Thursday, December 22, 2011

Storytime From A to Z - Lots of Ideas!

I don't know about you, but I get BORED with many of the books that are included in our Reading series.  Don't get me wrong, some of them are good.  But sometimes, I think, "Really!?  Who thought this was a good choice for Kindergarten??"

In order to enhance our Reading experiences, we read other books...and LOTS of them!  I like to refer to this teaching resource:



I found this gem at a local teacher store, but no doubt you can find it online.  It was created by The Mailbox (I heart The Mailbox).  <3

Here is why I like this book:

1 - There is a book idea for every letter of the alphabet.  So if I want an extra read aloud, I think about what letter we are learning, I find it in "Storytime From A to Z," and "BAM!"  I have my lesson!

2 - For every story, there are also many interactive and student-centered ideas.  Yeah, yeah...there are worksheets.  But there is other fun stuff, too!  Activities where you think to yourself, "Am I really wasting using 5 minutes of my valuable Reading block to do this activity??"  And then that wonderful teacher inside of you answers back, "Yes, because these are the activities that my students will remember years from now."  :)

3 - Can we say MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES!?  This book is great about including activity ideas that reach all learners in an appropriate manner for five and six-year olds. 

4 - If an activity describe in the book requires a printable or some sort, it is included in the book.  Yay!  Less work for you!

5 - The books are all FUN!

To give you a better idea of what you would be getting if you purchased this book (haha, I sound like a sales representative for The Mailbox), you can read what my Kinders will be up to in January.  We will be learning the letter "Bb."

1 - "Roll Call Banter" (Using Prior Knowledge):  Display a barn and animals (some that belong to a farm and others that do not).  I use a farm-themed felt board set that I have along with some other felt animals for this activity.  Maybe you have some plastic toys?  Photo cards?  The students work together to sort the animals.  Those that belong on a farm go in the barn.  Those that do not belong on a farm, go elsewhere.  For fun, have the students say the animal names as they are placed in the barn!

2 - Read aloud Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming.


3 - "Barnyard Buzz" (Recalling Story Events and Characters):  Instruct the students to stand in a circle and select one volunteer to stand in the middle as the "cow."  Lead the group in singing the first verse of the song (sung to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell"):


The cow is in the pasture.  The cow is in the pasture.
Moo, moo, moo, moo, moo.
The cow is in the pasture.

Tip!  I like to give my volunteers animal puppets or masks while they are in the middle of the circle.  :)

Ask the students to recall which animal appeared next (after the cow) in the story.  Whichever students correctly names that animal gets to be the next "animal" in the middle of the circle.  Lead the students in singing the next verse:

The (cow) sees the (rooster).  The (cow) sees the (rooster).
(Cock-a-doodle-doodle-doo).
The (cow) sees the (rooster).

The song and activity continues until all of the characters have been recalled and named!

4 - "Bell Ringer" (Recognizing the /b/ Sound):  Give each student a cow bell (or the students can take turns, if you do not have enough for each student).  I purchased mine at a local store called Merchadise Outlet.


Randomly show objects (or photo cards).  If the word starts with the /b/ sound, the students ring their bells.  If the word does not start with the /b/ sound, the students pass their bells to the next person in line or in the circle.

5 - "Barnyard Buddies" (Writing):  Give each student a sheet of construction paper as well as a barn pattern (included in "Storytime from A to Z" and pictured below).  Tell the students to cut out the barn pattern and glue only the top part of the barn to the construction paper.


Students glue a farm animal under their barn pattern.  The book suggests that the students cut out photos from magazines.  I don't know about you, but I do not have magazines with farm animals in them.  So I just print out pictures of farm animals online.

Students write sentences that give clues about their animals. I like to have the students end their writing with the question, "Who am I?" because we are also starting to learn about writing questions this week. :)

You might choose to bind the pages into a classroom book called "Barnyard Buddies."  Or you might choose to display them, like we did.



"Storytime A to Z" also includes an activity sheet called "Barnyard B's" in which students color and cut out pictures and then glue the pictures that start with the /b/ sound in the barn.  I almost never have time for this in class, so it ends up going in their weekly homework packets.

Do you have any fun ideas that we can add to this lesson?  I would love to hear your ideas, so be sure to leave a comment.  Thanks for stopping by!  :)


1 comment:

  1. Oh great resource. Thanks for sharing. I like the Who am I? farm animal activity.

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