Tuesday, June 17

Storytime: Presidents' Day

This storytime was for a preschool-aged group at my library.

Read Aloud Books

John, Paul, George & Ben Written and illustrated by Lane Smith

John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson all had important roles to play in the revolution, roles they learned early on in their childhood. As a huge fan of the Beatles, this book made me very happy. In terms of learning about our founding fathers, it was pretty good--stretching the truth, of course, but still good. And it was hilarious. The kids loved the part where I yelled "underwear."

My Teacher for President Written by Kay Winters, illustrated by Denise Brunkus

A rather perfectly simple look at the different responsibilities the president has as part of his job. Similar to a teacher, there's meetings to attend, fights to end, media to handle, and a big white house to live in. It was just the right length for preschoolers.

I am Abraham Lincoln Written by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

It turns out these books (the Ordinary People Change the World books) are rather long. But they are biographies of a sort, so it is worth it. In this case, we ran out of time to read the whole book, so I just read a couple of pages--a story or two from Abraham Lincoln's life. I liked the book because it is cartoon-ish and geared towards the younger folk. 

Songs and Rhymes

Song: "Who Was the First President?"
(Tune: London Bridges)
Who was the first president,
President, president,
Who was the first president
Of our country?

Washington was first president,
First president, first president,
Washington was first president
Of our country!
(credit here)

Song: "Mr. Lincoln"
(Tune: If You're Happy and You Know It)
Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Lincoln,
You were brave.
Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Lincoln,
You were good.
You stood for what was right,
You did not give up the fight,
Mr. Lincoln, you were brave,
You were good!

Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Lincoln,
You were brave.
Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Lincoln,
You were good.
You served our country well,
Your praises we will tell,
Mr. Lincoln, you were brave,
You were good!
(credit here

(seemingly random, yes, but it has to do with the craft 
and it was nice to give the kids a song they knew well)

Games and Activities

Flannel Board: The Money Game!

For this activity, I printed off some money (yay counterfeit!) extra large. We sang a little song about who was on each (which can take a long time, so we actually only sung about Abe on the penny/$5 and George on the quarter/$1).

Song: "Do You Know Who’s on the Penny?"
(Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)
Do you know who’s on the penny, on the penny, on the penny?
Do you know who’s on the penny?
Abraham Lincoln!

Do you know who’s on the quarter, on the quarter, on the quarter?
Do you know who’s on the quarter?
George Washington!

I put all the money on the flannel board, and we played a fun game where I hid an actual penny behind one of the bills/coins. It looked like this: (Velcro is wonderful)

So I hide the penny, and the kids shout out where they think it's hiding (e.g. "under the nickel!"). So we say this rhyme together:

Penny, penny where do you hide?
Are you under the nickel?

Are you under the dime?
Are you under the quarter?
Are you under the 1 dollar bill?
Are you under the 5 dollar bill?
Are you under the 10 dollar bill?

And then I lift up the nickel and the kids moan if they're wrong or cheer if they're right. They love it and have a lot of fun with this game. Plus, it helped the kids identify what a quarter vs nickel looked like or a 5 dollar vs 10 dollar bill. And, I taught them the sign language for each of the bills/coins. We did the ASL action as we said the rhyme together. So fun and learning all around!

Here are the pictures I printed off for the game: (click for larger version)

Craft Activity: Star Pendants! (credit here)

Basically, you cut a bunch of stars from red, white, and blue paper and have some pennies ready! (Shiny ones worked best). The kids got to design their pendant and glue a penny onto it (yes, I did have to make sure each kid only took one). The kids wore them with pride! But really, I think they just loved the penny...

Other Book Ideas

Duck for President Written by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin (Illustrator)
George Washington's Birthday: A Mostly True Tale Written by Margaret Mcnamara, illustrated by Barry Blitt 
Grace for President Written by Kelly S. DiPucchio, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of an American Feud Written by Suzanne Jurmain, illustrated by Larry Day

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