best 1st Grade storytime EVER!

I really hate reading books that fall under the same theme each week when I do storytimes--I get it, themes help reinforce learning, blah blah blah--I fall into the school of thought that if you love what you're reading, you communicate something just as powerful to kids! Fortunately, when I do school visits the teachers give me free reign, just glad that I am there and giving them a half an hour break from being in charge. :)

At a recent school visit I did a couple of stories I LOVE and also shared some Shel Silverstein poems to boot, the below storytime was with the first graders (the Kindergarteners have less time with me, so just some books geared toward to them). 

The BEST 1st Grade storytime:
One of my favorite pictures from Extra Yarn, Marc Barnett,
illus. Jon Klassen

Extra Yarn, Marc Barnett, illus. Jon Klassen
 How can you not love a story about a girl who has magic yarn that never seems to run out--she makes "sweaters for things that don't even wear sweaters," for Heaven's sake! aAnd Klassen's pictures are nothing short of WONDERFUL! Klassen fans will also notice a very familiar looking bear in the story!
Honestly, I wasn't sure about this one because it's a girl and there's knitting involved, but the boys loved it as much as the girls; this story is just so ridiculous and sweet!

Herve Tullet is a genius for creating Press Here! I know this book is geared toward the younger kiddos, but I thought I'd try it anyway because hell yes, I loved it! Tullet guides you through the book with simple instructions like, "press here," and "press all the dots," etc., and when you turn the page YOU'VE changed what happened to the dot(s) in the story! The classes are small enough at my school that each kid got to do one page of the story and everyone LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! The kids were laughing and cheering and hooting and hollering. The great thing is this book is proof that kids WANT to believe in magic and for those few sweet minutes, we did make magic. I kid you not, this was one of my favorite moments as a Librarian!  :)

I brought Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends with me and we read, "Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too," (the kids cracked up every time I read those names!) and "Peanut Butter Sandwich." The kids literally groan-laughed at the end of the poem. It was an awesome afternoon!

"Peanut Butter Sandwich"
I'll sing you a poem of a silly young king
Who played with the world at the end of a string,
But he only loved one single thing—
And that was just a peanut-butter sandwich.

His scepter and his royal gowns,
His regal throne and golden crowns
Were brown and sticky from the mounds
And drippings from each peanut-butter sandwich.

His subjects all were silly fools
For he had passed a royal rule
That all that they could learn in school
Was how to make a peanut-butter sandwich.

He would not eat his sovereign steak,
He scorned his soup and kingly cake,
And told his courtly cook to bake
An extra-sticky peanut-butter sandwich.

And then one day he took a bit
And started chewing with delight,
But found his mouth was stuck quite tight
From that last bite of peanut-butter sandwich.

His brother pulled, his sister pried,
The wizard pushed, his mother cried,
"My boy's committed suicide
From eating his last peanut-butter sandwich!"

The dentist came, and the royal doc.
The royal plumber banged and knocked,
But still those jaws stayed tightly locked.
Oh darn that sticky peanut-butter sandwich!

The carpenter, he tried with pliers,
The telephone man tried with wires,
The firemen, they tried with fire,
But couldn't melt that peanut-butter sandwich.

With ropes and pulleys, drills and coil,
With steam and lubricating oil—
For twenty years of tears and toil—
They fought that awful peanut-butter sandwich.

Then all his royal subjects came.
They hooked his jaws with grapplin' chains
And pulled both ways with might and main
Against that stubborn peanut-butter sandwich.

Each man and woman, girl and boy
Put down their ploughs and pots and toys
And pulled until kerack! Oh, joy—
They broke right through that peanut-butter sandwhich

A puff of dust, a screech, a squeak—
The king's jaw opened with a creak.
And then in voice so faint and weak—
The first words that they heard him speak
Were, "How about a peanut-butter sandwich?"

-- from Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein


Beth in Oxford said…
Haven't gotten it yet, but I ordered Press Here on your recomendation. Looking forward to reading it and then using it in storytimes.

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