Ask a Storytime Ninja: Storytime for 5th and 6th Graders

Welcome to the first Ask a Storytime Ninja of 2014 (which, in case you haven’t heard is the Year of the Ninja)!

The question:

I work primarily with fifth and sixth graders, and I want to offer regular storytime-style programs for them. What sorts of modified storytime plans and activities do you use with these older elementary children?

The answers (don’t forget to add your own answers in the comments):

Amy (@amyeileenk) says:

When I provide storytime-style programs for older children, I tend to focus on folktales and oral storytelling. So many older folktales are a bit too long, or too gruesome, or too scary for young children, but fourth through sixth graders are the perfect audience. My favorites are “Mr. Fox” and “Toads and Diamonds.” These longer stories mean we just do one or two stories in our “storytimes,” and I like to round out the experience with some mood-setting music, a short video that ties in with the theme, and readers’ theatre, where the children themselves engage in a retelling. I’m hoping to experiment with video or audio-recording these child-led retellings, too, to make the whole experience even more meaningful and focused on multiple literacies.

Kim (@LibrarianMarian) says:

I’ve done read alouds of Non-fiction for older kids. Usually I chose interesting subjects like Vlad the Impaler or The Great and Only PT Barnum. This came from a workshop I attended by Michael Sullivan some time ago ( who said that non-fiction read-alouds might reach out to your young male patrons better. I’ve also done poetry and had them attempt the style afterwards.

Learn about Ask a Storytime Ninja and ways to participate here.

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