Sharing my first virtual storytime from 2021 (four months later…) Highlights below; full script available by clicking here.
Sing: Hi, Hello and How Are You?*
During my welcome and pre-storytime announcements, I asked the audience to grab a substitute scarf – something like a washcloth or a jacket. I also reminded the grown-ups to stay nearby, because we would need their helping hands to type answers in the chat box throughout storytime.
Sing: If You’re Happy and You Know It…*
Sing: If You’re Ready for a Story…*
Read: Where’s Lenny? by Ken Wilson-Max
I paused to ask where Lenny was hiding on each page, then used spatial vocabulary to describe Lenny’s position.
Play: Teddy Bear/Blanket Squares (Flannel)
“You were so good at finding Lenny! Now I hope you can help me find MY teddy bear. I couldn’t sleep last night because I was SO EXCITED for storytime! I need a nap, but I can’t sleep without my teddy! My teddy bear is white and has a red bow tie. I know my teddy is hiding underneath one of these blankets… I wonder which one?”
- Turn, Talk & Type: Which blanket should we look under first?
“Tell your grown-up which blanket you want to look under! Grown-ups, please type your little one’s response in the chat box.”
Lit Tip: Building Working Memory through PLAY
Grown-ups, I love playing games like this because they build your child’s working memory. Sounding out words is ONE reading skill, but actually remembering and understanding what you read is something else! When you play memory games together NOW, you help your little one build the skills they need for reading comprehension LATER.
Sing: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / ¿Estrellita, Donde Estas?
I asked the kiddos to sing a lullaby to help me fall asleep.
Sing: Sleeping Bunnies (x2)
- Turn, Talk & Type: Which animal should we pretend to be?
I took animal suggestions through the chat box for the second time through. There were so many fun ideas, in the the end we just all pretended to be whatever animal we wanted and I sang “See the Little Animals Sleeping…”
Read: Find Fergus by Mike Boldt
Saw this book on Jbrary’s 2020 Favorite Storytime Picture Books List and just knew I had to try it out! Before reading the book, I encouraged the kiddos to look closely at the cover and memorize what Fergus looked like.
The end papers have a fun list with a bunch of other things you can look back and try to find – I made sure to point this out and encouraged families to check the book out! It was fun to see the hold list jump after storytime was over.
“Wow! You were so good at finding Fergus. I bet you’d be good at Going a Bear Hunt…”
Sing: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (x3)
“Before we go outside on a bear hunt, we should put on sunscreen! Let’s cover our head, shoulders, knees and toes.”
We sang at regular speed, then fast, then VERY slowly to make sure we didn’t miss any spots!
Talk: Hat Sort
“We’re going to be outside for a long time. We should probably wear a hat, too. Can you help me find a good hat to wear for going on a bear hunt? Is this the right hat? No! What is this hat for?”
Lit Tip: Building Background Knowledge through TALK
Grown-ups, remember when we talked about how understanding what you read is a different skill from sounding out words? The more your child knows about the world and how it works, the better reading comprehension they will have. When you share what you know and answer your child’s endless questions NOW, you help them build the background knowledge they need to be good readers LATER.
Sing: Going on a Bear Hunt (Flannel)
I invited the audience to unmute and turn on their cameras for this call-and-response classic! I pretty much followed the Greg & Steve version, except we walked through some tall grass instead of a wheat field.
Sing: Our Storytime is Over, Wave Goodbye*
*Please visit this page to learn more about my regular storytime songs and routines.
This storytime plan was SO MUCH FUN! I know I’ll return to this plan again and again. There’s so many other great possible early literacy/math messages that pair with these books and activities, too, such as:
- Letter Knowledge: Grown-ups, I love I-Spy games and books like Find Fergus because they train your child’s eyes to pay attention to small details. So many letters look really similar – especially lowercase letters like b and d! The more your child learns to pay attention to small details NOW, the better they will be able to recognize alphabet letters LATER.
- Vocabulary: Grown-ups, I love books like Find Fergus and songs like “Going on a Bear Hunt” because they’re great for building spatial vocabulary. Spatial vocabulary includes words like “under” and “over” and “next to.” Research shows that strong spatial awareness NOW leads to both math and reading success LATER!