storytime and early literacy: extensions

During almost every storytime, we sing the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”   One reason we sing this song is that it provides an opportunity for us to stand, stretch and move about during storytime.  We all need action breaks!   But we also sing this song because it can be directly connected to the development of early literacy skills.  First,  we are helping to build both your child’s vocabulary and sense of self.  Also, by naming something specific (shoulders) and pairing that with a word, we are showing your child that the sounds that we make are not just random, but that those sounds refer to something in particular.  For example, when we sing the word shoulders, we point to our shoulders, showing the relationship between the word and the body part.

This is a great song to sing at home, as it is a favorite for many kids, and doing so provides a chance for directed movement.  You can also point out the nose, eyes, or ears on your child, and/or try it with a favorite doll or stuffed animal.  A related activity would be to touch objects around the room and say their names,along with some simple descriptives.  For example, “Molly is touching the big table,” “Molly is touching the soft pillow.”

1 Comment »

  1. Another great one to try is Teddy Bear Playtime (although my preschool storytime group refers to it as Throw Your Teddy Bear) by Hap Palmer. This is found on his “So Big: activity songs for little ones” CD.
    Like Head & Shoulders it is lively and has actions that involve kids pointing to backs, fingers, elbows, etc.
    Another fun song for preschool storytimes is “Elephants Have Wrinkles” by Mike Whitla found on the CD of the same name.

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