Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Exploring "Draw and Tell"

When I first started participating in Flannel Friday, I had no idea that "Draw and Tell" stories would be my most popular posts. "The Night Walk," the first one I posted, is the most popular with over 4,000 views. Overall, the draw and tell stories are the most popular posts on this blog with over 10,000 views. (Cut and tell stories are a distant second with around 3,700 views.)

More people are interested in draw and tell stories than I realized. This was a surprise to me since I didn't think they were used much in storytime any more. They seem old fashioned in these tech obsessed times. Old they are. People have probably been drawing in dirt or wet sand as long as there have been stories to tell. It is this connection to our past that appeals to me. I also love the idea of creating a picture as I tell the story. Children love it because not only do they see the picture being created but they also like to guess what it will be. Some clever folk have adapted this format using technology. A tablet can be a drawing pad and images can be projected. I still prefer a pad of newsprint and a Sharpie but then markers were new technology when I was a kid.

Because of the interest in draw and tell stories, I am going to explore this format in future blog posts. I have gathered some of the resources I have used over the years as well as some that are new to me and will talk about them. I will also post some tips and techniques as well as talk a bit about how I came up with my own stories. I hope that these posts will encourage people to try this form of storytelling.

Now that I am retired, I do some volunteer reading to kindergarteners at a local elementary school. The Wednesday before Halloween I did "The Halloween Hike" for two of the children. For various reasons we did not meet for almost a month. When we met again, the first thing one child asked was for another drawing story. I think I'll be doing more of them and maybe by the end of the school year I'll teach the children how to do one themselves.




Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 14, 2014 Flannel Friday

Welcome to the November 14 Flannel Friday Round-Up!



This week's submissions include several classics along with a large helping of cute.

Nikki of heytherelibrary is dealing with "Thanksgiving Overload" by using "Stone Soup" and "Turkey Wore His Red Feathers." The large, colorful vegetables for "Stone Soup: will be a hit any time of the year.

Kathryn of Fun with Friends at Storytime did a "Nocturnal Animals" storytime. Her five little owls are not only colorful but have very expressive eyes giving each one a distinct personality. So cute.

Katie of Story Time Secrets has a "What's On Your Plate?" flannel that can be used in different ways with different ages. Although the food theme goes well with Thanksgiving, it can be used at any time of the year.

Maggie of Playing the Hits presents her version of "Little Mouse." She talks about expanding vocabulary by using unusual colors and even patterns.

Jess of From the Liberry of ... shows us her version of "This Is the House That Jack Built." She features another method of making figures for the felt board. I like how when she couldn't find what she wanted, she created it herself.

Tara of Storytime with Miss Tara and Friends celebrates the season with a "Pumpkin" storytime for all ages. Her prop for the song, "Pumpkin Vine," is fantastic. So is her "Magic Autumn Cauldron" activity.

Kristen of Library Village shows us how she made finger puppets for "Two Little Blackbirds." Definitely cute!

Jane of Piper Loves the Library celebrates birthdays with cupcakes including candles and flames. I like how she combines felt and paper - mixed media for Flannel Friday folk. Also, congratulations to Jane for being ALSC member of the month!



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Transitions

So far my transition into retirement has gone quite well. I definitely enjoy not having to work at night especially since the time change.

My storytime skills are transferring to my volunteer work with adjustments. I am part of a group of seniors who read to Kindergartners. We each read to two children. My biggest adjustment is keeping my voice down since I am not the only one reading aloud in the room. I enjoy the fact that the children are very engaged with the books. Monday we read Moo! by David LaRochelle. We went through it three times. We also read That Is NOT a Good Idea! by Mo Willems. I must admit that I was not particularly impressed by this book when I first read it. However, it comes alive when read aloud. The boys immediately joined in with the "chorus" and I got to do different voices.


Although the boys were completely engaged when we were reading the books, they got restless when we were not reading. I miss my storytime transitions! I would have loved to have done a draw and tell or flannel board story. I was not the only one with restless kids. I think I will borrow some of my storytime activities. I am going to make some Thanksgiving themed memory cards and bring them next week. Being a children's librarian has taught me to be flexible and to try new things as I transition into being an experienced senior volunteer. 



Friday, October 3, 2014

The Halloween Hike


Inspired by Flannel Friday's annual Halloween Round Up, I wrote another Halloween draw and tell story. This is my third one!

 
The Halloween Hike
Linda Meuse
Notes from the Story Room
 
Joe loved to hike and explore. So did his big sister, Meg. One sunny Halloween morning they decided to explore a nearby park.  "A nice long hike will help pass the time until we can go trick-or-treating," said Joe. "We should have plenty of time to explore before then," answered Meg.
 
When they got to the park, the first thing they did was walk around a crystal clear lake. (Draw 1) On the other side they came to a high hill. They decided to climb up the hill.  (Draw 2) The hill turned out to be much higher than they expected and it took a long time to get to the top. (Draw 3) Fortunately Meg and Joe had packed lunch and water in their backpacks. They had a nice lunch on top of the hill. Then they went down the other side of the hill. (Draw 4) It was much easier going down than up! There were lots of trees on this side of the hill. (Draw 5) They came across a pond with plants floating in it. (Draw 6) There was also a log in the middle of the pond. (Draw 7) They watched a dragonfly skim across the pond. (Draw 8) Joe and Meg walked around the pond. (Draw 9) There were lots of trees on the other side of the pond as well. (Draw 10)
 
"I feel like I am being watched," said Joe. "Me, too" said Meg. "Let's hurry home. We don't want to be late for the trick-or-treating tonight." Meg and Joe quickly left the park. Who was watching them on their Halloween hike?
 

