Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Evening Family Story Time #3

Family Story Time - Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.  Attendance: 14 (8 children, 6 adults)


Book:  Brother Wolf: a Seneca Tale by Harriet Peck Taylor

Board Stories:  "Baby Rattlesnake" from Travel the Globe: Multicultural Story Times by Desiree Webber
                        "Why We Need the Wind" based on "Gluscabi and the Wind Eagle" found in Native American Stories Told by Joseph Burchac

Prop Story:  "Turtle Talks Too Much"  based on "How Turtle Flew South for the Winter" in Native American Stories told by Joseph Bruchac

Stick Puppets:  "Crow's Great Gift" based on "Rainbow Crow" in The Grandfathers Speak: Native American Folk Tales of the Lenape People

Game:  Animal Pattern Memory

Craft:  Bowl Game

Notes - Again there was a wide age range of children attending this program.  The youngest was not even 2 and the oldest was around 11.  The stories were too old for the little one but she did seem to enjoy "Baby Rattlesnake."  The adults really seemed to enjoy the stories this time around.  I selected Native American stories.  Although I have told some Native American stories over the years, I have never done an entire program of Native American tales.  This also gave me an opportunity to tell one of my favorite board stories, "Baby Rattlesnake."  It's a favorite because I get to whine and cry and make rattlesnake noises. The craft was also a big hit.  I used a simple version of a bowl game found on the internet.  We used dried lima beans rather than nuts.  We also did not bother with the contact paper but glued designs directly onto the bowl.  It was fun hearing all the beans bouncing in the bowls at the same time as both children and adults tried to get five of the colored sides of the beans to show.  I gave markers to the older children and crayons to the younger ones.  The markers tended to smear but the crayons worked fine.  Everyone got pre-cut clip art to decorate their bowl.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Playing with Patterns

While catching up on my backlog of PUBYAC digests, I came across a reference to some Native American games.  One of the games mentioned was "Pebble Patterns."  Similar to "Memory" this game requires players to remember and then recreate a pattern made from pebbles.  This inspired me to make a similar game for my upcoming family story time. 

Using Microsoft Publisher, I made a circle (3 1/2 inches in diameter) and copied it 9 times so that I had two pages with 5 circles on each.  I then inserted clip art from Publisher into each circle.  After printing them, I outlined each circle in black to make it stand out against the white board that I use.

I use a magnet board so I will paste the circles on sturdier paper, cut them out and add magnets.  (Felt, interfacing or Velcro could be used for flannel boards.) 

I will place the circles on the board in a simple pattern then remove them.  I will probably start with three or four in a straight line.  I will add circles until they remember all 10.  Then I will arrange the circles in different patterns to see if the children can remember which circle goes where.  Since I will need to remember them, I plan to write down the patterns I will be using and have that information nearby.

What I like about this concept is that it can be simple or complex.  The circles can contain any image or pattern you want to use.  They can even be simply colored circles so that it can be played with young children.  One could make three of each color and then make color patterns (e.g. one red, two blue, two red, one blue).  Older children could even make their own sets of circles to play the game. 

Katie is hosting this week's Flannel Friday on her blog Story Time Secrets.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why We Need the Wind

This story for the flannel/magnet board is an adaptation of the story "Gluscabi and the Wind Eagle" found in Native American Stories Told by Joseph Bruchac.  I have simplified the original so that only a few pieces are needed to tell the story.  It can be found as a Google document here.

Pieces awaiting lamination:

Once the pieces are cut out I will "push" the canoe back and forth on the magnet board to illustrate Gluscabi's trouble with the wind.  Once Gluscabi reaches the top of the mountain I will use the eagle flapping his wings to make the wind.  Once Gluscabi starts to talk to the eagle I will use the standing eagle figure for the rest of the story.  Next to the standing eagle in the photo above is the carrying strap that Gluscabi makes to capture the eagle.  It will be placed across the eagle.  When Gluscabi returns to the lake, I will place the canoe back on the board.  When he returns to the mountain, I will place the standing eagle back on the board.

I enjoy using pourquoi tales in my family story time programs.  They often feature animals and animal stories are always popular with my audience.

This week's Flannel Friday Round-Up is hosted by Cate's Storytiming blog.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Class Visit

Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 9:30 a.m., Grades K to 2, Attendance - 14 children, 9 adults.
Storytime for deaf children with ASL interpreters.

Board Stories:  "Pot Luck" (see post for 7/28/11)
                       "The Silly Wishes" from Teeny Tiny Folktales by Jean Warren

Prop Story:   "The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle" (see post for 9/30/11).

