Friday, September 12, 2014

School Age Storytime: School Daze–Fun Stories Celebrating a New School Year (K-3)

Book:  The Wrong Side of the Bed – Wallace E. Keller* (talked about what that expression means, delightful story in which a child literally gets up on the wrong side of the bed and goes through the day upside down!) also available as a Top 10 Storybook App (Kirkus Reviews):

Poem: "School Days Rap" from Lunch Money & Other Poems for School – Carol Diggory Shields
Book: Sarah's Story – Bill Harley (Sarah doesn’t think she knows any stories for school until she gets caught up in an adventure involving a Queen Ant in search of a honey sandwich!)

Book: Just Another Ordinary Day – Rod Clement (deadpan language about an ordinary day is very funny when paired with anything but ordinary illustrations)
Song: "By the Way" from Joe Scruggs album Deep in the Jungle lyrics below:
also available on Youtube; . Props: paper bag with “lemonade can”, “sardine can” (I used image from internet wrapped around a box), 6 cotton balls & 4 rubber bands.

Book: Minerva Louise at School – Janet Morgan Stoeke (younger) booktalked other Minerva Louise books; Toll Bridge Troll – Patricia Rae Wolff (older) --  text-to-text
connection to The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Interactive Book: One – Kathryn Otoshi  -- All the other colors are intimidated by “Red’” until the “One” arrives and shows how everyone can count. This is a deceptively simple concept book that is also a brilliantly empowering story on how students can help one another stand up to bullies.  

Songs: “Smelly Locker” and “Heavy Backpack” from the book Smelly Locker Silly Dilly School Songs by Alan Katz

Poem (if time): "Clock Watching"  from Lunch Money & Other Poems for School – Carol Diggory Shields
Lyrics to By the Way by Joe Scruggs

It’s Monday morning, I’m running late,
There’s not a minute to spare.
Mom calls out, “Come on, Let’s Go,”
As she finishes drying her hair.
Now I’m in my place,
With a smile on my face
Just thinking about my day.
Then I think of some things
I’m supposed to bring,
and that is when I say,
“Dear Mom,
oh, by the way (echo)
I need an orange juice can,
4 cotton balls, and 6 rubber bands
And by the way, (echo)
I’m an angel in the play.
I’m gonna sing & I need some wings” (echo)
Well I guess I’ve induced some stress.
Mom’s smile begins to fade.
As she runs to the kitchen
And digs through the trash
For the can from the lemonade.
Now I start to protest
But she’s doing her best
So then I try to make it right.
I say, “I need everything by eight-fifteen
But I don’t need the wings till tonight.
Oh, by the way (echo)
I need an orange juice can,
If its lemonade, will the teacher understand?
And by the way, (echo)
They’re having meatloaf today.
If you don’t mind a bunch (echo)
I’m going to need a lunch.” (echo)

Sometimes I just don’t believe
How resourceful moms can be.
She gets the cotton balls
And the rubber bands,
From her vanity.
I’ve got a lemonade can,
Not quite the right brand.
But mom says it will do!
Then we’re out of the door
At seven fifty-four,
I won’t be late for school.

Oh, by the way (echo)
Meatloaf is better than it seems.
For my lunch, (echo)
Mom packed a can of sardines.
And for the play, (echo)
It’s sister’s costume from ballet.
I’m gonna sing (echo)
In her butterfly wings (echo)
Bedm 9.14
Other possible books:
New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story – April Halprin Wayland (a wonderful book describing the tradition of tashlich --making apologies and tossing away the things that you did wrong the previous year so as to start the new year with a clean heart -- not a bad idea for all of us, no matter what time of year it is!)
Mouse Views – Bruce McMillan (close up views of classroom objects – great guessing game interactive book)
The Little School Bus – Carol Roth (rhyming -phonemes, action)
Late for School:
Frank! -- Connah Brecon (2014)
Sarah's Story -- Bill Harley
Planet Kindergarten -- Sue Ganz-Schmidt
Mrs. Spitzer's Garden -- Edith Pattou -- beautiful book emphasizing metaphor of young students/garden


Bedm 9.18:

Minerva Louise at School by Janet Morgan Stoeke  (Kdg classes)
The Wrong Side of the Bed by Wallace E. Keller (literal interpretation of that figure of speech)
Gravity by Jason Chin (discussion of the principle of gravity, note that the book appears in the book)

