Friday, April 29, 2011

The Little Red House

I love seeing everyone's flannel stories that they post, but I don't use them a ton myself. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but I find that I don't have a lot of time to create them (well, who does really! Not a very good excuse, I suppose). I have gotten burned a couple times where I've spent a ton of time creating an awesome flannel story and then during storytime it kinda fell flat or the kids didn't care and now it just sits in my drawer. I try to focus on creating flannel stories that I can use often rather than really specific to a book or theme. The other reason I don't use flannel as much as I'd otherwise be inclined to is because of an offhand comment I heard at a workshop--something about kids being bored with the predictable book/flannel/fingerplay/book routine. At first I felt stricken--but I love flannel!  And then I got the point.


Thought I'd share my newest non-flannel storytime activity! A few years ago I attended a workshop with amazing storytime librarian Kim Faurot and she shared the book, "The Little Red House" by Norma Jean Sawicki. It's out of print, but many many libraries still seem to have copies. Sawicki notes that her book is based on a Mother Goose rhyme from Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales by James O. Halliwell (very old and also out of print, but our friends at SurLaLune seem to have a copy).
Kim talked about how easy it would be to do a flannel of this story, but instead she MADE a series of houses out of cardboard boxes and it's a major crowd-pleaser. It was so cool and easy to see that kids would LOVE it.  I've had my eye out for the right kind of boxes ever since. Well, I got sick of waiting and used this origami tutorial to make my own! (I started with 11x17 paper and reduced each square by 1.5" then glued on a roof and doors--easy!)

Once there was a little red house...

And inside the little red house there was...

A little green house!  Once there was a little green house...

And repeat until you get to a teeny little yellow house!  And what do you think was inside the little yellow house?

It was you! Kiss kiss!

I've found all the little 'surprises' in vending machines and I got a bunch from Michael's in the dollar section.  I usually go through it twice, and the kids are hilarious the second time because they are SURE they know who's inside that little yellow house--but through simple slight of hand I surprise them every time.  I love this because it can relate to a variety of themes depending on what's hiding in the last house.  As far as concepts and you can talk about colors and size, and also work on memory and reasoning.  What do you think is in the NEXT house?  Sometimes they say, "Another house!"  and sometimes they say, "A giant!"

It's fun every time  

1 comment:

  1. Anna, I can't wait to see what you post next. Your ideas are original and enriching and believe me when I say I am stealing them all!


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