Storytime Spotlight: Above & Below Again

Back again with another opposites post! Shortly after my first Above and Below storytime, I got to cover an evening storytime and do this theme again. I LOVE covering evening storytimes because we usually see some older kiddos. At this storytime my youngest was 2, my oldest was in 3rd grade and I had just about every age in between, trending towards 5 and up.


Welcome & Set Expectations

*Sing: Bread & Butter

Talk: Above & Below Sort (Flannel)


Thank you again Melissa Depper for letting me borrow your flannel worms and background! I added a hodgepodge of other random pieces from my existing sets and asked the kiddos to help me sort what belonged above (e.g. airplanes) and below (e.g. worms). Some things belong in two places, like trees. Most of the tree is aboveground, but there’s a whole bunch of roots below ground you can’t see!

Read: Mrs. Mole, I’m Home! by Jarvis

When I’m looking for picture books for older kiddos, I grab Jarvis. This book has it all – humor, a strong narrative, great vocabulary and just enough repetition to carry along the littles in the room.

In this story, Morris Mole loses his glasses and burrows off home without being able to see, ending up in some pretty precarious situations. Spoiler alert: they’re on his head the whole time. 🙂

Sing: Stand Up, Sit Down Song by Rick Goldin

“Morris Mole sure went up and down a lot before he finally found home! That reminds me of a song I know…”

This song is LONG but great for older kids with more developed listening and self-regulation skills. We fell on the floor in giggles by the end! Big thanks to my coworker Elaine for putting me on to this song before storytime – it was a huge hit!

Life Goal: Learn to play this on the ukulele.

*Rhyme: Dance Your Fingers

Read: Worms by Laura K. Murray

After discussing how ants and worms are also burrowing creatures, we voted (adults too) for which bug we wanted to learn more about. Worms won!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Seedlings series by Creative Education Press is hands-down my favorite nonfiction publisher for young readers. The books are big enough to read in storytime, the photographs are incredibly visually appealing, the text has rich vocabulary and the books include classic nonfiction text features (e.g. an index, glossary, diagrams).

This time the kiddos were particularly fascinated by the close-up of the worm’s mouth and were blown away when they found out that worms have no eyes but 5 hearts. One of the kids made a great connection to caterpillars also hatching from cocoons!


After reading we chatted about what they learned about worms (which ended up being quite a bit) and now what new things did they wonder?

Lit Tip: Building Comprehension Skills by Making Connections

“Grown-ups, sounding out words is one reading skill, but actually understanding what you read is a totally different skill set! You can help your child build their comprehension skills by talking together when you read books. Making connections during reading, like we just did with worms and caterpillars both hatching from cocoons, really helps your child remember what they just read and store that new knowledge in their memory.”

Write: Herman the Worm


This is my favorite storytime song with older kiddos! If you pause after Herman gets bigger each time and let the kids suggest what Herman ate, you get a really good grasp on their conceptual understanding of size and measurement. Usually we sing this song verbally and use our hands to demonstrate Herman’s size, but I think the added visual support really helps kids with the underlying math concepts.

Please note my whale is not to scale. 🙂

Learning Through Play

*Please visit this page to learn more about my regular storytime songs and routines.

I’m curious – does your library offer evening storytimes? What’s the trending age? How do you adapt your literacy messaging for caregivers of school-agers, or do you? What other kinds of programs appeal to your early elementary crowd?

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