Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Benefits of Traditional Storytimes

All Positive!

Libraries around the world offer storytime for their young patrons. Storytime provides many benefits to children:
  • Stories help develop a child's imagination.
  • Stories help a child discover new ideas.
  • Stories help nurture a child's listening abilities.
  • Stories help children comprehend the world around them.
  • Stories expose children to a larger vocabulary than the spoken word.
  • Stories introduce and reinforce concepts such as colors, shapes, letters, etc.
  • Stories encourage a love of reading.
  • Storytime encourages families to come to the library and check out materials.
  • Storytime introduces authors and illustrators to families in a fun way.
  • Storytime models good oral reading skills for parents and caregivers to follow.
  • Storytime can help children become successful readers and learners.
  • Storytime introduces songs, finger plays and nursery rhymes to parents that can be enjoyed at home.
  • Story time creates a social opportunity for parents and caregivers.
More Positives!

Traditional storytimes almost always incorporate fingerplays and songs as well as books. Benefits of these components include:

  • Songs can add fun, variety and movement to storytime.
  • Song help break up words into syllables for children to hear.
  • Songs allow children the opportunity to get up and move.
  • Songs help children stay focused.
  • Listening skills are sharpened.
  • Fingerplays help children learn about concepts such as numbers, size, shapes, direction, and color.
  • Fingerplays teach sequencing.
  • Fingerplays build coordination and strength in small and large muscle groups.
  • Fingerplays help create a positive self-image for children. Children learn that their minds and bodies contain a whole world of possibilities.
  • Fingerplays help children socialize with one another. They are a way of doing something "separately together".
  • Fingerplays are multicultural and have been passed down from generation to generation.
  • Fingerplays can be adapted to other activities such as flannel board stories, puppet shows, and music.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Storytime Sample

Here's a sample Storytime Plan from Granby Public Library for the Preschool Story Hour on April 15, 2009.

Storytime Plan
Spring Time

Welcome and Closing Song: "The More We Get Together"

  • Bear Wants More; by Karma Wilson [Narrative Skills, Print Motivation, Print Awareness, & Vocabulary]
  • Flora's Surprise!; by Debi Gliori [Narrative Skills, Vocabulary, & Print Motivation]
  • Muddigush; by Kimberley Knutson [Phonological Awareness]
  • Spring an Alphabet Acrostic; by Steven Schnur [Print Awareness, Phonological Awareness, Letter Knowledge, & Vocabulary]
  • Spring is Here Grumpy Bunny!; by Justine Korman [Narrative Skills & Vocabulary]
  • Spring's Sprung; by Lynn Plourde [Phonological Awareness]
  • Splish, Splash, Spring; by Jan Carr [Print Motivation, Phonological Awareness, & Vocabulary]
  • Stuck in the Mud; by Jane Clarke [Narrative Skills, Vocabulary, Print Awareness, & Print Motivation]
  • When will it be Spring?; by Catherine Walters [Narrative Skills, Print Awareness, & Vocabulary]
  • Did you ever see a bunny hop so......(fast, slow, backward, & on one foot)
  • 10 Little Bunnies (Counting on fingers ending in claps or bunny hop)
  • Open Shut Them
  • Itsy, Bitsy, Spider
  • Bear Hunt
  • Bunny Hokey Pokey (with Bunny Puppets)

Early Literacy Tip for Parents & Caregivers:
  • Helping children get involved in the story makes reading more fun. They can guess what will happen next, count, or repeat phrases.
  • Paper bag Bunny Puppets
  • Hop Parade with Bunny Puppets

Observations and Feedback:

  • Books Read:
  1. Spring Sprung (illustrations are beautiful, but the concept of Mother Nature in a human/nature form was hard for preschoolers to grasp; however, great questions were asked, "Why is the mother green?" and "She looks like the hill.")
  2. Bear Wants More (was followed by a successful Bear Hunt, which the children loved! The children got involved in the story and repeated the phrase, "but bear wants more" with little prompting.
  3. Stuck in the Mud (Relate our Mud Season with spring. Great book for Print Motivation! Children liked the animals and repeated who was stuck with the appropriate animal sounds, plus counting the baby chickens and animals stuck.)
  4. Flora's Surprise! (Parents liked this story a lot. It's cute and it's a great lead into the bunny puppets or in the future a lead into a gardening project. Children repeated "It's a house".)
  • Fingerplays/Songs:
  1. As always the Bear Hunt is successful.
  2. "Did You Ever See a Bunny" and the "Bunny Hokey Pokey" were also great ways to expend energy.
  • Crafts/Activities:
  1. Paper bag Bunny Puppets were a hit! Pieces were already cut out, so they could focus on gluing and decorating their bunnies. A demonstration of assembling a puppet was very helpful to the children.
  2. In the Bunny Parade we use the skills we learned in the "Did You Ever See a Bunny" hopping slowly, fast, backward, and on one foot around the room.

Storytime Components

Storytime Components recommend by
Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy

Effective storytimes don't "just happen". They take time to prepare, require practice by the librarian and have basic ingredients regardless of the storytime theme or subject. They also require flexibility to adapt books, fingerplays and songs to the attention span of the children.

The basics of a good storytime incorporate the following components:
  • Opening or Welcoming Song. (This song should be the same every week.) Like: "The More We Get Together", "If You're Happy and You Know It", "Here We Are Together"
  • Age appropriate books. Things to remember when choosing your storytime books:
  1. Don't use long or complicated books with preschoolers
  2. Use eye contact, voice inflection, and enunciate loudly and clearly
  3. Always note who the author and illustrator are
  • Songs and fingerplays. These transitional activities engage the children, keep them involved and help them be ready to listen to another book.
  • A variety of materials such as puppets, flannel-board storied, cut and tell stories or draw and tell stories. (But not all of these every time--change it up.)
  • Closing Song. (This song should be the same every week.)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Storytelling Techniques

A simple review of Storytelling Techniques:

  • Enthusiasm - enjoy what you are doing!
  • Hold the book so all children can see.
  • Read clearly and expressively and not too fast.
  • Interactive - involving the children in the stories and activities. (Dialogic Reading, crafts, etc.)
  • Adjusting stories and activities to the needs of the children.
  • Have fun - If you're not having fun, your audience is probably not having much fun either.