F is for Favorite! If singing is one of the crucial five early literacy practices, then how better to implement it than with a sing-along storytime? For this plan, I chose picture books based on songs that the storytimers would find familiar. I did not intentionally set out to choose only the works of Jane Cabrera, but despite pulling in many materials to evaluate, hers stood out above the others time and again because of the quality of the illustrations and because her versions of the song lyrics encourage movement.
We read (sang!):
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
Anthropomorphized puppies go through their day from getting ready to going to school to coming home and playing before bed.
Concepts: Singing. Sequence.
Row, Row, Row, Your Boat
A puppy and a kitten row through a rainforest, with noises and actions fitted to the many animals they encounter on their journey.
Concept: Singing. Animal sounds.
Over in the Meadow
In this traditional counting song, meadow dwelling species teach their babies species-appropriate behavior.
Concept: Singing. Animal sounds. Counting.
We sang (book free):
If You’re Happy and You Know It
We sang the traditional “clap your hands, stomp your feet, shout Hooray!”, and then I asked the storytimers what else we could do to show we are happy and added three of their suggestions into the song: jump up and down, shake your head, and hop like a frog.
Finger Puppets: Little Bunny Foo Foo
I will not reproduce the words as surely we all know some version of them, whether you sing “Rabbit” or “Bunny”, or “bashing” or “bopping.” However, here’s my first shot at making my own finger puppets. The bunny and goon are two sides of the same puppet, so when the Good Fairy does her magic, you can just rotate the puppet and POOF! insta-goon.
Craft: Good Fairy Wands
These were just paper stars taped to straws and decorated with sequins. I told the kids that with their own magic wands, they could turn any bad bunnies they saw into goons!
How It Went
We enjoyed this plan because of all the movement. The kids giggled through the whole program. My voice started to go on the third book, though. Singing for an entire storytime may sound like a great idea, but be sure to take into account whether you physically can sing that long without getting scratchy.
My favorite part of this plan was getting to introduce Little Bunny Foo Foo to a new audience, since only two of the storytimers already knew it. They seemed to enjoy it; they all talked about turning mean bunnies into goons with their wands all through craft time. I helped one little girl put an extra star on her wand, and she told her mom, “I have a double one! I gonna find TWO bad bunnies an’ turn ’em into goons!”
This week: N is for Not Doing Storytime. I’ll be in Austin attending YALSA conference, and our storytimers will get the special treat of a storytime from our outreach coordinator. I’ll be back the following week.