Saturday, February 1, 2014

Preschool Story Time - Shadows

The Groundhog books have frustrated me as a children's librarian.  Some are too long, some are too dull, but with a little imagination, you can still do a story time that's JUST RIGHT!

First we talked about Groundhogs and Spring - it's funny how rotten our winter has been and it even was snowing today!  Will the groundhog see his shadow this year??  The kids voted MORE WINTER!  WHAT???  Then we got right into our stories!

My first book was Huff and Puff on Groundhog Day by Jean Warren. It's written in verse and isn't terribly long, but the kids did get to learn a little about Groundhog's Day.  There are also lots of Groundhog craft and activity ideas in the back.

Our finger play was Where is Groundhog? to the tune of Where is Thumbkin.
Where is groundhog, where is groundhog?
Here I am! Here I am!
Shadows on this sunny day
Frighten groundhogs all away.
Winter will stay. Winter will stay.

Where is groundhog, where is groundhog?
Here I am! Here I am!
My Oh My a cloudy day
I will stay outside and play!
Spring is near!  Spring is near!

This was GREAT! The kids and moms picked up on it really quickly and sang along.  It's not often that happens!

Next was The Black Rabbit by Phillipa Leathers.  I read this with great expression and the kids were fascinated.  Why doesn't the rabbit realize it's his shadow??  This was of upmost concern to some of my little peeps.

After our halftime, we did a quick flannel board story.  I have a professional felt set to Aesop's tale The Dog and the Shadow.

This little action rhyme is another I got from

Mr. Groundhog
(to the tune of "London Bridge")
Mr. Groundhog down below,
Pop up through the fluffy snow,
See his shadow watch him go,
Winter's here to stay.
Mr. Groundhog down below,
Pops up through the fluffy snow,
Wide awake he wants to play,
Spring is on it's way.

Our last book is a new favorite!  YAY a Groundhog book I just love!!  It's called Who Will See Their Shadow This Year by Jerry Pallotta.  If the Groundhog's shadow effects the weather, what will happen if we try OTHER animal friends' shadows?  Hilarious!

We still had time, so I did a bonus activity where we guessed shadows!  I used die cuts in black (such as the bird and bear below, but I had lots of other too), and held them up to the flannel board.  Most had no trouble guessing what they were, but they all had a great time with this.  So I then pulled out flashlights and showed them how shadows are formed.  I left the flashlights out with the die cuts and let them explore this activity further after story time, and man, they LOVED trying this out!  I couldn't get the flashlights BACK!

And our craft today!  I love this too!  Make black and brown hearts and cut them in half.  When put together, you can make a little groundhog scene!  Plenty of space for art exploration as kids add their own scene to the picture.

Sometimes you just need to think a little out of the box when these holiday story times come around.  Instead of Groundhog Day, St Patrick's Day or Fourth of July....why not Shadows, Rainbows, or Parades?  There's more than one way to celebrate a holiday in story shine on!

Thanks for stopping by!  Is it spring yet?  

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