Sunday, February 22, 2015

Storytime Shake Up -- Jazzing Up Storytime Programs

Storytime Shake Up -- Jazzing Up Storytime Programs
Extended Version of the Youth Services Forum Program


Presented by Carol Simon Levin, Youth Services Librarian, Somerset County Library.

I have been doing storytimes for 20+ years and love to "jazz them up." Most of the plans for programs I've done in the last couple of years are posted here on my blog: You can also search the blog for any of the items listed below to find their use in context.  Email me if you want me to share any patterns.

Today, will be:

*sharing favorite flannelboards,

* participatory story-sharing/theater (e.g. showing how we act out Halloween stories, The Three Little Pigs in my Houses & Homes storytime, Green Eggs & Ham for Dr. Seuss Day, a Hopi Rainstick story for our Rain storytime),

* piggyback songs to reinforce activity sequencing (e.g."This is the way" for the steps in baking after we read The Little Red Hen),

*using sign language songs (we call it "dancing with our hands" - Pick Me Up: Fun Songs for Learning Signs is a great resource),

*action songs and surprises (e.g. indoor "snowball fight"),

*and a variety of other things I do regularly to jazz up the traditional book- flannel-song/fingerplay rhythm of storytime.


Fall favorites -- interactive Halloween stories & songs, a turkey towel-folding story for Thanksgiving...

· "Brand New Day" (sign language song) from Pick Me Up: Fun Songs for Learning Signs 

· One by Kathryn Otashi bullying/concept book

· Monkey Face by Frank Asch -- flannel

· "Look There Daddy Do You See?" -- flannel song, make up verses

· "School Stuff" from A Storytime Year by Susan Dailey-- flannel

· Moonkey by Mike Thayer -- flannel

· "Aikendrum" by Raffi -- flannel song

· Little Red House with No Doors...-- flannel/hanging signs

· Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman = Great Big Enormous Turnip -- flannel/participatory story-acting

· Rotten Pumpkin by David M. Schwartz -- non-fiction potential reader's theater!

· The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams -- flannel/participatory story-acting

· One Dark Night by Edna Mitchell Preston - flannel/participatory story-acting

· "Old McDonald Had a Haunted House" -- piggyback song clip art flannel

· Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

· It's Monster Day by Linda Arnold -- pinking sheers flannel

· I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson -- prop

· "Ten Friends - Diez Amigos" -- glove puppets

· Towel folding story: The Case of the Missing Thanksgiving Turkey -- Rhonda Turley  

· "The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven" words: Jack Prelutsky, chorus: Cathy Darby – song


Winter favorites -- snowball fights, stone soup, counting cookies…

· Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathon London -- participatory story-acting

· The Mitten by Jan Brett -- participatory story-acting, prop

· Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson

· "In the Freezer" by Joe Scruggs -- flannel/song

· Snowball Fight -- plastic bag snowballs Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride

· Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Tabeck

· "Hi, My Name is Joe and I Work in a Button Factory" -- action (Also good to pair with Herve Tullet's Press Here)

· The Little Red Hen -- various versions

· "This is the Way" -- piggyback songs

· The Cake That Mack Ate by Rose Robart-- flannel

· The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins -- flannel math concepts

· The Gingerbread Man -- flannel/masks

· "Helping" from Free to Be You and Me -- flannel

· The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) by Philemon Sturges

· "I Am a Pizza" by Linda Arnold -- flannel

· "On Top of Spaghetti" -- flannel

· Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert,

· "This is the Way We Make the Soup" -- piggyback song "Mulberry Bush"

· Mean Soup by Betsy Everitt

· "If You're Happy and You Know it...sad, angry, loving"... piggyback song

· Doing the Chocolate Shake -- action

· Stone Soup -- puppets & props, participatory storytelling

· Alphabet Soup by Tom Chapin -- flannel

· Monkey Soup by Louis Sachar

· Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak, tune from Really Rosie -- enlarged pages

· "Popcorn" by Linda Arnold -- action song



Spring Favorites-- interactive Earth Dance, Three Little Pigs, Napping House, Hopi Rainstick…

· Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss -- participatory story-acting

· "On My Head I Wear a Hat" -- Cat in the Hat hat, song Seussapalooza

· "Deep in the Jungle" by Joe Scruggs -- puppet/flannel song

· "Alligator Pie" by Dennis Lee -- make up your own verses

· "I'm Being Swallowed by a Big Alligator" -- action song

· "There's a Dinosaur Knocking at My Door" by Linda Arnold -- puppet song

· "Down by the Bay" by Raffi -- flannel song

· "And the Green Grass Grew All Around" -- flannel song

· Earth Dance by Joanne Ryder -- participatory story-acting

· Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson -- participatory story-acting

· All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon -- simple but very profound

· Rainstorminteractive action chant

· The Frog: Hopi Rainstick Story -- rainstick, puppets

· "Walk the World Now Children" by Tom Chapin -- sign language song

· A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson -- great to act out this story with a large box or card table

· Mouse House -- flannel shapes

· The Three Little Pigs -- participatory storytelling

· "Cluck Cluck Red Hen" by Raffi -- flannel/puppet song

· The Napping House by Audrey Wood -- prop story

These and many more ideas are posted on my blog:
Historical impersonation programs for adults & children are at:

Questions?  Patterns? Please feel free to contact me at:
cslevin59 (at) gmail (dot) com
or call 908 526-4016 x126.


Carol Simon Levin presents Interactive Stories & Songs for all Reasons & Seasons!

clip_image002Halloween Hootenanny * Dinosaur Roar * Bundle Up * Houses & Homes * Holiday Happenings * Seussapalooza * Earth Day * Animal Antics * Summer Fun * Folk Tale Frolics


A Sampling of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Programs:





A library is a feast to which we are all invited. -- Katherine Paterson

A library is a place full of mouth-watering food for thought. -- Diana Wynne-Jones

If you don't like to read, there are books out there that you will love...and this is why librarians were invented. -- Linda Sue Park

presented to Union County Children's Librarians, 2/20/15

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