Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Off-Site Pre-K Class Visit, 4/11/12 (National Library Week)

I'm doing a handful of school visits this week, related to the Library Week theme. This was my usual monthly class visit for this group, but I stuck to the library theme so I wouldn't have to completely reinvent the wheel for my other groups later in the week. As always, they were wonderful listeners, and the songs and rhymes, though adapted at the last minute, worked very well. (0I really think I do my best work at the last minute.)

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Song: If You'd Like to Read a Book 

Book: I Took My Frog to the Library by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Blanche Sims (1990)
I decided to read this book even though it has a glaringly outdated reference to a card catalog. With older kids, I might have explained the card catalog, but for these three-year-olds, I just skipped it.  And since that was the page about the hen, I skipped all other references to the hen throughout the rest of the story as well. It worked just fine.

Song: I'm Going Down to the Library
This song is on King County Library System's hugely helpful wiki, but I tweaked it a little bit so that we not only had a song to sing, but also a way to recall parts of the story. (The original is by Tom Chapin.) I sang the first part exactly the same, but where the KCLS librarian sings, "Gonna say hi to the story lady," we just repeated "I'm going down to the library." Then for each subsequent verse, we used the name of animal from the story. (Except the hen, obviously.)

Book: Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson (2011)
This sweet story just arrived at my library a couple of weeks ago, and I knew instantly that I'd be using it for class visits like this one. It associates libraries with feelings of warmth, coziness, and friendship, and suggests that characters feel better when kids read their stories. It also inspired me to write an action rhyme, which the kids really liked.

Action Rhyme: Book Bear, Book Bear
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear just wasn't good enough for me. So I wrote this one:

Book Bear, Book Bear
Clap, Clap, Clap

Book Bear, Book Bear
Tap, Tap, Tap

Book Bear, Book Bear
Snap, Snap, Snap

Book Bear, Book Bear
Flap, Flap, Flap

Book Bear, Book Bear
Up and Down

Book Bear, Book Bear
Turn Around

Book Bear, Book Bear
Sit right down

Book Bear, Book Bear
Don't make a sound 

For up and down, we lifted our arms above our heads and then touched our toes.  For don't make a sound, we put a finger to our lips. Simple stuff, but a welcome change from my usual action rhymes.

Book: D.W.'s Library Card by Marc Brown (2001)
This was a longer book than I'd normally read to this group, but I wanted to give it a try. They all knew Arthur right off the bat, and they seemed to like hearing about him, even if they didn't really understand the story.

Song: These Are My Glasses by the Laurie Berkner Band
I sang this a cappella, since that's how I roll these days.  I have avoided this song up until now because honestly, I think it's kind of lame, but I saw some videos on YouTube where pre-K kids really seemed to love it, so I gave it a shot. And it was a good idea - the kids enjoyed it, and it reinforced the excitement I was trying to build related to reading. 

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This


  1. I haven't read Otto the Book Bear yet, but I have to tell you I LOVE your Book Bear chant!! Very clever!! I will add this to my finger plays when I do bears or books.

    I am also thinking of telling of using it occasionally and telling the children that they are my "Book Buddies" at storytime and then do the chant using the words "Book Buddies" with them instead of Book Bear. I can use it at any storytime then. It is a wonderful and simple way to stretch a little between books.

    I really enjoy your blog and ideas! Thank you for sharing!


  2. I love your idea of changing it to Book Buddies! I had the thought that I might adapt it to suit other themes, but I hadn't thought of what I would substitute for book bear. Cute idea.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  3. I fell in love with Otto the Book Bear when I first read it. I'm planning to use it for my stuffed animal sleepover this summer. I'll definitely be using your Book Bear action rhyme. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I read it to another Pre-K group this morning, and aside from complaining about its length - one child said it was too short, another said it was too long - they loved it. And the rhyme is a success. I might change the words and use it for my monster-themed after school program this afternoon. Let me know how your group likes it!


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