I have fallen WAY behind on getting some of my story times posted. I guess that is what happens when life gets busy!
Anyway, a week ago our story time theme was the Zoo and we had a lot of fun with it. We featured the letter Z for Zoo. I have started putting a picture with my letter of the day to help clue them in on the sound and start making the association between letters, sounds, words, and reading. My crowd has been rather young, so when we reveal our letter of the day I get lots of random letters. At least they are giving me letters and not numbers.
The first book that we read was Eric Carle's From head to toe. This is a great book for the toddler crowd as it can be very interactive. Each page gives an animal and a movement that they can do (i.e. the elephant stamps his foot) so the kids can do that move too. It also has repetition which is great for early literacy.
Monkey and me by Emily Gravett. They way this book reads I really thought that I could sing it, but I was unable to come up with a tune that worked well. (Let me know if you come up with one!) Instead I did the book as a chant. I would say a phrase and the kids and parents would repeat it. This added one extra sentence to each page (the book has you say 'monkey and me' three times) but it worked out really well. Then, every other page features the animals that the little girl and her monkey saw at the zoo. Since the kids were already in 'chant mode' most of them went ahead and yelled out the animal - which is exactly what I wanted them to do.
Our flannel board was the ever popular Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. The actual book is a lift the flap book which is fun and the flaps are big enough to work in story time. However, we already had a version that someone had made into a flannel board. I actually had made one at my previous job but had to leave it behind. You can see mine here.
We sang Sue Schnitzer's All the fish, which features lots of animals. They are more of the pond than zoo variety, but lots of zoos have pond animals, right?
For Raffi's Going to the zoo we got out the scarves. I had all of the kids wave them around as Raffi sang about Mama taking us to the zoo tomorrow and then we did the animal motions in between.
We have been ending every story time with Carole Peterson's B-Bananas. The kids really seem to enjoy the repetition and the chant is fun to do.
We had 2 crafts to pick from, though many of the kids end up just playing with the toys. For the crafters we had the outline of a letter Z and they could tear paper and glue it inside for stripes on a zebra. There was also some yarn that they could add on as a mane.
The second craft we used cars to drive black paint lines onto a blank zebra to add stripes. The kids really enjoyed this craft. I had the zebras pre-cut and they could add the stripes then mount it to a piece of green paper.