Thursday, August 8, 2013

Preschool Story Time - Frogs!

What a great theme this is!  I had no trouble with this theme because books are plentiful, rhymes are easy to find, and craft ideas abound.  If you need a story time in a hurry, this is a great theme to grab!  Remember to see my story time flow under my Preschool Story Time tab to see the dances and other activities we do weekly!

Books we used:

Stick by Steve Breen
If you haven't seen this book, its quite adorable.  Stick is a frog who seems to get stuck to a bunch of different things as he explores his world.  There are so few words in this book, but there are a lot of pages with multiple panels with no words at all.  We read this book so slowly so everyone in the room could see all of the pictures.  This was probably my mistake of story time.  My room was full and it took quite a while to get through this book because everyone was spread out.  For the second and third readings, it was much easier because my crowds were smaller.  Not a great book for large story times, but the kids really liked the funny situations of the book.

 The Big Wide-Mouthed Frog - Ana Martin Larranaga
One of my favorite stories to tell, I decided to make felts based on Ana Martin Larranaga's book of the same name.  Click to see my Flannel Friday post on this flannel set.  This was the highlight of my story time.  I taught the Frog's refrain before we started: "I'm a Big Wide Mouthed Frog and I eat flies!" I also slowed this story down so the kids could participate.  One of my goals of story time is to show the kids how to retell stories at home with their own expression and props.  I gave them copies of the text, had LOTS of copies of the book on hand for borrowing, and our craft was their prop.  The kids adored this story and so did the moms.  I even got a hearty applause for my efforts.

Too Many Frogs by Ann and John Hasset
Nana Quimby is trying to bake a cake, but she keeps hearing a thump thump on her cellar door!  When she opens it, she is overrun with TOO MANY FROGS!  What will Nana Quimby do?  And will she ever finish that cake?  Any book with a repetitive refrain will have the kids joining in, and that is just what happened with this book.   The kids loved it!

The Croaky Pokey- By Ethan Long 
This was my wildcard book - the extra one I always have on hand if the kids are really enjoying story time.  Well, in three story times this week, I did the book each time.  They loved singing it, they loved dancing it, and they loved the surprise ending!  It's the Croaky Pokey!  Enough said!

Finger Plays and Songs this week:

We sang only one verse of 5 Green and Speckled Frogs, because we were getting short on time.  I gave a handout to the kids with the 5 frogs and a log for them to use as flannel boards, coloring, or singing at home.

A fingerplay I used is used from

Croak Said the Frog (make croaking sound)
With his golden eyes (put fists up to eyes)
Sitting on a lily pad
Catching Flies (grab air with hand)
I have a sticky tongue (with index finger, make a darting motion)
It's as FAST as can be!
I catch mosquitoes
1-2-3 (count with fingers).


I was so happy to find this PDF from Teacher's friend with 46 different paper bag puppets!

 As I have mentioned, I like to give kids the tools to retell stories at home using props.  This was probably not as creative as a craft as I would have liked to use, but hearing the kids walk out of the room with their puppets and saying "I am the WIDE MOUTHED FROG and I EAT FLIES" absolutely made my whole week. 

Last thoughts:

One book I maybe should have used in place of Stick was A Frog Thing by Eric Drachman.  I went back and forth between the two books.  I know I will do this theme again and when I do, I will be trying out A Frog Thing for sure.

I could not have been happier with this theme overall.  In story time today, the kids were shouting "READ IT AGAIN!" which was really heartwarming.  Its true that kids can tell when you are comfortable and love what you are reading.  It shines through to them, so keep picking books and themes that you love and are excited about, and the kids will want you to 'read it again' too!

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