After using the Rhyme Cube we learned our sign language word of the day-
Sign Language: “Balloon”
Opening Rhyme: Open them, shut them…
First Book: Balloons, Balloons, Balloons by Dee Lillegard
I’m going to blow up this balloon
And never, never stop.
I’ll blow and blow and blow and blow and
(Hands make the shape of the balloon and get bigger, then clap loudly on the pop.)
Second Book: Emily’s Balloon by Komako Sakai
This book has very sweet delicate illustrations and you can really ask the kids a lot of questions about the story as you read. Narration is an important early literacy skill!
I do the following rhyme pretty frequently in storytime. It’s lets the kids get their wiggles out a little. I do the corresponding sign language letter for each verse.
A is for alligator, CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP (use arms to make a “Chomping” motion)
B is for bouncy ball, BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE (jump in place)
C is for circle, turn around (spin in a circle)
D is for dizzy, sit back down (point to the ground and sit down)
Flannel Board: 5 Bright Balloons
Five bright balloons went out to play,
Over the hill and far away.
The little child called “Come back, back, back!”
Four bright balloons came floating back.
(Count down until none are left)
Whenever I do flannel boards that involve counting (which is often) I always have the kids count aloud with me between each verse. For example, I will say “how many balloons do we have left? Let’s count them.” Then I point to each flannel piece as we all count together. I think it is important to slow down like this and have the kids count with me. Especially for the very little ones who are still learning to count. We should promote STEM as well as literacy!
Third Book: The Blue Balloon by Mick Inkpen
Next I gave each child a balloon cut out of flannel. I had a bunch of different colors. I told them to wait until they hear their name and then hold up their balloon so we can see what color it is.
We sang this song:
“__(child’s name) had a __(balloon color)_ balloon.
He/she blew and blew all day.
His/her mother said you better stop.
Whoops (CLAP!) to late he/she popped it!”
As I called each child’s name, he/she came up and placed their balloon on the board. Here’s a video of another teacher/librarian doing it with a group of kids. The flannel balloons I made are smaller than the ones in the video but you get the idea.
When we finished the board looked something like this:
Towards the end of storytime I usually ask the kids which book they liked the best. I hold up one book and say “Raise your hand if you liked this book best?” and then do the same for the other books. Then I say “Raise both hands if you liked all the books and go Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!” and we wave our arms in the air. I got this idea from Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen (of Mother Goose on the Loose fame) when I saw her speak at PLA this past year.
It would have been fun to do something with real balloons too but we have a staff member with a severe latex allergy so for her sake (and because a visit from EMTs would not be a fun end to storytime) I chose not to.
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