PJ Storytime: Knights

This was one of those storytimes that just kept changing, right up until storytime began! It had been on my mind for awhile, I thought it fit well with the “Hero” SRP theme. I haven’t been a stickler about keeping my storytimes on theme, but it’s nice to reinforce what’s going on in the library. Originally I was going to do Knights and Princesses. Then Knights and Dragons. There were so many great dragon books I had to do a separate storytime with just dragons, but I found plenty that featured both. Then at the very last minute, I added in a slightly off-topic princess book and it was the perfect choice!

We Read:

The Sunflower Sword by Mark Sperring

A sweet story with the opportunity for kids to SWOOSH their imaginary swords, this book was an easy win. Instead of a sword the little boy’s mother gives him a sunflower and rather than battling dragons (or being eaten by one) he makes friends.

(We Did Not Read) Over at the Castle by Boni Ashburn

I had been debating this one since it is long. It follows the model of “Over in the Meadow” and counts down 10 different castle member. I had planned to add in actions for each to keep the kids engaged, but as I started gathering up the kids for storytime I realized how young my group was this evening and make a last minute switch.

(Note: It can be hard to make changes last minute especially if, like me, yo have a printed song sheet that says what you’re reading and singing. I have never had a parent say anything or even blink when what we do doesn’t match the sheet. Go ahead and change what you need to!)

Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis

I had originally nixed this book because I wanted to keep more with the time period of my theme. I find it is usually a mistake to let your theme be in control. This was one of the favorite books we read and I’m so glad I made the switch. Not only did it go over better with the younger kids, but the girls in the audience appreciated it. And all the kids loved to meow!

I also added in a EL tip that I’ve been using a lot this summer in support of imaginative play:

Do you play dress-up with your child? Whether your child wants to be the princess, or the knight, imaginative play is how children learn best. They actually use a wider vocabulary and practice social skills while playing pretend.

The End by David LaRochelle

This short and silly story is actually told backwards, starting with “The End” and “They lived happily ever after” with each page ending with a BECAUSE. It’s a great oppotunity to talk to kids about what we expect to see when we read a book. The silly antics are quite absurd but the kids find it amusing. After reading it through we re-told the story the “right way” from “Once upon a time” to “happily ever after, The End”

I love it when I have a good opportunity to model fun ways to retell stories. It’s a great skill for kids to have but it can be hard to do without being boring

Ask your child to retell their favorite books. Even if they cannot read them, the ability to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end will help them understand what they are reading later in school.

We Sang:

I love the model of “If You’re Happy and You Know it” to create songs on any theme

If You’re a Knight and You Know It

If you’re a knight and you know it –
swing your sword
If you’re a knight and you know it –
swing your sword
If you’re a knight and you know it, and you really want to show it,
If you’re a knight and you know it –
swing your sword

Other Verses
Giant – stomp your feet
Dragon – give a ROAR!!

In the Castle

Fierce is the dragon
(hold up hands like claws)
Brave is the knight
(hands on hips)
Poised is the princess
(make a curtsy)
Tiny is the sprite
(crouch down small)
Tall is the giant
(hands up high)
Quiet is the queen
(put a finger to your lips)

I modified this original rhyme from Storytime Secrets. I shortened it a bit and changed the “pretty is a princess” to “poised” great new vocabulary and I think a better message for my feminist heart. I did keep “Quiet is the Queen” because i love alliteration and it’s a nice way to end and have everyone quiet for the next story.

We also sang:

This is Big

Noble Duke of York (I added a cross knee tap to our marching the second time around. Gotta cross that mid-line!)

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