A place to share books, music, techniques, and all things related to bilingual storytime!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Let's Have a Fiesta!

Last night, a group of 25 at Bilingual Family Storytime had a fiesta at the Village Branch library.  This is a guaranteed fun theme that works for babies through school age groups, as well as for a mixed age audience if you also use a family storytime format.  Here's what we did and how you can do it too!

We started with Ginger Foglesong Guy's simple bilingual title ¡Fiesta!  You have to go shopping for supplies before you can have a party, and in reading this title, we take a stroll through the market to buy all the supplies we need.  This book practices counting in both languages 1-10, so as we turn the pages I call out for the children to show me the appropriate number of deditos for the page we are on.  Older siblings do a great job at helping younger brothers and sisters find the right number of fingers!

What else do you need for a great party that we didn't get at the mercado?  A cake!  Kids all know that parties need cake!  So we read about baking a cake in Eight Animals Bake a Cake by Susan Middleton Elya.  This title is in English and introduces Spanish words through rhyming text, which reinforces both vocabulary and phonological awareness.  Don't forget to point this out to parents!  It is important that parents know that while storytime is fun, the important thing is that we are developing early literacy skills and that they can continue this learning at home.

I made a flannel cake that we put on the flannelboard after reading this book.  We once again practiced counting in both languages as we added the candles to the cake.  You could also talk about the colors they see on the cake or imagine what the cake might taste like.

There has to be music at a party, and little ones need to move after sitting still for so long, so we got back on our feet and danced along to "Los ninos cuando bailan" from Jorge Anaya's A bailar / Let's Dance CD.  This song helps us learn body vocabulary as we dance with our deditos, pies, rodillas, cadera, mano and cabeza.

But of course, there is one key thing that any good party in our neighborhood has to have - A PIÑATA!  We learned about the piñata and all the wonderful tesoros contained within by reading Rebecca Emberley's bilingual Piñata.  Then we filled our own piñata - I made one out of flannel and made things to put inside it based on the book, which each of the children were able to add.  When it was filled, I had all the kids close their eyes and count uno, dos, tres...when they opened them, there was a real piñata!  Because it was my only one, we didn't really break it.  Instead we used our imaginations and on the count of three made a loud CLAP and I through out confeti, symbolizing the breaking of the piñata.  Each child was able to pick a tesoro from the basket of goodies.  They loved it!

Here are the handouts that I used to talk with parents at our fiesta about print motivation and other early literacy skills.  There is one in English and also one in Spanish.  Feel free to use (giving credit as appropriate) for ideas on how to communicate early literacy messages in your school or library.

Have you had a fiesta at storytime?  What have you done?

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