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

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A BIG Idea for Building Early Literacy - ¡Elefantes!

Tonight in Bilingual Family Storytime we are sharing animal stories, songs and activities, including Petr Horacek's Elefante, also available in English as Elephant.  This is a great story about using our imaginations to have fun, and it uses text in some cool ways.  Here's an example of how to communicate the value of unusual text for building early literacy to parents while introducing the book:

"Our first book, Elephant by Petr Horacek, uses various shapes and directions in the text, which helps children learn that when we use books, we read from left to right.  This is an important skill called print utilization that helps prepare young children to learn to read.

El primer libro, Elefante por Petr Horacke, cambia mucho las formas y direcciones en el texto.  Esto ayuda a los niños a aprender que cuando usamos libros, leemos desde la izquierda a la derecha.  Esta es una habilidad importante que se llama el reconocimiento de la palabra escrita que prepara a los niños a aprender a leer."

I found an awesome song on YouTube by Habla Blah Blah called "Los elefantes" that we are going to use too.  We will count and stomp along with the song, which would be super easy to sing again in English.  We may even get out some rhythm sticks!  This will be a great chance to bring out my very favorite Folkmanis elephant puppet to come out and play too!

Can't wait to share these ideas and more with all of our amigos tonight at 6 PM at the Village Branch library!

One of my co-presenters (the amazing Freda Mosquera) at the "Growing Up Bilingual Programming: A Tribute to Rose Treviño" session at the Reforma IV conference last Septmber, shared a very cool way in which she uses the traditional "Elefantes" song in her program.  I have since done this in my programs and it is so much fun!  Take a piece of string or yarn as your telaraña and have paper elefantes for each child.  I have numbered each of my elefantes 1-10.  Then have the children come up one at a time to add their elefante to the telaraña with a clothespin.  Number one comes up first and adds her elephant and then takes the end of the yarn to sing the first verse of the song and call over elefante dos.  This is interactive and engaging, so it works for mixed ages.  It uses a traditional rhyme, familiar to both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking communities, which makes it very powerful for reinforcing the development of phonological awareness.  Finally, it also helps to practice counting skills and number identification, two essential school readiness skills.  Have fun adding this to your programs!
The super librarians of Flannel Friday have a flannel, the words in both languages and a video of the song in Spanish all available here.