Guerrilla Storytime @ 2014 ALSC National Institute

Way back at ALA Midwinter in January, I chatted with some folks at ALSC about Storytime Underground. That conversation led to a great collaborative offering–a Guerrilla Storytime at the 2014 ALSC National Institute this past week in Oakland, CA. Kendra and I were in attendance and facilitated. Here’s the recap, to the best of our abilities. Don’t forget to click through for videos! You can also follow this link to the Guerrilla Storytime at #alsc14 playlist.


Opening Song: Hands Are Clapping, clap, clap, clap / Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap / Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap / Clap your hands my darlings / feet are stomping / mouths are kissing


Challenge: How do you include other languages?

  • Sing: “yo te amo / yo te amo / all say long I sing this little song to you / yo te amo / yo te amo / all day long I sing this song to you” You can all yell at Kendra for not getting this on video.
  • Count the number of kids in attendance in different languages with help from parents who speak other languages


Challenge: How do you incorporate letter knowledge into storytimes?

  • With babies, don’t necessarily want to do letters to make parents anxious; instead talk about shapes
  • In preK storytime, have a theme letter, and before storytime kids do a search around the library for ten die cuts of the letter; sing the letter in storytime with prop letters; connect to words that have that letter, does anyone have that letters in their name
  • For 3&4 year olds, celebrate the letter “B” by singing “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean,” and stand up/sit down with b words
  • Include ASL alphabet, promotes a lot of parent interaction, motor skills, takes longer to talk about the letters


Challenge: What’s your favorite use of props?


Challenge: How do you deal with rude parents?


Challenge: A parent won’t respond to their disruptive kid. What do you do?


Challenge: A child has a severe emotional reaction to a book you’re reading; what do you do?


Guerrilla Query: In a K-2 storytime, an older kid, instead of laughing, would yell “Jesus Christ!” very loudly whenever something funny happened in the story. How would you handle that? Video of Q & A

  • As a group, practice ways to laugh so everyone does silly laughs in a similar way
  • Use clapping instead of laughing


More Parachute!

  • Video And if you need more info/ideas on using the parachute, you can go here or here or here.


Challenge: How do you incorporate vocabulary into storytime? Video (even though it’s super hard to hear, sorry!)

  • Use song books like Jan Cabrera to reinforce that different words can mean the same things
  • Change a song lyric, little becomes gigantic, etc
  • Nonfiction! Don’t have to read aloud, but discuss the story or word
  • Have a vocab word that goes with the theme
  • CLICK CLACK MOO and the word “furious”
  • WOLFS CHICKEN STEW and the word “scrumptious”
  • Ask ” who knows what this means?”
  • Share rich vocab stories
  • Rhyme time with rhyming words that relate to theme, also weird words


Closing songs (Video)

  • “Sunny Day” from Little Jean Library: the sun comes up the flowers bloom
  • Jim Gill’s goodbye song is hilarious ” Moving Rhymes for Modern Times” with silly ways to say goodbye
  • “Wave high, wave low, now it’s time we’ve got to go”
  • “We say goodbye like this”


Thank you, ALSC, for being open to the idea of a Guerrilla Storytime at Institute. We had a great time kicking off the first session morning by learning great storytime skills from colleagues!

Share this!Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook3Pin on Pinterest4Share on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Email this to someonePrint this page

2 thoughts on “Canada Does Guerrilla Storytime!

Leave a Reply