Blogger Jeanette Larson

Halloween Storytime

One of the best professional development opportunities I have is teaching a class on programs for youth in libraries. I learn so much from my students! Many of the students are already working as teachers or in public libraries so I try to make the assignments very practical. For one assignment, students are required to observe a storytime program at another library. Even the most experienced programmers find this to be enlightening as they always learn something new or are reminded of something they used to do but haven’t included in a program for years. For another assignment, they put together a sample storytime.

This past summer Stephanie Leslie, who volunteers in an elementary school library while attending graduate school, submitted a Halloween program that I thought was just too wonderful not to share. I love the simplicity of the craft and the way it reinforces early literacy skills for preschoolers but it would also be a good craft for early elementary students to enjoy. So if you need ideas for your storytime, here is Stephanie’s plan.

Books to share: The Halloween Kid by Rhode Montijo, H is for Haunted House: A Halloween Alphabet Book by Tanya Lee Stone, and Trick or Treat, Old Armadillo by Larry Dane Brimner. 

Fingerplay: “Five Little Pumpkins”
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate (Hold up 5 fingers)
The first one said, “My, it’s getting late.”
The second one said, “There are witches in the air.” (Point up with index finger)
The third one said, “But we don’t care.” (Point to self and shake head no)
The fourth one said, “Let’s run, let’s run” (Pump arms and tap feet)
The fifth one said, “I’m ready for some fun.”(Throw hands up the air)
“Oo oo,” went the wind and OUT went the lights. (Wave arms and then clap on OUT)
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Finger Puppets Song:  “The Haunted House” (Sing to the tune “Wheels on the Bus” )
The ghost in the house goes “Boo! Boo! Boo!”
“Boo! Boo! Boo! Boo! Boo! Boo!”
The ghost in the house goes “Boo! Boo! Boo!”
On Halloween.

(Additional verses)

The steps in the house go “Creak, creak, creak…”
The cats in the house go “Meow, meow, meow…”
The bats in the house go “Squeak, squeak, squeak…”
The witch in the house goes “Cackle, cackle, cackle…”

Craft: Halloween Names 
Materials: paper, crayons, markers, adhesive craft foam letters

Instructions: Using the foam craft letters and blank paper, help each child spell out their name. Then parents, assistants, or volunteers can encourage their child to think of something related to Halloween that begins with the same letters as each letter in their name (Ex. Grace: G is for ghost, R is for raven, A is for alien, etc.). Finally, encourage the child to illustrate the words they have brainstormed.

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