Posts tagged ‘STEM’

Weather Story Time

To begin, we talked a bit about how the weather changes every day. I asked them what the weather was like today because, luckily, it was rainy every day this week, which gave an easy answer. Then, we sang “If You Want to Hear a Story.”

Then, I said I knew a song they all would know about the rain, and we did “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” fingerplay.

Our first book was Hello, Sun by Dayle Ann Dodds

This is a short book that just introduces some of the kinds of weather and how fast they can change. It discusses how to dress for the weather and what fun you can have outside. It’s sweet, and it rhymes, so it went over well.

Then, we sang “Rain is Falling Down” action rhyme from Fingerplays and Action Rhymes.
“Rain is falling down, splash! (clap hands)
Rain is falling down, splash! (clap hands)
Pitter, patter, pitter, patter. (pat hands on thighs)
Rain is falling down, splash! (clap hands)

Sun is peeking out, peek-a-boo! (peek)
Sun is peeking out, peek-a-boo! (peek)
Peeking here, peeking there, (peek around both sides of hands)
Sun is peeking out, peek-a-boo! (peek)”

After that, we read our second book:  Boom, Boom, Boom by Jamie A. Swenson

This is a cute, rhyming, book that talks about how thunderstorms can be scary. All of the boy’s pets eventually get scared and want to sleep in his bed to be safe. Things get a little crazy as you continue to count the animals!

Then, we sang “If All the Raindrops” from Barney like we sang for our Food theme.

Then, we did the “Magical Rainbow Stew” flannel that the youth facilitator before me made and left.
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“Take an apple, put it in a pot.
Stir it, stir it, stir it a lot.
Take it out, and what will it be?
The prettiest red you ever did see!
(Repeat with Orange/orange, Banana/yellow, Pear/green, Blueberries/blue, and Grapes/purple)”
The kids loved this flannel! They kept trying to peek into the bowl to see how I did it. A few of my classes managed to figure it out after I finished because they looked into the bowl while I was giving out stickers, and they kept saying, “Oh, it’s just *pretend* magic!” It was so adorable!

“It’s Raining, It’s Pouring” rhyme from childhood:
“It’s raining, it’s pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head
And couldn’t get up in the morning.”

Our third book was The Thingamabob by Il Sung Na

This is a silly book about an elephant who doesn’t know what an umbrella is. When he finds one, he asks all his friends and tries out a few things in an attempt to figure out what it is. Eventually, he figures it out when it starts raining. The kids loved it and kept calling out what the “thingamabob” was.

Then, we did the “Rainbow Dancers” Scarf Rhyme that I found at Storytime ABC’s. (Instead of buying scarves, I went to the dollar store and bought cheap spools of ribbon, cut them into equal sections, and passed those out.)
“Rainbow dancers let’s get ready
Hold your scarves nice and steady.
You’ll hear the colors of the rainbow.
Listen for your time to go.

Shake red…
Shake orange…
Shake yellow…
Shake green…
Shake blue…
Shake purple…

Red scarves turn around,
Orange scarves up and down.
Yellow scarves reach up high,
Green scarves fly, fly, fly.
Blue scarves tickle your nose,
Purple scarves touch your toes.

Everybody dance around,
Swirl your scarves up and down.

Shake purple…
Shake blue…
Shake green…
Shake yellow…
Shake orange…
Shake red…

Rainbow dancers dance around,
Scarves swirl up and down.
Our colorful dance is at an end.
Thank you, thank you, all my friends.”
The kids went crazy for this! I’m glad I planned to do it two weeks in a row. (We’ll be doing it again for my last story time next week for our St. Patrick’s Day theme.)

Our last book was Little Cloud by Eric Carle

This was a great last book to wrap up weather and to get the kids involved by calling out the shapes that Little Cloud turns into.

Then, we sang our “Goodbye, Goodbye” song, and that was the end.

This was actually a STEM week for us. For walk-in, we talked about the science behind rain, and we did an experiment to see how it works. We just took some mason jars, filled them with water, squirted a glob of shaving cream on top to be our cloud and put some drops of food coloring on the “cloud” until it got heavy enough to rain in the jar. Then, we talked about the science behind other weather, rainbows, etc. Because of all this, we didn’t do a craft. We didn’t end up having time, but I had prepped a wind detector craft with a hanger, some string, a different kinds of paper (tissue paper for light breezes, printer paper for something a bit stronger, cardstock, and cardboard).

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Me Story Time

This was my second STEM week this semester. I wanted to focus on the body as well as being glad that you’re you. So, I introduced the theme, and we sang “If You Want to Hear a Story.”

Then, I recited the “Who I Want to Be” poem from Timeless Teacher Stuff.
“Everybody
Has a name.
Some are different,
Some the same
Some are short.
Some are long.
All are right.
None are wrong.
My name is _______.
It’s special to me.
It’s exactly who
I want to be!”

Since it was along the same lines as the first poem and got the kids involved with some actions, I then recited “In My Mirror” from Preschool Pioneer.
In my mirror, I can see
Two little eyes that look at me.
Two little ears, one little nose,
Ten little fingers, ten little toes.
One little mouth I open wide.
Two little rows of teeth inside.
A tongue that pops both in and out,
Lots of joints that bend about.
When I look in the mirror, what do I see?
A beautiful person looking back at me!”

Then, we read our first book: I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont

This is a cute little book about liking yourself no matter how you look or how your appearance might change, that it doesn’t change what’s inside of you. The kids liked it because it was silly with purple polka-dotted lips, crazy hair, pig snouts, and all sorts of other things that happen the little girl, but the adults liked it because of the message.

