Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Got a Story in my Pocket!

We have a wonderful, colorful storytelling apron covered with pockets. Here is a picture of Karla modeling the apron. Isn't she cute? Darn! I wish I could take a picture that wasn't blurry!

The apron has a label that says "Patchwork Puppet Place, Des Moines, Iowa." I recently found out that the apron was made by Carol Taylor of Des Moines, Iowa, and here is her website for Patchwork Puppets.

I've used the apron for a variety of storytimes, sometimes asking the kids to pick a pocket - whatever object is in the pocket I'll read a story about it:  A pebble? Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. A feather? Feathers for Lunch. You get the idea.
     But this storytime is actually about pockets.

I'll put the action rhymes and songs up front, 'cause I know when I'm looking for inspiration, that's what I want to find. A list of suggested books follows.

Action Songs, Stretches and Rhymes

Five Fingers in My Pocket
This is one of my favorite new songs. After the storytime the kids leave the library still singing this song. I found it in a video of "Music with Mar"  and it's also available as a download or CD. 
Anyway, it's fun, fun, fun, and I highly recommend Music with Mar. She sang this song with great animation and energy. If the kids don't have pockets, have them hide their hands behind their backs. 

I've got 5 fingers in my pocket!       (hold up 5 fingers and slip hand into pocket)
Five fingers hidden away!
Five fingers in my pocket, 
Look!                                           (pull hand out with just 4 fingers showing)
Awwww. One went away.                     (look shocked, then sad)

Start song over with "4 fingers."
Continue until you have "No fingers."
The children will anticipate each new verse with giggles and delight.
Put your "no fingers" hand into your pocket and sing to last line, 
then pull out 5 fingers again! Surprise!

Sing final verse about 5 fingers, changing last line to:
Five fingers here to stay! 

Ring Around the Rosie

Ring around the rosie
Pocket full of posies
Ashes, ashes
We all fall down!

The only other pocket song or rhyme I could find was the old Girl Scout/Brownie Song, which wasn't exactly a big hit with 3 year olds. 
I Have Something in My Pocket

I have something in my pocket 
that belongs upon my face;
I keep it very close to me 
in a most convenient place.
I'll bet you never guess it
if you guess a long, long while,
so I'll take it out and put it on,
it's a great big happy smile! 

If you know of other pocket songs or rhymes, please let me know!


The Pocket Dogs / Margaret Wild
This sweet story is about a man with two tiny pocket-sized dogs. He carries them in his pockets wherever he goes. One day, one of the little dogs falls out through a hole in the pocket and gets lost in a grocery store.
The kids really liked this story, I think they identified with the poor lost little dog, The story has a happy ending too.

A Pocket for Corduroy / Don Freeman
This classic story from 1978 is still a great choice for storytime. Most kids have a stuffed toy or two that they love and talk to, and I always loved imaging that my toys had lives of their own when no one was watching. We had to do a little vocabulary, as my group of mostly small town and farm kids had never been to a laundromat, and we needed to learn what a beret is as well.

A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes / Elizabeth Garton Scanlon
This is a really clever and fun book, BUT it didn't work for storytime. I think it's important to include my mistakes as well as my successes. There are teacher websites that use this book as part of a  language arts lesson plan with early elementary kids, and I can see how it would be great for that. But with a group of three and four year olds? Not so much. It may be a developmental issue, or maybe it would work fine as a lap book with one or two kids.

There's a Hole in my Pocket : based on a traditional American Song  / adaped by Akimi Gibson
I added this little book to the end of the storytime, and sang the text, using the old folk tune. Not sure the kids really got the joke, but oh well. I think it's important for kids to learn traditional folk tales and folk songs, it's part of their cultural heritage. I remember as a kid loving to sing this song. I must have driven my mother crazy.

Batty for Books! Halloween Storytime

“Batty for Books!”

Bats at the Library / Brian Lies
Big Pumpkin / Erica Silverman
Halloween Night / Arden Druce
A Creepy Countdown / Charlotte Huck

Chant: Halloween Night Sounds
   Adapted from Sleeping Bag Chant by Linnea Good
        On H.U.M. All Year Long, CD / Carole Peterson     (Awesome CD!!!!)

H.U.M. All Year Long is our new favorite go-to CD for storytimes. Every song is a winner. For this storytime, I tweaked some of the lyrics of the Sleeping Bag Chant to give it a Halloween flavor and then chanted it myself (without the CD) At other storytimes we have just played the song on the CD and sung along with it.

Song: Black Bat Farm /  Carole Peterson: “H.U.M. All Year Long” CD
Song: Looking for Dracula / Charlotte Diamond: “10 Carrot Diamond” CD
Another one of my favorite CDs - I just play the CD and we sing and ham it up!
I try to make time to include some factual information in many of my storytimes, and this one is especially important as bats are so valuable and so endangered, and so many people are freaked out by them!
I set up several nonfiction bat books for kids to look at and check out, and displayed some photos of bats and related some info about bats that was appropriate for very young learners. 
  • The bats in Iowa are tiny and fragile, and they eat tons of mosquitoes, so we don't want to hurt them. If a bat gets inside your house, please don't hit it with a tennis racket. Open a window or door and gently encourage it toward the exit. If two or more people are at home, try holding up a bed sheet to block the bat's flight  and guide it to the window or door. Some people have luck waiting till the bat is resting on a wall, then trapping it under a coffee can and gently slide a piece of thin pasteboard (like cereal box board) under the can. Then the bat can be safely transported to the out of doors. 
  • Bats are very clean. They groom themselves like cats. 
  • Bats have only 1 baby a year. They do not have litters of babies like mice or cats. Because they have just 1 baby, it would be very easy for them to be wiped out by disease or habitat loss. 
  •  Bats will not get tangled in your hair. Bats almost never bite people!