In celebration of Día De Los Niños, I decided to try my hand and a semi-bilingual storytime. Día De Los Niños or Children’s Day/Book Day is “a celebration every day of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30.” (ALA) Many libraries plan bilingual storytimes to celebrate, which is what I did.
Not being a Spanish speaker, I practiced with a colleague of mine prior to the storytime to get my pronunciation as close as possible and to become more comfortable reading my bilingual books.
Here is what I had planned:
- Song – Top of the Morning
- This is a good song to warm up with because we stretch all the parts we will be using in storytime. Eyes, arms, legs, mouth, nose.
- Rhyme – Say Hello
- I love this rhyme. Everyone claps along and at the end we say hello how ever I tell them to. Loud, soft, quick, slow.
- Song – Skidamarinkidink
- A great warm up song to get moving and excited for storytime. Simple movements and it gets everyone on their feet.
- ASL – Celebrate / Read / Book
- I also teach my kids some American Sign Language to go with my theme each week. This is a great way to promote communication within our community and any way we can help ease the frustration when learning to speak is helpful.
- Book – Book Fiesta! by Pat Mora
- My first book is in both Spanish and English and teaches us about Día De Los Niños. This was my longest book.
- Active Rhyme – We Can Jump
We can jump, jump, jump
We can hop, hop, hop.
We can clap, clap, clap.
We can stop, stop, stop.
We can shake our heads for yes.
We can shake our heads for no.
We can bend our knees slowly
and sit down just so!
- Rhyme w/ Scarves – Toss Your Scarves
Toss your scarves, toss your scarves
Toss them way up high.
Toss your scarves up in the air,
‘til they reach the sky.
Wave your scarves, wave your scarves,
Twirl them ‘round and ‘round.
Twirl your scarves one more time,
Then let them, all fall down.
- Book – Marta! Big & Small by Jen Arena
- This was a book in English with Spanish vocabulary throughout. This was a lot easier to read and a great one for someone who wants to do a bilingual book but is shaky with the language.
- Song w/ Scarves – De Colores from !Vamos a bailar! Let’s Dance! The Dora the Explorer Music Collection
- This is a bilingual song about color. Dora sings the Spanish and Backpack does the English.
- Rhyme w/ Scarves – Hokey Pokey
- Since we had our scarves anyway, why not do the Hokey Pokey!
- Book / Flip Chart – Te amo, sol, te amo, luna = I love you sun, I love you moon by Tommie DePaola
- This was my last bilingual book. I had the big book in English and the Spanish on a flip chart. This was actually a great way to go because the audience could practice saying the Spanish with me.
- Song w/ Shakers – La Bamba by Joannie Bartel – Dancin’ Magic
- Literally all the songs from Dancin’ Magic are awesome. But this one was a familiar song and entirely in Spanish.
- Movement Exercise – If You’re Happy and You Know It
- I tell the kids that I want to know how happy they are.
- Rhyme – Say Goodbye
- This is the same rhyme we started with, so the new guys are familiar with it by the end of storytime.
- Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell my Friends by Music Together
- I always put this one on as I go to open the door. Its a nice, slow, peaceful song to wind down on.
How’d it go: Well, I didn’t get any cat calls screaming out that I was butchering the Spanish, so I take that as a success. For my first really bilingual storytime, I thought it went really well. I felt like I had a good balance of Spanish and non-Spanish activities to keep everyone interested.
That’s all for now!