 
 
This week's Flannel Friday is hosted by Sue of Library Village. Be sure to visit Flannel Friday for more storytime inspiration!
 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Family Storytime Presentation

This is my presentation as part of a panel, "Storytime Shake-Up," for the 2014 New Jersey Youth Services Forum held on October 1, 2014. A copy will also be available on the New Jersey State Library's Youth Services site.

FAMILY STORYTIME - 5 QUICK TIPS
Linda Meuse
1.  Engage all ages
     Humorous stories and folktales have a wide appeal.
     Book illustrations should be clear and colorful to keep the interest of the little ones.
     Pop-up books and lift-the-flap books will appeal to all ages.
     Don't forget the grown-ups! Draw them in with humor.
2.  Mix it up
      Use different types of storytelling.
      There are many options:
          draw and tell stories
          paper cutting stories
          flannel board stories
          prop stories
          puppet stories
       Keep props simple. Spend time on those that will be used frequently.
       Flannel Friday's Pinterest Pages provides a wealth of storytelling ideas.
3. Make them guess
     Guessing games appeal to all ages - patterns, hidden object, memory, what am I?
     The level of difficulty can be adjusted for various ages.
     Stories and books that involve guessing appeal to all ages.
4. Be flexible
     Have a variety of books suitable for both preschool children and toddlers.
     Ages will vary from program to program.
     Drop or add stories depending on the dynamics of the group.
     Finger puppets work well when the group is young.
     Using visuals when telling a story helps young children to focus.
     Sing songs or play games when the group gets restless.
     Don't worry if you lose little ones while doing a story for older children.
          Follow the longer story with something for the little ones.
          Often the little ones like to emulate the older children and will listen.
5. Make it yours
     Sing if you like to sing.
     Do a craft if you like crafts.
     Pick stories that you enjoy, not because they fit a theme.
     You will learn what works with your group over time.
     Tweak your program to fit your group using formats that work for you.
     Allow for family and sibling dynamics but control the chaos.

Examples of my family storytime programs and of the storytelling materials that I used can be found on this blog. If you have questions please leave a comment. I will reply to your comment. You can also contact me via Twitter - @LMeuse.
      



Friday, September 12, 2014

Autumn Leaf

Several years ago I did a program about different methods of storytelling. Being basically lazy, I didn't bother asking for permission to use material but instead wrote my own examples.  Recently I found the handout for this presentation. I posted the draw and tell example for Flannel Friday's "Shark Week." The following cut and tell example was written for the first presentation which was in October.

Glue two pieces of paper together and then fold lengthwise. The inside piece should be yellow, red, or  orange and the outside piece should be green. I have used both construction paper and colored copy paper. I usually trim the inside paper to make it slightly smaller than the green paper so that the color doesn't show when folded. Fold and then trace the pattern onto the outside paper. Remember to always keep the pattern side facing you so your audience can't see it. Sometimes I will write the rhyme next to the traced pattern so I don't have to memorize it. If it is a story, I just write some key words to help me remember. Always do this on the part that is cut away.


Autumn Leaf: Cut and Tell
By Linda Meuse
Notes from the Story Room

I start out green,
Often fragile and small.
(Cut from 1 to 2)

I grow through two seasons
On something tall.
(Cut from 2 to 3)

But there are changes
When the nights turn cool,
(Cut from 3 to 4)

That happen to me
When children return to school.
(Cut from 4 to 5)

I am a ....... (leaf)
On a growing tree.
(Open to show a green leaf)

Watch me turn color
One, two, three!
(Turn it to the other side to show the autumn leaf)

Inside paper glued to green paper
 
Pattern
 
Trace pattern onto green paper
 
Cut leaf & show green side
 
On last line turn to other side
 
 
The photo of the pattern can be found here.
 


This week's Flannel Friday Round-Up is hosted by Kelly of Ms. Kelly at the Library.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Kevin's Favorite Animal

Note: This is the first draw and tell story that I wrote. I think I wrote it in 2001. I didn't write another one until 2012. I managed to find this in a box of storytelling material in my basement. The reason I decided to dig it up was that it goes with this week's Flannel Friday theme. Children will guess the animal quickly so I suggest telling them to wait until the end of the story so everyone can shout it out together.

"Kevin's Favorite Animal"
by Linda Meuse
Notes from the Story Room
 
Kevin likes to do many different things. He likes to play in his room. (Draw 1) He has bookcases in his room with books about his favorite animal (Draw 2) He sits in a comfy chair in his room to read the books about his favorite animal. (Draw 3) Sometimes he builds towers with blocks in his room (Draw 4) Sometimes he plays with his sister in her room. (Draw 5) Sometimes he plays with his brother in his room. (Draw 6) Sometimes he plays with his brother and sister in their backyard. (Draw 7) However, Kevin's favorite thing to do is to go to the aquarium to see his favorite animal. (Draw 8)
 
What is Kevin's favorite animal? SHARK!!
 

 

This week's Flannel Friday celebrates Shark Week and is hosted by Sharon of Rain Makes Applesauce.