Farm Story Time 2-3-16

By Awnali Mills

This morning we visited the farm in story time.  The books I chose were Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig and Moo! by David LaRochelle.

Farmyard BeatMoo

We started off with a big fat hen in my magic bag.  She clucked and clucked to let the children know what our storytime was about.  Then, to get our blood pumping, we sang Farm Chores

(tune: Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush)
This is the way we plant our seeds, plant our seeds, plant our seeds
This is the way we plant our seeds so early in the morning
[Water our seeds, weed our seeds, our seeds grow up, pick our plants, eat our plants]
Credit: I don’t remember where I picked this up from….

Then, I did the flannel The Very Busy Spider.  I handed out each of the animals that talks to spider until I ran out of kids.  Silly me did not anticipate that the wiggle eyes would immediately attract little fingers and the poor cat promptly lost an eye.  Ah, well.  It is now sitting on my desk with the glue drying.  At any rate, the children loved bringing up their animals when the time came.

Then we sang Are You Listening?

(tune: Frere Jacques)
Are you listening, are you listening
To the cow, to the cow?
Hear the cow calling,
Hear the cow calling.
Moo, moo, moo.  Moo, moo, moo.
Repeat, changing the animal and the sounds.
Credit: Gayle Bittinger

For each animal I introduced, I had a finger puppet that I changed out during the “Are you listening” section.  I haven’t yet mastered having more than one finger puppet on at a time without feeling terribly rude as I move fingers up and down.  I’m just more comfortable with this.

This led me to my Early Literacy tip: Playing with animal sounds (which is lots of fun!) helps your child to sound out words when they learn to read.

Then, we had an extra special treat!  My colleague Roman, a professional musician as well as librarian, brought his drum in and kept a rhythm going for me while I read Farmyard Beat.  This book has a naturally strong rhythm which Roman accented with a drumbeat, using a brush and sticks for variations.  We practiced it a few times before we performed it, and the kids were mesmerized.  Adults came up to me afterwards and told me how much they had enjoyed the two of us working together.  True confessions time—Roman is much better than I am.  I read and he made up stuff around me, so total props to him.

Next, I handed out flannel sheep with all different colored fleeces, and we did Baa Baa Black Sheep.  I sang “Baa, baa, black sheep have you any wool?  Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full.”  Whoever had the color sheep I named brought it up to the board.  Unfortunately, I was one sheep short of a child, so I asked him to come up and help me take the sheep off the board at the end.  He was thrilled.

Then, we sang If You Want to Be a Farm Animal, Sing Along:

(tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)
If you want to be a cow, chew your cud. (Make chewing motions with mouth)
If you want to be a cow, chew your cud.
If you want to be a cow,
If you want to be a cow,
If you want to be a cow, chew your cud.

If you want to be a hen, flap your wings. (Put hands under armpits and wave elbows up and down)
If you want to be a pig, roll in mud. (Make rolling motions with arms)
If you want to be a sheep, stamp your feet. (Stamp your feet)
If you want to be a horse, trot along. (Prance in place)
Credit: I found this in a flannel folder, so I have no idea who to credit.

I used a PowerPoint with my storytime and for each animal I did, I had the words and a funny picture of the animal we were singing about.

For our final book, we all read Moo! together.  I love this book.  If you haven’t read it, you really need to.  There are only two words to the dialog: Moo and Baa.  I asked the children if they could say “moo,” and naturally they all could.  So I told them I would point to the words and they could read the book along with me.  They did a fantastic job, and all laughed at the end.

Then we sang our ending song and went on to our once a month craft time.  This month we were doing Crumpled Paper Art.  This is simple but messy.  Crumple up a piece of paper and use water colors to paint the outside.  Open it up, then crumple it again and repaint.  Keep doing this until you’re happy with your paper.  You get nice color mixing with this craft, and crumpling the paper is good for strengthening little fingers so they can hold pencils later on—not to mention the dexterity practice with the paint brushes.  I love that this is an open-ended craft.  There is no right or wrong way to do it.


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One Response to Farm Story Time 2-3-16

  1. Morrisa says:

    All of your story times sound like such great fun, Li-Li.

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