Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Preschool Storytime: How Does Your Garden Grow....

Book Jacket for: Elizabite : adventures of a carnivorous plant

Today's storytime was about plants & flowers. 

I planned to start off with our usual welcome song , introduction, and lead-in song (detailed in my basic storytime plan), then on to our first book: Up, Down, and Around by Kathryn Ayres.  I wanted to be sure to cover both vegetable and flower gardens, and this covered the vegetables nicely and the illustrations are really cute.  I also like how they have a healthy lunch at the end made with the fresh vegetables from the garden.
Next, on to an action rhyme, "Dig A Little Hole",  with which they can pretend to do all the steps we read about in the first book:

          Dig a little hole   (pretend to dig) 
          Plant a little seed    (drop seeds)
          Pour a little water    (pour)
          Pull a little weed    (pull up & toss)
          Chase a little bug   (brush bug away)
          Look, there he goes!    (point in sky)
          Give a little sunshine    (make sun)
          Grow a little rose    (pretend to pick & smell flower)  
            *Source:  Storytime Katie, who got it from SurLaLune, (with modification)

Then on to the second book, Elizabite:  Adventures of a Carnivorous Plant by H.A. Rey.  I have to confess this book was the whole reason for today's theme.  I have always loved this lesser known book by the creator of Curious George and always had a fascination with carnivorous plants.  I also enjoy the rhyme & cadence, which seems to help keep their attention. Following the story, I pulled out a non-fiction book to show them pictures of real carnivorous plants.  Yay, science! 

After that, another action rhyme, "Five Little Flowers":

          Five little flowers growing in a row     (hold up five fingers, gesture to row)
          The first one said, "We need rain to grow."     (hold up 1 finger, imitate rain falling)
          The second one said, "Yes, we need water!"     (hold up 2 fingers, nod head)
          The third one said, "Whew, it's getting hotter!"     (hold up 3 fingers, wipe brow)
          The fourth one said, "Look, there are clouds in the sky."     (4 fingers, point to sky)
          The fifth one said, "I wonder why?"     (5 fingers, hold palms out questioningly)

          Then "BOOM" went the thunder     (clap hands together loudly)
          And "ZAP" went the lightening.     (draw zig-zag in air)
          That springtime storm was kind of frightening.     (shiver)
          But were the flowers scared?  No, no, no.     (shake head)
          They knew they needed rain to grow, grow, grow.    (hold hand above ground & raise)
             *Source:, (with modification)

Then onto the last book, a short but colorful pop-up book, How Does Your Garden Grow by Kate Burns.  While short, it has very bright illustrations and shows both flower & vegetable gardens.  After that, we sang our usual closing song and I gave them flower stickers and we said our good-byes.

How It Went

I have to admit I was a little off today due to not being fully recovered from a bad cold, and the kids were pretty squirrely.  I kept wondering why they were having so much trouble settling down, then after I walked out the door I realized I somehow managed to skip our lead-in song after the introduction, "If You Want To Hear A Story...".  Going thru the progressively quieter verses really helps them settle, and I can't believe I forgot, and they didn't remind me.  Overall, though, it went pretty well, just had to stop & redirect their attention more often than usual.  They seemed to like the stories: the cute, detailed illustrations in Up, Down, and Around inspired lots of comments, they thought it was hilarious when Elizabite bit the maid on the butt, and loved the large pop-up sunflower in How Does Your Garden Grow.  When I asked if they knew what "carnivorous" meant, one boy got close, saying it meant something had teeth.  When we talked about pulling weeds in the first rhyme, the same boy told me they just used weed killer because it was easier.

The best part was at the end, when the teacher thanked me for coming and I asked her if the amount of time I have been using was okay, because I didn't want to mess up their schedule.  She replied "Oh, honey, no.  We arrange our schedule around you!  It is such a treat for them when you come and we all enjoy it."  Then one little boy who had overheard piped up and said, "Yeah, and next time we should have a treat for you!"  So, needless to say my heart just melted.  I just love preschoolers....

[Be warned, reading Elizabite... may result in the urge to sing "Little Shop of Horrors"]

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