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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Looking for help from my library amigos!

Hello all!  If you are a reader of this blog, I am asking for your help.  I have two projects in the works that are designed to help librarians learn how to offer bilingual storytime programs, even if they don't speak Spanish.  One is a book chapter for a professional development title that Reforma's Children and Young Adult Services Committee is writing together, and the other is a four-week online course that will be offered this fall through the Library of Virginia.  In each of these I plan to include a Spanish word and phrase guide that can be used to help children's librarians communicate with Spanish-speaking families.  This is where I need your help.  I'd love it if some folks could send me ideas of things they'd like to be able to say to storytime families in Spanish, either in conversation, in the program or through signage/handouts.  If you have any suggestions, please leave them as a comment or send me an email.  Also, if there are any other questions that you have or specific resources/techniques that you'd like to know more about in terms of offering bilingual programs, send that to me also.  This could help shape what I include in the chapter or course, or be used as a future blog topic.  I definitely want these resources to be practical!

Thank you for your ideas!  ¡Gracias por las ideas!

Friday, June 1, 2012

BIG Bilingual Storytime Flannel Idea - ¡Los Elefantes!

Today librarians across the country are kicking off Summer Reading programs, many of whom are using the collaborative theme - Dream Big!  ¡Sueñe en grande!  This inspired my Flannel Friday contribution this week - a prop technique for a rhyme about a BIG animal - elephants!  I learned this technique from Freda Mosquera of the Broward County Public Library at our preconference workshop on Bilingual Storytime techniques at the Reforma IV conference this past September.  It goes along to the traditional song "Los Elefantes" which many may be familiar with in English as "One Elephant Went Out to Play."  The song goes like this:

One elephant went out to play
upon a spider's web one day
he had such enormous fun
that he called for another elephant to come

Un elefante se balanceaba
sobre la tela de una araña
como veía que resistía
se fue a llamar a otro elefante.

Dos elefantes se balanceaban
sobre la tela de una araña
come veían que resistía
se fueron a llamar a otro elefante

The song continues calling for more elephants to join in the fun on the spiderweb.  The props that I use with this rhyme are laminated elephants, numbered 1-10, a long string, clothespins and a cute felt elephant hat that I picked up at Michael's made by a company called Darice.  This rhyme is interactive, with each child getting to come up one at a time and add an elephant, so it works best with small groups.  To make the elephants, I used elephant clip art available in Word.  I found a company called The Country Porch selling these same felt elephant hats for $3.99, but I have not ordered from them before, so I cannot endorse them as a vendor.

To use the props, I hand out the elephants to the children and then hold one end of the large string and the children come up one at a time to add their elephant while we sing the appropriate verse of the song.  So the child with the elephant marked "1" comes up first.  He or she gets to wear the elephant hat and add his or her elephant to our spider web.  Then she or he holds the other end of the string and swings it with me while we sing the first verse of the song.  When the verse is finished, it is time for the child with elephant number 2 to come up and join in the fun.  "¿Quien tiene el elefante número dos?  Who has elephant number two?"  This is a great practice of counting and identifying numbers in both English and Spanish, as well as singing and rhyming using a traditional song.

There are many different versions of this song available, including José-Luis Orozco's version from "De Colores," Jorge Anaya's version from "Cha, Cha, Cha," and this YouTube version from Storyblocks.

Check out my previous post first describing this technique for more Elefantes/Elephants bilingual storytime ideas.  Good luck everyone with your Summer Reading!