Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bilingual Story Time - Cinco de Mayo

The other day I did my first Preschool Story Time at my new library. I decided to do a Cinco de Mayo theme. Mostly, I wanted to make the story time bilingual. I am not fluent in Spanish, but know a few phrases. I made sure to double check pronunciations and spellings with a coworker who is fluent before I went into the story time. Here is what I did and how it went.

Welcome to story time! We sing my current hello song.

We Clap and Sing Hello
(tune: Farmer in the Dell)
We clap and sing hello
(clap, clap)
We clap and sing hello
(clap, clap)
With our friends in story time
We clap and sing hello
(clap, clap)

It's letter time!

I like to start with letter time to introduce the capital and lowercase letters to the preschoolers. This story time, it was letter M. I set up the letter time by bringing out puppets: a monkey, a mouse, and a moose. What letter do they all have in common?!

M is, of course, for the month of May. This is how I introduce the theme.

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, we read bilingual books in story time.


This book was great. I didn't read all of it because it is a little long. Instead I read selected words in Spanish. At the end, I repeated the colors in Spanish and pointed out the children who were wearing those colors.

Next we sang a song in Spanish. I took care to teach them each phrase twice before we started the song.

Buenos Días 
(tune: Are You Sleeping?)
Buenos días, buenos días
Cómo estás? Cómo estás?
Muy bien gracias
Muy bien gracias
Y tu? Y tu?

At this point, I noticed a little bit of restlessness from the kids. Learning all those words in a new language was doable, but took a lot of their concentration. It was time to shake out some sillies. I put on a Raffi CD and played Shake My Sillies Out.

I like to use this transition rhyme to get them calm for a book again:

Stretch up high toward the sky
Stretch on down to the ground
Stretch arms out and spin around
Sit quietly back down


I absolutely adore Pat Mora. This book has a lot of great illustrations as well. Once again, I read selected parts in Spanish so as to not overwhelm the mostly native English speaking crowd. 

I took a break from Spanish and did a felt story of the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Originally, I had planned on introducing more Spanish words into the song, but I could tell they needed a break. 

Next, we put on Jim Gill's The Tempo Marches On. This song is great for learning self-regulation and fast vs slow. 


This book was really perfect. Had it been only in English, I would say it was more of a Toddler level book, but since it was introducing words in another language it worked great. I had everyone repeat the phrase 'Qué más?' that came up on every page. 

Next I sang my goodbye song on my guitar: May There Always Be Sunshine. Inspired by Jim Gill, I ask the kids what they think there should always be and try to work it into the song. Always good fun.

At the end, I brought out a Piñata filled with candy. Instead of whacking it open, I pre-cut a hole and let them pull out a piece of candy.

This week's craft was making paper flowers

Photo from Flickr

This craft was a lot of fun, but I noticed that parents seemed to be doing most of the work. The tissue paper was too delicate for the kids to handle. Noted for future preschool crafts! The kids sure had fun running around and smelling each other's flowers though. It was adorable. 

It feels good to be back in the story time seat! 


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