Just one Elephant

This week kicked off our Spring storytime session.  Originally I was thinking that I wanted to use a circus theme, but I found that there weren't very many circus books that I liked for storytime.  I did have several elephant related songs and ideas, so I decided to go that route.  But, again, there were few books that stood out to me.  Then, during my searching I ran across two books that I really like, each having one elephant in the story.  So, our theme became 'Books with one Elephant.'  Our letter of the day was E for Elephant, since I plan on using the letter B later in the session.

Since this was the first week of a session I once again handed out the guidelines that I made up.  But, as many were repeat attenders I merely stressed the point that we are here for the kids so please keep side conversations for after storytime at the craft tables or the play area.  I also mentioned the fact that we do (not very) messy crafts just so the newbies are aware.

The first book that we read was I took my frog to the library by Eric A. Kimmel.  I like this book because it discusses polite library behavior in a fun way.  For example, the hyena the little girl brings to the library laughs so loudly in storytime that no one can hear.  And we learn that no matter how well behaved and elephant it just way too big for the library.  I also love the ending of this book, but I won't give that away :)

Our second book was Judi Barrett's Animals should definitely not wear clothing.  This is a fun silly story for the kids and I had them tell me on each page what happened when the animal put clothes on.  The porcupine rips his, the goat eats his pants, the hen has a horrible time laying eggs, and at the end we have an elephant in an embarrassing situation.

The last book we read was Big and little by John Stadler.  This is one that I had pulled for the circus theme, but it features an elephant who is going to climb a ladder and jump into a small glass of water.  Each page has flaps to literally unfold the elephants dilemma as she nervously climbs higher and higher.  This one also has a cute surprise ending.

We sang a few elephant songs, but most we just to get the kids up and moving.  The Wiggle song by Carole Peterson has no elephants, but the kids got to wiggle their hands, feet, hips, head, and whole bodies.

The Exercise party album has a song called You're an elephant.  We used the shaker eggs with this one because it has a good beat but there are several verses with no action for the kids.  They do repeat one part where they stomp their feet, flap their ears, and wave their trunk; so we did that part and then I just led them in shaking the shakers during each verse.

We also did Sue Schnitzer's Jump, jump, jump.  This song has the kids acting like several different animals like kangaroos, snakes, worms, and spiders.  It is a fun song and easy for the toddlers to follow along with.
 Instead of a flannel story we did a song this week.  I have used the Elephant song several times now, and it is fun for the kids to sing along and helps with counting skills.  We start by counting all of my elephants (there are 6 and each one has a number) but we don't put them on the board yet.  The lyrics to the song are:
One elephant went out to play
On a spider’s web one day
He had such enormous fun
That he call for another elephant to come: HEY ELEPHANT!!!

Repeat with 2, 3, 4, 5
 The kids yell 'HEY ELEPHANT' with me and then I add an elephant and they tell me how many there are.  I made a 'spider web' for the board so I put all of the elephants on that.  Once there are six elephants stacked on the web I ask the kids 'what happens when you have six elephants on a spider web?'  They tend to look blankly as me.  I have the top of the web taped at the back of the board so I pull that free and shake the web until all the elephants fall off.  As I do this I say 'the web starts to wiggle, and jiggle, and all the elephants fall off!'  I got this idea awhile ago when Miss Mary Liberry posted her flannelization of the song.

I also did a rhyme that was posted on the blog a bad case of books.  I liked these elephants so much that I also used them for our craft.  The rhyme goes:
Two little elephants standing in a row.
Two little trunks waving hello.
“Oh”, said an elephant.
“It’s time to go”.
One little elephant standing in a row.
One little trunk waving hello.
“Hey”, said the elephant.
“Where’d he go?”
 For the craft I gave the kids a plain, craft foam elephant with google eyes and tusks cut from q-tips.  They also has some star stickers and sharpie pens to decorate the elephants with.  I found that we had to use tacky glue because the Elmer's did not dry well enough to hold everything on.  They turned out really cute and the kids loved using their finger for the trunk.

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