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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 8th, 2010, 03:13 pm
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Join Date: Dec 15th, 2009
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liztom71 is on a distinguished road
Default children's story time in English

Hi. I've been doing 1 hour library workshops in my area as part of a regional reading/languages initiative. The concept is great but actually doing them is quite tricky, mainly because I never know what I'm going to get in the way of age or size of group, so finding the right kind of stories is tough. I've already done quite a few of these workshops, with varying success - I'm definitely learning as I go. They are open to primary age children between 5-11, though often there will be a predominance of very young children, sometimes including 3/4 year olds. Sometimes there is just a small handful of kids, and other times as many as 30. I'm really asking 2 questions here: first, any good ideas for books? I've found that Julia Donaldson's stories (The Gruffalo etc) work pretty well as they have great rhymes, rhythm, repetition and eye-catching pictures. They seem to appeal to all ages and have a good theme to work on. Some more of this kind of thing would be great. Second, any tips for keeping very young children actively engaged in efl lessons/workshops?
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Unread Nov 9th, 2010, 02:13 am
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eaturcheese is on a distinguished road
Default Re: children's story time in English

Lucky! You get to do storytime!

As part of my curriculum, I teach The Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Eric Carle. They cover very basic English and would be best for your younger kids. I think his books also have games you can buy to complement the stories. Have you tried any Dr. Seuss books yet?

I love The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. They are humorous interpretations of traditional children's stories, and even adults have a good chuckle. I used to do this as part of a speech team activity where we would pick stories and perform them for elementary school classes. That author, Jon Scieszka, also wrote The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, as retold by the wolf.

I think the biggest part of story time is the performance. It's not just a story for the kids who are attending but a show. A lot of the interest is created by your voice, your facial expressions, and your reactions to the pictures and story. You can also ask questions and try and engage them more by getting them to say some of the dialogue (i.e. Little pig, little pig, let me come in? Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin!). Some stories are better than others for this.

Today with my 10-11 year old 5th graders I did a chant. It was a bit dull (Do you have a blue shirt? No, No, No, I don't), but me doing simple gestures and making an idiot of myself with weird voices was enough to get them to join along. It seems to work with all the ages I teach, but maybe they're laughing at the tall, fat, curly-haired white lady dancing in front of them.

All in all, have fun with it.
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Unread Nov 9th, 2010, 04:10 pm
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Default Re: children's story time in English

Hi. Thanks for the great book recommendations - I've got The Hungry Caterpiller so will definitely use that in the future, and will look at getting one or 2 others you mentioned.
I agree with what you say about it being a "performance", it really has to be, and when it goes well I love it, though it's pretty tiring! As you say, some books are just better than others for this sort of work, and the book I read yesterday to what turned out to be 3 preschoolers, just wasn't right.
Thanks again.
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Unread Nov 9th, 2010, 09:47 pm
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eaturcheese is on a distinguished road
Default Re: children's story time in English

You're welcome! I had heard about the Gruffalo story somewhere, but I didn't know what it was called. I'll have to track it down.

Good luck with storytime!
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