Thursday, November 10, 2011

Storytime Review

This week we talked about scarecrows in our preschool Story Time classes. This topic seemed like a good idea at the time I was writing lesson plans. I found enough stories about scarecrows and they were both easy to read and nicely illustrated. The problem I found, on Tuesday morning, was that 2-3 year olds don't really know what a scarecrow is. The older class got it a little better but I still had to explain that a scarecrow is like a big doll stuffed with hay and that a farmer hangs it outside to protect his crop. I have honestly never had this problem before. The next problem was that none of the children knew what a crow is. I spent several minutes showing a picture of a crow, talking about what they like to eat and then teaching the children that a crow says, "Caw, caw!" This seemed ridiculous but was necessary if we were to be successful in following through with our theme. Which really at that point I had no choice because what does one do if the audience doesn't get it. No time to rethink, the books are already pulled, the craft supplies already purchased and the finger plays already practiced.

So after our short tutorial we read the following: At the End of the Garden by Penny Dolan, The Shy Scarecrow by Mary Packer, The Lazy Scarecrow by Jillian Powell, Scarecrows New Clothes by Lisa Thiesing, The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown and Crow by Leo Timmers. This last book I added after the first class because it shows a crow and is a nice funny story about a crow that hopefully the children could at least understand.

Since the scarecrows often had a hat in the stories we read,  we also sang the song, I Like My Hat by Carole Peterson. This activity was the hit of the day as the children did the actions and I placed a large sombrero in locations other than my head as sung in the song. The favorites were the hat on my face and on my bottom. Both of which caused gales of laughter.

We made a cute paper bag puppet of a scarecrow complete with "straw" sticking out. We also sang the song, 5 Black Shiny Crows, which is a take off on the classic 5 Green Speckled Frogs.

Ironically, as I drove home for lunch after the final class I spied a murder of about 40 crows along the roadside.

Next week: Vegetables, which hopefully the children are all familiar with!
Michele, Children's Librarian

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