Public Library Story Times:
For my 30 minute public story times I usually stick to a particular outline. I have found that both grown-ups and children appreciate having a general idea of how story time will go. With that said, my story times are still full of surprises, dramatics, animated singing & reading, and lots of interactive fun!
My general format for most story times is below:
Hello Song 1: I sing this first thing as an attention grabber.
Introduction: “Good morning everyone! My name is Ms. Melissa, welcome to story time! We have two rules for story time, just two rules. Our first rules is we put our cell phones in our pocket so we can engage with our babies, and our second rule is that we save grown-up conversations for after story time. Let’s sing our second hello song!”
Hello Song 2: Brings focus quickly back in to begin story time
Book 1: Usually the longer of the two as this is the time at which I usually have the most attention.
Theme Song/Activity: During this portion I usually lead the group in learning a new, theme adjacent song. Sometimes we also play with puppets, felt shapes or a mystery bag!
Re-focus song: I use this song to focus the group back to reading time.
Book 2: Highly engaging and interactive to maintain attention, but usually a bit shorter than the first as attention is usually not as high at this time as with the first book.
Favorite songs and goodbye: At the end of story time I always sing at least three of our favorite group songs. The children and grown-ups have come to love and expect this portion of our story time. We then sing a song to say goodbye to story time, and hello to play time which we have right after our story time.
Classroom Story Times:
My classroom story times differ based on the class itself and the amount of time I have with the class but they generally follow this format:
Activity: often a puppet, sometimes a magic bag, sometimes felt items, sometimes an art or science activity, sometimes no activity and just extra silly songs if Ms. Melissa has not had prep time that week!
Favorite songs: At the end I like to sing one or two of our favorite silly songs.