Preschool Story Time: Texas!

March is Texas History month, so last week I did a Texas theme with my preschool story times.  Planning a story time for Texas was definitely harder than I expected!  While I love cowboys (and I plan to use a cowboy theme this summer), I didn’t want our Texas story time to focus only on cowboys.  So, after a little bit of searching, here’s what I came up with:

Hello Song

We do the same hello song each week.  This one was passed on to me by our previous children’s librarian (now our children’s supervisor), and I have continued using it in my story times.

Welcome, welcome, everyone

Now we’re here, let’s have some fun

First we’ll clap our hands just so (clap, clap)

Then we’ll reach and touch our toes (touch toes)

Welcome, welcome, everyone

Now we’re here, let’s have some fun!

Letter of the Day

I start each story time by introducing our letter of the day.  Usually I tell the kids a little bit about our theme, and then they have a chance to guess what the letter of the day might be.  Since today we were talking about Texas, our letter of the day was…T for Texas!

1st Book

The Armadillo from Amarillo by Lynne Cherry

For this book, I didn’t read the whole story.  The book is about an armadillo who wants to know where he is in the world.  He sets out on an adventure to see more of the great state of Texas, and with the help of an eagle, he flies in the skies above Texas where he can see that Amarillo is a city that’s part of a state.  The book continues with the armadillo traveling all the way to space, but I stopped it right before they flew into space, when the armadillo had learned that Amarillo was a city, in the state of Texas, on the continent of North America, on the planet earth.  This kept the story short enough to be manageable but also kept the focus just on Texas.

Transition:  Clap Your Hands

This is another song that I inherited from my boss.  Since it is almost always a hit with the crowd, we agreed to keep using it in my story times.  It goes like this:

Clap, clap, clap your hands, clap your hands together (clap steady beat)

Clap, clap, clap your hands, clap your hands together (clap steady beat)

Clap a little faster now, clap along with me (clap rapidly)

Clap a little slower now, clap along with me (clap slowly)

*Repeat with shake your head, nod your head, and stomp your feet

2nd Book

51VzeDgj4cL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

Dance, Y’All, Dance by Kelly Bennett

This book is a cute, rhyming story about visiting the dance hall.  I challenge you to read it without having at least a little bit of a drawl!  The beat was steady and kept the flow of the story, and the kids really liked when we exaggerated some of the scenes depicted (they stepped in bubble gum – eeewww!).

Transition:  Dress the Cowboy Flannel

IMG_0172

This was my favorite part of the story time.  I handed out the different pieces of clothing to dress our cowboy, and we dressed him while going through this rhyme:

A cowboy dresses himself with care.

He starts with long red UNDERWEAR.

Out in the desert, you don’t want to get hurt,

So the cowboy wears a strong wool SHIRT.

Deserts and prairies are the cowboy’s scenes;

To protect his legs, he wears sturdy blue JEANS.

The cowboy bent, and ran, and knelt.

To keep his pants up, he wore a leather BELT.

The coyote howls, the owl hoots.

On his feet, he wears leather BOOTS.

It isn’t yellow, so it’s not a banana:

Around his neck, he wears a BANDANNA.

A cowboy is a cowboy and that is that!

On top of his head, he wore a ten-gallon HAT.

He’s all dressed now from head to feet

And now our cowboy can’t be beat!

Credit:  Go Texan Day outline submitted by Christine Turner on the HCPL Kidsite

You can find out more about my flannel story, including the patterns I used and the specific pieces we had, here.  This was definitely a hit with both of my preschool story times!

3rd Book

51oIE-Q9AEL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

Cowboy Bunnies by Christine Loomis

Since we had just finished dressing our cowboy, I used him as a transition into a final story.  Everyone agreed that we should have a story about cowboys to go with our rhyme.  I really liked this book because it is short and simple.  I was able to read this one a little slower and quieter, and I kept lowering my voice as the bunnies in our story got sleepy.  It seemed to help calm down some of our excess energy from dressing the cowboy!

Goodbye Song

Each week, we end story time by singing “The More We Get Together” from the Baby Love Song Time CD.

Craft

crafts-003

Our craft this week was a paper armadillo, in honor of the armadillo who traveled across Texas in our first story.  I found this adorable template here that I copied and cut apart for the kids.  I encouraged everyone to decorate their armadillo however they wanted.  My sample had a Texas flag body in honor of the theme, but we had a little bit of everything!

Reflections

This story time was a lot of fun, although planning it was more challenging than I expected.  In the future, I think I would replace The Armadillo from Amarillo with another book – while I liked the content, it just wasn’t super exciting to either group.  Both groups liked our Dress the Cowboy flannel the best, so I will definitely plan on using him again!  This was the first week in a while that we have gotten through all three books successfully, so it was great to have the kids engaged.  I had planned to do one other song, T-E-X-A-S (to the tune of B-I-N-G-O), but for both groups, the flannel was enough of a transition that we didn’t do the song.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Story Time

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s