Sunday, April 20, 2008

Storytelling Programs and Preschoolers: Counting

I do a lot of my storytelling with preschoolers. The usual age is between 2 and 6 years. Sometimes older, sometimes younger. I like this age group which some storytellers don't deal with because they can be so much fun. And because they are…..fresh, interested in any and everything. Especially if the information is presented well with lots of enthusiasm and participation.

When I do storytelling with that age group, I use a combination of movement activities, circle games, props, songs, finger plays, a short story and a songbook. I am also very fond of themes.

So, I thought I would share a sample program with the theme of counting or numbers.

Once Upon A Song - (Sample) Counting Program

Opening Song - 1 little, 2 little, 3 little Children
(same tune as the "123 Little Indian" song)
use the song to count the children or if they are old enough have them count themselves

Finger Play - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
One, two, three, four five!
Once I caught a fish alive;
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
Then I let it go again.

Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on the right.

Story Songbook - The Ants Go Marching

Rhyme to Act Out - 10 in the Bed (bring 10 children up with you to help act out this rhyme/song. You can use a large blanket that the kids can hold up….looking like they are in bed….. Then sing or chant the song. As each child leaves, you can have the kids count to see how many are left.)

Story - Why Anansi Has 8 Legs

Finger Play or Acting Out Activity - 5 Green and Speckled Frogs
(You can have the kids do this as a finger play or bring kids up to play the frogs)
Five green and speckled frogs,
Sat on a speckled log,
Eating some most delicious bugs...yum, yum.
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool.
Then there were four green speckled frogs.

(Continue until only one frog is left )

One green and specked frog.
Sat on a speckled log,
Eating some most delicious bugs...yum,yum.
He jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool.
Now there are no green speckled frogs.

Reprise of The Ants Go Marching
(sing the song with the kids…..depending on how many children you have, you can have the children walk in pairs or threes , etc. and march around the room while singing and acting out the movements in the song)

Closing Song

There you have it, a sample of the type of program I would do with young children. You can add or subtract songs and activities depending on how long the children can stay on task.

Here are a few other counting activities that you can do with children…………..

10 Bottles of Pop on the Wall (change the number of bottles depending on the age of the child/ren) & 5 Little Monkey Jumping on the Bed

Use some of the Math books that use foods…..M&M Math; the Cheerios Counting Book; Hershey Book on Fractions ; the Goldfish Book and others.

Use Tanagram books. There are many.

Go for a walk and count the steps. You might also count jumps, skips, hops, turns or anything you can think of.

Have fun!!!