One Green Apple by Eve Bunting (a new immigrant girl joins her class for a field trip to pick apples and finds even though she is different and speaks no English, she will be able to make friends)
One by Kathryn Otashi
Just Another Ordinary Day by Rod Clement (great book for modeling interplay between words & pictures -- unusual illustrations show that this is anything but an ordinary day!)
Some classes:

Songs: ”Heavy Backpack” & “I am in the Lunchroom” from Smelly Locker silly dilly school songs by Alan Katz
Prop Story: Flannel: "School Stuff" on  p.206 of A Storytime Year -- Susan Dailey (silly guessing game – phonics & letter knowledge)
Prop Song: “Oh By the Way” (details above)
Poems “Eight-Oh-Three” “School Daze Rap” and “Clock Watching” from Lunch Money by Carol Diggory Sheilds.

Kdg only: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Mary Had a Little Lamb (illustrated by Bruce McMillan)

New books: : 

The Magical Yet” by Angela DiTerlizzi This rhyming and inspiring book is beautifully illustrated and engaging for young readers. The story encourages children to practice persistence as they learn new skills alongside their new best friend – the Yet! We all experience failures or difficulties, but this book reminds us that anything is possible, we just haven’t learned everything yet.

 The Name Jar” by Yangsook Choi How do you find the courage to be yourself? In this story, Unhei is concerned about fitting in at her new school when classmates struggle to pronounce her name correctly, so she contemplates choosing a different name from a jar of class suggestions. However, a new friend helps her to be proud of her name and the significance that it holds within her Korean culture. This book is a great reminder to embrace diversity and expand your friendships.

 The School of Failure: A Story about Success” by Rosie J. Pova In this charming book, three not-so-familiar characters attend the School of Failure after being rejected from their classic fairytales. Through patience and perseverance, they learn that mistakes are what help us grow! With bright illustrations and a sweet message, this story reminds kids that happy endings are often found at the end of bumpy, messy roads.

 The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be” by Joanna Gaines This New York Times bestseller celebrates the beauty of creativity, acceptance and uniqueness. As children build their own hot-air balloons, we discover how different ways of working and varying tastes come together to create something wonderful, teaching kids to value diversity by embracing the things that make us each different. The world benefits from each of us being true to who we were meant to be.

 Be Kind” by Pat Zietlow Miller What does kindness mean to you? Explore this important question when you share this New York Times bestseller with your child. The story suggests many situations in which a child can choose to be a good friend, to be helpful or to make a classmate feel included. Throughout the book, we learn that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life!

 The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson Stepping into a new classroom when you feel like an outsider can be nerve-wracking. However, reaching out to others may show us that we are all more alike than we realize at a glance – and that our differences are what make each of us special. This heartwarming story of building connections between classmates shows us that new friendships can be made with just a little bit of courage!


  1. Fall 2019 look for: The Pigeon Goes to School -- Mo Willems, If I Built a School -- Chris Van Dusen, Butterflies on the First Day of School -- Annie Silvestro, Even Monsters Go to School -- Lisa Wheeler, Hannah Sparkles -- Robin Mellom

  2. Sept 2019 Bedminster School:
    Minerva Louise at School - Janet Morgan Stoeke (Kdg only)
    Flannel: "School Stuff" (Kdg only)
    The Pigeon Has to Go to School - Mo Willems (omitted for most groups since I found that most classes had already seen it)
    The Wrong Side of the Bed -- Wallace Keller (talked about the meaning of the expression and read the author's note!)
    Poems "Eight-Oh-Three" and/or "School Days Rap" from Lunch Money and Other Poems About School by Carol Diggory Shields
    Just Another Ordinary Day -- Rod Clement
    Song/Props: "Oh By the Way" (lyrics above)
    If I Built A School by Chris Van Dusen (new book in his series of a kid with an extraordinary design imagination -- we talked briefly about architects & engineers)
    Songs "Smelly Locker" and/or "Heavy Backpack" from the book Smelly Locker: Silly Dilly School Songs by Alan Katz
    finished with EarthDance by Joanne Ryder and a mention of the students around the world who were marching for climate action today.
    Some classes: "Clock Watching" from Lunch Money (who's the narrator?!)
    (No time for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Mary Had a Little Lamb, or One.)
    (Found Butterflies on the First Day of School -- Annie Silvestro, Even Monsters Go to School -- Lisa Wheeler, Hannah Sparkles -- Robin Mellom addressing pre-school jitters so didn't use)


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