…storytime, books, apps, and ideas

Archive for November, 2011

Flannel Friday: The Red Hen

Rebecca and Ed Emberley’s version of “The Red Hen” is the inspiration for today’s flannel. I love the crazy bright artwork and the twist of finding a recipe (rather than a kernel of wheat).  This allows us to add some PRINT AWARENESS to the story, as does the repetitive “Not I” from that lazy cat, rat, and frog. I’ve also included a few tips here for the newbie felt artists among you.

So first, here’s the pattern I made for the hen. I looked at the illustrations and hand-drew my own patterns. They are not exactly like the illustrations in the book, but heavily inspired by them.

hand-drawn pattern

Next, you can see how I cut the different elements out from the drawn pattern. I’ve made the hen from solid red felt, then I add details in other colors. Notice 3 pairs of scissors — I have my paper scissors, my big fabric scissors, and the small detail fabric scissors. In case you don’t know this already — keep your fabric scissors safe from paper. Paper will dull them, so use paper scissors on paper and your good scissors only on fabric. You might also need an iPod loaded with a good audiobook  while you are working on your felt story.

cutting out details

Next up, gluing. I use Tacky Glue (Elmer’s works well, too). I cover the piece to be glued with a good layer of glue, then press it down onto the main piece, making sure the glue gets into both pieces of felt. I have a piece of freezer paper under the main piece, glossy side up, so the glue doesn’t stick to that; you can also use wax paper. You’ll need a space for all the pieces to dry – I usually leave them on the paper overnight.

time to glue

And below are the finished pieces. I plan to make the speech bubble into a “stick puppet” — I will laminate it and put it onto a chopstick so that when the animals say, “Not I.”, the stick will appear from behind the board. I’m thinking I’ll add some bells to the stick so that I will have some sound effects for this part. So, there you have it, The Red Hen.

finished product

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Storytime with SONGS

My husband is a musician, and every once in a while I can talk him into accompanying me to storytime. This week, we practiced a few tunes and had a very appreciative audience. Even if you don’t have a musician to help you out, you can do this fun musical storytime! Here are the books/songs I used:

Teeny Weeny Bop  by Margaret Read MacDonald – In which Teen Weeny Bop finds a gold coin and goes to market (to market) to find some pets. Sing the lines of the song twice so that the kids can chime in on the second round.

A-hunting we will go  by  Steven Kellogg.  Did not read this one, instead, I used puppets (thanks to Steven for the idea ). I had a fox in a box, a snail in a pail, a pig in a wig, an owl in a towel, and a bear in underwear, sitting in a chair. We had to do it again, the kids loved this one so much.

If you’re happy and you know it by  Jane Cabrera. You know the song, but this one has lots of fun animal actions and some roaring as well.

Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin – this book was my inspiration for storytime with songs. If you still have not heard the song and live reading, here’s the link.

Juba this, Juba that by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Ron Ligthburn. Local illustrator Ron Lightburn read this one at an elementary school and his wife Sandra did some fun motions that went along with it. Basically, when you say JUBA, you slap your thighs, clap on the next word, and for the refrains, touch elbows. You can make up your own movements, and it is plenty fun to read the story first, then read it again with movements. Hard to do with just one person—so either have the words typed out , or have an adult partner do the motions while you read.

To wrap up, we played Musical Chairs. We had 9 kids so we used 9 chairs—at the tender age of 3, it is hard to be left out, and for some it is hard enough to just find a chair when the music stops! Our live musician played slow, fast, and medium tempos for us, and we tried things like walking on tiptoe, walking very slow, dancing as we went in the circle. Lots of fun and very easy to do with a CD player or iPod.

We Dove in the Ocean

This week’s flannel and storytime was inspired by the song “We Dove in the Ocean” found on page 155 of  Ready-To-Go Storytimes: Fingerplays, Scripts, Patterns, Music and More.  (Benton, G., & Waichulaitis, T. 2003. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. ISBN  978-1555704490). To make the figures, I found clip art images of each ocean creature, printed that out and used it as a pattern. I used fabric on black felt & some white glue to make the figures which you see below. Click on them for close-up views.

I put the flannel board on a stand, printed out the animal motions (below) and taped those up on shelves for myself and the adults, and placed each felt piece up on the board as we sang the song and did the motions together. The kids loved it so much they wanted to do it again (so of course we did).

Here’s how the song goes:

We dove in the ocean, and this is what we saw (make motions of diving and looking under water, then each creature has a motion as well. “We dove in the ocean proceeds each creature. )

A jellyfish, a jellyfish, drifting with the tide.

A seahorse, a seahorse, going for a ride.

A crab, a crab, running to the side.

An octopus, an octopus, trying hard to hide.

An oyster, an oyster, with a pearl inside.

A Shark! A Shark! His mouth was open wide.

We jumped out of the ocean, his mouth was open wide.

I highly recommend this book;  it has some really fun ideas and interactive storytime songs, stories, and fingerplays, with patterns for flannel stories as well.  It even includes a CD with the songs.

So, it was “Ocean” day in storytime, and I read “Hooray for Fish” by Lucy Cousins, which has some fun vocabulary in it. Then I did “Can you hear the sea?” by Judy Cumberbatch. I brought in 3 of my big seashells and passed those around after the book – we have a small group for storytime, so this worked well and the kids were pretty good about sharing and taking turns. I also read “I’m a Shark” by Bob Shea. I had a shark fan that I picked up at ALA this summer, and hid that behind the book. When the shark said something funny or loud, I had the shark fan (which functioned as a stick puppet) pop up behind the book. At the end of the book, the shark puppet chased the kids around for a few minutes. They LOVED this simple addition to the story. You could make your own, or use an actual shark puppet.

I also read “Rattletrap Car” by Phyllis Root, because it has lots of fun rhymes and silliness as well as the refrain, “It didn’t go fast and it didn’t go far” (to which one child informed me that SHE did go fast and far).  We finished up with some Yoga poses using yoga cards – the kids really enjoyed these. This week we did a craft, with some leftover supplies from Summer Reading Club – paper plate oceans. Pretty easy and very cute—I did some prep by getting the plate with blue cellophane ready, and the children put on stickers and seaweed – then we stapled the plates together. Here’s a link that describes how to do this easy craft, which worked well for school-aged kids this summer, we just allowed them to do more of the craft, including the “prep” that I did for the preschoolers.