Tag Archives: birds

¡El Pollo!; aka, the most fun movement activity en español EVER.

10 Sep

Some of the best storytime activities are the simplest. This is one of them. It basically names the parts of the chicken, rhythmically. I tried it out with my new class of Spanish-only kiddos and they LOVED it. LOVED.

I learned it from my colleague Alberto, and here’s a video of him performing it:

This is the text:

El pollo! (clap hands together)

El pollo con una pata (step one foot forward)

El pollo con la otra pata (step other foot forward)

El pollo con su piquito (hand in front of mouth like beak)

El pollo con sus alitas (move arms like wings)

El pollo con su colita (turn around and shake tail)

The rhyme doesn’t work as well in English, but it can be done. Here’s Alberto again:

And the words:

The chicken! (clap hands together)

The chicken with one leg (step one foot forward)

The chicken with the other leg (step other foot forward)

The chicken with his beak (hand in front of mouth like beak)

The chicken with his wings (move arms like wings)

The chicken shakes his tail (turn around and shake tail)

You can do it again faster, slower, and without words. It’s a good time! ¡Que disfruten!

Trailer Tuesday: The Pigeon Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems

3 Apr

Not much more needs to be said other than: THERE’S A NEW PIGEON BOOK AND IT’S OUT TODAY!!! Pigeons worldwide comment:

(Thanks, Mr. Schu, for pointing out the video!)

Happy Anniversary Flannel Friday!

20 Jan

I didn’t realize it has been a WHOLE YEAR since Mel started posting flannelboard ideas on her blog every Friday until I saw her post. Holy cow! It’s been a YEAR? And Anne and I, early adopters we, joined in on March 18. We now have a bunch of friends all over the world (yes, WORLD, as Library Quine’s all the way over in Scotland) participating in the fun! And a facebook page! And Pinterest boards! How cool is this? It’s wonderful that librarians are so willing to share their good ideas, all in the name of creating quality storytimes for kids.

So. About this week’s Flannel Friday. There isn’t one. Again. Sorry. Work has been just too busy to work on new ideas, and I’ve run out of already made flannels to use. But I DO have one half done, and REALLY REALLY hope to get it posted next week.

But for those of you who haven’t been on the Flannel Friday bandwagon since the beginning and may not have seen it, here is the FIRST Flannel Friday post I made: Baby Duck, Baby Duck, Are You in the [color] Egg?

And well before that (in 2009, I think, in fact!), I posted THIS about flannelboards in general (which includes my BINGO flannel and monster game flannel)

So hey! I guess I DID post a Flannel Friday today!

Happy Anniversary, y’all!


Flannel Friday: A House for Birdie

2 Sep

I got this flannel idea from Cate at Storytiming. It’s based on the book A House for Birdie by Stuart J. Murphy, and the story, in its simplified flannel version, goes like this:

Here’s Birdie (with fuschia feathers) and her friends Spike (tall and narrow), Queenie (tall and wide), Goldie (short and wide) and Fidget (short and narrow).

Birdie’s tired of her birdhouse, so she decides to go look for another one. Her friends offer to help her. These are the first two houses they encounter:

Will either of these work for Birdie? One is tall and wide, and one is short and narrow. They’re not the right size for Birdie, but…

…they’re perfect for Queenie and Fidget, who decide to move in!

How about these houses? Will they work for Birdie?

One is tall and narrow, while the other is short and wide. They won’t work for Birdie, but…

They’re perfect for Spike and Goldie! They finally find this house; will it work for Birdie?

It’s perfect!

The kids can help tell you which houses work for which birds, by naming their colors. They will also learn the words wide, tall, narrow, and short. You might also throw some synonyms at them, like big, large, tiny, small, etc.

I found a pattern for the house by searching “house template” in google images.  There were a lot of tiny parts to this flannel to put together, but the finished product (including googly eyes) makes me happy! I’m very excited to use this cute story with my preschoolers.

Visit Anne later today for the full Flannel Friday roundup.

