Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An Outreach Story Time with Lots of Giggling

While I like the process of sharing award-nominated picture books with my outreach classrooms in the fall months, I must admit I enjoy the total freedom to go theme-free and do what I want come January. That's precisely what I've been doing this month: using books that screamed "kids will love me!" when I read them, then rounding out the program with a bit of silly.

January Outreach Story Time

Opening Song: "Open, Shut Them"

Story: Andrew Drew and Drew by Barney Saltzberg
     I knew this would be a book to share as soon as I read it. Andrew is a "doodle boy"; he loves to draw. The simple story is told with few words and intriguing illustrations, which are moved along with the help of flaps on the pages. I love talking about the illustrations with children; it is so much fun to watch them observe how Andrew's single line can transform into something magnificent.

Story: Pass it On! by Marilyn Sadler, illus. by Michael Slack
     This silly story takes place over the course of an inadvertent game of telephone: a bee seeks to get help for a cow stuck in a fence, but his message gets twisted into all sorts of humorous statements along the way. By the time animals make their way back to said cow stuck in said fence, they are all expecting different things: a tent, a woodchuck, a penny, milk and honey. Kids love the goofiness of the message getting lost in translation.

Song: "Apples and Bananas"
     Have you ever tried sharing this song with kids? They love the silly words that result from changing the vowels in the lyrics. We focused on long As, long Os, and long Us. We like to oot, oot, oot, ooples and banoonoos... (If you play this song on a ukulele like me, you need only two chords: C for the first line, G for the second.)

Story: Oh, No! by Candace Fleming, illus. by Eric Rohmann
     This beautifully-illustrated book has a chant-like rhythm to it that makes it a joy to share. A number of lesser-known animals get stuck in a tiger's hole--a loris, a sunbear--and just when the tiger is about to eat his catch... BA-BOOM! Rescue. This story has a remarkable ability to calm down a rowdy group, and my kiddos loved trying to spot evidence of the tiger on each spread.

Rhyme: "The Alligator Chant"
     I used my alligator puppet; kids used alligator hands.

Old Mr. Alligator, looking all around,
Floating in the water without making a sound.
Don't go swimming when you hear this sound: CHOMP!
See you later, alligator! I'll stay on the ground.

Story: Press Here by Herve Tullet
     I originally shared this terrific read-aloud in November, but as my outreach kids overwhelmingly voted it their favorite award nominee during the fall, I brought it back for a victory lap. Reader, there was cheering from the children when I pulled it out of my story time bag. Cheering.

Song: "If You're Happy and You Know It"


What have been your favorite read-alouds lately?


  1. Your recent ukulele mentions totally inspired me to start practicing on mine! My neighbors are getting really tired of Happy Birthday, but I love it!

  2. Thanks for sharing those! I ordered a Andrew Drew and Drew and Pass It On because we didn't have them at my library, so I'm excited to check those out. My afterschool kids LOVED The Librarian from the Black Lagoon last week. I will definitely be bringing more of the books from that series for them.

  3. Today the big hits were Pigs Make Me Sneeze (Mo Willems) and Is Everyone Ready for Fun? (Jan Thomas). We all had a blast dancing on chicken's sofa and sneezing with Gerald!


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