Virtual Storytime Spotlight: Taro Gomi Time

Sharing one of my recent virtual storytime plans today! Since we’ve re-opened for curbside services, I got to livestream this particular storytime from our storytime room. Being in a familiar space felt so nice and really helped me step into my storytime self!

Since my library is livestreaming, I can’t share the actual video with you, but I did incorporate some practice footage in this post. I swear I brushed my hair on the day of! 😉

My planning process for virtual storytimes is VERY different. First, I identified new goals to ground my virtual storytimes in. Then I had to make a plan! I usually work off a bare bones outline, but now I write and practice the entire script until I have it memorized. Virtual storytime is a big adjustment! There’s no audience feedback and less opportunity to take advantage of serendipitous, kid-inspired moments (unless if I’m presenting with a closed classroom group, and everyone can have their cameras and mics turned on). To me, virtual storytime is more analogous to a scene in a play or a television episode – hence the script.

I share a brief outline below, but here’s the link to my full storytime script.

Sing: Hi, Hello and How Are You?*

“How are you today? I am so happy because I get to do my favorite thing in the world, and that is doing storytime with you! My name is Miss Jessica and this purple alpaca is my friend Harold. You may recognize us – and this room – if you come to the XYZ library…”

Sing: If You’re Ready for a Story…*

Read: I Really Want to See You, Grandma! by Taro Gomi

“Yumi and Grandma traveled a lot of different ways to see each other! Do you remember some of the transportation they used? That’s right! Grandma rode a motorcycle. What about at the very beginning? Grandma took a train, and Yumi took a bus! That reminds me of a song I know, and I bet you know it, too…”

Sing: The Wheels on the Bus

Talk: Which Hat to Wear?

“What if we wanted to take a trip to the moon? Could we take a bus?

…NO! How would we get up there? We’d have to take a rocket ship! Can you help me find the right hat to wear for a trip to the moon?”

Sing: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom with Extra Verses

Read: The Crocodile and the Dentist by Taro Gomi

“It’s going to take a loooong time to get to the stars. They’re so far away! Since we’re in our rocket ship, let’s take off our helmets and read another story while we wait…”

(Before reading the next book, I pointed out the author blurb on the back flap and we learned more about Taro Gomi. This led to our lit tip…)

Lit Tip: Building Print Awareness by Talking About the People Who Write Books

Grown-ups, when you talk about the authors, you help your little ones understand that people write books! This understanding that people write words and draw pictures to communicate with others is really the first step to writing. You’d be surprised by how many kindergartners I used to teach who thought that books fall out from the sky! When you take time to talk about the authors of the books you read, you help your kids on the road to both reading and writing.

Rhyme: 4 Ripe Bananas

“I wonder how Crocodile got such a bad cavity? Maybe he was eating too many sweet bananas and not brushing his teeth! Our next rhyme is about 4 ripe bananas sitting on a tree and a hungry crocodile. We’re going to pretend that our fingers are bananas. Can you show me 4 finger bananas?”

Four ripe bananas sitting in a tree

Teasing Mr. Crocodile, “Can’t get me! Can’t get me!”

Along came Mr. Crocodile, quiet as can be…

And he snapped one banana right out of the tree!

(repeat with 3, 2, 1)

Sing: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / ¿Estrellita, Donde Estas?

“We made it to the stars! They’re so bright and beautiful. Hey, I know a song about twinkling bright stars…”

Sing: Goodbye, Goodbye, We’ll See You Soon*

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

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