In honor of upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to bring Mr. Alligator with me to Pre-K. He donned his leprechaun hat for the occasion. I did essentially the same storytime for preschool and pre-k, but the preschool one was a little longer. I wasn’t able to find a read aloud-able St. Patrick’s Day or leprechaun book that we actually had in the library, so thank goodness for my Flannel Friday friends!
I started out by asking the kids if they noticed anything different about Mr. Alligator. Of course, they pointed out his hat, and most of them were able to identify it as a leprechaun hat. A few even related leprechauns to St. Patrick’s Day. I told them that we would talk a little bit about leprechauns, as well as rainbows. “Why would we talk about rainbows near St. Patrick’s Day? That’s right! Because leprechauns are said to hide their gold at the end of a rainbow!”
First up on the thank-you-for-saving-my-St. Patrick’s Day-storytime list is Storytime ABCs, where I found a brilliant St. Patrick’s Day version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? My original intention for the storytime was to talk about lucky charms (hehe–not the cereal!) so that’s why I substituted the yellow horseshoe for the yellow star and the green four leaf clover for the green leaf. The designs I just got by doing an images search on Google (ex. “ladybug coloring page”). For more info on the flannelboard and how to tell the story, check out Storytime ABCs. Thanks again!
I Am a Rainbow, by Dolly Parton. Building on the familiar concept of assigning colors to feelings, Dolly Parton extends the metaphor to make us all rainbows. This book definitely has an important message that is ideal for preschoolers: “It’s not always up to you, the way that you feel. But how you act IS a different deal.” I like the idea of embracing the complete range of human emotions and not being ashamed of them, yet empowering children that they can choose how they act–i.e., just because you feel mad doesn’t mean that you have to strike out at someone. This book didn’t completely knock my socks off, but it fit well in the theme and had a good message.
Elmer and the Rainbow, by David McKee. Okay, so the Pre-K kids LOVE Elmer. But really, who doesn’t? Anyway, this book was perfect for my rainbow theme. Before we started this book I asked the kids how many had seen a real life rainbow. Then I asked them when rainbows happen. Most of them said after a rain, so then we talked about how special it is to see a rainbow, since you don’t see one after every rain.
Oh, no! One day, after a rainstorm, Elmer looks up to see a colorless rainbow! He sets out to find the end of it, determined to give the rainbow his colors. But even if he does find the end of the rainbow, what will happen to Elmer when he gives away his colors? Again, this book has a really sweet message. When Elmer gives his colors to the rainbow, he and his friends discover that some things come in endless supply.
Another thanks-for-saving-my-St. Patrick’s Day-storytime shout out has to go to In the Children’s Room for this beautiful rainbow flannelboard idea and original poem. My set is pictured to the left, but to see the original and find the poem, stop by In the Children’s Room.
I did this a little differently with the different groups. Since I have a smaller group for my preschool storytime, I handed out my colored scarves before we started this rhyme. Then, as I called out each color, the child with that color scarf stood up. Then we waved the scarves to Living in a Rainbow, track 5 on Jump and Jive with Hi-5.
In my larger, pre-k groups, I had them stand up if they were wearing the color that I called out. This worked surprisingly well, although some kids weren’t wearing any colors in the rainbow (pink, brown, black). I told them ahead of time that if we got to purple and they hadn’t stood up yet, to go ahead and stand up when I got to purple.
With the pre-k groups, we ended by asking if anyone had some extra-special rainbow alligator soup for Mr. Alligator. Of course almost all of them did. The just can’t get enough of that alligator! 🙂