Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Under The Sea - Outreach Visit

Because I only have an hour in total for my monthly daycare visit, each session is short and sweet, and I don't get to see every class every time because the daycare would rather alternate than combine classes. I generally just have time to do one book and a couple of songs, but every once in a while when they are ready to start when I walk in and in a cooperative mood, I can get a second book in.

I just did Shark Week for my in-library family storytime, and I expanded that theme to include more general ocean-themed books in order to better cover the younger ages. I took the following books, but only ended up using a few:

      • That Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
      • How To Spy On A Shark by Lori Haskins Houran
      • I Spy Under the Sea by Edward Gibbs
      • Pop-Up Peekaboo Under the Sea by DK
      • The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
      • The Little Fish Who Cried Shark by Trish Phillips
      • Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood
      • Face to Face: Sharks by Scholastic

I had also intended to take Misunderstood Shark by Ame Dyckman because I've been dying to read it, and thought the 4-5 year old class would be old enough for it (it's a little longer and the humor a little more sophisticated) but I went off and left my personal copy at home, and all of our copies were checked out at work. I was so mad at myself, because I really wanted to read that one!

Once again, the 2-year olds were outside the whole time I was there, so I did not see them at all, which has been how it's gone all summer. With each group I started with the "Hello" song, and ended with the "Storytime Is Over" song.

Pre-K Class (4-5 year-olds) 
I started by asking if anyone had gone to the beach this summer, and talking about what kinds of things we see at the beach. I then asked if anyone saw a shark, and if they would want to pet a shark. Some said yes, most said no. I asked them what they thought a shark's skin would feel like. Would it be smooth or rough? Slippery? Slimy? Prickly? Then I brought out my sandpaper shark prop and passed it around so everyone could feel it, and many were surprised. I also showed them pictures of the different types of shark teeth from the Scholastic non-fiction book pictured above, Face-to-Face: Sharks.

Ocean storytimeThen we started with everyone's favorite earworm, "Baby Shark" by PinkFong (video below). I personally prefer a slower version that I used to use prior to the PinkFong version being released and going viral, but since that's the one the kids all know, I used it.

After that, we were ready to settle down with our story song and read The Little Fish Who Cried Shark by Trish Phillips. Though this was not my original choice to read to this class, I do love the rhythm of the rhyming text and the kids love the pop-ups, especially the big shark at the end! I was going to also read This Is Not My Hat, but we ran out of time.

3-Year Old Class 
ocean storytime
I didn't spend quite as much time on the discussion about the beach and sharks for this class, but did pass around the sandpaper shark to let them see what a shark's skin would feel like. 

Then I led into our book, I Spy Under the Sea, with our story song. This is a nice book for younger kids because it is short and simple and the clues, revealed by circular cutouts in the page, are easy. It might be a little too simple for many 3-year olds, but this class seems to be a bit less mature and has a shorter attention span than most of the 3-year old classes I have seen in the past. It was perfect for this group, and they really enjoyed it.

After that, I brought out my flannel board and "Five Little Fishies" felt set for a fun fingerplay inspired by the classic rhyme about five little monkeys teasing Mr. Alligator.

Five Little Fishies flannel

Five Little Fishies

Five little fishies swimming in the sea,
Teasing Mr. Shark, "You can't catch me!"
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be,
And CHOMPED that fishy right out of the sea!

Four little fishies.....

They loved it so much, and begged to do it again, so we did. [Normally I do repeats songs and rhymes, but I'm forced to keep these outreach visits so short that I don't always have time.]

Toddler Class
The toddlers were playing outside, but I knew how much they loved "Baby Shark" and had promised to do it this month, so I didn't want to skip them. There was a nice shady spot with a mat, so we just had a quick storytime outside!

I started with "Baby Shark" to get their attention, and then sang "Slippery Fish", which they didn't know, but some did imitate the movements. 

Slippery fish, slippery fish; swimming in the water.
Slippery fish, slippery fish; gulp, Gulp, GULP!
"Oh, no! He's been eaten by an octopus!"

Octopus, octopus; swimming in the water.
Octopus, octopus; gulp, Gulp, GULP!
"Oh, no! He's been eaten by a tuna fish!"

Tuna fish, tuna fish; swimming in the water.
Tuna fish, tuna fish; gulp, Gulp, GULP!
"Oh, no! He's been eaten by a great white shark!"

Great white shark, great white shark, swimming in the water.
Great white shark, great white shark; gulp, Gulp, GULP!
"Oh, no! He's been eaten by an orca whale!"

Orca whale, orca whale, swimming in the water.
Orca whale, orca whale; gulp, Gulp, GULP!
"BUURRP! Whoops, excuse me!"

Ocean storytimeAfter that I brought out a pop-up, lift-a-flap book from our office collection, Peekaboo Under The Sea. That did not engage them at all, and it didn't help that one of the pop-ups had been completely ripped out of the book (I had broken my own rule and not carefully reviewed the entire book, only the first couple of spreads). I find that this toddler class, without having an adult 1-on-1 to help engage them in the story, does not ever do well with books, but I feel obligated to show at least one. 

I finished with my "Two Little White Sharks" rhyme inspired by "Two Little Blackbirds" (they were very interested in my fingerpuppets), then a last round of "Baby Shark", which they loved!

Two Little White Sharks finger puppets and fingerplay

How It Went
Overall, it went very well. The preschoolers all were very engaged this time and enjoyed the stories and songs/rhymes; I just wish I had more time for them; 15-20 minutes isn't enough on the days they are really engaged. 

I am disappointed that the 2-year old classes haven't participated and the teachers have chosen to skip the storytime. I understand in the summer they need to go outside first thing in the morning, before it gets too hot, but I wish they'd be a little more appreciative of the services we provide as well. 

The toddlers are so cute and adorable, and I enjoy seeing them, but in all honesty I don 't feel storytime for kids this young in a daycare setting is very effective, and the time might be better spent giving the older kids a slightly longer session, so we could get the second book in every time. Without having a parent with them to interact with them 1-on-1 and help model engagement, reading books to them as a group just doesn't work very well. They do love music and songs, especially with hand motions, though, so I am going to have to re-evaluate what I do with them.

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