Opening Song. See previous post for song.

Tippy Tap Question of the Day: What do you like to do with your friend? See previous post for explanation of Tippy Tap.

Copy CrocsThe first book was The Copy Crocs by David Bedford. Crocodile (the pink one) doesn’t like how it’s so crowded. He always tries to find a new place where he wont be bumped. But his crocodile friends are always following him and copying him because he’s so much fun. That makes crocodile angry. Follow him on an expedition as he tries unsuccessfully for some peace and quiet. When he finally gets what he wants, he’s lonely and wants his friends to play with him again. This book is good for teaching social emotional skills. We talk about how to be a friend, how to ask for alone time. The kids relate to having their siblings following them around all the time or when they want to play with a toy by themselves and not have to share all the time. It’s nice to let the kids know that that’s ok to feel that way, but they still need to be nice about it. Then we talk about how they can do that. The little guys love calling out which color croc is their favorite. I even had one point at his feet and say he’s wearing Crocs, which was also funny. We talked about feeling lonely, and angry, and happy. I try to give them the language to discuss their feelings, so when things like this happen in real life, they have a way of expressing it and not turning into an angry crocodile themselves.

Then we took a movement break because the Copy Crocs was the longest book. I always read the longest book first while I still have their attention span and we always get our wiggles out afterwards. We sang “If Your Happy and You Know It” but changed it to “If you want to be a friend.” We clapped our hands and stomped our feet. Then, I called on kids to suggest actions. Today we got pat your belly, tickle your neck, and high five. You’ll always get some interesting actions…

A Home For BirdOur second book was A Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead. I think I’m going to save this just for the kindergarteners next time. The older kids really liked it, but the younger guys started to go bonkers. The pictures are pretty and make you want to color but the description was a little mature for them. I used a lot of questioning with the text… Do you think he’ll talk now? Where else could he live? Would he live here? Why doesn’t bird talk? I won’t call it a total fail, and the kids LOVED the ending where he was a cuckoo clock and liked making cuckoo noises. But it’s definitely a kindergarten to first grade book. PS – It’s sad and makes me feel old that some of them have never seen a real clock (hello technology!). If I did this over, I’d use Nancy Tafuri’s Will You Be My Friend.

Last, we did a friends match flannel. I took famous pop characters and their friend and laminated them. The kids said who their character was and then their partner would come up and put them together. Some examples were Dora and Diego, Arthur and D.W., Ruby and Max, Curious George and the man in the yellow hat, Clifford and Mary Elizabeth. They liked doing this, but if you choose this for your story time, make sure your characters are current or the kids will not know who they are.

Then we only had time for our goodbye song. See previous post for song. These guys are suckers for the flannel and tippy tap, so it takes us longer to do those.

Bully by SeegerFor the 4-year-old to Kindergarten Storytime, I did the same thing but used the books The Copy Crocs (winner!), Bully (Laura Vaccaro Seeger), and Will You Be My Friend. Next time I will swap Will You Be My Friend by Nancy Tafuri with A Home for Bird (see above). The kindergarteners really picked up on the copy cat thing and related how they hated when their little siblings wanted to do everything with them. One of them look exasperated and said, “Sometimes you just want to be alone!” [insert hands thrown in air] I tried really hard not to laugh. Adorable.

For Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, there are a lot of things to notice but not a lot of words. This is a great book for teaching how images and text work together to make a picture book. The kids noticed that the bully got bigger and bigger the more he was mean and that he shrank when he started to feel bad. They also noticed the expressions and which was the other animals were facing. We talked about what a bully was… thankfully, some of them didn’t even know yet (oops?). We talked about what he should do if he wanted friends. And we laughed at the puns. It was funny because half of the crowd always get the puns and the other half look at everyone wondering why we’re laughing. So we talked about “buzz off” for the bee, etc… and how they have double meanings. The kids really liked this book. Next time I want to do the balloon activity where each kid blows up a balloon and they let it go when the bull starts deflating. Then we’ll relate it to how the bull is feeling and how bullying doesn’t make you feel better.

Will You Be My Frien TafuriThe kids sat through Will You Be My Friend and indulged me. They participated a little, but it was too easy for them.




Backup Books: