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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Butterflies and Science Make Storytime Fun!

Bilingual Family Storytime is back in full swing at the Village Branch Library with a new time.  We are now offering the program on Wednesday evenings at 6 PM.  Last week, mariposas filled the air.  This was a great theme for incorporating important science and early literacy concepts.

We started off as always with our opening song, "Hola amigo" from Ole! Ole! Ole!  Dr. Jean en Español by Dr. Jean Feldman.  This song introduces English speakers to fun Spanish greetings, practices rhythm and rhyme, and signals to the children each week that storytime is beginning.  Our first book was Mariposa, mariposa by Petr Horacek.  I love this book!  Lucía encounters all kinds of colorful bugs in her yard as she searches for an elusive butterfly.  The cutouts in the pages and a special surprise at the end make this book extra fun to explore.  It's a perfect choice for reinforcing print motivation.

Moving on, we practiced both colors and sorting while we listened to "Mariposa" from ¡Piñata! Bilingual Songs for Children by Sarah Barchas.  We placed four sheets of paper on our carpet - azul, morado, amarillo  y anaranjado.  Then I had a big bag of assorted objects in those colors.  One at a time we sorted the objects by color into 4 different groups.  This activity took about three minutes to complete; we ended just as the song was finishing.

Next we met Rita, a mischevious little butterfly in the book by Rachel Chaundler.  The story is amusing and can even be adapted into a creative dramatic using puppets.  Afterward I put on my storytelling apron and used pieces available from Lakeshore to retell Eric Carle's classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  This story is excellent for telling bilingually.  The repetition of "he was still hungry / todavia tenía hambre" makes the story interactive to tell.  The names of the different fruits help build vocabulary, and counting them practices early numeracy concepts.  An alternative to purchasing the storytelling pieces is to make your own puppets or felt pieces.  Patterns are available from DLTK.

Next we reviewed the life cycle of una mariposa.  I printed out four pictures - an egg (un huevo), a caterpillar (una oruga), a cocoon (un capullo) and a butterfly (una mariposa).  We put the pictures in order to practice sequencing, and then acted out the various stages as a movement activity.  As always, we closed with another Dr. Jean tune, "Adiós amigos."  Handouts for parents shared information about what specific Kindergarten Readiness skills we were practicing throughout the program, and included books and ideas to use at home.  The handouts are available in English and Spanish.

Another fun song you could use in a butterfly storytime is "La mariposa" by Colibri from Putamayo Presents World Playground: a Musical Adventure for Kids.  Clapping to the rythm with their manos and pies help kids develop phonological awareness.  What do you like to share when mariposas come to visit your storytime?