Monday, November 21, 2011

Saturday Story Time, 11/19 (Thanksgiving Theme)

I woke up unexpectedly sick on Thursday morning and didn't make it in for my scheduled Thanksgiving story time, but thankfully, I had another opportunity on Saturday to do all those songs and rhymes I've been planning for weeks. Attendance was low as it usually is on a Saturday - just four kids, and five adults - but it was a nice, low-key story time, which was nice for someone who hasn't been feeling well in a few days. It was also my birthday, so it was nice to have the gift of a calm, relaxed story time!

Here is what we did:

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Song: Hello, Mr. Turkey

Song: Did You Ever See a Turkey?
A million thanks to Sarah at Read It Again! for sharing this song on Flannel Friday! I made my own adaptation based on the materials I had available for making feathers. I have yet to find time to take a picture, but hopefully, I'll get that done before Thursday.

Book: Over the River: A Turkey's Tale by Derek Anderson (2005)
I loved this song as a kid, and had originally thought to sing this book. I have so many other songs, though, that I wound up reading it like a poem instead. And while the text is nice to listen to, it's so disconnected from what's happening in the illustrations, I don't think it made a very good read-aloud. I felt an urge to constantly stop and try to sort out the drama in the pictures while also keeping my place in the text and it didn't work for me at all.

Rhyme: Mr. Turkey
This is a pretty easy action rhyme for preschool, even if it's not the most exciting. 

Flannel Board Song: We Eat Turkey
Everyone who commented on my Flannel Friday post about this song was 100% right - what a great crowd-pleaser! We did the first verse twice to make sure all the adults had it, and once they did they sang the entire thing right along with me. I'm already considering ways to change it up for Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, cultural feasts... and on and on and on.

This is the Way We... (Thanksgiving version)
The kids at this session were all very young, so though I told them we'd pretend to prepare for the first Thanksgiving, they had no idea  what I meant. The moms did the motions with me, though, and again, because of the familiar tune, they sang right out loud. 

Book:  This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed, illustrated by Mark Buehner (2001)
I love this interpretation of the first Thanksgiving. It focuses on a specific Native American group, instead of lumping every tribe in together, and it mainly deals with how the meal would have been prepared on that first Thanksgiving. And bonus - it's a counting book!

Flannel Board Song: Thanks a Lot
This worked so amazingly well, I'm going to repeat it for the other two story times I have before Thanksgiving. I did sing it without the recording, and to my surprise, even folks who didn't know the song at first joined in as soon as they caught on. One thing that made it easier to sing  - I repeated the phrase "Thanks a lot" twice in each verse, singing where Raffi plays the guitar. That helped me keep the rhythm and made it a nice, calming song for the kids as well.  

Book: Thank You, Thanksgiving by David Milgrim (2003)
This is another one where the illustrations contain plot that the text doesn't discuss, but the simple text is just right for babies and toddlers, and the message works well for the holiday.

Rhyme: We Are Thankful
I like this rhyme because it could be used as a grace before meals, but works just as well as a generic form of thanks, without bringing any sort of religious belief into it. 

Rhyme: My Hands Say Thank You
This is the goodbye rhyme I learned from a children's librarian at my last job, who was also my librarian when I was growing up. We repeated it three times - once at normal volume, once soft, and once in a loud voice. 

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This 


  1. Glad you got to use all your fab activities and songs! I clicked on "Hello Mr Turkey" but it wasn't the one I know! My friend Ben taught me this one that he learned in preschool: Sing it to Happy & You Know It: "Hello Mr Turkey how are you? Hello Mr Turkey how are you? With a gobble gobble gobble and a wobble wobble wobble, Hello Mr Turkey how are you?" You make up simple actions, or just clap your hands. I forgot about this until just now!

  2. I think that is the same one, isn't it? I have Hello Mr. Turkey, which is that song, and then Mr. Turkey, which is an action rhyme.

    They loved Mr. Turkey at Baby/Toddler story time this morning - maybe especially because I used a puppet!

  3. Here is a Thanksgiving poem from Thanksgiving: Stories and Poems
    edited by Caroline Feller Bauer

    Turkey Dinner, Turkey Dinner
    Gather round, Gather round
    Who will get the drumstick, yummy yummy drumstick
    all sit down, all sit down

    Cornbread muffin, chestnut stuffin'
    pumpkin pie, 10 miles high
    All of us were thinner
    'til we came to dinner
    me o my, me o my

    Tune: Are you sleeping Brother John


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