Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pre-School Storytime: Mousing Around!

A cozy interactive storytime for a cold day!
Ages 3-6: This story and song program explores colors, shapes, numbers,
the days of the week, poetry, and even a bit of sign language.
Note: This is a long program, may choose to omit one or more segments.

Music as children enter: Selection of mouse songs -- options include: Alex Mitnick’s Animals We Dream (track #6), Steve Pullar’s ZooBoogie! (#4), More Songs from Bear in the Big Blue House (#18), Laurie Berkner’s Rocketship Run (#3), Blue Dog Record’s It’s A Small World (#6), Phil Rosenthal’s Animal Songs (#7)

Opening poem with puppet: “Oh, What Is in that Little Box?” (Adapted from: What I Like: Poems for the Very Young by Gervase Phin) (Prop: Present box with 3 mice inside puppet from Folkmanis)

Oh, what is in that little box, Whatever can it be?

Could it be a spider or a buzzing bumble bee,
A slimy snail or a slippery slug, or a tiny jumping flea?

Oh, what is in that little box, Whatever can it be?   
Oh, what is in that little box, Whatever can it be?

Could it be a wiggly worm, wriggling to be free,
A beetle or a spotted bug, or a tiny chimpanzee?

Oh, what is in that little box, Whatever can it be?     
Oh, what is in that little box, Whatever can it be?

I wish that I could open it,
    But I haven't got the key.
    But wait a minute, the lid is loose,
    I'll open it and see.

Oh, look what is in the little box:
Three white mice!   One, two, three!
For the first two verses, the lid is on, but I'm making it move a bit by moving my fingers. The third verse, you open the lid and show the mice.

Book: Mouse Mess – Linnea Riley (alternatives: What’s for Lunch? – John Schindel or Mice  -- Rose Fyleman/Lois Ehlert)

Song: Hickory Dickory Dock (props: grandfather clock with movable hands, finger puppet mouse) -- This is an awareness introduction to analog clocks -- I don’t actually talk about the minute hand but I put up numeral cards on the flannel board to emphasize numbers and clap out the time (“struck 2” clap twice, etc.)
Hickory-Dickory dock
The Mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one
And down he runs
Hickory-Dickory dock (2- “the mouse said ‘boo’”, 3- “the mouse went ‘whee’”, 4- “no more” or “wants some more” if you want to continue with additional hours 5 - “took a dive” 6 - “he’s in a fix” etc.)

Flannel: Mouse House (Great for introducing/reviewing/practicing colors & shapes -- I pause as I take out each flannel piece (in bold below) to ask the kids to identify its color and shape)
MOUSE HOUSE (source unknown)
Mollie Mouse lived in the big house of the Swathmore family. But she wanted her own cozy little house. She looked around the playroom of the Swathmore children for a cozy little house.
First she tried the toybox, but it was way too big.
Next she tried the jack-in-the-box, but it was much too crowded.

Then she tried the music box, but it was too loud.
Finally Mollie Mouse said, "I'll have to build a cozy little house all by myself.

So she went to the toy box and found a red square block.
(Place red square on flannel board)
"Perfect," she said, "but it still doesn't feel like home."
So she went back to the toy box and found a...
Blue rectangle block, (door)
Green half-circle block, (door mat)
Orange triangle block, (roof)
One yellow round cheese, (window)
Another yellow round cheese, (window)
And two pink balloons (chimneys).
"Perfect," she said, "now it finally feels like home. A cozy little mouse house."

Fingerplay: Quiet Mouse (optional prop: mouse finger puppet, encourage kids to use their finger - then repeat)

Once there lived a quiet mouse
(hold out fist with index finger extended)
In a quiet little house.
(insert index finger into other fist)
(whisper) When all was quiet as can be
Out Popped He!! (push finger out top of fist)

Book: Mouse Paint
- Ellen Stoll Walsh (explores primary & secondary colors, color mixing)

Flannel: Mouse Paint (tune: Three Blind Mice, lyrics Carol Simon Levin) - reinforces color mixing idea -- cut 3 Ellison die-cut flannel white mice, + 1 of blue, red, and yellow, 3 jars of paint, 3 puddles, and 3 mouse bottoms (green, purple, and orange) to place on the bottom half of each colored mouse to show what colors are mixed.)

Three white mice, three white mice.
Three jars of paint, three jars of paint.
One steps in the yellow, one steps in the red,
One steps in the blue, “Look!” they all said.
“Once we were white, Now we’re colored instead!”
No white mice. No white mice.

Three colored mice, three colored mice.
Three puddles of paint, three puddles of paint.
Red Mouse stirs the yellow, Blue Mouse stirs the red,
Yellow Mouse stirs the blue, She dances there too.
They dance and they mix -- What new colors are seen?
Orange, Purple, Green! Orange, Purple, Green!

Action: Little Mouse, Little Mouse Turn Around
Little Mouse, Little Mouse Turn Around
Little Mouse, Little Mouse Touch the Ground
Little Mouse, Little Mouse Wave Your Tail
Little Mouse, Little Mouse, Climb a Pail
Little Mouse, Little Mouse Eat Some Cheese
Little Mouse, Little Mouse Don’t forget to say “Please”
Little Mouse, Little Mouse Twitch your nose
Little Mouse, Little Mouse Touch your toes
Little Mouse, Little Mouse Scamper away
Little Mouse, Little Mouse The Cat is here to stay!

Book: Seven Blind Mice
– 398.2 Ed Young (traditional folktale, reinforces colors, days of the week, and is a guessing game)

Glove puppet: 5 Little Mice (tune: 5 Little Ducks, source unknown, can either use a cat puppet or teach kids the sign language sign: (Similar musical version on Liz Buchanan’s Once Upon a Tune (track #9), songs for learning signs on Music with Mar’s Singing and Signing Animals. I also use numeral cards and have kids hold up their fingers to emphasize numeracy.)

Five little mice came out to play
Gathering crumbs along the way
Out came the pussycat, big and fat
One little mouse goes scampering back.
Continue with Four, Three, Two, One... until there are no more mice. Optional codicil by Carol Simon Levin:
No more mice came out to play
Until that cat did go away
When that cat was truly gone
Five little mice came back along.

Book: The Little Mouse, Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear
– Don and Audrey Wood (We always chant the “big hungry bear” together in our big bear voices, sometimes I also teach the signs for “bear” (, “strawberry” ( and “mouse” (

Alternate Book: Who Sank the Boat? – Pamela Allen
Alternate Action Songs: The Farmer in the Dell (traditional: or The Mouse Ran Around the Room (Hi-Ho-the Derry Oh) cat, bear, kids – optional puppets)

DVD: Picnic
(Emily Arnold McCully, Weston Woods, Public Performance Rights – "I can’t give you all tickets to go to the Caribbean right now so great to fantasize about a summer’s day!" ) (Afterwards briefly talked about value of wordless narrative (ECRR2 “talking” -- kids articulating the story themselves, booktalked 2014 Caldecott Honors -- all wordless books.) Alternative: Reading Rainbow -- If you give a mouse a cookie.

Hand stamping music: Buckwheat Zydeco’s Bayou Boogie (track “The Mice ate my Rice”) -- kids got up and danced.

Display other books by Ellen Stoll Walsh and Emily Arnold McCully, folktale versions of “City Mouse, Country Mouse” plus additional “mice” titles.


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