Silly Stories: Third Grade

Story Time Planning

I have pieced together an outline of what I'll be doing based upon different blogs on early elementary storytimes. I've done a few middle grade storytimes, but mostly they were subject themed stories that teachers requested. I have also done after-school story-times with K-5th graders all together, so I'm pretty familiar with those ages. I'm hoping this crowd will be a little easier to navigate! Nevertheless, I am definitely overloading with a wealth of back-pocket material in case we change. The feedback I got from the organization was to make it a library-themed storytime. This storytime will be repeated four times to four different groups for a total of 120 kids! In addition to storytime, kids will also take part in a library scavenger hunt and make a craft!  

Welcome to the Library Introduction:

I really like Jbrary's blog post on making sure kids understand how welcoming the library is. I'll be doing the same type of introduction especially for the groups who may have already done the library scavenger hunt! It will be nice to hear what they might find while at the library.

Action Song: If You're Excited And You Know It (modified)

If you're excited and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're excited and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you're excited and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you're excited and you know it, clap your hands. (clap clap)

If you're excited and you know it, stand up, turn around, sit down (speed up/slow down)
If you're excited and you know it, stand up, turn around, sit down (speed up/slow down)
If you're excited and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you're excited and you know it, stand up, turn around, sit down (speed up/slow down)

Add various verses...and then do all three!

This is my number one storytime warm up song for elementary kids. I like their excitement for a book and it's fun to move with them!  Usually, I might have some adults worn out by the time we do all three and the kids just bounce up and down until the song is over and then  are ready to listen.

Book #1: Duncan the Story Dragon by Amanda Driscoll

Duncan the dragon is such a super cute character and I love by getting so excited he accidentally destroys books. What a silly dragon! I feel that the book is short enough for my restless listeners while still packing some good library/reading messages. 

Action Song: I'll borrow a book from the library (tune: My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean)

I'll borrow the book from the library
I'll borrow a book for three weeks.
I'll borrow a book and I'll read it,
Then I'll bring it right back in three weeks.

Bring back, bring back,
I'll bring back my book in three weeks (three weeks)
Bring back, bring back,
I'll bring back my book in three weeks (three weeks)

This is a modified version from HCPL's storytime website ideas on libraries.

Book #2: Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds

The illustrations are so bright and perfect for a read-aloud group. I think kids will be at the perfect age to find this story endearingly funny. I'm also hoping that they will devour the story (PUN INTENDED) as three animals try to figure out how to be anything, but top off their food chain. 

Action Song:  Aroostasha

CHORUS:    Aroostasha, Aroostasha, a sha, sha, sha
Aroostasha, Aroostasha, a sha, sha, sha

Thumbs up! (Do action, and have audience repeat the line back as they do it)
CHORUS

Thumbs up!
Arms out!
CHORUS

Thumbs up!
Arms out!
Feet apart!
CHORUS

There's a great video of this camp chant. 

You keep adding motions until you do every single one! I LOVE IT! I'm doing the classic verses of the following actions:  Thumbs up, Feet Apart, Knees Bent,  Arms Out,  Bottoms Out, Head Tilt, Tongue Out.

I was a hyper child so I'm always anticipating moving around more than sitting and singing. I came from the old school method of sit and focus, so I try to be as fast-paced/entertaining as possible. It also helps get all that restless energy out. 

Book #3: Kids Choice:  Make Your Own Story from the picture book the Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburn  or have me read: The Three Ninja Pigs by Coren Rosen Schwartzor

This picture book is awesome. It has a large black and white picture on each page, along with a writing prompt. For example: 

--Have kids sit in a circle and show them the picture (pass it around if you have time)

-- Discuss what makes up a story/how to tell a story (focus on key elements) 

--Give them 30 seconds to discuss with their mentor and then go around the circle having the kids add one sentence at a time to make up a story. 

                                                               This is the picture I will be using.

                                                               This is the picture I will be using.

Song:  The More We Read Together

The more we read together
Together, together
The more we read together
The happier we'll be
Cause your friends are my friends
And my friends are your friends
The more we read together
The happier we'll be

Craft: Make a Book! This will be handled by another librarian, but essentially they will decorate a mini-book. 

Back-Up: Timing and focus is finicky when dealing with any storytime group. I always come prepared with a wealth of back-up materials, just in case I have to switch out to something more interesting in a moment's notice. Books: Art & Max by David Wiesner and Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don't Play With Your Food by Bob Shea Songs: Herman the Worm and Baby Shark

Books For Display: Middle Grade Chapter Books

The kids and mentors WERE A BLAST! 

 

Group #1: This group was high energy all the way. Their mentors laughed at how much moving we did throughout the story time. Duncan was a good beginning attention grabber. I did little things to make the story interesting like asking them to read the titles of books, and making sure they knew what Duncan was drinking by reading the words "Milk Chocolate Milkshake" and "The End" out loud. I had them pretend to play dead like the possum, which the kids thought was hilarious! The second story had the adults in stitches. My first group of kids were right on the ball when a kid exclaims, 

THEY ATE THE OWL?! AFTER ALL HE DID WAS TRY TO HELP! THEY ARE WRONG FOR THAT! 

When it came to the choice of the last book it was ALL HANDS IN THE AIR for the three little ninja pigs. I had a mentor at the end thanked me and told me her child Christopher was super shy, and I got him out of his self by doing Aroostasha and reading fun books. 

Group #2: This group was shocked again with all the movement. I had mentors come in and take a back seat, and I was like "oh no you don't, you'll be moving with your child." After the second verse of "Happy and You Know It a mentor huffing and puffing exclaims---

NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT THIS! THEY SAID IT WAS A STORYTIME!

I simply retorted, "This isn't your grandma's storytime." The adults died laughing.

In doing the story Carnivores I ask questions like "What does that word mean" and then I make them name the animals on the cover. I ask them about the animals on the opening flap asking if they are "happy or scared?" I have them howl like a wolf, when we're introduced and make snarly faces when they sneak upon bunnies. I'm all about immersing kids into a book with a hands-on experience. 

 The kids were so hooked on books, that by the time I got to The Three Ninja Pigs they were all leaned in and completely focused. I had them shouting the big bold worlds and one girl exclaims in the middle

IS THIS A RHYMING STORY?! IT'S COOL! 

At the end of this story-time, they all took turns telling their mentors which books were their favorites and I had a mentor ask if she could put all three books on hold for her own kids because she enjoyed them so much. 

Group #3: This group was my most interactive group. They were into Duncan and Dragon, but when we got to Carnivores there was lot of discussion about how the shark "blended" in and where they going to eat the shark at the end when they were going to "make sushi" (I'm pretty sure I relieved suspicions by saying, "Oh No, He's just waving." BAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Anyway, I'm sure there brains are trying to figure it out. 

Group #4: This group was hilarious. When we got to the "library" song---I always start off with asking the question, "What happens when you forget to return a library book on time?" This kid yells out, 

YOU GET A CONSEQUENCE! 

All the adults died laughing. It was so adorable how terrified they were of fines.  My response: "Yeah, fines are really bad consequences. Let's learn a song to help us remember when we return our books." The kids got into it and we clapped and swayed along. 

In the end, the camera guy came and asked my boss how I learned to tell stories, did I go to special school that only taught "theatrical reading?" I have to say a specialization in Youth Services and interning at Monroe Public Library was definitely where I learned how to tell great stories.  My goals was for all the kids to view the library as a warm and welcoming place...and I think they did.