Thursday, April 24, 2008

How I prepare my storytimes

Bede just got a new computer, and I received his hand-me-down computer, plus a snazzy new red external hard drive. As I was looking over old files, I found a handout for an in-service presentation on preschool storytimes I gave a few years ago. "Did I ever blog this?" I wondered. Yes indeed, I had. Here's the link for my Basic Storytime Program Setup. I follow the basic pattern for my storytelling gigs, with some slight variations:

*Greeting song: I'm still working on an original composition that I can live with and actually enjoy. In the meantime, I play "Fooba Wooba John" on the guitar. It helps me gauge volume needed to reach the back of the room and allows the audience to become acclimated to my presence. I invite participation after I think they're comfortable with me.

*Story: If it's an older audience (i.e. early kindergarten), this will be the longest story I'll tell. If it's a younger audience, it'll be a quick-study to see how their attention spans are going to hold up.

*Song: Flannel board song such as "Jenny Jenkins" or "Birds Fly Through My Window."


*Song: Something that invites the children to stand up and move, sometimes with props.

*Song or rhyme: something short and calming to invite children to sit down again.

*Story: Something funny, preferably with an engaging prop, but not necessarily.

*Song: closing song, usually in 3/4 time (thank you, Dan Zanes, for letting me know that you always end your show with a waltz). I will play "How Do You Like to Go Up in A Swing" (words: Robert Louis Stevenson/music: Farida Dowler) and or/"Swampland Lullaby" (words: Farida Dowler/music: James Royce Shannon).


Lone Star Ma said...

Coolness. Our librarian pretty much alternates stories with songs in a similar way, but she doesn't get into the felt boards and props are rare - usually just something seasonal she will show the kids, like a black cat doll in October, if anything. She always includes some finger plays and she does themes, which I know you don't like, but we don't mind. She brings bells for the kinds to jingle in December and her pet Satanic Monster when her theme for the month is bugs. She's not too fancy or an expert at stories, but we love her. She always ends with Skiddamarink, which I don't know how to spell, but you know what I mean.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

What a great idea, ending story time with a waltz. Go, Dan. Go, Alkelda, too.

Jules, 7-Imp

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Jules: Thanks! If anything, ending with a waltz helps me feel some sense of closure, too. I forgot to add that after the storytime is over, I invite children to come up, one at a time, to strum my guitar while I shape the chords. I hope that getting their hands on a guitar for a brief moment will spark interest in taking up instruments later.

LSM: I didn't use that many props, either, when I worked as a children's librarian. I actively avoided the flannel-board, too! Books were centermost. Your librarian sounds solid. "Skinnamarink" is the way I believe it's spelled...yup, that's the way it comes up.