SUPERSTAR Storytimes 101
Below are my TOP 10 tips on making your storytimes engaging, educational, and FUN! Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section!
1. Plan your storytime to be 15-20 minutes long. Longer for older children, shorter for younger children.
2. Know your audience, and choose stories that children will respond too. (Another blog on that later, wink.)
3. Rehearse the book by reading it at least once before your storytime. Look for places to pause for emphasis and elicit predictions, questions and reactions.
4. When you introduce the book at storytime, make sure to point out the author and illustrator. This shows the human connection that people write and illustrate books. Point out that the author writes the words and the illustrator draws the pictures.
5. Again, during storytime, let children predict what is going to happen next. This lets children feel that they are a part of the story.
6. Read with expression! Let your voice reflect the tone of the story and the personalities of the characters. Vary your pace and allow the story to flow with a natural rhythm.
7. Allow children to look closely at the illustrations. They will inevitably see things that you may have missed. Maybe there is a little mouse that appears on every page. Let the children find it. Illustrators are clever, and they often add their own storytelling details in the illustrations.
8. Remember those predictions? Help confirm or revise those predictions as the story goes along, and remember to be gentle and honor all the predictions even if they are very “creative”.
9. At the end of the story, allow plenty of time for children to ask questions. They will also have many comments, too. Just like adults, children will relate themselves to the stories they are told. Ask children what made them happy, sad, scared, excited, etc.
10. And the most important storytelling tip: ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE SILLY! Let the child inside of you SHINE!
Remember that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity you can do to cultivate a literacy culture at home and at school. You will be inspiring the lifelong love or reading and writing! What a gift!