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.

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.