Monday, January 27, 2020

Storytime Plans

Garden Storytime

May 15th, 2011

This handout of garden activities, created by librarian Heather Acerro of Ft. Wayne,  goes well with Rah, Rah, Radishes: A Vegetable Chant. It is used with her permission. Click to access this pdf. Sayre ALA 2011 BookTalk Handout2

Duck and Geese Storytime?

June 3rd, 2009

See what new duck/goose books Anastasia Suen has paired with Honk, Honk, Goose!

Dust off a book: physical science storytime!

September 17th, 2008

Let’s begin our physical science storytime. Physical science studies the non-living world around us: air, water, wind, rock, minerals, glaciers, all sorts of things. But these non-living parts of our world also play a big part in our lives, and other animals’ lives, too. So, we’ll begin with an animal you might have seen…vultures!

Read more »

Life Cycles

September 10th, 2008

Let’s learn about life cycles. How does a toad survive in the desert? Let’s find out.

Another animal lays eggs in sand, too-not in the desert, but on a beach. The mother animal weighs as much as a refrigerator full of food. Can you guess the animal?

Sea turtle mothers lay their eggs and leave them. The hatchlings must fend for themselves. But another kind of creature guards its eggs and the hatchlings.

Another has to begin the year by finding a home and building a colony.


And here is an animal family with a parent who takes protecting the young very seriously!

Honk, Honk, Goose

Storytime Props

October 1st, 2007

This from Margaret Kownover, an experienced public librarian:

Using April’s picture books with school children

Picture books April has authored have “come alive” to school children at the library when I have used various props in conjunction with the story. For example, with the story “Turtle Turtle Watch Out!” I gathered together a sea turtle puppet (Folkmanis has a nice one), a raccoon puppet,a flashlight, a sign that said “Beach Closed Turtles Nesting”, a cat puppet and a heron, gull, whale, sailfish, jellyfish and seven sharks (for these I made stick puppets — I couldn’t find hand puppets for them) and a net. The children each take a prop and as I read we act out the story. Any children who don’t have a prop take up the chant “Turtle Turtle Watch Out!” and say this at the times it occurs throughout the story.

Another book, “Dig Wait Listen: A Desert Toad’s Tale” I have used with a rain stick. It works very well to read this lovely story and “hear” the rain right along with the story at the appropriate moments.

“Stars Beneath Your Bed” can be told in conjunction with stories about the stars — I have used it with a constellation program when we learned the legends about the stars and made a constellation viewer from discarded film canisters (drug stores that process film will save these for you). Instructions can be found on the internet by typing in a search for “canned constellations”.

“Shadows” is a great book to use with shadow puppet play and especially around Groundhog Day!

This post was originally part of the Children’s Media Professional forum.

Journeys and Mapping

September 17th, 2007

Have the children use what they observe by looking and listening to make a map of their surroundings . . . the school, the schoolyard, the neighborhood, maybe the entire city!

Before or after a study of mapping, or a study of human explorers/adventurers, you might want to have kids talk about great journeys. Read Home At Last to introduce journeys. Using information from books or the web, look at maps to see where animals migrate.

The Arctic tern in the book, a bird which travels from Antarctica to the Arctic, is also a great introduction to these regions and their differences. The bird spends summer in both places.

Sea Turtles are animals that make tremendous journeys

And then those are those smaller journeys, through time and small spaces. Listen to this story and find the journeys and pathways followed by bumblebees.

The Senses: Looking and Listening

July 17th, 2007

After reading the book, students can learn observation skills by going out and looking for shadows and experimenting as the kids do in the book. Why are shadows hard to see when the sky is cloudy?


After reading some of these books, students can listen carefully, and write down the sounds they hear in their environment. Have older students use stopwatches and write down what they hear at each 30 second mark. Cars? Planes? Pencils? Voices? Scientists use these kinds of observations, called data, in their studies. Are certain sounds heard more often than others?


September 17th, 2006

These books are out of print but in lots of libraries. Pull them as a resource for follow up study, or, for the youngest students, perhaps just a look at the covers and interior photos.

Biome: Grassland/Savanna

What other animals live in the honey guide’s habitat? Crocodiles! Here’s how big one can be. (Lay 5 yardsticks, end-to-end, on the floor.) That’s one reason to stay away from hungry crocodiles! Now let’s read about crocodiles & their river habitat.

Biome: River in Savanna

Where do most rivers run? Into the ocean. What reptile depends on both a beach habitat and the ocean habitat to survive?

Make sea turtles out of paper plates, with construction paper heads, flippers, and tails. Write sea turtle facts on each plate and decorate the hall!

Continents and Crocodiles

September 17th, 2006

Use Sayre’s continent books or maps to introduce the continent of Africa.

Then introduce some African animals with the books below. 

First, survey the kids about what they know about crocodiles and think about crocodiles: Do you like crocodiles? How would you describe a crocodile? Pay attention to the adjectives they use and write a few down on a chalkboard.

Now look back at the adjectives we used for crocodiles before we read the book. Did you learn anything new about crocodiles? How would you describe them now? Let’s learn about some more African animals.

If You Should Hear a Honey Guide contains a Swahili word: Kumbe! Check the web or other books for more Swahili words to introduce to the kids. Educators might also transition to more information on the people of Africa.

About Me
April Sayre

April Pulley Sayre is a photo-illustrator and award-winning author of over 65 books including Bloom Boom, Warbler Wave, Full of Fall, and Thank You, Earth.  Her read aloud picture books, known for their lyricism, playful voice, and scientific precision, have been translated into Korean, French, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic. Sayre’s ten photo-illustrated books include the classic Rah, Rah, Radishes and Raindrops Roll, which was both an ALA Notable and a NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book. Best in Snow received four starred reviews and was on many 2016 best book lists.  Learn more…


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