I began Storytime with Pharrell William's "Happy" song. We use scarves to sing and dance.
Our first book was Wild About Us! by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Janet Stevens.
This title is a great self-esteem builder. Each animal brags about something. The warthog loves his warts, the crocodile has a wonderful smile. It's simply fantastic when a title celebrates all the differences. We have entirely too many put downs in this world.
Next I found a print out sheet that I had my original 5 kids in storytime match the front half of the animal to the back half. In the middle of doing that I had a daycare come in, so while they were taking off their coats and getting comfortable, we finished up the matching sheet, which I printed off and was able to send home with all the kids. I found it on the totschooling website, here.
Next we sang Laurie Berkner's Goldfish song. The kids in my daycare ask for this song, if I don't play it, so I better play it. If you haven't heard it, it starts off with all the little fishies are asleep on the bottom of the ocean, then they wake up. They take a nap and do something like take a shower, then take a nap, and so on. The kids love the up down, up, down, up, down activity of it.
Then, because we have such a young group, I ask for board book sets from our Main library Children's Services and we read Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann.
I told the group that if the younger ones needed to 'play' with our toddler stuff that was OK, but if anyone else wanted to, we were going to read the other two book sets:
1, 2, 3, to the Zoo a counting book by Eric Carle
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Some Questions for Discussion
Have you been to a zoo? What did you see? What did you do? Have you been to our zoo here in Fort Wayne? (we have a children's zoo, it's wonderful!)
After Storytime I hand out stickers to the kids that say "I visited the library today".
More Zoo Books - I had these on display
Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo by Ayun Halliday
Animal Beauty by Kristin Roskifte
Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo by John Lithgow
The Perfect Job for an Elephant by Jodie Parachini
Quiet Koala, Noisy Monkey: a book of jungle opposites by Liesbet Slegers
Wild About Books by Judy Sierra
You and Me: We’re Opposites
By Harriet Zeifert
The Zoo I Drew by Todd H. Doodler
Take Home Connection
· Write – Z letter page
· Animal Matching sheets