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Elephants Storytime

This week we talked about my very favorite wild animal, the elephant!

We read:

Elmer by David McKee

Elmer is a patchwork elephant in the midst of a herd of grey elephants. While he’s the most popular elephant in the herd because of his sense of humor, Elmer thinks the other elephants laugh at him because of his color. When he paints himself gray, events conspire to show him that the other elephants appreciate him for the joy he brings them, not as the butt of a joke.

Interactivity factor: Medium. It’s a good one for color recognition.

What to Do if an Elephant Stands on your Foot by Michele Robinson

If an elephant stands on your foot, don’t panic, because you’ll attract a tiger, but if you do attract a tiger, be quiet, or you’ll anger the rhinoceros… I love this hilarious book of misfortune in the jungle.

Interactivity factor: High if you read it the way I do! Tell the kids you’re going to give the little boy in the story advice, and every time you tell the boy what to do, ask the kids if they think he’ll listen. By the end of the book, they’re in a frenzy of “He’s not going to listen! He’s going to do such-and-such! Oh no!”

Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems

Gerald and Piggie want to play outside, but it’s pouring rain! Piggie does not like rain. Can Gerald convince Piggie that rain is fun? If he does, what happens when the rain stops?

Interactivity factor: Medium. There’s some running, jumping, and skipping involved.

17 Kings and 42 Elephants by Margaret Mahy

Oh, 17 Kings and 42 Elephants, how do I love thee? Let me count the 59 ways. In this bouncy poem, kings and elephants bop through the jungle, spotting a host of batiked wildlife along the way. Playful nonsense words like “umbrellaphants” liven up the diction.

Interactivity factor: High. I asked the kids to listen for words that were not real, and when they caught one, we talked about what word it sounded like and how even though it was made up, it described something perfectly. I also sang this one, to the tune of “Bumping Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon,” but you could read it straight just as effectively.

Action Songs:

Did You Ever See an Elephant?
Tune: Did You Ever See a Lassie?
Did you ever see an elephant
An elephant, an elephant,
Did you ever see an elephant
Spray water with her trunk?
Spray water all over,
Spray water all over,
Did you ever see an elephant
Spray water with her trunk?

Did you ever see an elephant
An elephant, an elephant,
Did you ever see an elephant
Eat peanuts with her trunk?
Throw peanuts in her mouth,
Throw peanuts in her mouth,
Did you ever see an elephant
Eat peanuts with her trunk?

Did you ever see an elephant
An elephant, an elephant,
Did you ever see an elephant
Hug her baby with her trunk?
Wrap it this way and that way,
And this way and that way,
Did you ever see an elephant
Hug her baby with her trunk?

Source: Childfun
The Great Big Elephant
Tune: Itsy Bitsy Spider
The great big elephant
Went out one day to play.
Down came the rain
And washed his fun away.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the great big elephant went out to play again!
Source: Patti Teel’s The Floppy Sleep Game Book
Flannelboard: Elephants in the Bathtub
Elephants

One ele­phant in the bath­tub
Going for a swim.
Knock, Knock,
(Clap twice with “Knock, Knock.”)
Splash, Splash,
(Slap knees twice with “Splash, Splash.”)
Come on in!
(Motion with both hands to come in.)

Two ele­phants ele­phants in the bath­tub… etc.

Five ele­phants ele­phants in the bath­tub
Going for a swim.
Knock, Knock,
Splash, Splash,
They all fell in!

Source: RovingFiddlehead Kidlit

 

I printed out line drawings of Elmer and we glued squares of tissue paper to them to make patchworks. I also handed out crayons, so the kids used paper for some squares and crayons for others. We had some crazy elephants.

How It Went:

I love elephants, I love reading about elephants, and I love talking about elephants. I had a great time! The kids seemed to have a great time, too, though. Some of them have seen elephants at the zoo on vacation, but about half of them either have never seen one in person or were babies the last time their family made it to the zoo, so they forgot about seeing one. We all pretended to be elephants during the songs, and of course that’s always fun. I’m really good at being an elephant, so the kids all got to learn from my masterful performance. They loved all of the books. The first three all tickled our funnybones, and everyone really focused in on the last book. Of the four, I added three to the kit, and I’m very glad I chose them. I’ll definitely use this kit again, and I’ve also added the adorable Tweak! Tweak! by Eve Bunting for next time.

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