Ocean Storytime

I'm the biggest thing Nuggest and Fang Star of the Sea

Today’s storytime was all about the ocean.  The books I used are Nugget and Fang by Tammi Sauer, I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry and Star of the Sea by Janet Halfmann (NF).

After our greeting song, I opened my bag and pulled out a stuffed octopus.  We talked about how many arms an octopus has, where they live, and what the plural of octopus is (octopi).  And that, no, it isn’t the same as apple pie!

Then, we drove to the beach with our beach song.

Beach Song (tune: The Mulberry Bush)

This is the way we got to the beach,

Go to the beach, go to the beach.

this is the way we got to the beach

On a summer day.

(Swim in the water, dig in the sand, build a sand castle…)

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After we got to the beach, we looked out and saw some sailboats.  Then we did a matching sailboat game.  I had placed all the  boats on the flannel board before story time and at this point handed out matching sails in every color.  I called out a color and the child with that color sail got to bring it up and place it on the board.

Then we talked about what other things we might see on the beach and I read Star of the Sea.  I shortened the book by about a third.  Most kids seemed interested, but even with very expressive reading, I lost some of my kids.  One little girl even stood up and announced that she was tired of stories and didn’t want to hear any more.  Whoa!  Talking with her mother afterwards, she is apparently not a fan of reading at all, but prefers the action.  Ah, well!

After the book, I did a Five Little Sea Stars flannel board rhyme, using pictures of real starfish.  We talked about their colors and shapes and the number of their rays.

Five Little Sea Stars

One little sea star so bright and blue,

Along came another, then there were two.

Two little sea stars, all that I could see,

Along came another, then there were three.

Three little sea stars on the ocean floor,

Along came another, then there were four.

Four little sea stars, as sure as I’m alive,

Along came another, then there were five.

by Ione Sautner

Then we read the fun Nugget and Fang.  We talked about what sharks are really like, and then I used the Sea HD: A High Definition Ocean Aquarium app to show video of real sharks on a reef.  (6/16/16 It appears that this app is no longer available.)

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Kids were very excited about this and enjoyed looking at them, and then started asking to see whales.  I didn’t have any whale video prepped (I’m not even sure Sea HD has any.)  So, we went on to our next story, I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean.  Kids enjoyed this story, and the grownups laughed quite a bit, ensuring that the kids laughed, too.  After the book, we sang Slippery Fish that I got from Jbrary.

Slippery fish

Slippery fish, slippery fish, sliding through the water, (press hands together and wiggle back and forth)
Slippery fish, slippery fish, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by an …

Octopus, octopus, squiggling in the water (wave arms like octopus tentacles)
Octopus, octopus, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by a …

Tuna fish, tuna fish, flashing in the water, (Press hands together and wiggle back and forth)
Tuna fish, tuna fish, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by a …

Great white shark, great white shark, lurking in the water, (make hands into jaws with teeth and act like they’re biting)
Great white shark, great white shark, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by a …

Humongous whale, humongous whale, spouting in the water, (open arms into a wide arc out to the sides)
Humongous whale, humongous whale,
Gulp! … Gulp! … Gulp! … BURP!
(Cover your mouth.) Excuse me!

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During playtime after stories, I had the iPad game Ocean, Animal Adventures for Kids available for playing.  This was very popular and nobody fussed about taking turns, which was sort of amazing.  I liked offering the real pictures of sea life first, during storytime, and the fun game for afterwards.

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Ocean, Animal Adventures for Kids isn’t actually a game, but more of an interactive exploration.  Cartoon versions of actual creatures populate three different screens corresponding to three different areas of the ocean – coral reef, deep sea and shark reef.  Touches to the creatures cause them to do something and make noises:  starfish sing, turtles eat starfish, crabs play drums.  Touching a button freezes the action but a funny voice tells you what kind of creature you’re touching and a bit about it.  The kids weren’t interested in finding out about the creatures, but just wanted to play with them.  Given enough individual time with the app, I imagine that a child would want to hear about the different creatures, but with the limited time I was giving them, they just wanted to play.

tired

We all have off days.  This had all the makings of a great storytime, but I just didn’t feel it went as well as it should.  I did talk to one of the boys afterwards.  He said his favorite part was the “octopus book” and that there wasn’t anything he didn’t like.  So, even though I wasn’t feelin’ it, I think this can be chalked up as a win.

 

 

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