of Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gillman
Farmer Ham by Alec Sillifant
Olivia by Ian Falconer and sequels/companion books (LOVE these so much)
There Is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems and sequels/companions (Also love love love these. They crack me up. I Will Surprise My Friend! is another favorite from the Elephant and Piggie series.)
Lots others. Pigs are a very popular subject in children's books.

Okay, so that's everything!
Peace and cookies


  1. Thanks for sharing your storytime picks. My son is five and still loves stories like these. Shari

  2. Shari: As well he should!! Five is the perfect age for picture books because they can sit still long enough to listen, plus at five they're starting to learn to read themselves or will be soon.

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