Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Storytime: Zoo

Age: 18-36 months (coloring page instead of craft), 3-5 years (with craft)

This school year in storytime I decided to use the alphabet to give me inspiration for themes. So this week, Z is for Zoo, and we're done!!!

1) These Are My Glasses - Laurie Berkner
My current opening song that we sing acappella every week. I start by asking them to show me their glasses and their book so that they remember the signs. We sing it through twice.

These are my glasses (make the letter o with each hand)
And this is my book (hands together)
I put on my glasses (put "glasses" over eyes)
And open up the book (open book hands)
Now I read read read (hold book up in front of face like reading)
And I look look look (put glasses over eyes and look around room)
I put down my glasses and… (lower glasses)
WHOOP! Close up the book. (clap as if closing a book quickly)

2) Mystery Box
This week I put some plastic animals in the box.

3) Animal Strike at the Zoo. It's True! - Karma Wilson
I had to explain a little bit about what a "strike" is, though they got the idea the more we got into the book.

4) Zoo Animals song
Found this from the Madison Public Library, originally from the Whatcom County Library. To the tune of If You're Happy and You Know It.

If you want to be a monkey, jump up high 
If you want to be a monkey, jump up high 
If you want to be a monkey If you want to be a monkey 
If you want to be a monkey, jump up high 

parrot… flap your wings 
elephant… swing your trunk 
lion… roar out loud 
giraffe… stand up tall

5) From Head to Toe - Eric Carle 
The kids really got into acting out this one! I didn't even really need to model the movements myself (which was good because I was holding the book...), they just imitated the person they saw on the page.

6) Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree 
Found this at Mel's Desk. You can change "snatched" to "scared" if your group would handle that better!

5 little monkeys sitting in a tree
(hold up five fingers)
Teasing Mr. Alligator, “Can’t catch me!”
(put thumbs in ears and waggle fingers) 
Along came the alligator, quiet as can be
(put palms together like an alligator mouth and weave back & forth)
And snatched that monkey right out of the tree!
(open palms wide and clap loudly on “snatched”)

7) Good Night, Gorilla - Peggy Rathmann
One of my youngest daughter's favorite books right now. I really used to not like it (see this post from my old blog, when my oldest daughter was 15 months old) because I'm not very good with wordless and semi-wordless books. But I've had lots of practice with this one, so I knew what to point out and what questions to ask the kids about each page. And of course when we got to the page with just the lady's eyes, I had them all make big eyes too, and it was hilarious.

8) Zookeeper, May I?
Found this at Lindsy's Preschool Alphabet. I had the kids stand at the end of the room, with their backs against the wall. I explained to them how the game was going to work, then we played. You say, “Take 3 elephant steps forward.” Have the kids say, “Zookeeper, may I?” Say, “Yes, you may.” Repeat with other zoo animal steps: 4 kangaroo hops, 2 snake slithers (they’ll think of something!), 2 lion leaps, 3 frog jumps.

9) The Underpants Zoo - Brian Sendelbach
The kids and grownups all got a kick out of this book. I feel like the younger ones giggled even more than the older group, maybe because underpants are a taboo subject for 4- and 5-year-olds?? :)

10) Z is for Zoo coloring page (18-36 months) or Z is for Zoo craft (3-5 years)
Since the older kids haven't really had coloring-type crafts this season, I just created a letter Z with pictures of zoo animals inside for them to color, and they could cut it out if they wanted.

I survived my first entire year of storytime planning! And we made it through the whole alphabet in a decent amount of time! Now just a few small events are going on over the next month, then I'll have an entire month to plan for summer reading. Yippee!

Other zoo ideas:
Z is for Zookeeper - Marie & Roland Smith (I really did consider using this one for the older kids, but I was afraid it was too long for the whole group. I could see myself reading it with my own daughter one-on-one.)
Monkey and Me - Emily Gravett (similar to From Head to Toe)
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? - Eric Carle (I was planning to use this until I found the other Eric Carle book)
Inside a Zoo in the City - Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Zoo Ah-chooo - Peter Mandel
1,2,3 to the Zoo - Eric Carle
A Sick Day for Amos McGee - Philip C. Stead
Felt zoo pieces
The Animals at the Zoo song
iPad apps: Zoo Sounds or Animal Sounds
animal crackers snack

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