Thursday, December 11, 2014

Blast Off With Books! Stars Storytime

Our storytime theme this year, 2014-15, is "Blast Off with Books!" I will be posting a variety of sky and space related storytimes. This week it is "Stars."


Tinker and Tom and the Star Baby / David McPhail
 I added a few storytelling devices to this book. whenever the rocket flies, I wave a small rocket attached to a wand:

When the text says, "they thought they heard a small voice crying," I ask the kids to cry softly like babies. When the text says, "Tom hugged the baby,"  I ask the kids to give themselves a bear hug. When the text says the "rocket began to hum,"  I ask the kids to hum until the rocket takes off.

There Was a Bold Lady Who Wanted a Star / Cherise Mericle Harper

This story is based on the song, "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly."  If you want to you can sing the text. Older kids, ages 4 or 5, will pick up the pattern and begin to sing or say the text with you. Three year olds need to be encouraged to join in.

At the end of each verse I hold a star high in the air (the star is "too far"). At the end of the story I put the star in my pocket, then transfer it to a jar, just like the Bold Lady. This star is made with craft tissue and contact paper, is not very big, and is flexible enough to slip into a pocket or jar. I made this one at a storytime a few years ago, so I already had it, but they are easy enough to just make out of paper.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star / Iza Trapani
 I like to sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star before we read this book. We sing it 3 times: the first time the regular way with hand motions, the second time we hum the tune and use the hand motions, the third time we just use the hand motions without any tune or words. It's fun to see the kids thinking the lyrics as they use their hands.

Another way you could sing it is to sing it once the regular way, then once with HUGE motions and a GREAT BIG VOICE - just alter the words to Twinkle, twinkle, GREAT BIG STAR. Then sing it a third time with a teensy weensy voice and tiny finger tip motions, change the words to Twinkle, twinkle, tiny star. The kids LOVE this and think it's HILARIOUS!!!

  Stars / Mary Lynn Ray and Marla Frazee

The first three books, Tinker & Tom, Bold Lady, and Twinkle Twinkle all have properties in common, which I only noticed after reading them several times. In addition to stars, they all feature or mention rockets. Tinker & Tom and Twinkle both start out the same way, with a picture of the house and the characters looking out the window; and they both feature dubious cats in the story.  The fourth book, Stars,  I used when one of the other books had been mislaid and I couldn't find it. It worked really well for a group of 4 and 5 year olds, it's all about imagination and wishing and feelings. It is probably too abstract and too wordy for younger children.

Stretches, Action Rhymes and Songs

Tickle the Moon Stretch
Tickle the moon
Tickle your toes
Tickle the stars
Tickle your nose
Tickle your knees
Tickle the floor
Then sit down quietly
and we'll read some more

I don't remember the origin of this rhyme. I may have made it up, or adapted it from another rhyme. I've used it for many years. 

Bend and Stretch
Bend and stretch, reach for the stars
There goes Jupiter
Here comes Mars                                      
Bend and stretch
reach for the sky 
Stand on tippy toe, oh so high!

This is a traditional rhyme you can find online or many action rhyme books. I like to use large motions, for example, I bend down and touch the floor on one side of my feet after the first line, and then swing my arms in an arc over my head and down to the other side where my fingers touch the floor - that's "Jupiter." Then I swing up again and to the other side for "Mars."

Felt Board: Stars Shine

I found this gem here at Nancy's Music.
It is my new favorite song, action rhyme, felt board, and I use it every chance I get!
For my regular storytimes at the library or at Head Start and other preschools, I use the secular version. For the Christian preschool I use the Christmas tree version. 

Stars shine brightly through the trees
Tell me what color star you see
Yellow star shine, Yellow star shine
Twinkle and shine all through the night.

I hide the stars behind the felt board and bring them out one at a time. At the end of the song I put all the stars out and we count them. This picture shows the stars with the Christmas tree version.

Happy Stargazing!