This week in storytime, we talked about big and small. My group sizes ranged from small to small, however. Everyone comes out for lapsit, but hardly anyone comes out to storytime these days. I blame the inches of snow. And the subfreezing temperatures. And germs.
Our letter for the week was S for Size!
Big, Bigger, Biggest! by Nancy Coffelt
I used this at Wednesday’s storytime with the younger group and then pulled it and substituted Cloudette for the older crowd on Thursday. Repetitive formats tend to wear them out. The book covers not only big bigger biggest and small smaller smallest, but fast faster fastest, slow slower slowest, etc. Each form of the adjective is exemplified by an animal and accompanied by synonyms for the adjective. It’s more fun than I’m making it sound. For example, the cheetah is fastest and describes herself as “hypersonic!” We had fun naming the types of animals and discussing whether they were really as “adjective” as they claimed.
Concepts: Superlatives. Opposites. Vocabulary.
A Pig is Big by Douglas Florian
This rhymer starts with a pig who’s bigger than a hat but moves on up to automobiles, streets, and finally the entire universe. Asking the kids “What’s bigger than a (whatever thing)?” is fun because they’ll throw all kinds of answers out there: A giant! A dinosaur! An elephant!
Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
She’s tiny, she’s puffy, she’s adorable… She’s Cloudette! Little Cloudette is miniscule compared to the other clouds, but she usually doesn’t mind. She has a lot of little friends, like kites and woodland creatures, and plenty of big friends among the other clouds. Sometimes, though, when the big clouds are off doing important things like storming, Cloudette feels sad because she’s too small to join in. One day, she’s blown into a new place where she finds a dried-up pond just the right size for her to fill, much to the delight of the local frogs, and she realizes a little cloud can make a big difference. I love this sweet, cute story most because no one ever puts Cloudette down for being small or tells her she can’t do anything important. She struggles with her own real limits as well as her self-perception. I think that model is important, since even children can be their own harshest critics, especially when trying to measure up to an older and more developed sibling.
I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
The giant squid is extremely proud of his size. He’s bigger than shrimp! He’s bigger than clams! He’s the biggest thing in the ocean! Wrong. When a whale swallows him whole, he suffers a moment of disappointment but soon realizes he’s the biggest thing in the whale. Doofy, self-absorbed Giant Squid always gets giggles.
No flannelboard this week, but I pulled out our puppet set for “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” The animals she swallows go in order from smallest to largest, after all.
All three of our action rhymes this week came from Perry Public Library:
A little ball (small circle with hands)
A middle sized ball (larger circle)
A great big ball I see (large circle with arms)
Now let’s count them
One, two, three! (repeat all 3 hand circles)
Do You Suppose?
Do you suppose a giant
Who is tall, tall, tall(stretch up on toes)
Could ever be an elf
Who is small, small, small?(crouch down)
But the elf who is tiny
Will try, try, try
To reach up to the giant (reach up high)
Who is high, high, high!
One is a Giant
One is a giant who stomps his feet
(stomp feet / big voice)
Two is a fairy so light and neat
(tiptoe / quiet voice)
Three is a mouse who crouches up small
(crouch / high voice)
And four is a great big bouncing ball!
(jump and bounce)
How It Went:I’m bouncing back from a stomach virus, so I definitely was not at my best this week. I think I handled the situation well enough by sitting down to read instead of standing like I usually do. My groups were so small (5 and 7) that the change didn’t make much difference. For the most part, everyone seemed to like this session. I let them play with the Old Lady puppet set afterward, and they loved it. However, the set is old and a bit fragile, so someone quite inadvertently pulled off part of the horse’s tail. All of the books and rhymes went over well, especially since the kids all had a nice grasp of big and small already.
Next week: Friends!