Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Best of Friends (Super Simple) Story Time

February is a great month for focusing on friendship during story time, and that's precisely what we did at my evening story time last week. I had a small group, so I used a simple, flexible plan:

Opening Song: "The More We Get Together" with the ukulele

Story: Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
     I love this story of the new friendship between a boy and a robot and their concern for one another's wellbeing. It's equal parts funny and touching, and I love that I get to use my robot voice in read alouds.

Story: You Will Be My Friend! by Peter Brown
     Another great story about making a friend--and why it's important to be yourself, because you'll find friends who are perfectly compatable with you. We talked about the illustrations a lot during this reading, and we also talked about activities we like to do with our friends.

Activity: Parachute time!
     You can't use a big parachute by yourself--you need your friends to help you in order for it to be a lot of fun (see what I did there?). We worked together to make small ripples, rough waves, and, finally, a tent that we could sit inside. The kiddos loved the parachute so much that they asked to do it again after our craft. I obliged.

Craft: "My Best Friend" drawing/writing activity
     I love open-ended crafts, especially for programs where attendance can vary. This craft consisted of a white sheet of paper with the words "My Best Friend" and a picture of an empty picture frame; I asked the children to draw a picture of what they like to do with their best friends in the frame. One child drew himself and his friend pretending to be pirates; another drew a picture of himself and his friend on a treasure hunt. Not only does the open-endedness of these crafts facilitate writing--an early literacy practice--but it also provides opportunities for talking about what the children draw/write. That's both talking (another early literacy practice) and ascribing meaning to marks on a page. The big, bold letters at the top also provide perfect fodder for practicing letter recognition. For a rather simple paper-and-crayons craft, that's a lot of early literacy impact.

My story time friends and their caregivers certainly seemed to enjoy themselves!

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