Virtual Storytime Spotlight: Lights, Cameras… Cats!

When I pulled this plan together, I knew it would be my last virtual storytime for awhile. Therefore, I wanted to fill it with all of my favorite things about Zoom storytime – board books, fun filters, and fabulous co-stars!

Sing: Good Morning to You*

Welcome/Introduction/Announcements

During my welcome and pre-storytime announcements, I asked the adults to stay nearby to help type their child’s answers to questions in the chat box and to periodically turn the camera on/off.

My kitty cat puppet pal kicked things off by singing good morning.

Sing: When Cats Wake Up in the Morning…

When cats wake up in the morning, they always say good day.

When cats wake up in the morning, they always say good day.

Meow, meow, meow, meow, that is what they say.

Meow, meow, meow, meow, that is what they say!

Read: Everybody Says Meow! by Constance Lombardo

A few co-stars from other branches and their puppet companions helped me tell this fun story! It’s about a bossy cat who is determined to allow only one sound in this story – MEOW. However, a noisy dog, a frog, a duck and a lion interfere…

This noisy story set the stage perfectly for our literacy message!

Lit Tip: Building Phonological Awareness with Animal Sounds

Grown-ups, I love songs and stories with animal noises because they are full of so many exaggerated vowel sounds! Vowels are notoriously tricky for beginning readers to sound out. The more your child hears and makes these sounds with you NOW, the better they’ll be able to recognize them when they are learning to read and write LATER!

Speaking of cats…

FF KITTY

Whiteboard: A pink post-it note cat followed by the lowercase letters i, t, t, y.

Sing: KITTY

Tune: BINGO

There is a bitty cat I know and Kitty is her name-o!

K-I-T-T-Y

K-I-T-T-Y

K-I-T-T-Y

And Kitty is her name-o!

As we sang additional verses and erased letters, I replaced them with cute cat sticky notes. This set the stage well for our next song…

FF 5 Little Cats

Whiteboard: Four cat post-it notes stuck above a drawing of hills; one cat stuck next to a drawing of a house.

Sing: 5 Kitty Cats

Tune: 5 Little Ducks

5 kitty cats went out to play

Over the hills and far away.

Mama Cat called, “Meow, meow, meow, meow!”

But only one came back to the house…

I had the families turn on their cameras and show me their fingers for this fun counting down song.

Read: The Babies and Kitties Book by John Schindel and Molly Woodward

I love the everyday diversity of these darling babies and their cute kitties! After reading the board book, we talked briefly about how cats and people are the same/different. We both have eyes and ears and mouths and noses… but we definitely don’t both have tails! Then I put on a cat filter for our next song.

Sing: Paws, Whiskers, Claws and Tails

Tune: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Paws, whiskers, claws and tails.

Claws and tails!

Paws, whiskers, claws and tails.

Claws and tails!

And eyes and ears and mouth and nose.

Paws, whiskers, claws and tails!

Claws and tails!

Read: Hats Are Not for Cats! by Jacqueline K. Rayner

This bossy dog thinks hats are NOT for cats. After many delightful rhymes (and great vocabulary words), the dog is proved wrong in the best possible way.

Lit Tip: Rhymers are Readers

Teachers like to say rhymers are readers. That’s because when you rhyme with your child, you help them pay attention to word patterns. Being able to recognize rhymes NOW will help your child sound out words when reading and writing LATER!

Hats Are Not for Cats goes great with my most favorite flannel:

20211108_100940

Flanneboard: Mysterious felt animals hide beneath various hats: a party hat, an astronaut helmet, and a marching band hat.

Play: Hide and Seek Hats (flannel)

Kitty cat, kitty cat,

Are you under the ______ hat?

I asked the families to type their guesses in the chat box. We finally found the cat hiding under the astronaut helmet! Speaking of outer space… let’s zoom to the moon!

I invited everyone to turn their cameras/microphones on for our last few songs together.

last vst 2

Screenshot: Using a Zoom background filter, Jessica appears to be floating in outer space.

Sing: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Zoom, zoom, zoom.

We’re going to the moon!

Zoom, zoom, zoom.

We’ll get there very soon!

If you want to take a trip,

Climb aboard my rocket ship.

Zoom, zoom, zoom.

We’re going to the moon!

In 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

BLASTOFF!

Sing: Our Storytime is Over, Wave Goodbye*


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

I can’t wait to use this storytime plan again! Although I focused on phonological awareness this time, the materials also go hand in hand with a Letter Knowledge or Print Awareness message.

What’s your library planning for this fall? Have you pivoted back to in-person programs yet? Are you still providing virtual options for patrons? Would love to learn more in the comments below!

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