Ocean Storytime – 4-5-17

By Awnali Mills

In honor of our All Henrico Reads book, Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery (which is an excellent book), it was requested that we all do ocean themed storytimes this week.  The books I chose were I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry, Swallow the Leader by Danna Smith, and Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins.

I'm the biggest thingSwallow the LeaderHooray for Fish

I began by introducing my realistic octopus stuffed animal, and talked about the differences between octopuses and squid.  Then I introduced the letter O, and we talked about some words (with pictures) that begin with O, and what sound O makes.  Then I read I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean, which is, of course, the giant squid (right up until he gets eaten by the whale.)

Then we all stood up and danced to Do the Octopus from Playhouse Disney’s Let’s Dance.  After we sat down, I pulled out my shark puppet and did the flannel Five Little Fishes.  I made sure that the kids held one finger out, shaking it back and forth and saying “can’t catch me!” while giving some attitude.  Gotta have that attitude.  Not that it does you any good when the shark comes calling.

Five little fishes swimming in the sea,
Teasing Mr. Shark “You can’t catch me!”
Along came Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be…
and SNAPPED that fish right out of the sea!

4, 3, 2, 1…

No little fishes swimming in the sea,
Teasing Mr. Shark “You can’t catch me!”
Along came Mr. Shark, as full as can be
He ate all the fishes swimming in the sea!

Next, we read Swallow the Leader.  Because this book is basically Simon Says with fish, I had everyone stand up and do all of the instructed actions with me.  We got our workout today!  Then we sat down and did the flannel Five Sharks in a Bathtub.  All the kids clapped for the knock-knock, patted their legs for the splash-splash, and yelled “come on in!” with me.

One shark in a bathtub, going for a swim
Knock, Knock, Splash, Splash,
Come on in!

Two sharks…three sharks, etc.

Five sharks in a bathtub, going for a swim
Knock, Knock, Splash, Splash,
They all fell in! (knock all the flannels off the board)

Then we sang Slippery Fish.  Our last book was Hooray for Fish, and the children were very participatory in the story, even though I hadn’t asked them to be for most of it.  They all counted the fish when I asked them to—21 fish!  That’s a lot for preschoolers to count, but I liked that it was more than the usual five somethings.

For our finale, I gave each child a “surfboard” made from rainbow patterned, large size paper that we had in our stash from a long ago project.  I had cut one end to be rounded, and after talking about what a surfboard is, I instructed the children to put the pointy end in front of them and stand on it, demonstrating on my own board.  Then I played The Beach Boys’ Catch a Wave from the album Disney’s Beach Party.  To vary things during the song, I had them act like they were balancing, crouch down, wave their arms, avoid the sharks, switch legs…whatever I could think of in the moment.  At the end, I told the parents that it might seem like we were being silly, but that our playing was good exercise, and that healthy bodies made for healthy minds that would do well in school, and then encouraged them to continue the play at home, since the surfboards went home with the children.

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One Response to Ocean Storytime – 4-5-17

  1. Morrisa says:

    Lovely fun. Thank you!

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