(from "Off the Page! by M. Hudson)
q Read the book(s) yourself first. Think about the story and the intended audience.
q Practice reading it aloud. Hear the rhythm and pace of the text, become aware of the changes in emphasis in voice patterns or style. Note words that may require explanation.
q Note the pictures at which you wish to pause before turning the pages. There may be natural places that lend themselves to dialogic questions and you will want to know these and be prepared.
q Younger children (and older children unused to story times) need stretch and movement breaks. Rehearse any songs or finger plays you plan to use to respond to this need.
Starting Your Storytime For Preschool Children
q Greet the children with positive enthusiasm. Tell them your name and explain what you will be doing. Build rapport. Explain expectations of conduct. Assure them there will be times they can speak. Be positive in “selling” the activity.
q Take roll of children pre-registered giving a special word of welcome to each child.
q Arrange children in a semi circle, or pie wedge, shape for best visibility of the books or storyteller/storyreader. Chairs are optional as children can be most comfortable on the floor.
q Make yourself comfortable on a low, comfortable stool or chair. You should be able to slightly rotate your body to see everyone.
q Start and end the storytime in the same manner thus setting a pattern with which the children can become familiar.
q Have a special ritual, song, poem, or special finger play to help settle the children into the “wonder of the story time”. Ring a tiny chime, turn on a special lamp, do special movement poem to signal the time to start.