Thursday, November 1, 2012

Story Time Review

 How to create a Halloween lesson in one hour or less

This week started badly. I worked last Saturday and therefore I took Monday off. I usually prep my lesson materials on Mondays. So on Tuesday morning about 6 a.m. as my husband left for work he reminded me that it was Tuesday not Monday. I thought about that and had a terrible feeling. Oh no! I hadn't done any prep for today's classes! I scrambled to get ready for work and came in 30 minutes early. I looked at the lesson plan for the week. Way too much stuff to do. So I adjusted quickly. Pulled some Halloween books and came up with a simple, no prep craft. This is what we ended up with.

 We read What's in the Witch's Kitchen? by Nick Sharratt, Go Away! Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly and In a Dark Dark Wood by David A. Carter with our toddlers. Then we read We're Going on a Ghost Hunt by Susan Pearson, The Little Old Lady who was not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams, and told the story The Ghost with One Black Eye from the CD Kidz Bop Halloween. To make the stories more fun we used the Big Green Monster puppet and a ghost puppet with one black eye. Luckily all of these titles were in my storage closet so they were available. If they were part of the library collection they would have been checked out for sure, like every other Halloween title.

We used the classic rhyme five little monkeys jumping on the bed but changed the words to say, "Five little monsters jumping on the bed, one fell off and broke his head, mommy called Dr. Frankenstein and Dr. Frankenstein said, No more monsters jumping on the bed!"  I used the flannel board with a bed and five printed monster faces as a prop during the rhyme. We pretended to be monsters and acted out the following finger rhyme:

(use a monster voice)
Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum  (stomp feet and clap hands)
See my fingers (hold up fingers)
See my thumbs (hold up thumbs)
Fee, Fi, Fo Fum (stomp feet and clap hands)
Good-bye fingers (hide fingers behind back)
Good-bye thumbs (hide thumbs behind back)

We used the finger rhyme Build a House with 10 Bricks but we built a "haunted house" and changed the last line to include a ghost instead of the wind.

Build a house with 10 bricks,
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 (place one fist on top of the other while you count, keep building as you go)
Put a roof on top (steeple hands over head)
And a Chimney too (straighten hands to form a square)
That's where the ghosts come blowing through! (blow & make ghost noises)

We used the classic rhyme of two little blackbirds but changed it to:

Two little pumpkins sitting on a hill (hold up fists, thumb up for the stem)
One named Jack (wiggle one fist)
and the other named Jill (wiggle the other fist)
Roll away Jack (roll fists around and around)
Roll away Jill (repeat)
Come back Jack (hold up first fist)
Come back Jill (hold up second fist)

Then I pulled out the parachute and used a blow up jack-o-lantern and had the children make the pumpkin jump and dance. This used up lots of time and the kids always love the parachute. Finally for our craft we did a simple sheet of black construction paper traced our hands with white crayon and turned them into ghosts by adding google eyes and drawing creepy mouths, hair and writing the word Boo!.

Whew! I don't think I did too badly throwing a lesson together. In the 12 years I have done our story time classes here at the library, this was a first! I hope to never have to pull together a lesson that fast again. As for the Nursery Rhyme lesson that I had planned I will just use it for the first lesson for the next session, which starts in two weeks. Stay tuned.

Next week: Registration for our next session begins Tuesday, November 6th at 10:30 a.m.

Michele Schumann,
Children's Librarian

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