Thursday, March 21, 2019

SENSEational Story Time: "Nighttime"

This month we explored the sights, sounds, and feeling of nighttime. I was excited to incorporate some of the fun activities put together by Meagan K. Shedd, PhD, and the Library of Michigan's Youth Services Advisory Council for the Ready to Read Michigan 2019 title Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson. I love using Christie Matheson's interactive books in story time, and the experience is even better when using a set of board books for every child and caregiver to interact with.

Here's the plan:

Visual schedule with activity images

1. Hello!

2. Welcome song: "The Story Time Ball"
tune: "Wheels on the Bus"
(Roll ball back and forth to each child)
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
back and forth, back and forth.
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
Let's see who it found. Hi ______!
Now roll it back to me.
(Keep rolling back and forth until each child has said their name.)

3. Yoga pose: "Star pose" 
After mindful breathing in and out, feeling the stretch to all five points, let's count those five points on our body! With our arms and legs extended out, we can touch our (left) hand, head, (right) hand. Now reach down and touch your (left) foot, and (right) foot.

4. Finger puppet rhyme: "4 Little Stars"
(using 4 star finger puppets)

4 star finger puppets
Four little stars winking at me,
one shot off and then there were three.
Three little stars with nothing to do,
one shot off and then there were two.
Two little stars afraid of the sun,
one shot off and then there was one.
One little star not having any fun,
it shot off and then there were none!
(source: Child's Play)

5. Story: Night Owl by Toni Yuly
Before reading, I gave each child one of the animals or things creating a sound in the story to place on the magnetic board when we heard its sound in the story.

laminated owl, frog, woodpecker, train, grasshopper, and storm cloud shapes

6. Stretch band rhyme: "Bend and Stretch"
Bend and stretch, reach for the stars.
(bend down and reach up high, pulling your stretch band up to the sky)
There goes Jupiter, here comes Mars.
(reach out left to Jupiter and right to Mars, stretching out to both sides)
Bend and stretch, reach for the sky.
(bend down and reach up high, pulling your stretch band up to the sky)
Stand on tip-e-toe, oh! So high!
(standing on your toes, or pointing with your toes if seated, pull stretch band high to the sky)
(Source: Child's Play)

7. Interactive Story: Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson
We used our board book set to read and interact together. After reading the story, I got out some of the (enlarged and laminated) activity cards in the Ready to Read Michigan guide and had each child choose a card. 
laminated activity cards that say blink, count, touch, pat, and tap

For the touch (the fireflies) card, I had each child touch/feel and squeeze our firefly finger puppet, watching as it lights up each time it's squeezed.

Firefly fingerpuppet

For the Pat (the deer) card, I had each child "pat" the soft deer puppet.

hand holding firefly puppet next to a deer puppet

We tapped (the tree), counted (the stars), and blinked our eyes as we found the brightest star on the flannel board (next to the moon in the nighttime sky!).

Flannel board with 3 stars, a nighttime scene, and a tree

8. Parachute activity: "Zoom, Zoom, Zoom"
Zoom, zoom, zoom
I'm going to the moon.
If you want to take a trip,
Climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
I'm going to the moon!
(Raise and lower parachute - raising really high when you go to the moon.)

9. Goodbye song and stretch: "Tickle the Clouds"
Tickle the clouds.
Tickle your toes.
Turn around and tickle your nose.
Reach down low.
Reach up high.
Story time's over.
Wave goodbye!

10. Play and discovery time: light panel play with some colorful animals we may see or hear at night and exploring sounds around the world at nighttime

Light panel with colorful shapes of a bird, dog, elephant, and fish

After playing with our animal shapes on the light panels and making each animal's sound (or talking about how some animals are pretty quiet, like the fish), we gathered in front of our interactive touch screen panel and explored the different sounds heard around the world in the nighttime with this very cool Nature Sound Map site. You can touch any of the pinpoints on the map to hear an actual recording of nature in that location. This was a big hit!

Computer screen with world map, pinpoints, and a sound window pop-up of the desert night sounds in  Australia