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Writing and Drawing Storytime

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Writing! It’s one of the five early literacy practices and so gets its own storytime. However, finding good read-alouds about writing is a bear. Most of the picture books I found that revolved around writing would fit well in an elementary storytime, but not preschool. Well, fine! I can work around issues. In this case, I worked around it by combining writing with drawing.

We read:

Lost for Words by Natalie Russell

Tapir’s friends always know what to write, but Tapir has writer’s block and isn’t sure how to express himself. After trying to duplicate the creative process of each of his friends in turn, Tapir finally gives in to his heart and draws instead, with admirable results. The book is a bit long so I dropped a couple of sentences here and there, but I definitely like it. I’m glad we got it in time for this theme.

Concepts: Writing. Drawing. Self-expression.

Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells

Max keeps messing up Ruby’s efforts to make a cake for their grandmother. He spills the milk and flour and breaks the eggs, so Ruby keeps having to send him to the store with handwritten lists. Poor Max wants Red Hot Marshmallow Squirters, but no matter how he writes it, the grocer cannot read his scribbles. Finally, Max realizes that by drawing, he can communicate his needs. A nice demonstration of writing as a practical skill, but also a reminder for prewriters that they have other communication abilities at their disposal.

Concepts: Writing. Drawing.

Andrew Drew and Drew by Barney Saltzberg

Half-pages and gate folds make this one a fun and interesting title for sharing with a group. Do be sure you run it once on your own so you know which flaps to unfold. When you’re holding it up to face a group, you’ll be glad you practiced. I chose this one because while it only talks about drawing, not writing, Andrew uses a pencil and almost exclusively makes line drawings, so it’s a very similar style to writing.

Concepts: Writing. Imagination.


Flannelboard: Monkeyface

I talked about this set previously because it lives in our Zoo kit. Very, very fun!

Action Song:

“If You’re a Writing/Drawing Utensil and You Know It”

Hey, I came up with it. I get to give it any title I want! This goes to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It.

If you’re a crayon and you know it, then scribble! (turn in circles)
If you’re a crayon and you know it, then scribble! (turn in circles)
If you’re a crayon and you know it, all your scribbling will show it,
If you’re a crayon and you know it, then scribble! (turn in circles)

Paintbrush…swish around (swish your arms over your head), Pencil…scratch around (shuffle your feet), Pen…Pop your lid (jump up and throw your arms up like you’re popping a lid off your head)

I also tried a similar redo of The Banana Dance but without as much success.

Craft: Framed Art


Once again, a simplest-is-best example. Each child got a sheet of cardstock and a die cut paper frame to glue onto it. Then they were just supposed to draw or “write” anything they wanted inside the frame, and the grownups were instructed to help them write their name and the title of the artwork on the page. Of course, I wrote mine all by myself. I’m very proud.

How It Went

Everyone seemed to enjoy all of the stories this week. Whether they knew Bunny Cakes or not, almost all of the kids recognized Max and Ruby, and all of us were grossed out by Max’s earthworm cake. At the second session, when I asked, “How else could Max tell the grocer what he wants, since he is not writing yet?” one of my smarties said, “Well…he could just tell him.” At the previous session, I had a few suggestions that he draw what he wanted, but no one seemed to think he should just use his words. I shouldn’t be surprised: the first session is full of introverts, and the second session is full of chatterboxes, so each group came out with what they personally would do in the situation.

Of course, the Monkey Face flannelboard always gets some laughs, and everyone liked the action song. I am concerned that I don’t always have enough action songs/rhymes. I think I have gotten so used to having interactive books in my plans that I have stopped relying on songs and rhymes as much as I used to, but this plan didn’t have much movement to it. I still got a lot of compliments, and the kids definitely did not seem bored, but I will definitely address the issue anyway.

Next week, Play and Imagination! And the possible/probable return of the parachute!