Preschool Storytime–Zoo!

Today’s early literacy skill was narrative skills.  This deals with a child’s ability to describe things and events their ability to tell/retell stories.  Today at storytime, we used puppets and props to reenact “Goodnight Gorilla”.  Reading with your child every day promotes the development of narrative skills by exposing your child to the structure of a story–beginning, middle, and end.

Opening song:  We hit our knees together (from Mother Goose on the Loose)

Opening rhyme:  Alphabet soup







Opening game:  we thought about what kinds of animals we might see at the zoo, and I wrote them on the whiteboard.  Exercises like this are great for print awareness.








Going to the Zoo with Lily and Milo, by Pauline Oud.  (E ANIMALS OUD).  This is a cute book about friends Lily and Milo and their trip to the zoo.  I really like a book such as this for developing narrative skills because it gives the parent/caregiver the perfect opportunity to invite the child to tell his or her own story about going to the zoo.  “Lily and Milo saw a parrot at the zoo.  What happened when we went to the zoo?”  This can be reinforced by pretend play with stuffed animals or drawing pictures.  When your child can tell a story, it means that he or she is able to understand stories and how they are structured.







I Spy Flannelboard–I just used laminated clip art for this.  I put all three animals up on the board and explained to the kids how to play I Spy.  I used physical characteristics along with sounds to describe the animals.  For example, “I spy with my little eye an animal that slithers around on his belly and says “hiss!”” 








I left these pieces up while we sang “The Wheels on the Bus”.  We did “all though the zoo” instead of “all through the town” and the animals were on the bus.  For example, “The gators on the bus go chomp, chomp, chomp…”, etc.

Dear Zoo storytelling.  I loved Sarah’s idea at Read, Sarah, Read! to act out Dear Zoo with puppets.  I had to get a little creative with my animal choices because we didn’t have puppets for some of the animals in the book.  In the end, I chose the toucan (too feathery), the tiger (too ferocious), the hippo (too big), the snake (too slithery), and the zebra (too stripey).  But the puppy was just right!








Good Night, Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann.  (BB RATH).  This book is another good choice for developing narrative skills because it has very few words.  Children can interpret the pictures independently and tell their own story.  Before we started reading the story, we looked at the cover to see if we could determine what the book would be about.  We talked about who the man in the picture is, and what the gorilla is holding in his hand and the gesture that he is making. 








Closing game:  rhyme cube (Itsy Bitsy Spider)–weird how some rhymes we get all the time and others we have never gotten before!

Closing rhyme:  This is big, big, big (from Mel’s Desk)

Closing song:  My hands say thank you

Activity:  Matching game/pretend zoo play

I made “cages” out of cardboard boxes for my elephant, gorilla, and lion puppets.  (I got the idea here).  I also made signs with clip art of each animal and the name of that animal in bold print.  I designated a color for each animal and made corresponding locks and keys for each animal.

So, the yellow key with with the yellow lock, and so on.  On each key, one side was a picture of the animal, and the other side was the animal’s name in bold print.  I punched holes in the tops of the keys and put them together on a pipe cleaner “key ring”.  I invited the kids to match their keys to the locks, open the cages, and put each animal to bed using one of our scarves.

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