Draw & Tell Story:  "The Castaways" from Frog's Riddle & Other Draw-and-Tell Stories by Richard Thompson.

Paper Cutting Story:  "The Royal Paper Puzzle" from Handmade Tales by Diane de Las Casas

Books:  Shark in the Park! by Nick Sharratt
             The Little Green Turtle by A.J. Wood (Pop-up book)

Craft:  Turtle paper bag puppet - pattern from Alphabet Puppets plus More! by Karen Sevaly

Storytime Fun Despite a Marker Malfunction

Today a group of deaf children came for a class visit.  I managed to remember to slow down for the ASL interpreters but forgot to tell one of the stories I had planned.  Everything else went smoothly until it came time for me to do the draw-and-tell story.  I had tested the marker beforehand to make sure it worked but somehow the marker part disappeared into the plastic holder part when I started to use it.  I excused myself and ran to the children's room desk and grabbed the biggest marker I could find from the drawer and ran back to tell the story.  It never ceases to amaze me what can happen during storytime.  I've been doing this for twenty years and this was a first.  Fortunately after 20 years I don't get easily rattled any more.

The children were great, the teachers were great and everyone had a good time probably because I selected mostly silly stories.  The two books that I used were selected for their visual appeal.   Other than being careful about my book selections and working with the ASL interpreter, this storytime was not any different than one I would do for any class visit.  I like to use a variety of storytelling formats that have visual appeal (see my previous post).  It helps to keep the group's attention if they are wondering what you are going to do next.

The children made turtle paper bag puppets after the storytime.  I like to do a simple craft if possible because then the children have something to take with them. 

The teachers had me stand with the children for a group photo after the program.  The highlight of the day was when the little girl standing next to me slipped her hand into mine as the picture was taken.  Moments like that are what make my job so rewarding.  Seeing a group of children signing shark as I read them Shark in the Park! is what makes my job so much fun.

I'll post the stories I used later today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Visual Storytelling

Over the years my storytelling style has evolved.  I still use most of the same elements as I did twenty years ago but now these elements are no longer "filler" between picture book readings but have become an essential part of the storytime.  One reason is that I am more confident telling a story than I was when I first started as a children's librarian and the other reason is that I really enjoy the various forms of storytelling that I use - draw and tell stories, board stories, paper cutting stories, and stories using props and stick puppets.  They all have visual elements for the listener to look at while I tell the story.  I am reluctant to move into straight storytelling because I enjoy using these elements when I tell stories.  I guess it is part of my storytelling style.

I am preparing for a class visit next week.  All of the children are deaf and some have other disabilities as well.  The group had stopped by our library during a field trip last year when one of their destinations canceled on them.  They had called ahead and I was available to do a storytime for them.  It turned out that my "visual" style of storytelling worked well for the children and they called this year asking to come back just for a storytime.  I was surprised and happy to find out that my visual style was a good format for this group.  I had been concerned that it would have been too distracting since the children had to watch the interpreter as well.  I will be using many of the new stories that I had worked on over the summer and used for my family storytimes.  I am going to have to try to slow myself down a bit though, so I don't make it too difficult for the ASL interpreters.  It's great feeling to know that this group wanted to come back to hear more stories and I'm looking forward to their visit.

This has been a busy week (particularly at home) so I don't have anything new for this week's Flannel Friday.  I'm currently selecting stories for my next family storytime so I will have something new next week.  You can find this week's Flannel Friday Round-up on Sharon's blog, Rain Makes Applesauce.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Internet Issues

Due to the unexpected snow storm last weekend we lost power at home.  Home is where I do my blogging.  Fortunately we only lost it for a little more than a day.  However it took another couple of days for us to get our internet back and the family wireless network is still not working.  Consequently I haven't been spending much time at the computer (which is not necessarily a bad thing). 

It's strange but I feel that I'm being rude for not posting or contributing a storytime resource.  I follow numerous storytime blogs and I feel as if I'm part of a larger community - a very helpful and creative group I might add.  I'm still catching up on these blog posts.  However I also don't believe in posting if I don't have something useful to contribute or something to say and this past week has not been very productive at home.  Fortunately I did come up with an idea for my next Family Story Time.  I just have to research some stories and decide how I want to tell them.  I'll be posting what I come up with during the next few weeks.

Don't forget that today is Flannel Friday.  The round-up for this week can be found at Anne's blog at the end of the day.