Then, we sang “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”

After that, we did the “Dance Your Fingers Up” fingerplay from KCLS.
“Dance your fingers up, dance your fingers down.
Dance them to the side, dance them all around.
Dance them on your shoulders, dance them on your head.
Dance them on your tummy, and put them all to bed.”

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler

This is a cute rhyming book, but you might want to cut it down like I did for my story times.

Then, we had to stand up and sing “Shake Your Sillies Out.”

We sang “Special Me” from Preschool Education as we settled back down.
(To the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle”)
“Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I’ll be.
In this big world I can be
Anything I want to be.
Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I’ll be.”

Parts by Tedd Arnold

This is a very cute book, if you’re not familiar with it. It’s quite popular, but none of my kids had read it before. It works well with the STEM activities because you can read it once for the silliness in the story, then you can go through again and explain the science behind each thing that happens (i.e. what earwax is, why our skin flakes off, why our teeth fall out, etc.)

Then, we did the Me and My Body flannel that I made. The idea was originally from a site with a bunch of STEM ideas–the ALSC Blog.
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First, we did the regular body flannel and used flannel flashcards to learn about the parts of the body (i.e. hair, eyes, nose, etc.). Then, we did the bones on the black flannel body and discussed what bones are and why we have them. Finally, we did the organs flannel and discussed briefly what each organ does.

My walk-in kids got to do body stations for some of the organs we’d just learned about then. I have a stomach station (like ALSC recommends) with reinforced Ziploc bags to mush food in to demonstrate digestion. Then, we had paper bags to inflate to demonstrate the respiratory system. We also had paper towel tubes so they could listen to each others’ hearts for the circulatory system.

Then, we sang “Skidamarink” and our “Goodbye, Goodbye” song, and that was the end.

We didn’t do a craft this week because our body stations took up all our time.

Under the Sea Story Time

 

 

This theme was, honestly, one of my favorites that I’ve ever done. It was so much fun, and the kids just loved it!

As usual, we started out with our opening song — “If You Want to Hear a Story.” Then, we jumped right into our first book which was Bright Stanley by Matt Buckingham.

This is a really cute book that the kids enjoyed. It was a great opportunity for some active storytelling and fun voices too!

Then, we sang “The Sea” from KCLS.
(Sung to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus”)
The waves on the sea go up and down, up and down, up and down.
The waves on the sea go up and down all day long.
The shark in the sea goes snap, snap, snap…
The fish in the sea goes swish, swish, swish…
The boats on the sea go toot, toot, toot…
The crabs in the sea go snap, snap, snap..

By this point, the kids were begging for some shark stories, so we picked up Smiley Shark by Ruth Galloway.

This was an absolutely adorable book about a shark who just wants to make friends but keeps scaring everyone away with his toothy grin. I liked the ending and the kids thought it was pretty cute too.

Then, I used a “Five Little Ocean Friends” flannel that the former youth facilitator here left. I found the words on Storytime Katie’s blog.
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“Five little ocean friends on the ocean floor,
The starfish walks away and now there are four
Four little ocean friends living in the sea
The crab slides away now there are three
Three little ocean friends looking for a clue
“Glub, glub,” said the lobster now there are two
Two little ocean friends not having much fun
Off swam the sea horse now there is one
One little octopus sad and all alone
Back swims the starfish, back swims the crab,
Back swims the lobster, back swims the sea horse
And they played in the sea foam, safe in their home.”

Because my kids love the “Five Little Monkeys” fingerplay, we had to include it as the “Five Little Fishies in the Sea” Fingerplay. I found this originally at KCLS.
“Five little fishes
Swimming in the sea
Teasing Mr. Shark
You can’t catch me
Along comes Mr. Shark
As quiet as can be…

SNAP!
Four little fishes
Swimming in the sea

(Continue until no more fishes.)”

Our final book, of course, had to be everyone’s favorite — The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

I love this book more than almost any other I’ve read in story time so far! It’s so fun to read, it gets the kids engaged in the refrain, it’s silly, and it’s just so cute.

The Goldfish” by Laurie Berkner.  If you haven’t heard this song, find it now! You won’t be sorry. It is the single most adorable children’s song ever. Not only is it incredibly silly and fun, it has plenty of actions to get kids moving, and every single class got into it, every teacher loved it, and I had a ball watching the kids.

Then, we did a few STEM Activities. Our first activity was to play a guessing game with some Ocean Trivia Cards that I made. I chose a few ocean facts that my kids might know and made two cards for each fact, one true and one false. Then, I’d hold up each card and have them raise their hands or stand in front of the card they thought was true. The facts I chose were:
An octopus has 6/8 legs.
Waves in the ocean are made by the wind/earth’s gravity.
A group of fish is called a pod/school.
The Great White Shark/Blue Whale is the largest animal in the ocean.
More people have explored outer space than the ocean/More people have explored the ocean than outer space.
Nemo was a clown fish/goldfish.
After they’d placed their guesses, we talked a bit about the science behind each fact.

Then, we played another guessing game where we formulated a hypothesis by looking at an inflatable globe I bought at a teacher supply store. Based on a glance alone, the kids almost always guessed that there was more land than water on the Earth. So, to test our hypothesis, I had three to five volunteers come up, close their eyes, and point randomly at the globe as I spun it. Then, we used the data we’d collected from where their finger fell (land or water) to see if our hypothesis was correct.

After that, we discussed waves, how they’re created, what they do, etc. and I demonstrated with an ocean in a bottle.

Then, we wrapped up with our “Goodbye, Goodbye” song, and that was all.

We did a simple jellyfish craft with cardstock semi-circles and curling ribbon in my walk-in story time.
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