This was our first visit of the school year with our local elementary school’s comprehensive needs classroom. Three of the kids were returning from last year, and two were new. We kept the storytime on the short side so that we could have time for them to explore our new library space.
Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)
Story: Let’s Look at Fall by Sarah Schuette (nonfiction). One of our librarians read this one as an introductory story. It was nice that they had walked over from school and observed a lot of fall leaves on the way, so they had something to connect to.
Song: “Going on a Leaf Hunt” (kind of a combo of “Going on a Picnic” by Raffi on Corner Grocery Store and We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger). We have had good success with this group when we hand each child a flannel or magnetic piece to bring up during a song. For this one, we laminated paper leaves in brown, yellow, red, orange, and green and put magnets on the back. We drew a tree on the whiteboard and let the kids put their leaves on the branches or on the ground. We intentionally wrote the verses as “Who has the red leaf?” “Joey has the red leaf!” to allow the verbal kids to participate in each verse, even if it wasn’t their turn to bring something up, without specifically calling out the non-verbal kids.
Story: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams. They have read this one at school, and most of the kids were able to participate on the repeated actions. One librarian read the part of the little old lady and the other played the part of the clothes. (That sounds very odd.)
Song: “The Floppy Floppy Scarecrow“. This was fun. We did hands and then allowed each child to choose a different body part to do. Their helpers were really good at narrowing it down for them if they were having a hard time, so if I asked, “Joey, what should we do?” the helper might say, “Joey, do you want to pick head or feet?” We finished with whole body.
Ending Song: “Wave High, Wave Low”
Going on a leaf hunt, leaving right away.
Let’s find leaves, it’s a wonderful day!
Who has the green leaf?
[Name] has the green leaf.
Bring up the green leaf.
Ready for a leaf hunt, here we go!
Repeat for red, orange, yellow, brown.
“The Floppy Floppy Scarecrow”
The Floppy, floppy scarecrow
Guards his fields all day.
He waves his floppy, floppy hands
To scare the crows away!
Repeat and replace Hands with arms, toes, head, legs, etc…