Thursday, April 14, 2011

Storytelling Country Crossing by Jim Aylesworth

Country Crossing by Jim Aylesworth is a little longer of a story than I would attempt in storytime, unless you perform it instead of simply reading it. The text is very evocative of a country railroad crossing on its own, but making it interactive and participatory will keep the kids' attention better. Here's what you'll need:

  • A copy of the book.
  • A volunteer (parent or staff member) to hit the lights at designated time (use the cue "And the warning lights flashed" if you're somewhere the lights can be turned on and off. Even better if you have a red flashlight or similar)
  • Train whistle (or improvise if you're a skilled whistler unlike me).
  • Triangle (for the warning bell). This can be farmed out to a volunteer whose cue will be "The crossing bell rang."
  • Egg shakers for the kids (they will be the rumbling train. Their cue is "choo choo" and they should shake quietly first and then louder and louder)

How well you can pull this off at a storytime depends on the audience you get. I plan to try it this summer with my family storytime group. There's always a couple school-age kids. Should be fun. Wish me luck! If anyone's done this one before, let me know if you have advice.

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