Saturday, October 13, 2012

Storytime Ideas: Counting

I'm planning to make this an ongoing series on my blog, so let me give a brief introduction. I do a volunteer storytime with a group of 3-year-olds at a local childcare center. Each week, I put together a selection of fun books that fall within a theme. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading picture books AND simple nonfiction books about topics such as dinosaurs, gardening, and outer space to eager little ears. I ask questions and include fun activities to keep the kids engaged. I've been doing this for six months now, and I thought it might be nice to document my experiences and share my ideas with anyone who might find them useful. Parents, teachers, and homeschoolers are welcome to follow along, and I also encourage anyone who has an extra half hour or so each week to find a nearby school or daycare that could use a special guest to help teach kids how magical reading can be.

Here's what you can expect to find in each storytime post: A theme, a list of books (fiction and age-appropriate nonfiction), brief reviews of the books, and questions/activities to accompany the books and the theme. These posts will be geared toward a preschool audience, but they could easily be altered to accommodate different age groups. All of the books come from my local library, so there's a good chance yours will have them too.  Let's get started with the first theme- Counting!

Counting Storytime

The Books
-Starting off with Counting by Peter Patilla (nonfiction)
                                      -One Two That’s My Shoe by Alison Murray
                                      -Boo, Bunny by Kathryn O. Galbraith
                                      -Pugs in a Bug by Carolyn Crimi
                                      -Potato Joe by Keith Baker
                                      -Count the Sheep to Sleep by Philippa Rae

 The Lead-In 
Start with the nonfiction book.  Open to the first page and use the diagrams to practice counting to 10 forward and backward.  Have kids count along with you as you point to each number.  Praise them for doing a good job and tell them they seem ready to "help you" with the counting in the following stories.

-Starting off with Counting is a nonfiction book that gives an introduction to basic numeric concepts such as counting, adding, subtracting, and grouping.  Illustrations and diagrams make this book easy to follow for early learners.
-One, Two That's My Shoe is brief and easy to keep children interested in.  It rhymes, and each page features an illustration with items to count. 
-Boo, Bunny is a fun counting book for the month of October because it features two little bunnies out on a trick-or-treating adventure.  The counting is very basic (mostly focusing on the difference between one and two), but the story is eerie and suspenseful without being anything that will scare small children.  My group LOVED this one!  It had their undivided attention. 
-Pugs in a Bug is a book with a nice rhythm, gorgeous illustrations,and plenty of fun words.  A good way to keep children engaged in this story is to stop every few pages and allow them to guess where the pugs might be going. 
-Potato Joe combines counting with food, as potatoes pile together with a few garden friends such as a tomato and a watermelon.  This one is not too wordy, so it's perfect for fidgety young children.
-Count the Sheep to Sleep plays on the idea of counting sheep at bedtime, but with a fun new scenario and matching illustration for each number.  It is funny (one sheep gets stuck on a pair of undies as his friends jump over a clothesline) and ends on a tranquil note, making it a perfect bedtime story.

I've put together a document with a book list, discussion questions, and fun ideas to follow the stories including a chart you can use to teach kids how to count to ten in Spanish!  You can download this document here.

If these storytime ideas sound like something you could use, I hope you'll follow along because there will be many more fun themes and book suggestions in the future.  I have a degree in elementary education, and I feel very strongly about making sure children view reading in a positive way rather than something boring they are forced to do.  You can be sure all the books I suggest have met my rigid standards for being informative, engaging, and most importantly, FUN!  See you next time!


Pili said...

Even if I don't have kids, I love this idea, and will be surely passing them around for the bf's niece & nephew!

This is a wonderful wonderful idea, Holly! It's great that you are helping kiddos discover the marvels of the written world!

*crazy bookworm feeling all warm & fuzzy inside*

Stylish By Nature said...

Thanx for following...Following back :)...Would be glad if we can connect at Bloglovin too

My Bloglovin Page

.brigittamonique. said...

what a nice post dear :D
anyway feel free to visit my blog dear :)
please kindly follow my blog if you like it <3

Katie Frank said...

wow :) awesome :)! thank you, i already follow you :)

Bonnie said...

What a fun volunteer job! You must have a blast with the little ones.
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Yulie Kendra said...

great post! i like your blog! maybe we follow each other!? let me know :) greetings

La Alicia said...

so fun!!

Audrey Allure said...

Sounds like some cute books!

jos xx said...

Such a great idea!
i totally like your blog!