Scarves, felt boards, puppets, musical instruments – I’ve used them all. Props are a wonderful way to make books come alive for our young listeners, however, my favorite prop is one that may not immediately come to mind – a globe. You’d be surprised how many ways a globe may enlighten even the youngest of children.
When I’m not actively using it, I place my globe in the children’s area. My globe draws children to it as if it were imbued with the earth’s actual magnetic field. And like the earth, it’s strong and resilient. When parents say, “Don’t touch!” I assure them that it’s all right with me. Even the simplest of globes is a beautiful, wondrous, and of course, “spinny” thing! Who can resist?
When I feature an ethnic folktale in story time, my globe comes with me. I point out where we live and my finger travels around the globe, arriving in the country where other children might be listening to the very same story! I fly my finger across the oceans, or bounce it upon the waves. Have a raised relief globe? Let children use their fingers to climb the Rocky Mountains, the Alps, the Himalayas.
When I read a story that takes place far from New Jersey, I again travel the country or the world to find the home of our protagonist. With older children, I teach them the ten cent wonder that is the ring on top of the globe – imagine calculating the time of day at any place in the world, with nothing more than a little tin circle, marked with the 24 hours of day. What time is it in California? London? Mumbai? Just turn the circle and find out!
But the amazing globe, that $20.00 miracle, marks not only our location in the world, but our place in the universe. Spin a story about day and night as you spin your globe in concert. Read a poem about the seasons while you carry your globe on its trip around the sun. There is no end to the things you can do with a globe.
You’ve got the whole world in your hands. Share it!
Photo by Stefan Kí¼hn (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/), CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons