Hello! We had a week off from storytime but now we are back! Since we had a bit of a break I thought it might be good to have a nice loud, interactive, energetic storytime so I picked “Sound” as my theme.
You know, not all noises and sounds are loud, some are quiet. I found a really neat prezi while poking around online looking for inspiration which you can view here. I thought about playing it during storytime, but we just don’t have a great setup for media viewing/listening in the storytime room for large groups so I opted against it. During this storytime, my plan was to both read some stories with sounds that kids can help me make, but also do lots of less structured sound “activities”. I think that the books I picked really lend themselves to being read out loud and together which is exactly what I wanted to do. The books I chose were “Dog’s Noisy Day” by Emma Dodd, “Shout! Shout it out!” by Denise Flemming, and “Too Much Noise” by Ann McGovern.
I started off both sessions with a sound themed welcome rhyme:
Quietly I look around;
I listen and I hear a sound.
Loudly Loudly clapping clapping;
Loudly Loudly tapping tapping.
Stamping stamping on the ground;
Such loud noises all around.
Now quietly I look around;
I listen but I hear no sounds.
Quiet, no more clapping clapping.
Quiet, no more tapping tapping.
No more stamping on the ground.
No more noises, no more sound.
I got the idea for this rhyme, and a couple lines, from here
After welcoming them, I started right in to the books. I did a very basic flannel board for “Too Much Noise” and put up pictures of each animal mentioned in the book, I had originally wanted to make a large house outline to put up on the board and then put the animals inside but wasn’t able to decide on how to go about doing it so I skipped it, maybe some other time. They still seemed to enjoy even the basic flannel so that’s good. The story repeats the list of animals and their noises a lot so as I was reading I would have the kids make the noises for me; it’s a great exercise in memory too because the list gets longer and longer but many of the kids would remember the next noise and start making it even before I said the next animal!
During my Monday evening session I had a rather large group so we made some pretty good noise, Thursday morning was a bit smaller and quieter, but still lots of fun! I was, of course, a bit nervous that I might be asking for trouble by asking them to make lots of noise and then also expect them to pay attention, but they were great! The end of the book was a great way to wrap things up and quiet them down again by lowering my voice and reading the last few lines rather quietly to both emphasize and demonstrate the story as well as signal to the kids that it’s time to be quiet again. For “Shout! Shout it out!” I asked the kids to help me read the book. I first talked quietly and whispered and asked them what kind of sound I was making, was it quiet or loud? Then I spoke very loudly and asked again if I was quiet or loud, they were very quick to recognize volumes so I then explained to them that I was going to need them to help me by using their LOUD voices to shout it out if they knew it as we read. I opened the book and we all began shouting and counting and reading out ABCs. I turned the pages slowly and asked them to guess what might be coming next. “What might be on the next page that we can shout about?” sometimes it was easy to guess because a few pages shared themes; cars, planes, buses, but sometimes it was hard when it jumped from animals to colors and so on. This book is not only great for making noise (LOTS of noise) but it’s an excellent tool to help them begin to recognize words and begin or enhance their reading skills.
My last book was “Dog’s Noisy Day” and I think it’s a super cute book. This was a much more passive story and the kids mostly sat quietly for this one though they did certainly help make animal noises for me. We encountered a lot of the same animals in this book as we did in the first book so we got to practice their noises again. One of the animals that makes an appearance in both books is a donkey; adorably, most kids had NO IDEA what noise a donkey makes and giggled hysterical when I taught them! 😀
After we finished our books, we practiced making more sound. I asked them how they could use their body to make sounds and they demonstrated with a cacophony of claps, and whistles, and yelps, and squeals. I told them that you can also use your body to interact with sound in another way and asked them what part of their body they use to hear those sounds we just made; I’ve got some smart cookies in both groups and they all knew that you listen with your ears. After we’d established that apparently well known fact 😉 I told them that sounds aren’t always loud and we talked about some of the sounds in the books and how most of them were LOUD but some were quiet and then I got out a few noisemakers and made a variety of sounds. Some sounds, such as shaking a bean bag, were quiet, but some sounds, like the tambourine, were loud! I handed out the noisemakers and we fine tuned our fine (and gross) motor skills by practicing quiet sounds. Making a quiet sound with something that’s designed to make lots of sound takes some skill in problem solving and concentration as well as creativity, but the kids were great at figuring out how to use the noisemakers to be quiet. Once we ran out of ways to be quiet, we burned off some energy and made lots of loud noise in as many silly ways as we could think up; noise on our toes, noise with our right hands, noise with our left hands, some behind our backs and we even shared noises and traded noisemakers so we all got the chance to make different sounds.
I loved this storytime and so did the kids; I even had a few parents comment about how much they enjoyed it and how different and entertaining it was. I thought I had heard some adult voices and hands making noise, and that confirmed it. 🙂
I ended storytime with my normal goodbye rhyme which the kids are basically pros at by this point and then I passed out a flyer announcing our new Family Pajama Storytime. Unfortunately it had the day of the week listed incorrectly and said that it was during one of my weekly sessions and even though we caught it pretty quickly, some slipped out before I could correct it so I think I’m gonna have to plan a sleep/bedtime theme just in case. 😉