Here’s what we did for Stories and More in October!
Talking and being spoken to is how children learn how language works. They need to hear and understand lots of different words in order to recognize them when they’re reading on their own. While children learn many unique words from hearing stories read aloud, they can also learn so much about language structure, how to make sounds, and, of course, lots of vocabulary words.
Opening song: Hello and How Are You?
Hello, hello, hello and how are you?
I’m fine, I’m fine, I hope that you are too!
Introductions and Early Literacy Reminder: Today we’re talking about talking. Hearing language is how we learn to speak. We learn words and how language works. Children need to know LOTS (tens of thousands) of words in order to become readers. The best ways to give them words? Talk to them and read to them!
Rhyme: Wake Up Toes
Wake Up Toes, wake up toes, wake up toes and wiggle, wiggle wiggle.
Wake up toes, wake up toes, wake up and wiggle in the morning!
Ask for suggestions for more body parts to wake up!
Early Literacy Reminder: Books with questions like this one are a great way to spark conversation! But you can make up your own conversation too – talk about the pictures and ask your own questions like “what do you think will happen next?”
Book: Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea
Flannelboard: Make a pig. The kids have to use lots of words for this one! They need to tell me which body part goes where, which parts are missing, and what I get wrong. It’s very much a conversation, and the kids drive it!
Active Rhyme: Can You Hop Like a Bunny?
Can you hop like a bunny? (hop)
Can you jump like a frog? (jump)
Can you waddle like a duck? (waddle)
Can you run like a dog? (run in place)
Can you fly like a bird? (flap arms)
Can you swim like a fish (swim)
Can you sit as still as can be?
As still as this? (sit down quietly)
We usually do this at least a couple of times.
Settling Rhyme: One Little Fish
One little fish is swimming in the water (put palms together and zig zag like a fish swimming)
Swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water,
One little fish is swimming in the water
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble, POP! (raise hands and clap together on POP!)
Book: Red Sled by Lita Judge
This is a great example of an “almost” wordless book. The story is told through the sounds and images. So we have to use those to figure out what the story is – we can tell our own story!
Fingerplay: Two Little Blackbirds
Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill (hold up two fingers)
One named Jack (move one finger) and one named Jill (move other finger)
Fly away Jack! (move finger behind back) Fly away Jill! (move other finger behind back)
Come back Jack! (bring finger back to front) Come back Jill! (move other finger back)
Repeat again using:
Sitting in the snow…fast, slow.
Sitting on a cloud…soft, loud.
Sitting on a gate…wobbly, straight.
Sitting on a lily…serious, silly.
I got some of these from Jbrary. Theirs has NINE verses!
Goodbye Rhyme: Our Hands Say Thank You
Early Literacy Play Activities:
Imaginative play is a great way to have a conversation and build language skills. I brought out a big tub of plastic food and dumped it on the floor. I put out paper plates and crayons, as well as a paper menu with checkboxes I made. The kids created plates of food they wanted to eat, talked to their grownups about what they liked, didn’t like, and hadn’t eaten, and otherwise made up their own play. It was very open-ended.
I also made a bunch of wordless books available for the caregiver and child to sit and look at and use to make up their own stories. I also put out some non-fiction books that had great pictures to talk about. I used titles like Pinkney’s The Lion and The Mouse, Idle’s Flora and the Flamingo, Miyares’ Float, Savage’s Where’s Walrus, and more.
Books: Babies took home a copy of At the Park, a black-and-white wordless book. Toddlers got a copy of Red Sled, and Preschoolers took home Good News, Bad News! by Jeff Mack. All books that can be talked about!
Activities: Babies took home a Brown Bear, Brown Bear box. At home it can become a mystery box – the caregiver puts and object inside, removes it with the child, and talks about it. A new item can appear in the box periodically.
Toddlers and Preschoolers took home a set of these animal faces that I made in Word and four craft sticks. They could color and cut out the faces at home and then tape or glue them on the sticks for instant puppets! My hope was the kids and caregivers would have a puppet show and make up stories together!
Here is the handout that went in the bags and includes more information on the books and activities and how to use them, plus additional ideas for home.
I hope this is useful! Let me know if you have any questions or comments.