A lot of research is being done about early literacy and pre-literacy. As a result, a lot of organizations have come up with recommendations for activities to be included into storytime and other facets of early education. However, time does not expand to allow for all the recommendations to fit into a single storytime. Barring a strange time phenomenon, some picking and choosing will need to be done.
I firmly believe there is no “correct” or “right” storytime structure as long as your program is designed with three basic things in mind:
- Community need/interest
- Reasonable expectation of staff time
- All elements are intentional
The Reconstruction Process
- Brainstorm a list of priorities for your storytime program
- What do you want participants to gain?
- What will your story leaders and rules stand for?
- Prioritize your priorities
- Which of your priorities are the most important?
- Apply a hierarchy
- Choose story elements that reflect your priorities
- Make a list of all the activities you currently do with all the reasons why they are done and the time it takes to do it. (The Storytime Element Cards may help.)
- Make a list of all the activities you would like to include, and with all the reasons why they are done and the time it takes to do it. (Again, the Storytime Element Cards may help.)
- Getting staff on board
- This may be easier of all the staff was involved from the very first step; however, this is not always possible in every institution/library.
- Be sure to “validate the change”
- Communicate the process and how each piece fitted into the puzzle