Babies in Bloom: Early Literacy Storytime, Background Knowledge

This post is an outline for the first Early Literacy Initiative Storytime I did for Anne Arundel County Public Libraries. Our early literacy initiative, which you can learn more about here, focuses on the skills to prepare children from birth to preschool that they need to learn to read in school. These principles were developed by Saroj Ghoting.

The five focuses of our program are Background Knowledge, Print Awareness , Phonological Awareness (the sounds in words), Vocabulary, and Letter Awareness (letters, words and text). It is important to note that the storytime is developed before the early literacy asides are added in, and they can be incorporated into any storytime.

The outline of my storytime follows…

Theme: Background Knowledge

Housekeeping Hello everyone, and welcome to this Early literacy storytime. Today we’re going to talk about some things you can do with your children to help prepare them to read. You know them better than we do, so don’t force, them to participate, but when they see you getting involved they are more likely to. Let your children wander, but if they become restless or upset, you may step out for a few minutes to calm them. You are welcome to bring them back.
Aside: Explain/Define Definition: Background knowledge describes what children and infants know about or understand about the world. When you read with children, they will imitate that behavior, and learn from you.
Opening Song Everybody Wave Hello (Silly Hands Verse)
Flannelboard Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Place stars)
Flannel Pieces: World, Diamond, Star
Rhyme Dance Your Fingers (see below)
Aside: Example/ Demonstration Reading with your children develops prereading skills, and while many books have few words, you can add information about each page to expose them to new ideas.
Book Thumpy Feet, by Betsy Lewin
Rhyme Choo-Choo Train (See below)
Baby Sign Language: TrainWhen we say “train” we are going to use the sign for it.
Song Bumping up and Down, Raffi (CD: Singable Songs for the Very Young)
Aside 3 When they get older, children will as for the same board books repeatedly. Children need a lot of repetition to learn. If you’re struggling to read the same stories, share books in different ways- children can point to and tell stories about the pictures, and you can use books as conversation starters.
Rhyme I Know a Little Pony (see below)
Bubbles/Song Choose a fun song to play during bubbles! (Yellow Submarine, the Beatles)
Ending Song

Playtime/Socializing for parents

Shake My Sillies Out! by Raffi (CD: Singable Songs for the Very Young)

Instruments, balls, toys


Dance Your Fingers Up

Dance your fingers up,
Dance your fingers down.
Dance them to the side,
and dance them all around
Dance them on your shoulders;
dance them on your head.
Dance them on your tummy,
and put them all to bed.
[repeat 1-2x]

Choo-Choo Train

This is a choo-choo train,
Puffing down the track.
(make circular motion with arms)
Now it’s going forward,
(push arms forward, continue rotating motion)
Now it’s going back.
(pull arms back, continue rotating motion)
Now the bell is ringing,
(pull bell cord with closed fist)
Now the whistle blows.
(hold fist near mouth and blow)
What a lot of noise it makes,
(cover ears with hands)
Everywhere it goes!
(Stretch out arms

I Know a Little Pony

I know a little pony
[Bounce to the beat]
Her name is Dapple Grey
She lives down in the meadow
Not very far away
She goes nimble, nimble, nimble….
And trot, trot, trot….
Anddd Then she stops and waits a bit…
[stop bouncing]
Gallop, gallop, gallop, Hey!
[swing baby up on HEY]

To learn more about Saroj’s methods, you can check out her website:

Every Child Ready to Read

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This entry was posted in Babies, Early Literacy, Kids, Preschool, Programming, Public Library and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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