Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beginning Readers Storytime

This is a program I've thought about doing a lot. Have you ever noticed how as kids get older, they never want you to do a program for them? Instead they want to help you do a program. But there are only certain kinds of helping that actually interest them.

The way this applies to story time is that once the kids hit a certain reading level, they want to read the words off the page before I say them. Which kind of drives me crazy. Which shows what a narcissist I am. But I've been thinking for a while about how to turn that into a program.

So far, I've imagined:
  • handing each kid a copy of the book I'm reading and having everyone read along. Maybe having something that makes a "bing" sound when they're supposed to turn the page. But that might not mean anything to them.
  • having the kids help me make giant versions of popular books so we can all read them together. That was sort of inspired by the Angry Chicken blog post on book copying, although I think that requires a certain kind of child.
  • giving the kids parts to read. Lots of books lend themselves to this, although I've been thinking about doing it with Melinda Long's How I Became A Pirate, because there are parts where the pirates repeat things after their captain. The only question is how to get the words in front of the kids and tell them when to read their parts.
  • having the kids write their own "magnet poetry" type stories with words cut from magazines (or that look like they were cut from magazines, using the magic of my color printer) at the end of each storytime and reading each other's stories.
  • having the kids draw while I read the stories. The idea is that they do little symbolic/comic-type drawings that will help them retell the story after I close the book. This is based on an activity I did when I was student-teaching that was surprisingly popular. It was inspired by the Inuit girls' game of telling stories while drawing symbols in the ground with a knife.
  • ending the program with computer time, but limiting kids to Starfall or the literacy programs that are installed on the computer.
But I have yet to form this into a coherent program. Anyway, the reason I'm documenting this idea today is that there's a TOON books blog, and I think it might be an important piece of the program puzzle. How many ways could you use this at your library?

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