Flannel Friday: 5 Baby Penguins

29 Jul

As the temperatures continue to hover in the triple-digits in most parts of the country, I thought it might be time to cool things off with a frosty storytime. So here’s my penguin contribution:

1 baby penguin makes a wish (hold up 1 finger and point up)

2 baby penguins catch a fish (hold up 2 fingers and clap hands)

3 baby penguins slip and slide (hold up 3 fingers and slide hands around)

4 baby penguins run and hide (hold up 4 fingers, then hide them)

5 baby penguins look around, calling “Mamma! Mamma! Mamma!” (hold up 5 fingers and shade eyes with hand)

Now they are found.

When Mamma penguin finds them, she’s added to the board (she’s bigger than the rest):

The penguin pattern comes from this clipart.

Close up of the iceberg:

Hope this cools you off a little!

Visit Miss Mollie later today for the full flannel friday roundup!

Flannel Friday: The Green Grass Grew All Around

20 May

This is a new one for me; in fact, I’ve not actually used it in storytime yet. I just made it this week! It was suggested by a speech/language pathologist at a conference I attended, and I thought it sounded like a fun one. It’s a cumulative story, and can be sung as an echo song.

What a pretty tree! The prettiest tree you ever did see!

There was a tree…

A pretty little tree…

The prettiest tree…

That you ever did see…

Oh, the tree was in a hole and the hole was in the ground,

And the green grass grew all around, all around, the green grass grew all around.

The verses continue, adding a branch on the tree, a nest in the branch, an egg in the nest, a bird in the egg, a wing on the bird, a feather on the wing, and finally, a bug on the feather.

The final product:

Hole, tree, branch, nest, egg, bird, wing, feather, bug.

And here are the various “extra parts” that go on the tree, shown by themselves:

There are some versions that include the hole, a root, a twig, a leaf, and other various and sundry parts, but I chose to simplify a bit so it wouldn’t be too long and give the kids too much to remember.

You can hear Nancy Stewart sing the full song here – she also has some suggestions for how to use the song with various age groups.

Here’s another version (with video), and here’s the Scout’s version, with 13 verses!

Can’t wait to try this out with my kiddos.

Visit Storytime Katie later today for the full Flannel Friday round-up!

Flannel Friday! Baby Duck, Are You In the Blue Egg?

18 Mar

My friend Melissa over at Mel’s Desk decided to start writing a “Flannel Friday” post – every Friday, she will feature a new flannelboard story that she has used in storytime.  She mentioned this on twitter, and shortly thereafter, Anne at So Tomorrow decided to join in the fun. Not wanting to be left behind, I decided I wanted to contribute as well!

Here’s my inaugural Flannel Friday post, which, appropriately enough, comes from Melissa herself and is related to Anne’s post (the concept is the same).

Unhatched eggs

Here we see eight eggs of varying colors. If my group is small enough, we take turns choosing a color (otherwise I choose an egg and they tell me the color) and then I “crack” the egg open to see if a baby duck is inside! Before looking, we say this:

Baby duck, baby duck, are you in the [color] egg?

A dramatic pause always helps at this point, and I open the egg with a “gasp!”. If the duck isn’t inside, we move on to the next child who chooses a color.

Baby duck, baby duck, are you in the PINK egg?


Fuschia, really.

There he is!  Just to increase the sillyness factor, I added a couple of “surprises” for us to find in the eggs:


How did that FROG get in there?

If we find the duck before each child has had a chance to choose an egg, I turn the board around and put the eggs back together, moving the duck to another color. I ask the kids to close their eyes (no peeking!) and I made up a little song to remind them. To the tune of “London Bridge”:

Everybody close your eyes,

close your eyes,

close your eyes,

everybody close your eyes,

We’re not peeking.

Everybody keep them closed,

keep them closed,

keep them closed,

everybody keep them closed,

No one’s peeking.

Besides the obvious fun, there are several benefits to doing a flannel like this:

  • Learning colors (or patterns – eggs could be striped, or dotted, etc.)
  • Learning to take turns (if each child gets to choose a color)
  • The chanting rhyme helps with phonological awareness, as children learn to hear the smaller sounds that make up a word.
  • You might also count the eggs to practice those skills. How many are cracked? How many are still whole?

This is great fun that the children and I have enjoyed very much. In fact, today, when we found the baby duck, a child was SO excited she began to cry. Wow. That’s powerful.

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